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Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu


Building a Strong Jiu-Jitsu Community

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Our Courses



Beginner BJJ

With a strong focus on self-defense, fundamental class incorporates the same jiu-jitsu first taught at the original Gracie academy in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil during the 1960’s. The class is designed to prepare students for both self-defense, and sport jiu-jitsu while at the same time improving cardiovascular endurance, balance, and coordination. The fundamental program is designed for anyone, male or female, of any body type, or age (15 and over). The class quickly prepares students for intermediate class, and gives students a sturdy base of knowledge that they will put to practice throughout their jiu- jitsu study. Class format consists of the following; a light warm-up, fundamental techniques are shown, and finally several drills are performed. The drills are the secret to successful teaching, and are equivalent to sparring for beginners, but are done with little resistance to reinforce proper technique. There is very little, to no full-contact sparring in the fundamental class. We believe this is key in the evolution of beginning jiu-jitsu students. Students with no grappling experience are asked to attend 50-60 fundamental classes, or 3-4 months before attending intermediate classes.


Intermediate BJJ

Our Intermediate jiu-jitsu class assumes that you understand a good portion of the basics taught in the fundamentals. We emphasize on these basics while starting to introduce more complex techniques. Then after the techniques, the students will spar to build endurance, and apply the techniques to real-life situations. Students are required to have 60 classes (at the discretion of the instructor) to be able to join the intermediate jiu-jitsu class. This is to promote a safer environment and destroy the bad habits of jiu- jitsu during the initial stages of learning.


Advanced BJJ

The techniques taught here are complex, and we devote a large portion of this class time to sparring. Even if you are already a higher belt, the best way to elevate your game is to attend one of our advanced jiu-jitsu classes. You must have, at minimum, a blue belt to go to the advanced jiu-jitsu class. Morning Session/Executive Session: Our morning and executive sessions will focus on an intermediate and advance curriculum and are best for 2-stripe white belts and above.

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Kids Classes

Professor Troy will work with kids on fundamental wrestling and jiu jitsu skills as well as help develop skills to be bully proof! ​


Open Mat & Private Lessons

Open mat is designed for sparring and fitness at the 2-stripe white belt level and above. Beginner (fundamental) practitioners are able to attend open mat to work drills and get clarification on techniques from our professors and coaches. Private Lessons: Private lessons are available to schedule with our professors and instructors. Private lessons are designed to work on a particular part of your jiu-jitsu game and provides you the opportunity to customize your instruction. This is also a great way to make up a fundamental or intermediate class that you may have missed during the regular training path.

Special Events
Meet The Team

Meet The FoCo BJJ Team


Troy Thomas
Head Instructor

Professor Troy is an IBJJF 3rd Degree Black Belt under Alliance Founder, Romero “Jacare” Cavalcanti. Troy is also one of the first Combatives Black Belts under Matt Larsen Combatives. He began his BJJ training in 1997, while serving in the famed Ranger Regiment. He is one of the founding members of the Modern Army Combatives Program and the first instructor at the U.S. Army Combatives School. Troy served over 30 years in the United States Army and holds a Master of Business Administration from Colorado State University.


Matthew Jackson

Matthew Jackson BJJ 1st Degree Black Belt, Adventurer, athlete, entrepreneur, featured contributor, podcast guest, speaker, and licensed Series 65 investment fiduciary. Matthew began training BJJ in 2010 and earned his black belt in 2018. As a blue belt, he competed and won his division at the 2012 Fight To Win Nationals, Fight to Win XX and earned a silver medal in the 2012 Colorado State Championships. Matthew’s career commitments have kept him from competing. However, he has been a dedicated practitioner of BJJ his entire career. He is currently the President of Solid Wealth Advisors in Fort Collins, CO. Author and featured contributor over 2 dozen times in popular publications like Business Insider, the Huffington Post,,, Money, & US New & World Report to name a few. #1 Best-Selling Author of “The Retirement Dreammaker-Master the Art of Retirement Abundance”. Founding partner of 401(k) Maneuver Board of Directors member of The Colorado Bowhunters Association Executive Editor of The Colorado Bowhunter magazine. When not training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or practicing archery, Matthew enjoys reading, golf, working outside and spending time with his wife, daughter and dogs adventuring around Colorado.


Francisco Gonzalez

Francisco Gonzalez is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt, born and raised in Chihuahua, Mexico. I’ve always been involved in contact and extreme sports, mostly playing football and skateboarding during high school and college and listening to punk reggae music. Constantly watching boxing matches, kick boxing and MMA fights. After leaving college and not able to play football anymore, I tried different ways to exercise. I tried boxing, kick boxing, Muay Thai. Everything was good with Muay Thai, until one of my closer friends invited me to try Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I was immediately amazed by how easily a smaller person beat me up and how Professor Cristian Beck was able to submit all people at the gym. That night I made one of the best decisions of my life and enrolled myself in Jiu Jitsu classes. Training under Professor Cristian Beck, I earned my blue belt from Professor Ricardo de la Riva. Years later, I was honored to receive my purple belt under Professor Cristian Beck. After living almost all my life in my hometown, I decided to move to Colorado 5 years ago, leaving my family and team to find new challenges in my life. I didn’t know what destiny would bring to me but I was sure that I would be welcome at whatever Jiu jitsu gym I tried because the Jiu Jitsu community makes you feel at home without caring who you are or where you come from. So, it wasn’t the exception here in Fort Collins. I was welcome in different gyms and open mats all around town until I decided to train under Professor Finnie McMahon, where I earned my brown belt. Constantly making new Jiu jitsu friends and looking expand this community, I had the opportunity to roll with Professor Troy P. Thomas. I was impressed by his technique and leadership and his excellent taste in punk music. Talking with him about his values, vision, and the love that we both share for Jiu Jitsu, I made the decision to follow him under his leadership. Now, I have the opportunity to share my 8 years of knowledge and love for Brazilian Jiu jitsu. I hope to see you soon on the mats!! Oss!


Ryan Shiba

Born and raised on the island of Kaua’i, Hawai’i, Ryan is a Black Belt under Professor Troy Thomas. As a kid, Ryan was involved in every sport imaginable, soccer, football, baseball, track, surfing and even golf. After participating in multiple sports through high school, he decided to focus on football in college where he was a kicker at Adams State University in Colorado. After college, Ryan was looking for a way to keep his competitive fire and began training jiu jitsu in the mid 2000’s under Professor Ray Casias, and has been training ever since. He has trained at various academies throughout Colorado and as far away as Australia. When back on Kaua’i, he trains at Longman Jiu Jitsu where his brother Jerin is also a black belt. Ryan has a Master of Arts degree in Education and when he’s not on the mats, he’s a senior leader at JobAdder, an Australian-based recruitment software company. Ryan and his wife Gina have been married since 2006 and have 3 children who also train at FoCo BJJ.


Brendan Kayne

Brendan Kayne has been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu consistently since January 2018 and holds the rank of purple belt granted by Professors Matt Cano and Kurt Osiander. Originally from California, Brendan left his home state to pursue goals in the United States Air Force where he served for eight years in Cheyenne, Wyoming and was honorably discharged in 2019. Exercise and wellness were a mainstay in Brendan’s life and military career even before he started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. When he separated from active duty, Brendan attended Colorado State University and obtained a Baccalaureate degree in Health and Exercise Science as well as Business Administration. As the head kids coach at FoCo BJJ, as well as being a father to his own son, Brendan’s goal is to develop resilient youth that enjoy physical activity which promotes a strong body as well as a strong mind. Brendan’s favorite thing about Jiu Jitsu is the primal nature of the art and how much we are able to learn about ourselves through this physical exhaustion. Although he hasn’t lived in California for a long time, Brendan will tell you that he feels “at home” any time he steps on the mats, regardless of the location.

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Jeffrey Callaway

Coach Jeff Callaway is one of the founders of FoCo BJJ and has a purple belt under Professor Troy Thomas. Jeff has a Master of Science from Colorado State University and a Bachelor of Science in Medical Microbiology with Honors from the University of Wyoming. Jeff grew up in a military family and has lived all over the United States of America, but has chosen to make Fort Collins, CO his home with his wife and 2 children. He was first introduced to BJJ when he read Sam Harris’ article, The Pleasures of Drowning. This reminded him of his childhood watching epic martial arts movies and only wanting to do karate, though his parents had different ideas and signed him up for football, baseball, etc. Several years after reading that article he started listening to a podcast that was new at the time, the Jocko Podcast. That was the final straw and Jeff signed up to try classes, was instantly hooked, and has not looked back. When not at the gym, Jeff works at CSU as the director of the Fermentation Science and Technology program, spends time with his family as he shuttles his kids around to their various sporting activities, and is an active outdoorsman.



Craig Starger holds the rank of brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Professor Troy Thomas. Originally from New Jersey, Craig started training Brazilian jiu-jitsu in New York City in 1995 (!!!) after watching the early UFC events on pay-per-view. He received his blue belt from Master Renzo Gracie in 1997 and trained for a few more years in midtown Manhattan with Matt Serra, John Danaher, Ricardo Almeida, and many others. He then took a long detour away from jiu-jitsu, earning a Ph.D. from Columbia University and traveling the world as a marine biologist. After many years away from jiu-jitsu, Craig returned to the path in Bangkok, Thailand around 2014 at various gyms, then settled in Fort Collins in 2016. He earned his purple belt from Finnie McMahon in 2018 and taught a few semesters of BJJ at CSU. After a 2-year 'pandemic pause,' Craig signed up at FOCO BJJ on its opening day and was promoted to brown belt in February 2023.


Adriane Ehmann

Adriane Ehmann is a purple belt in Jiu Jitsu and a mindset coach that works with people on how they approach, and overcome, the challenges in their life. She has built her business, WTF Empire, around helping people achieve their goals and overcome the sh*t that holds them back, whether that be injury, difficulty sleeping, or the nerves of competing. As cliche as it sounds, she wants to teach women to be powerful within themselves and have healthy relationships to men. Jiu Jitsu is a great way to address this. After living in Thailand and working with fighters at some of the top MMA gyms in the world she returned to Colorado and worked with fighters out of Denver, CO. This work gave her grit, resiliency, and a sense of humor that lightens the mood on even some of the most serious subjects. “We are here to talk shit, learn to be strong within ourselves, heal the relationships we have with others, and step into who we want to be.”

FoCo BJJ General Weekly Class Schedule & Live Schedule

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