coaches

Greg Thompson: MMA Coach & Athletic Conditioning Coach

Greg Thompson was a top amateur mma fighter, and for the last six years has dedicated himself to become a top-level trainer. He has a well rounded background in Martial Arts, training Thai Boxing with Owen Jeremy Wijers, and BJJ with Eben Kaneshiro and Kurt Shrout for the last 6 years. An experienced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor, Greg won the 2002 Oregon State BJJ championships as a white belt, and took he took home a silver medal at the 2012 Pan American Championships as a blue belt. Deciding to take his BJJ training to another level, Greg has decided to become an affiliate/student of Zenith Jiu-Jitsu, under World BJJ Champion Rodrigo Cavaca. Greg is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt under Master Rodrigo Cavaca. Greg most recently took the bronze medal in the purple belt division at the 2012 International Master & Senior Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, won the gold medal as a purple belt in the 2013 Pan Ams, and gold at the 2013 Master/Senior World Championships as a purple belt in 2013. Greg received his black belt from Cavaca in March of 2016.

For the last several years, Greg has studied and worked diligently to develop a strong conditioning program at Next Level Martial Arts. A very experienced cornerman, Greg had cornered fighters such as Nate “Rock” Quarry and Chris “the Crippler” Leben in several UFC events.

Rodrigo Cavaca: Senior Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Coach

Rodrigo Cavaca is a 3rd degree black belt under the legendary Leo Viera.  He was a 2010 World BJJ Champion as a black belt and has also won in the World Championships as a blue, purple and brown belt.  He is a two time Brazilian National and European BJJ Champion.  He has taken multiple silver and bronze medals in the Wold and Pan American BJJ Championships.  In addition to his success as a competitor, Cavaca has excelled in training competitors.  Most notably, the 2012 Wold BJJ Champion Marcus Almieda and Michele Niccolini.  Cavaca runs his main academy out of Santos, Brazil.  Next Level Martial Arts and Fitness is the first Cavaca affiliate in the US.  Professor Cavaca himself is here twice a year to teach and conduct belt promotions for Next Level BJJ students.

Jared George: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Coach

Jared George has long been interested in martial arts.  He began his training in the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Maine back in 2000 under Bruce Carleton, a black belt under De La Riva 3rd dgree black belt Alexey Cruz.  Jared received his blue belt under Master Carleton.  Upon returning to Oregon, Jared received his purple belt under Eben Kaneshiero in the Summer of 2010.  He has trained in a variety of locations in the United States and Brazil.  In 2008 he had his first opportunity to meet and train with Master Rodrigo Cavaca in Santos, Sao Paulo, Brazil.  Jared has been awarded his black belt under Master Cavaca and is proud to represent the Zenith team.  Jared has competed in various local and national tournaments, including the Pan American and Worlds competitions.  Jared placed second in the North American Nationals in 2009 and was the 2009 Oregon Open Super Heavyweight Champion.  In February 2013 Jared won the Revolution BJJ tournament as a brown belt.

Janna Piper: Women's Boxing Coach

Janna Piper is an experienced amateur boxer and MMA fighter. Having recently won the Budo Fights 115 pound title. Janna is continuing to develop as an MMA fighter. She is an ADAPT Training Certified Level III Personal Trainer.  If you are looking to loose weight and increase your muscular power and flexibility, Janna can help you with your goals! Jenna is also a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu blue belt under Rodrigo Cavaca.

Alex Le: Assistant Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Coach

Coach Alex is an assistant coach, who helps with both kids and adult classes.  He has been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since 2007.  He began his training at Portland State University's BJJ program.  Alex started at Next Level Martial Arts in 2008 after meeting Coach Greg Thompson and has been training there ever since.  Alex is currently a brown belt under Professor Rodrigo Cavaca, Jared George and Greg Thompson.  He has been competing since 2007 in both gi and no gi divisions.  He has also competed in four different weight divisions, as well as Absolute divisions.  Alex loves to coach and share his knowledge and experience of BJJ.  He is always willing to answer questions and help others grow on and off the mats.

Tom Rawles: Assistant Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Take Down Coach

Tom Rawles is a former state wrestling champ in Alaska with a 145-14 record. Tom went on to wrestle at the University of Oregon. He is a Jiu-Jitsu competitor, having received multiple first and second place finishes at Sub League and Oregon Open. Tom is currently a purple belt under Master Rodrigo Cavaca.

Logan Egbert: Assistant Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Coach

Logan started Jiu-Jitsu to get back into shape after a long, stressful electoral campaign in rural Oregon. After a trip to Master Rodrigo Cavaca's gym in Santos Brazil in 2010, Logan stepped up his training considerably, making a commitment to black belt. He currently has his purple belt under Master Rodrigo Cavaca and loves learning and sharing with the Portland Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community.

Khun Kru Jeremy Wijers: Muay Thai Boxing Coach

Jeremy brings almost 20 years of coaching and training experience of Muay Thai Boxing to the classes and fighters at Next Level. He is one of only fifteen people to hold the rank of full instructor under the Thai Boxing Association. Jeremy is also an instructor of Combat Submission Wrestling and Philipino Kali. He brings a wealth of knowledge to Next Level, having the uncanny ability to bring out the best in his students.

Derek Castro: Kids Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Coach

Derek began his Jiu Jitsu journey in April of 2012. After the first few months he feel in love with every aspect that Jiu Jitsu had to offer. He is currently a purple belt under Jared George and Rodrigo Cavaca, and co-coach the kids Jiu Jitsu program. He loves spreading his Jiu Jitsu knowledge with other people, as well as continually working on his own Jiu Jitsu.  He is an avid competitor with the hope of one day being a Black Belt world champion.

Jen Whetsell: Kids Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Coach

Coach Jen began her Brazilian Jiu Jitsu journey in early 2013.  Being an active member of the Muay Thai and conditioning classes the previous year reignited her passion for Martial Arts.  Regularly attending classes and showing an interest in coaching she was invited to co-coach the kids program.  Now a blue belt under Professor Rodrigo Cavaca, Professor Jared George and Coach Greg Thompson, Jen continues to grow and evolve her competitive game while helping to grow the youth program with Next Level.  She enjoys competing as often as she can.  She love the challenge and enjoys testing the limits of her skills.  In competing she has taken nothing less than third in all the competitions she's entered thus far.  Along with competing, Coach Jen's extensive eight plus years in coaching youth competitive sports was added to the coaching staff.  She enjoys working with kids to explore Jiu Jitsu and its applications of self-discipline, sense of community and respect for fellow teammates.