Current Brown Belt
Trains under Master Baret Yoshida
Competes in Featherweight class
2018 IBJJF Purple belt NoGi World Champion
Meet the instructor for our Jiu Jitsu Program: Ivan Herrera. He is an accomplished brown belt under the Legendary Master Baret Yoshida and is looking forward to bringing Baret Submissions Jiu Jitsu to The Training Center. As a lifetime competitor with multiple MMA title bouts, and as the Jiu-Jitsu World Champion of 2018, Ivan Herrera is no stranger to the world of Martial Arts. His uncle was pro boxer Lenny “El Pichon” Valdez, so Ivan says, “I always assumed I’d box too.” Which he did, amidst many other things too.
Moving to San Diego from Mexicali as a kid, I started with Kempo Karate and then club wrestling at Mighty Mites at Mount Miguel High School under Dale Siscon. In the off-season, I wrestled at Frank Gallindo’s ‘The Bull Pen’ where he was first introduced to MMA. From there, I spent some time in Thailand competing and refining his skills in the art of eight, Muay Thai.
In 2007 after seeing Master Baret Yoshida fight for Shooto Japan, I came to study Jiu-Jitsu under the local superstar. While I began training on submissions with Baret to improve my MMA, by 2012, Jiu Jitsu had become my primary competitive focus — usually doing two tournaments a month for the past 7 years until the pandemic hit. When I was asked how I can sustain such a rigorous regimen, Ivan attributes his discipline to diet, balance, and recovery practices. “Low inflammation. Lots of fermented foods. Mostly plant-based, but I eat liver and make broths. Sauna, swimming, cold water immersion, and red-light therapy. It’s crucial.”
It’s clear that Martial Arts is more than a mere sport for me. It’s a lifestyle. To me, it goes hand in hand with caring about my body and the environment. My passions outside the gym are seamlessly interconnected with a thread of balance and wellness. As a cyclist who primarily commutes via bike, it’s easy to begin each day by surfing at dawn. Not surprisingly, I am a minimalist who’s working towards
self-sustainability on my off-the-grid property. He’s into music and art and enjoying the historic culture San Diego has to offer.
As far as his movement and teaching style goes, Ivan describes it as chain-oriented: standing to takedown or pull to sweep to scramble to finish position or set up. He explains, “I’m very into movement science and focus my workouts on kinetic chains and structural integrity.” This philosophy and background make me perfect for teaching all levels, from first-day beginners and BJJ hobbyists to serious competitors. I am well-rounded in No Gi BJJ and in the Gi as well. My Jiu-Jitsu will also blend well with people looking to bridge the Jiu-Jitsu-MMA gap.
MMA training, cycling, & surfing
Sauna, swim, cold water immersion & red-light therapy
Enjoys music, art, & enjoying San Diego’s historic culture.