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Alex Perez shares his passion for jiu jitsu with new academy
in business pic
Alex Perez of Turlock Academy of Jiu Jitsu shows Journal reporter Nancy Angel a few moves. - photo by FRANKIE TOVAR / The Journal

Name of business: Turlock Academy of Jiu Jitsu

Type of business: Jiu jitsu academy

Location: 120 West Main St., Turlock

Hours of operation: 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon Saturday

History of business: Sharing his love for jiu jitsu has always been a passion for Turlock Academy owner Alex Perez. With over a decade in the business, Perez has been teaching since he was a blue belt and has continued to share his knowledge with the community throughout his training.

“When I was 15 I saw my first UFC match and got really interested in what they were doing,” said Perez. “I remember I would wrestle with my friends at the park here in Turlock even though we didn’t really know what we were doing. When I graduated from high school was when I started getting more serious in training and enrolled in an academy. Over the years I’ve taught at various locations and decided to open my first gym three months ago and I’ve been here ever since.”

Perez’s extensive line of training includes the Guerrilla Jiu Jitsu in Pleasanton and Capital City Jiu Jitsu in Sacramento. He has also provided private training to corporate executives, school teachers and professional Mixed Martial Art athletes.

“I love teaching here in Turlock,” said Perez. “I’ve always wanted to come back home and share my knowledge with the rest of the community."

Perez is a uniquely qualified jiu jitsu instructor in Turlock.

“There are other places in Turlock where they teach jiu jitsu, but there’s no place that has a black belt with the experience that I have,” said Perez. “In the area I’m one of the only ones with a black belt under the guidance and direction of Dave Camarillo. He’s a world class instructor who currently has fighters in the UFC.”

Business specialty: Turlock Academy of Jiu Jitsu offers a variety of structured classes for kids, youth and adults in a challenging, family-oriented environment.

“The classes that I offer is pure traditional jiu jitsu with the uniform on,” said Perez. “We also have no gi which is jiu jitsu without the uniform which is a little faster because there’s no gear and it doesn’t slow you down. I also offer kids classes and adult classes.”

Jiu jitsu without the use of the uniform is a mixture of wrestling and jiu jitsu, which closely resembles the ground fighting that is seen in mixed martial arts today.

“There’s a misconception that jiu jitsu is like UFC fighting, which it is not. You learn how to defend yourself,” said Perez.

Due to the number of students coming in, Perez hopes to move his academy to a bigger location soon where he hopes to offer more classes and accommodate incoming students.

"I want to start a tradition of jiu jitsu here in Turlock,” said Perez. “I want it to be like one of the biggest jiu jitsu teams in the area. That’s my vision.”