Testimonials

Compliments From Our Community
| |

These are from internationally renowned masters in the art, past instructors, current students and parents of students, current and former training partners, and readers of David Thomas’ online articles on martial arts. We are humbled by the kind words of recognition from all of you.

From Our Coaches and Mentors

“David is one of the most technical guys in the sport and has a unique, unorthodox game. He is always working to help others get better, no matter where he trains. He has developed a successful school, Austin Jiu-Jitsu. He is always developing new moves and shares them with others through his school and his web sites. His impact on the sport goes beyond Texas. ” Professor Travis Tooke, Houston, TX

David has dedicated himself to continuously learning more about this sport. By building his own school he has also focused on different ways to teach and develop his own students. His promotion is overdue.” “You have put in so much time and effort and are a great example of how jiu-jitsu can bring out the best in people. Keep up the good work buddy, the next belt’s a little heavier!” Congratulations to Dave Thomas on his well deserved Brown Belt. Dave has been involved in Jiu-jitsu for several years and on Saturday, January 6th he was promoted. As a coach, competitor and contributor to the sport, Dave has shown us what hard work and dedication is all about. Keep up the good work, the black belt is next!”Professor Travis Tooke, Houston, TX

“I remember David Thomas last year at the Pan Ams, and never got to miss him every time he competed in Dallas. That is a guy with a great attitude and lion’s heart.” - Carlos Machado, Dallas TX

“Congratulations on your tournament performance! I just spoke a day ago with William and he told me about your feat. Now you are getting the competition rush in your veins. It is a good feeling. I was proud of you already at the Pan Ams. I’m proud of you again even more now.” CM

“How far the path has been that led to your success. I am very proud of you as you already know, and even motivated by you with your warrior heart and undeniable spirit. Great guard, top, pace, strategy, just great. I am beaming with pride.” Carlos Machado Black Belt W. Vandry, Austin, TX

“Salute to you hombre, you are the epitome of what a martial artist is about: to always be humble, yet confident in your abilities, and to always respond with the firepower of your game.” WV

“Dave, you are a class act.” Carlos Machado Black Belt W. Vandry, Austin, TX

“David Thomas is one of my students who is very strong and aggressive for his size. (140lbs.) He won the silver medal at the Pan Am.” Carlos Machado Black Belt W. Vandry, Austin, TX

It was great having you out to my gym…Your notes on technique are very impressive!” Eddie Bravo, Jean-Jacques Machado Black Belt, W. Hollywood, CA.

“Congrats again for your relentless pursuit of peak performance. I’m happy for your journey to the Pan Ams. You have always been a warrior!” - Carlos Machado, Dallas TX

Congratulations purple belt!! Just so you know, Carlos Machado and I had a good discussion about you and there was no doubt with him nor I about your qualifications. so seeking an impartial counselor, what better reference for your promotion than Mr. Carlos Machado?” Carlos Machado Black Belt W. Vandry, Austin, TX

From Other Coaches

“Your humility and overall demeanor reflect as good for the sport. In my fleeting 20 years teaching martial arts I’ve really been put off by the political nature that so often typifies things. Jiu-jitsu’s rise in popularity has only spiked this trend. I believe you bring a countervailing dignity and ‘purist’ sort of enthusiasm.” Jason Webster, CTC Thai Boxing and MMA Coach

“Your black belt was well deserved. You put the blood, sweat, and tears in and you got it. Congratulations, you certainly earned it.” Rodney Solis, CTC Head Trainer and Manager

“Congratulations on winning the 1st place team trophy!” The late Master Carlson Gracie, 9th Degree Red and Black Belt, Chicago, IL “Your skill and fastidious, technical attention to detail are first-rate.” Kickboxing and Thai Boxing coach Jason Webster, Austin, TXOn Dave’s Brown Belt promotion: “Man, you deserve it. You’ve got the skills and certainly put in the time (4+ years as purple)” BJJ Purple Belt D. Miller, San Marcos, TX”You are the only person that I know of in the entire city of Austin who is not only a good hearted person but also good to our younger generation.” E. Peralez, BJJ Brown belt”You are a good referee. Good job!” Rodrigo “Comprido” Medeiros, 3rd Degree Black Belt, on David’s coaching at the Carlson Gracie Open

“I really enjoy your videos and wanted to let you know that your effort do not go unappreciated! It is people like yourself that help better the understanding of the martial arts and its beauty.” - JC, Shotokan Black Belt, Los Angeles, CA

“I see the same love for teaching in you that I have when I work with my baseball guys. What I’ve learned so far in jits has been very traditional and I see that you study the evolution of the sport, which means there’s a lifetime more I can learn and I’m really looking forward to getting back in the game.” - BH, Sports Trainer, Austin, TX

From Students

“I have so much confidence in your training techniques and teaching. People have been commenting on my technique and style, all thanks to you..” - IG, Boston, MA

“I am quite happy that I joined, and have found the classes to be fantastic.” - DB, Austin, TX

“I’m impressed with coach David Thomas. This means much more than how well someone fights. There are a LOT of fantastic fighters out there who aren’t good people. For me to be impressed with someone, it takes into account not just their skill and knowledge, but attitude, willingness to help others, their character, and their integrity.” - JD, Austin, TX

“Technique, training, and technology - all top notch.” - DF, Austin, TX

“I am enjoying myself and all the people associated with your school. This has really been a huge challenge for me–I appreciate your help and encouragement. Thanks, Coach!” - BM, Austin, TX

“Our instructor was so great with his words for each of us, praising our individual talents!” - TG, San Antonio, TX

”…as an instructor, coach, and mentor in BJJ, and in life he is top notch!! Always very open, gives great feedback, and pulls no punches.”

“Thanks for being a man, instructor, and person I’m proud to stand behind. I think it was Alex that hit it last night when he recognized you as our father. Thanks, El Conquistador!” - TG, San Antonio, TX

“I will stay training with David because he supports my goals to compete nationally and hopefully in Brazil one day too. He also respects me and treats me no different than his male students. He will challenge me but also guide and support me in working toward my goals. There are no politics or drama in his school it’s about bjj. I also believe in his personal training philosophy.”

“You really helped me with my match by coaching me through it. Thanks.”

“my growth as a martial artist and competitor will be due to David Thomas’ guidance and support that meets and exceeds my desire to learn with his desire to share his art.”

“[After my injury] David’s guidance and skill as a higher ranking belt to listen, support, and roll with me with the knowledge of my injury was invaluable to me - it gave me mat time when I was overcoming fear and anxiety about rolling but determined to do it anyway. It is what I needed to build my confidence again.”

“I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have David as an instructor.”

“I feel extremely privileged to be training with you. Thanks for being my instructor. I get to train better than before, and got to fall in love with BJJ all over again. Thank you for giving it back to me.”

“There aren’t adequate words to express how proud I am of David as an instructor, a man, a husband, a father, and especially for me - as a friend. I often tell people I pay attention to what others choose to do, or not do, not just what they say - it’s about character and how they choose to conduct themselves. No doubt about it, David is a man of strong character and is a doer in life and he feels compelled to teach his art.” TG

“[I am] honored to grace his mats.”

“I am eternally grateful for David’s support as he helps me in following my dreams.”

“Thank you for listening, encouraging and leading. You rock!”

“I like rolling with you because you know what a challenge it is to fight and win against larger opponents. You let me work technique without just beating up on me and I feel like I learn. Other instructors don’t do that. “

“Thanks for another great class. I really enjoy the workout and challenge!” - DF

“I’m enjoying the experience and you’ve definitely got me hooked on Jiu-Jitsu.” - JL

“I want to let you know that I appreciate the great learning environment and your instruction. I’m in better shape, more confident, and less stressed.”

“Dave, it’s a h*ll of a class and your students are great. I’m glad I found you guys!” - PH, Rollingwood, TX

“Training with you has been a very positive influence on my life!” - BAM, Pittsburgh, PA

From Past Students and Private Instruction Students

“Utilizing what you taught me in our private lesson I tapped a BJJ fighter with 3 years more experience than me 4 times! It was glorious. That underhook in sideguard is amazing, along with the foot control you showed me. Passed his guard every time by controlling the feet! .” - Matt S.

“I cannot express how much I’ve enjoyed grappling and learning from you over the last few years. Your school and the attitudes that permeate it are a credit to your passion for the sport and those who want to learn. Thank you for that.” - WG

“You and jiu-jitsu have really made a significant impact on me. I used to avoid confrontations at all costs. After rolling with you guys, I gained a whole new perspective on how to handle a potential confrontation/opponent. A switch came on and confrontations became a game with strategies and opportunities. That perspective has really made me a better person. Once you mentioned that taking initiative on things that weren’t even your responsibility had provided you with great opportunities. Believe it or not, that conversation really hit home. Some amazing things have happened because of that advice. Simple lessons with great results. Thanks Dave!” JL, Austin, TX

“I can’t imagine training with anyone better than you Dave - I really can’t - you’re an amazing teacher, trainer, friend, coach and have made my training a phenomenal growth experience for me, it’s been invaluable to me.”

“I always enjoyed you as a teacher.” - CR

“I always liked your method of instruction. I think about it a lot and I miss it.” - CS

“David motivates teams, solves problems, and [he has] an appreciation and understanding of what motivates people: trust, respect, honesty, and high expectations. He has a keen intellect, aggressive problem solving, and a cut-through-the-B.S. attitude that identifies problems and communicates clearly what needs to be done. He promotes mentoring and advancement, and is also so concerned about the “whole person.” I particularly want to laud this person’s communication skills. His warmth, humor and genuine openness are really refreshing.”

“Thank you for taking the time to work with me. You possess an understanding, and openness with your knowledge that is rare and refreshing. It was honor to train with you. I hope to learn from you again in the future.” AL, NYC

“I liked the way the class was structured, real good vibe.” - ES

“I would like to thank you for all of your instruction at Austin Jiu Jitsu. I learned a great deal about the art of grappling and enjoyed furthering my skills in a competitive environment. I would definitely recommend your gym to any of my friends interested in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.” -JN UT, Austin

On Our Online Martial Arts-Related Research, Articles and Videos I am a Black Belt Professor in BJJ and a Judo 3rd degree Black belt. I can honestly say I am impressed with the time and effort you have taken to put this together. I love the categorized and systematic approach you have taken with the techniques. You are bringing Jiu-Jitsu to the world. That is why I donated to your great work. OUSSSSSS! - Prof. MAH, Head Instructor Hidden Valley Judo & Behring Jiu-Jitsu

“I am the only one at my MMA school with any ground experience so I end up teaching a lot. Your videos really help me make sure i am getting it right before i go to a class. Thanx a lot!!” - TM, Winona, MN

“When I watch your videos, I am blown away by the simplicity and effectiveness of the techniques you teach. Your videos are extremely well done.” Ryan, Baylor University

I train in Judo, wrestling, and MMA in Tulsa. I have a descent grappling background and have always sought out the best coaches I could find. I have to say, you are fantastic! I work boxing with an MMA competitor and we were trying to find an escape for a sprawl counter. I found your vids and I really appreciate them. Keep it up! Thanks.” - JT, Tulsa, OK

“Your videos are awesome. I will be using these more to practice in an effort to put the different moves to memory. I am totally a visual learner so this is going to help me a great deal.” WE, Austin, TX

“I do a LOT of video watching and note taking to supplement and direct my formal instruction. Your videos rank up there with the best of them. ” JRT140, YouTube

“Thank you for a great website especially the techniques pages. I am a beginner training with mostly advanced guys most of whom have previous wrestling experience and your website has been a great help. The videos are a great tool in understanding the different techniques.” - SM, Ontario, Canada

“I read your article on BJJ on the web on martial arts and BJJ safety and injury prevention and found it excellent. I love how you encourage your students to wear the protective gear and your emphasis on safety.” - MA, Toronto, Canada

“I really loved your website… I read a few of your articles regarding choosing a school, reasons people leave and snake oil salesmen (I liked that one). I think everyone should read these articles…before attempting to join a school/club/program. It is refreshing to see this kind of honesty with so many money grubbers out there. ” -JN, Bloomsburg, PA.

“Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed your articles for Austin Jiu-Jitsu. I have been practicing BJJ here in Los Angeles for just a little over a year now and just wanted to let you know how inspiring it was to read your articles. A few of the topics really hit home. They touched on the exact thoughts and feelings that were going through my mind during this past year of training. ” -AM, Los Angeles, CA.

“Just wanted to stop by and let you know that the articles posted on your web sight are great. As a practitioner of the Martial Arts for many years- I am info junkie ,whether it be things I didn’t know or thought about before, or a review of information I forgot about- your articles are a great resource.” - RD, Vancouver, Canada

“I really enjoy your videos and wanted to let you know that your effort do not go unappreciated! It is people like yourself that help better the understanding of the martial arts and its beauty.” - JD, Los Angeles, CA

“With all the information available today on Jiu jitsu or anything else- I find your articles really stand out and can be of benefit to anyone- beginner, advanced, teachers, etc.” - RD, Vancouver, Canada

“Thank you for your website and your thoughts, they are very refreshing and appreciated.”

“incredible research…. lot of info there… sort of like doctors with their medical manuals on the shelves for reference…” -WV Austin, TX

“Wow! Very impressive. I believe you are a true student in the definition of the word.”

“It’s this love for the style that keeps you always going, not just to get a class over, but to actually be thrilled with the possibility of discovering an unknown factor to this science.”

“If anyone feels like reading something intelligent for a change, check out the articles on his website. Very good stuff, I like it.”

“I love your web-site.”

“David’s site has great information on there that would help anyone. I learned a few months after I started BJJ to study David’s Online BJJ Techniques, it’s obvious he’s a serious student and instructor of the art.”

“Let me tell you how amazing your website is. I have seen few as thorough and clear. ” - VF, Austin, TX.

“All I can say is that I wish we lived in Austin :-) The philosophy described in your Budo:kids section is exactly what we’re looking for in a martial arts program for our son.” -DN, San Antonio, TX.

“We’d like to publish Martial Arts Training for Children: A Parent’s Guide, to the Resource Center. It is a wonderful article.” - USADOJO.COM.

“I’m especially impressed with what I read about the importance of learning how not to fight alongside learning how to defend oneself. I’m a father of two young boys and this is one of the themes I’ve been looking for in researching martial arts.” -BH Austin, TX

“I have read a couple of your articles and really like the ideas behind them.” -DL Austin, TX

“I am going to continue to read more of your site as I admire what I’ve read there thus far.” -BH Austin, TX

“I just wanted to thank you for your notes on several different techniques. You have provided a valuable guide for me as I begin my training. Even more impressive, it is an accessible and easy-to-follow guide by way of text without pictures!” WM, Northport, NY

“I appreciate your time and efforts to put these up–not too many would – and I think that’s what’s so great about BJJ and Martial Arts in general–the consistent, selfless act of learning and teaching.” WM

“I would like to thank you for presenting a very informative website on BJJ. Well done.” HS, Australia

On Helping Promote Accessibility to Women in the Sport

“I think it is a wonderful service to women and a blessing to them to be able to defend themselves. Kudos to you again for taking the lead in this much needed niche in BJJ” - JD, black belt martial arts instructor, Austin TX

From Past and Current Training Partners

“No matter where I go I’ll always remember you. You helped me out when I was fresh. Thanks Dave for all the guidance and support. You never held back the truth and sometimes that’s hard to find in a friend and mentor.” - FC, Japan

“I’ve always respected you and have complete faith [in your] integrity and honesty.”

“I really enjoyed training with you. I really identified with your whole approach to training and competing in martial arts.”

“Thank you Dave for making this possible. I think you and your hard work have kept us all motivated and striving for something greater than what any one of us thought would be possible. Your example will always be a symbol of what hard work and effort do!” FC, Japan

From Parents of Our students

“This has been a remarkably good program for my son and he’s gotten a tremendous amount out of it. You run the best program he has ever been in!” - KT, West Lake Hills, TX

“Because of your guidance and style, my son loves jiu jitsu. The confidence it has given him is spreading into other parts of his life. It is great, and just what he needed. He enjoys rolling with you more than anyone else, so I appreciate the time you give him. By the time he is 18-19 you might have your hands full! Thank you Dave, you are doing a GREAT job!” - GG, Austin, TX

“With your exceptional technical expertise and your commitment to the art and sport. I feel really fortunate to have my son under your leadership. Judging from the complete annihilation of his opponents Saturday and his ongoing enthusiasm for grappling, I (and he) owe you a debt of gratitude for his continued growth.” - JW, Austin, TX

“Thank you for making a difference in my son’s life.” - JW, Austin, TX

“I just wanted to say thanks for all the help you are giving my son, he has found something that he really loves. I know it is not always easy in a group situation with a newbie, but you do a great job. He is motivated to get stronger and continue to learn.” GG, Austin, TX

“I’ve trained enough, seen enough teachers, and observed firsthand enough to know your skill and fastidious, technical attention to detail are first-rate. My son’s fast improvements in the sport cannot be attributed solely (or even mainly) to just his God-given talents; I think your knowledge and coaching style are perfect for him.” - JW, Austin, TX

“My son truly loves your class. ‘It takes a village,’ and we sure are glad your in ours, man!” -VK, Rollingwood, Texas

“It was fun to watch you teach the kids. You have a very engaging and effective teaching style!” - JLR, Rollingwood, TX

“My son absolutely loves it and cannot seem to get enough!” - MM, Austin, TX

“This is head and shoulders above the mass-marketed Tae Kwon Do classes my kids wasted their time and my money in! Thanks for coming to the Rollingwood area!”

“Thank you for teaching these valuable concepts to my daughter. She is much more confident and has the skills to back it up!”

“Thanks for being such a great coach! My boys are getting a lot of out the classes and having a good time too. You have a real gift for working with the kids.” RH, Rollingwood, TX

“Thank goodness for David! He’s such a good teacher. We’re so happy we found him. Our son was getting no attention at his last martial arts school. He really knows how to show the moves.” KE, Lockhart, TX

“After 3 times with you, my son has gone from disorganized, wrestling chaos, to a thoughtful attack to submit his opponents.” - GG, Austin, TX

“Thanks for being such a dedicated coach.” VK, Rollingwood, TX

“You are one of the best coaches I’ve seen. You have great focus and a good quiet way of motivating the kids. You are good at instilling a love of the sport.” KT, Westlake, TX

“My son thoroughly enjoyed his first class. He learned more technique in one class than he has in the entire past month at his previous martial arts school.” BK, Austin, TX

From Parents of Wrestlers

“My son’s wrestling prowess has grown exponentially mainly due to his training with you. He does some sort of funky jiu-jitsling or wrestlitsu. He took first at Nationals and he has his sights on winning first in state this year.” - JW, Austin, TX

From Seminar Participants

“Thank you for inviting the club to this very exciting world of jujitsu. The demonstrations of the techniques were totally awesome!” SJ - Rollingwood, TX