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Instructors

Weston Simonis

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  • Yon Dan Black Belt American Street Jujitsu

  • 4th Degree Black Belt Kajukenbo

  • Purple Belt Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

  • NiKyu Brown Belt Kodenkan Danzan Ryu Jujitsu

  • USJJF SanDan Black Belt

  • USTJ SanDan Black Belt

  • YonKyu Purple Belt Combat Jujitsu NACJJ

  • Filipino Combatives Affiliate instructor 

  • San Kyu Aikido

  • Certified Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor

  • Certified Personal Trainer 

  • Martial Arts Fitness Instructor

  • Team USA Sports JuJitsu Coach USCJO

  • USJJF Oregon Rep 

  • USTJ Oregon Director

  • Certified Kickboxing instructor

Instructor Weston Simonis is a martial artist and a world champion who started his journey in martial arts back in 1995 learning Kajukenbo in the state of Oregon in a little town called La Grande in Grand Master Kenneth Johnson's dojo.  Weston was known for his musical talent and was heavily studying multimedia and music productions in school.  Before and while getting an education in the music and multimedia world Weston trained in other martial arts like Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, BJJ, Escrima, Kickboxing, Taekwondo, Kung-fu, MMA, Kodenkan Danzan Ryu Jujitsu, and Aikido.  While also training in sports of point karate, cage fighting, Sport Jujitsu and Jiu-Jitsu Grappling.   After 29 years of training in martial arts and a love for his first martial art he trained in called Kajukenbo he developed his own system of it called American Street Jujitsu. 

At the age of 11 Weston Simonis stepped foot into Grand Master Kenneth Johnson's dojo to take his first martial arts lessons in Kajukenbo.  Weston also at a young age started to compete and win in point karate at local and regional tournaments with other Kajukenbo school students from La Grande.  While at Grand Master Kenneth Johnson school Weston started working on training for cage fighting and self-studying Jiu-Jitsu.  After many years of training under Kenneth Johnsons, Weston Simonis seeked out his education in music production and moved to Portland Oregon at the beginning of 2010.  After his move to the other side of Oregon Weston soon joined Professor Trent Junker for Kajukenbo lessons to shortly later in two years earn his shodan black belt in Kajukenbo in the year of 2012. 

While he was at Professor Trent Junker school Weston and a few other students would meet up to train the Jiu-Jitsu art before or after Kajukenbo classes.  At the beginning of 2013 Weston then opened his own classes in a location on the other side or Portland to teach his own students in Kajukenbo and Jujitsu.  But by the end of 2014 he shut the doors to return home to help his family as his parents both had medical issues.  Weston was the only family member available to help with the contracted firefighting company his father ran for years putting out wildfires.  He was also the only family member who was certified to operate the fire engine as an engine captain.  So, after his father had heart failure and needed surgery that put him in a place to return home.

Upon return Weston Simonis connected with his first Sifu Grand Master Kenneth Johnson.  For the next few years Weston helped with Grand Master Kenneth Johnson's school teaching Kajukenbo and other Jujitsu arts like BJJ & Danzan Ryu and cage fighting training at his location.  This was when Weston started competing in cage fighting.  While he was also taking Aikido lessons from Sensei David Tift.  After Grand Master Johnson and Weston having their differences, he then moved his classes to Sensei David Tift’s Aikido school. Weston took on his next cage fight for a win.  After many years of training at the Aikido Dojo and helping others test for their Shodan in Aikido Sensei David Tift asked Weston to start wearing his black belt to class.  This was not a promotion so Weston never did.  After Weston moved his own classes out of the Aikido dojo and into his Backyard he didn’t have much more time to make it to the Aikido classes as his own classes were at the same time.  Weston still works his Jo and Bokken Katas with his own students. 

In the year of 2017 Professor Trent Junker promoted Weston to NiDan Second Degree Black Belt.  After many years of training and teaching in Weston's backyard he then got the opportunity to move his martial arts school into his family’s local fitness center.  Where he now teaches the art of Kajukenbo and many other arts.  After Weston moved his school location his Sifu Trent Junker had political disagreements training and teaching his friend Sifu Shannon Spahan Jujitsu whom he met in 2012.  In the year of 2021  Sifu Shannon Spahan suggested Weston to join the Kajukenbo Ohana Association under Grandmaster Michael Sandos who saw the great skill level of Weston Simonis and gave him the title of Sifu and Instructor later in 2021 Promoted Weston Simonis to SanDan 3rd degree black belt in Kajukenbo.  In the year of 2024, Grandmaster Michael Sandos Saw the great achievements of Weston Simonis has brought on to his own development of Kajukenbo becoming a national and world champion, creating growth within his school as an instructor, and staying loyal to KOA.  In May of 2024, Grandmaster Sandos Promoted Weston to YonDan 4th degree Black Belt in Kajukenbo. 

Weston Simonis started studying the martial art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the early 2000s through books and video lessons with his training partners he had in Kajukenbo.  His first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor was Professor Keisuke Andrew in West Linn Oregon in 2010 training with him for just under a year and found himself moving gyms later into Portland Oregon with Professor Bill Bradly at the end of 2012. 

In the beginning of his training Weston’s parents both had health issues that brought him to move back to his hometown La Grande Oregon near the end of 2014 putting him far away from any BJJ school.  Weston Simonis didn’t want to stop training what he learned in the martial art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and reached out to Professor Keith Owen who was in Meridian Idaho.  Weston began to commit drives to Meriden to learn and take direct lessons under Professor Keith Owen on his weekends while teaching Kajukenbo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Kodenkan Danzan Ryu Jujitsu plus taking Aikido lessons all in the same week. 

​Currently Weston was still a white belt in BJJ; there was no one in his town teaching it but him.  He was the pioneer of bringing the art into the valley of La Grande Oregon that was secluded from most martial arts. In the year of 2015 Weston was promoted to Blue Belt.  He was teaching this martial art in a few different martial arts dojos but as things didn’t fit with other dojo owners, he then moved his martial arts lessons of Kajukenbo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Kodenkan Danzan Ryu Jujitsu to his own backyard.  Birthing his own school called Backyard Jujitsu.  Weston Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Professor Keith Owen came up with his own online course for Backyard training as well. Years later as Weston moved out of his backyard and into his family’s fitness center, he kept the name Backyard Jujitsu for his school.  He felt it had a bit of character in what they have built as he built a website called backyardjujitsu.com

In the year of 2022 Professor Keith Owen passed away with a heart attack in Brazil at a Pedro Sauer training camp he was at.  Weston decides to continue to keep the Backyard Jujitsu as his Dojo name as it was now sentimental to him.  Now Professor Tod Richards and Professor Joshua Arentz are a head of the Team Rhino Head Quarters and Weston Simonis falls in this affiliation under the Team Pedro Sauer Affiliation. 

In 2023 Weston Simonis was awarded his 4th strip on his Blue Belt and is working on his Purple.  In 2023 Weston Simonis also became a certified Level 1 Instructor of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under the Pedro Sauer Affiliation.  Weston Simonis now has his own Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu course at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande Oregon. 

In the late year of 2013 Weston Simonis stepped foot in the door of Sensei Ryan Mc Daniels Kodenkan Danzan Ryu Jujitsu School.   With many years of Kajukenbo and a lot of self-studies of BJJ and lessons from his first BJJ instructor he didn’t take long to earn his Blue Belt in Kodenkan Danzan Ryu Jujitsu.   Weston continued to study under his sensei Ryan Mc Daniel till he moved back to La Grande in late 2014.  After his move Weston wanted to continue his training in the art of Kodenkan Danzan Ryu Jujitsu as he learned a big section of it from his first instructor.  But the bad news was Sensei Ryan wanted nothing to do with taking Weston on as Ryan seeked out his own career in nursing and later shut his school down in Portland Oregon.  Weston Simonis kept looking for a new instructor to take him in as he kept teaching Kodenkan Danzan Ryu Jujitsu in his Kajukenbo class because Kodenkan Danzan Ryu Jujitsu was the core Jujitsu of where Kajukenbo came from. 

After joining a Jujitsu America seminar in Salam Oregon, he met Sesnei Yousef Fahoum 2015 who later became great friends with him teaching him a section of the art he hasn’t yet seen.  While at the seminar he also got to meet Professor Richard Bunch, and Shihan Russ Rhodes.  Sensei Yousef lived in Tacoma Washington and was a bit of a drive from Weston.  After 7 years of doing his studies of Kodenkan Danzan Ryu Jujitsu Sensei Yousef decided to move to Austria far from where Weston was leveling Weston again looking for someone again to represent him in Kodenkan Danzan Ryu Jujitsu. Weston reached out to Professor Ron Jennings who suggested to him to join the association called Jujitsu America. 
 
After Joining Jujitsu America in 2022 he became friends with Professor Kai Li who lived in Hawaii.  It is quite far from where Weston is, so the teacher relationship was a bit hard, so they decided to just stay friends.  At the end of 2022 Professor Kai Li invited Weston to join him to be on Team USA and to take a trip to Budapest Hungary to enter in the World Championship for Kempo for Gi and No Gi Grappling, Self-defense demo and Kata.  Weston Simonis returned home as World Champion with 3 gold medals one in Gi grappling and two in Kata.  That same year Professor Kai Li put in for Weston Simonis Promotion in Kodenkan Danzan Ryu Jujitsu for Jujitsu America. 
 
In the year of 2023 Weston Simonis got a hold of the Head Coach of Team USA Carla Bunch for the USCJO to see if he could join the team.  After many conversions with Coach Carla Bunch and Micheal Antonides, Weston took a flight to England to compete in his second world championships for Team USA. As a part of being on Team USA Weston and the Team brought back the Gold as the team won the World Sports Jujitsu event.  Weston also brought back two silver and a bronze medal for himself as well fighting with an injury as Weston got injured in his first competition at worlds. 
 
While reuniting with Professor Richard Bunch many years later Bunch invited Weston to join him at the Jujitsu America Convention in North Carolina.  After a long week of training and going over Kodenkan Danzan Ryu Jujitsu techniques with Shihan Russ Rhodes and becoming the USA Sport Jujitsu National champion for 2023 Jujitsu America awarded Weston Simonis his brown belt in Kodenkan Danzan Ryu Jujitsu.

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Advisors

Keith Owen

  • 4th Degree Black Belt Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

  • 3rd Black Blet Jun Fan Gung Fu 

  • Black Belt Kenpo

Professor Keith Owen is ahead of the Team Rhino Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and teache's Jiu-Jitsu through his affiliates worldwide.  Professor Kieth Owen earned his black belt under 8th degree Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt Master Pedro Sauer.   His Jiu-jitsu school is located in Meridan Idaho.  Click Keith's Picture to find out more about him.

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Richard Bunch

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  • Judan Black Belt Danzan Ryu Jujitsu

Prof. Richard Bunch's training in Kodenkan Danzan Ryu Jujitsu began in early childhood.  His first instructors were Prof. Bill Montero, Sensei Glen Castleo, and Prof. Ray Law.  Later, at the age of 14, he began training with Prof. Sig Kufferath.  Shortly afterward, in 1969, he received his Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) from Prof. Kufferath. In 1971, Prof. Kufferath honored Prof. Bunch by recognizing him as his associate instructor, and later as chief instructor of the school.  Over the course of 28 years, Prof. Bunch engaged in constant training and study with Prof. Kufferath at Nikko Jujitsu School.  Prof. Kufferath awarded Prof. Bunch with the rank of Shichidan (7th Degree Black Belt) in Kodenkan Danzan Ryu Jujitsu.  Since then, Jujitsu America has promoted Prof. Bunch to the rank of Hachidan (8th Degree Black Belt).

Over the years, Prof. Bunch has been fortunate to study with numerous masters of various martial arts and highly respected elder practitioners of Kodenkan Danzan Ryu Jujitsu who studied directly under Prof. Okazaki.  This has provided him with a broad perspective of various personal interpretations of this style. 

In addition, he has studied many other martial arts including the art of the Japanese sword, as well as other Japanese weaponry and armor.  Prof. Bunch's reputation as both an extremely skillful martial artist and a scholar makes him a highly sought after instructor nationally and internationally.  He actively teaches seminars on Jujitsu throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.

Prof. Bunch received the 1989 Instructor of the Year award from Jujitsu America.

Michael Sandos

  • 9th Degree Black Belt Senior Grandmaster Kajukenbo

Michael S. Sandos at 16 years old I represented Martial Arts USA in Japan. 

At 16 I raced Harley Davison's on Ice and in the roller skating rings, racing Roller skaters. 

In high school I was the Greco-Roman wresting State champion. 

High school Freestyle wrestling State champion. 

Champion Rock climbing and River rafting Instructor. 

At 18 years old I joined the US Navy hard hat salvage, then BUDS, UDT Under water demolishing team. 

By 20 years old Navy Seal trainer of Martial Arts with special ops due to my special skills and knowledge. 

By 24 years old I had a black belt in 4 different Karate systems and styles. 

By 26 I was he only occidental that had a black belt in all 7 systems. 

1966 I was a 3rd. degree black belt then joined Kajukenbo, over time Tum-Pai, Ch'uan-Fa, then to Wun Hop Kuen Do Traveled the world representing Mixed Martial Arts. Training with Masters, Grand Masters, in China. 

Joining Spirits with Masters, and Grand Masters in China. 

Became a Grand Master in Mixed Martial Arts. 

Learning to teach Body, Mind, and Spirit, Mind over matter, understanding the use of the left and right side of the brain, understanding the use of the Conscious and Subconscious mind, and how to use the brain not just the physical. 

I became the President and Chairman of Kajukenbo Wun Hop Kuen Do, KOA, and ran it for 32 years. 

I along with my teacher Foundered the Council of Grand Masters later to be known as KOA Kajukenbo Ohana Association. Masters Hall of Fame many times. Teaching Mixed Martial Arts to many different styles and systems. Specialized in teaching high-ranking black belts, Masters, and Grand Masters in many styles and systems. Became a world champion Skydiver with over 1,648 Skydives Gold Wings. 

Became a world Champion Hang Gliding Pilot. Flu all over the US Mountains. A hang 5 rating USGA. 

Became a Millionaire at 27 years old. Opening many different businesses. 

Investor of the Nylon Velcro Wallets and Accessories, Bear Body Nylon Products worldwide distribution. 

Became a Registered Investment Advisor, stocks, Bonds, Mutual funds, and President of Sandos Financial Advisors. 

Author of 7 books, YOU ME and UNCLE MIKE, Children's Financial Books. 

Author of Seniors Ohaha a book for adults, An Accent Chinese art of Breathing. 

5 Financial Books for Financial Advisors, I taught Financial Advisors Continued Education CE to get their license. Base Jumping, Bridges, Hot air balloons, Airplanes, Mountains, Buildings, 

Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowmobiles, ultralights, Soring Planes, River rafting, 

Lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. Born and raised in Denver, Colorado. 

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