The seeds of Heroes Martial Arts started at Gumby’s home gym: Ralph Gracie Mountain View which is one of the oldest Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gyms in the United States to have a continuous home location. Gumby started there in fall of 1996 and was part of the first generation of Ralph Gracie’s American students. Gumby’s talents as an instructor were recognized early on, even as a blue belt he was often volunteered to handle the first day students coming in, giving them there first lesson (an actual structured introductory class Gumby estimates he taught several hundred times over the years). Gumby eventually began covering classes as a purple belt, and saw his responsibilities to the Academy grow over the years as he increased in rank. Always very grateful for the impact Jiu Jitsu and the Ralph Gracie academy had on his life, Gumby was always happy to help bring up the next generation.
At some point after Gumby achieved black belt, one of his students had an offer Gumby couldn’t refuse; come teach privately at my warehouse location (in San Jose close to the airport) and run a class for me and my friends. At that time Gumby was also training some of the employees of the OTM FightShop as well and needed a location, so it seemed like a perfect opportunity. The one condition Gumby had was this: This private training meant just that, it was secret and he had no intention of teaching anyone other than a small circle of friends and confidents. Gumby was still at the Ralph Gracie MV academy on a regular basis and did not want to distract from that at all.