Who We Are
Our vision is to offer accessible and world-class training to people of all ages, sizes, genders, and backgrounds in the multiple athletic programs offered. We serve not only athletes, but anybody looking to learn new skills, get in shape, have fun, and join our community.
Welcoming & Competitive
Bay Jiu-Jitsu was created out of a strong passion, a shared vision and a ceaseless commitment to making martial arts learning easy and accessible to all people. Since opening in 2008, we’ve had the opportunity to work with countless students as they acquired foundational skills, developed new techniques and confidently moved forward in their learning journey. Known as one of the most welcoming and competitive Martial Arts School in the San Francisco Bay area, we provide a wide range of classes to support students from all backgrounds and levels. Our jiu-jitsu team participates in local, state, national, and international tournaments, but many of our members practice for the sake of fun, fitness, and overall self-defense. We welcome all motivated people with an atmosphere of inclusivity while providing top-notch instruction.
Bay Jiu-Jitsu's Core Values
What drives us everyday
Bay Jiu-Jitsu exists to provide people with the tools and training they need to build confidence and strength in all aspects of their lives. We do this through martial arts and fitness classes, online content, products, events, and community that challenge our students to push beyond their comfort zone and overcome physical, mental, and emotional challenges.
Bay Jiu-Jitsu is built around five core values, and they are the foundations of our culture.
IT’S FUN BECAUSE IT’S HARD
We know that discomfort accelerates our growth. We get out of our own way. We embrace challenging situations that make us stronger. We don’t fear failure, we learn from it. We make moves, not excuses. We understand quitting is not an option.
We are open-minded when it comes to new ways of approaching problems and jump at the opportunity to learn from others. We welcome constructive feedback and grow from it. We challenge the status quo by seeking clarity and asking questions. We know that what got us here won’t get us there.
We believe in our core that we are changing our lives and the lives of our training partners. We wake up every morning ready to be the best and give the best version of ourselves to our community. If a teammate needs help, we step up to the plate and help them. If we notice a problem in the gym, we take action to make sure it gets resolved.
We welcome a friendly training environment to anyone regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or race. We are each other’s biggest cheerleaders. We work well with others, communicate directly and respectfully, and set clear expectations. We are positive, optimistic, and bring each other up.
WHAT WE LEARN ON THE MAT, WE TAKE INTO THE WORLD
We are committed to living our best lives as a whole. We train consistently, take care of our bodies and minds, and live true to our own personal values. Our discipline, commitment, and tenacity translates into our daily lives outside of the gym. When life pulls us down, we stand up and get right back at it.
About Stephan, Bay Jiu-Jitsu Founder
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a ninja when I grew up. I debated starting my ninja career in either martial arts or gymnastics. Since backflips would be a critical ninja skill to develop, gymnastics was the way to go. Once in college, I settled on the next best career to ninjahood - an elementary school teacher. While studying full-time, I worked three jobs to pay for my tuition and continued dabbling in my ninja hobbies. I tried many martial art styles (Aikido, Krav Maga, Arnis, Jeet Kune Do), but most did not have opportunities to compete. For me, competition is the best way to measure my skill progression and know if I'm getting better at something. I first discovered Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Santa Cruz and immediately fell in love with it. Unlike all the other martial art styles I tried, I could compete in jiu-jitsu, measure my skill progression, and ensure my techniques worked in high-pressure situations.
I trained jiu-jitsu for two years in college in Santa Cruz, competed in about dozens of white belt tournaments, and earned my blue belt by graduation. Afterward, I moved to the Bay Area and started my first job as an Oakland Public School teacher. At the same time, I was training and coaching adults and kids jiu-jitsu and gymnastics at a few gyms in the East Bay. After six years of teaching as an elementary school teacher, I decided to focus on coaching jiu-jitsu full-time. I competed in every jiu-jitsu tournament I could and worked my way up to my brown belt. In 2010, I earned my black belt after winning five gold medals as a brown belt. Then I opened the first Bay Jiu-Jitsu permanent location in Japantown. Our student community multiplied, allowing us to grow our gym to 4 locations throughout the Bay Area over the next ten years.
Then COVID hit in 2020, and we had to stop all in-person classes. It was a challenging year for everyone, forcing us to close 3 of our 4 Bay Jiu-Jitsu gyms. But our students didn't want to stop learning, and I knew I couldn't stop teaching, so we continued classes on Zoom and YouTube train-at-home videos.
Now I'm happy to say that we are back in the Japantown gym and fully operational. I am so grateful to the Bay Jiu-Jitsu students who stuck with us throughout our Zoom days and to all the new people who have joined our community over the last few years. Throughout the ups and downs, coaching and developing students in their physical skills and confident mindsets have kept me going. It's the drive behind why I do what I do every day. The sport of jiu-jitsu and the Bay Jiu-Jitsu family transformed my life, and I'd love to share it with you.
Meet The Full Team
Founder & Co-Head Coach
Stephan has been training and competing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since 1998. He received his black belt in 2010 after winning numerous gold medals at brown belt level in various national and international tournaments, including the IBJJF American Nationals, East Coast NAGA, and the American Cup. Since then he expanded his training into SAMBO and Combat Wrestling, and won the FICW masters World Championships in 2016. Stephan has developed a progressive and unique model for teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to children, influenced by his extensive previous youth education experience as a certified classroom teacher in Oakland, and youth gymnastics coach. He now holds his 3rd degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Cassidee is a Chicago native who moved to the East Bay in 2015. She’s been training jiu jitsu since 2009 and also has experience with Muay Thai, boxing, judo, and Tae Kwon Do. She currently holds a brown belt under Stephan Goyne.
When she’s not training, Cassidee can be found frequenting comic and book stores, cooking, playing video games, drawing, and lifting weights. She also really likes dogs.
Program Director & Co-Head Coach
Reilly teaches a progressive approach to grappling that is heavily focused on dominating the clinch range with throws and dynamic submission entrances. Reilly has repeatedly proven this method in competition and reached the rank of 1st in the USA and 5th in the world at 68kg in SAMBO Wrestling (FIAS 2016). Along with his foundation in SAMBO, Reilly also holds the rank of Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and has achieved competition success in a variety of other combat sports including submission grappling and MMA. Reilly offers many instructional videos and grappling seminars all over the world through his online resource Rdojo.com.
Director of Operations
Megan earned her masters degree in Art History from Hunter College in New York City in 2010. She taught science and social studies in inner city schools in both New Orleans and Oakland before transitioning into a management position for a series of residential and commercial spaces in downtown Berkeley. Now working full time at Bay Jiu-Jitsu, her experience with children makes her an excellent resource for the parents and the coaching staff, and her experience in management makes her indispensable to the day-to-day operation of the gym.