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Michael "Tips" Venturella

I am a black belt in the 10th Planet system under Scott “Einstein” Epstein and have been teaching no-gi Brazilian jiu jitsu since 2012.  I was the main coach for the Fundamentals jiu jitsu, striking and kids programs at 10th Planet West LA for four years.  Before that, I was a coach for the Fundamentals jiu jitsu program at 10th Planet Van Nuys for three years.  I have cornered my jiu jitsu students at various competitions and trained and cornered amateur and professional MMA fighters.

I began my jiu jitsu journey with 10th Planet in 2009 as part of my goal to fight MMA.  Since I began training over 12 years ago, I have participated in amateur MMA fights, muay thai smokers and no-gi grappling competitions.  While I began training jiu jitsu to help achieve my goal of fighting MMA, I noticed other changes over the years in my demeanor and life that I attribute to my martial arts journey.  Prior to beginning training, I was eating junk food and playing video games 24/7 and weighed over 300lbs.  I had heart and vision problems, issues with depression, self-esteem and confidence, and rarely interacted with people outside of my family.  However, once I began training at 10th Planet, I gained more confidence in myself, acquired greater social skills and made friendships that are still strong to this day.  I even met my wife through 10th Planet jiu jitsu.  My journey has made me very humble and more appreciative of life.  

I believe no-gi Brazilian jiu jitsu is an amazing skill to develop because it is something that everyone, no matter age, gender or background, can benefit from.  It keeps you in shape while learning deadly techniques.  I have also found it to be a great stress reliever as well, which is something everyone can use in today’s world.  My goal is to help as many people as possible accomplish their goals through martial arts because it has improved my life in so many ways.

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Charlotte Venturella

I am a purple belt in the 10th Planet system under Scott “Einstein” Epstein and trained at 10th Planet West LA since 2012 before moving to Colorado Springs with my husband.  I have competed in no-gi grappling competitions since I began training and have assisted my husband with his Fundamental jiu jitsu classes on occasion.  

I began my jiu jitsu journey while at college in 2005 for self-defense purposes, but within a year I had to stop attending classes because of conflicts with school.  After college, I moved to Los Angeles and immediately began training BJJ again because I missed the fitness, social and practical aspects that it offered.  Before I moved to Los Angeles, I had never heard of 10th Planet jiu jitsu and was very excited to discover it.  Its no-gi system appealed to me more from a self-defense perspective than the traditional gi program that I had previously participated in.  Joining 10th Planet is by far one of the best decisions I have made in my life because I have not only developed practical skills, but I have improved myself on a personal level.  Like my husband, I too had self-esteem issues prior to beginning training and often preferred solitude to socialization.  When I moved to Los Angeles after college, I knew no one.  I quickly realized that I needed an outlet outside of work to relieve stress and interact with open-minded individuals.  I have found that the 10th Planet family is a truly unique environment because it attracts a diverse group of individuals who can find common ground on the mats.  As 10th Planet now has over 100 locations world-wide, by joining 10th Planet Colorado Springs you’ll be part of a growing network of family, friends and knowledge that strives to improve lives daily.

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Richard "Ricoh" Adame

I am a former BBoy of 5 years turned jiu jitsu practitioner.  I have trained at various 10th Planet gyms over the years, but 10th Planet Colorado Springs is my home now.  I have been training at 10th Planet Colorado Springs under Michael Venturella for a little over a year and during this time, I have competed twice in grappling tournaments and have medalled both times.  I placed 3rd in my first tournament and 1st in my second tournament.  I am looking forward to teaching my fellow grapplers and continuing to learn the art of jiu jitsu.

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Devin Augatis

I started my martial arts journey in my teen years with traditional Korean martial arts under Grandmaster Ki Yun Yi and the IMA in my home state of New Jersey. During my University years in Philadelphia, MMA began to take off and I decided to try it out. I quickly learned that my ground game was seriously lacking and while I wanted to continue training, I had to put my training on hold as I became a father. Fast forward five years to 2020, my wife and I decided to move our family to Colorado and as luck would have it, we moved right down the road from 10th Planet Colorado Springs.

I had known about 10th Planet for some time and wanted to practice the no gi bjj system, but starting something new can be challenging. It will test you in many ways to get out of your comfort zone and the first test is walking into a new gym. The moment I walked through the door at 10th Planet Colorado Springs, I experienced the friendly environment. Everyone was so welcoming and encouraging. After not being able to train for five years, I had really missed this part of my life - both as a fighter and martial artist but also a coach and motivator. Each instructor at 10th Planet Colorado Springs is willing to not only teach you the skills you need for no gi or striking, but also help you with your life goals, whether they be weight loss, overall health, competitions or something else entirely. I have trained at 10th Planet Colorado Springs since June 2020 and am devoted to helping others learn the 10th Planet system as well as assisting our students in achieving their goals both on and off the mats. I am excited to be one of the instructors for the youth classes at 10th Planet Colorado Springs.

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Andrew Briggs

I was born and raised in the Boston area. I’ve always been involved in team sports and competition but didn’t experience an individual sport until I started boxing in high school. Boxing was my first experience in any type of combat sport and I feel as though it prepared me well to deal with some of the challenges of grappling. After graduating from college in Massachusetts, I moved to central Florida. It was there that I discovered jiu jitsu through watching MMA. Since then, I’ve completely devoted myself to jiu jitsu and have been training consistently for five years, earning my purple belt along the way. Off the mats I enjoy watching jiu jitsu matches and technique videos to help improve my game and keep up with the evolution of the art. I also enjoy spending time in nature through mountain biking and hiking. While I still plan on competing occasionally, my goal with teaching is to help people achieve their goals through jiu jitsu, whether they're focused on self-defense, sport jiu jitsu, or exercise. I’m committed to making your grappling experience as enjoyable and productive as possible.

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jose paz

As a full-time Firefighter/Paramedic and US Marine, I naturally gravitate toward environments where camaraderie, discipline and hard work bring out the best in people. 10th Planet Colorado Springs is exactly that kind of place. I moved to Colorado almost six years ago with my wife and 2 young kids and struggled to find a gym where I knew I would commit myself. I have been an avid fan of Brazilian jiu jitsu for over a decade and practiced intermittently in Southern California for about two years. I always had fun, but it wasn’t until I came to train under Mike Venturella that I saw how impactful BJJ could be to person’s physical and mental health. It is simultaneously confidence-building and humbling in the best way possible. I feel very fortunate to have found a sport and hobby that makes me feel like an all-around better human and I look forward to helping others do the same.

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SAM PERALTA

I am a martial artist who has been training since I was 17 years old. After starting Mixed Martial Arts to combat bullying, I fell in love with the discipline and confidence that was soon instilled in me not long after starting my journey. My original MMA gym was Kickboxing centric, which lead my interests to focus on Muay Thai during a multiple-year stay in California. After competing in both MMA and Kickboxing, I realized that I needed to be more well-rounded, which began my pursuit in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I have known the 10th Planet System to be the most effective NoGi approach to BJJ via the likes of UFC fighters like Ben Saunders and Tony Ferguson. The ability to actively negate someone from punching you via the Rubber Guard created a massive appeal from my perspective to study the 10th Planet System. Martial Arts and BJJ have been paramount to my own well-being. The pursuit of constant progress and excellence has lead me to make it a lifestyle rather than just a hobby. Martial Arts have been a safe haven for me and in many ways has saved my life by giving purpose to my being. I strive endlessly to share my actively growing knowledge to others who have the same passion to strive for excellence and betterment of self.

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Arthur Ramirez

At a young age, I developed a respect for martial arts and the focus and discipline it instills through a family member taking the time to pass down the basics of Jeet Kune Do. As a long-time fan of MMA and Eddie Bravo, when I heard the unique 10th Planet system of no gi jiu jitsu had come to Colorado Springs, I was itching to get on the mats.

I have been training under the guidance of Coach Michael Venturella since October 2019 and am now a blue belt. During my time at 10th Planet Colorado Springs, I have grown both as a martial artist and as a person. For me, 10th Planet jiu jitsu has turned me into a dedicated bjj practitioner, while also allowing me to build invaluable friendships and transform my understanding of fitness. I am very excited to help others learn and grow through the art of no gi brazilian jiu jitsu and enjoy all the benefits that come with it.