(GJJ San Dimas is a level 4 certified training center)
Professor (Black Belt) - Dr. Jorge Balares, ThM, DC
Black Belt in Combat Aikido/ Brown Belt in Judo/ Krav Maga Instructor/ Chiropractic Doctor
Jorge's martial arts journey began with Judo and Aikido throughout high school under the late Sensei Manuel Adolfo Sr. After high school, he continued Aikido training with Morse High School Aikido club and later with UC-San Diego Aikido Club for 4 years in college. During his college years around 1997, he met Professor Roy Harris and began Brazilian Jiujitsu training with Professor Harris at UCSD. He also continued Judo training under Dr. Lyman Connoly, a fellow doctor of chiropractic at UCSD. In 2008, he learned about the Gracie Academy and began training with the Gracie Family in Torrance earning his blue belt in 2009. In 2014 after receiving his purple belt, Dr. Jorge began training with Professor Regis Lebre at San Diego's world famous Gracie Humaita Academy. Due to a job transfer, he left Gracie Humaita in San Diego and returned back to the Torrance Headquarters subsequently earning his brown belt in 2016. Dr. Jorge was promoted to black belt in 2018 and has achieved a Level 4 (Highest) Instructor Certification under the Gracie Academy. He continuously trains at the Gracie Academy -Torrance Headquarters under Ryron and Rener Gracie.
Professor Jorge is an experienced doctor of chiropractic, a health/wellness counselor, an ordained minister, and is currently working on dual doctorate degrees (JD/PhD) in law and theology. His practice focus is on natural health and treatment of martial arts and sports-related injuries. He is available as a wellness counselor and a life coach in the cities of San Dimas and San Diego.
He is married to a pink belt enthusiast and has three bully-proofed kids.
Certified Instructor (Purple Belt) - Han Duong
Silver Medalist 2010 Nogi Pankration/ Mental Health Nurse
Han started Gracie Jiu-jitsu in 2010, he fell in love with the art immediately. As a Veteran of the United States Navy and Iraqi War, Han carries the same discipline onto the mat. He takes pride in passing on the Gracie Philosophy, as he teaches the students the secrets of leverage and technique. In 2010 he earned his blue belt and became one the first students to get promoted at the old gym in La Puente. Han has been a Gracie Academy Certified Instructor since the Summer of 2012. After training and assisting in the classes for six years, Han subsequently earned his purple belt in 2016. Today, he takes pride in seeing the growth of each student and having a direct influence in their growth and learning.
Instructor Han is a US Navy veteran and a mental health nurse. Being in the field of mental health, he believes in constant self-awareness.
If Han is not in the gym or on the mat, he spends time teaching his daughter the Gracie Way and the importance of self-defense.
Certified Instructor (Purple Belt) - Alex Lam
Alex started training in 2011 at the old Gracie La Puente gym earning his blue belt. Alex became a certified instructor in July 2012 and has been teaching regularly since. In 2018 he earned his purple belt after teaching and training for almost six years. As a teacher and student, his priorities are understanding the principles behind the techniques, punch awareness, and having fun.
Instructor Alex is an experienced marketing professional.
Alex is married and a proud father of one.
Bruce is the creator-designer of our new location in San Dimas. If you've never visited our new location, come by and train with one of the OGs of Gracie La Puente.
Mario is a well-known champion competitor at his class/rank in every Gracie Nationals he has competed in. He is known for taking home his opponents' legs and feet!
Katy is an avid competitor at the annual Gracie Nationals. She is also an aspiring pink belt instructor. She loves helping other women learn how to defend themselves.