2337 A Street in Santa Maria Ca , E-mail: chris@sm-ma.co Tel: 805-925-3000 

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CHRIS RUIZ

Chris started his career in marital arts at 9 years of age, when his dad signed him up at the local
Judo club in Santa Maria. Even though he stopped training a few months later to play baseball, he fell in
love with Judo and grappling. Fast forward 10 years, Chris enlisted in the United States Marine Corps
were he was reintroduced to the martial arts. After Chris’s exit from the USMC in 2005, Chris was
struggling with PTSD and needed a positive outlet. A year later, after watching a UFC match on TV, he
started his career in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, under the instruction of Sensei Paulo Augusto of San Diego
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu(SDBJJ).
In 2009, Chris and his wife Erin, relocated back to Santa Maria. Within a year of moving back to
Santa Maria, Chris was asked to teach by long-time friend and police office to teach and help with
ground tactics for life as a Peace Officer. Soon after, Chris was asked to teach his first of many BJJ,
“formal” classes. It was then in 2012, after the school that Chris was teaching out of shut down; within 2
weeks, Inner Strength Marital Arts Academy was opened and Chris was able to continue to teach and
expand within BJJ.
In 2014, Sensei Chris’s teacher, Master Paulo decided to make a surprise trip to ISMAA and
award Chris with his BJJ Black Belt(Intent to Promote), that December, Sensei Paulo tied the belt around
Chris’s waist for the first time.
Chris has a passion for teaching the martial arts and teaching others, through his own
experiences, how to overcome life’s challenging moments. Through Chris’s own ups-and-downs, the
martial arts were and will always be there to help him during those times.
Chris has a different teaching style than most instructors. Using what he has learned in the
Marine Corps and from Master Paulo, he’s combined both aggressive yet clear instructions to his
students. Sensei Chris has a long training history in various martial arts and combative techniques,
which has helped him train MMA fighter, boxers, law enforcement personnel, military units and the
regular, day-to-day individual.