Our Instructors Are Rank and File MMA Fighters
Versed in every aspect of MMA, Emerald Smoke gym instructors are handpicked for their superior knowledge and coaching skills. Their expertise and enthusiasm inspire students to achieve more than they ever thought possible — regardless of experience level.
Mike Bodziach launched his professional MMA career by stepping into the cage against Dan Hombuckle, one of the top 30 MMA welterweight fighters in the world. Not surprising for a guy who spends most of his time in “Beast” mode.
An athlete all his life and a relentless sports enthusiast, Mike has been competing in sports for over 20 years. From playing college football at Youngstown State to dropping 90 pounds in order to fight he understands the challenges of being an athlete and its transformational power.
Mike is the manager for the Emerald Smoke fight team and owns Bodztastic Fight Management, calling himself “the fighter’s manager” and guiding the next generation of MMA stars in the Midwest.
Mike recently trained a local Chicago chef on Food Network’s, “Fat Chef” program. His chef lost over 100 pounds – the most weight lost on the show of any contestant!
Mike has also trained at some of Chicago’s most high-profile gyms, including LA Boxing and East Bank Club.
Click here to read a Q&A about Mike.
Martial arts is truly a way of life for MMA instructor Jim Glasgow. Specializing in Muay Thai and bare-knuckle full-contact karate, Jim is a certified U.S. Shidokan black-belt karate instructor with 17 years of experience teaching adults and children.
For years, Jim has competed in bare-knuckle karate, amateur Muay Thai kickboxing and Gracie Barra Jiu Jitsu, in which he is a 3rd-degree blue belt. He is the 2000 U.S. Shidokan Bare Knuckle team champion, and the 2nd-place winner of the 1998 Shidokan Cup.
Jim is also a two-time competitor in the U.S. Sabaki Championships and a three-time competitor in the IFKA Kyukushin Championships, at which he took third place. Additionally, Jim is a two-time marathon competitor as well as a triathlon competitor, completing sprint, olympic and half iron man races.
Jim has trained with numerous European and Japanese professional fighters including MMA and former UFC fighters Shonie Carter and Brian Gassaway. His training has taken him to Japan, Thailand and Fairtex Muay Thai in San Francisco as well as the Chicago Fitness Center.
Jerome Nealon’s passion for mixed martial arts started at a young age and quickly turned into a notable career. Initially, Jerome started competing in Golden Gloves, fighting for several years on the Chicago Kickboxing Circuit. Most recently, he fought two MMA bouts winning both with a 1st round knock-out.
Additionally, Jerome has served as a USA boxing coach for 15 years. He became a certified instructor under Joe Goytia and previously served as a boxing coach at FFC and Crunch. In this role, Jerome trained several Golden Glove Champions as well as pro and amateur boxers, kickboxers and MMA fighters.
Jerome’s areas of specialization include boxing, kickboxing and MMA. Although he is a teacher, he also considers himself a student and is always looking for opportunities to improve his own martial arts experience and training techniques so that he can translate that into greater success for his students.
Patrick Murphy – MMA and Conditioning Instructor – Patrick served in the U.S Army as a scout/sniper. After getting stateside from being deployed to Iraq, the Army sent Patrick through it’s combatives schools After receiving the honor grad in combatives level 1 and 2, Patrick starting competing for the Army in fighting tournaments. After winning and placing in numerous tournaments Patrick became a combatives instructor for the 82nd Airborne. Patrick is currently fulfilling his passion for fighting/self-defense by pursuing an MMA career. Patrick is 5-0 and has an amateur and will be going pro this year.
In his words:
“I am able to put myself in my client’s shoes and truly motivate them, regardless of their style of learning. I have an outgoing, positive personality and believe that it’s important to have fun while getting the toughest workouts of your life. My goal as a personal trainer is to be the best! I’m extremely competitive and I have a personal drive like no other. That is, I am driven to ensure that every client achieves their results. I love training people and it is extremely rewarding to me when they see their results over time. I am 110% committed to helping my client’s achieve their goals. Training to me isn’t a job, it’s a mission; I guarantee results!!”
Andre “Maneco” Leite – BJJ Instructor and Guru - Andre Luis Leite also known as Maneco was born in Rio de Jaeiro Brazil. Andre’s involvement in martial arts began very early in his life at the age of 9 years old. Starting with Judo he trained till receiving the rank of black belt where he then began training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with one of the most well know and world class trainers, Carlson Gracie Sr and Carlson Gracie Jr. Receiving a black belt in jiu-jitsu from the Carlson Gracie family, Andre now uses his world class skills to help train students and fighters from Torres Martial Arts Academy. He also has competed in numerous and won numerous traditional gi and no gi grapping tournaments:
Pan American Champion
US Nationals Champion
C3 Tournament Champion
Arnolds Tournament Champion
Andre is also a certified Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu referee from the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation or (IBJJF). He is also 3 and 0 as a mixed martial artist with all three victories coming by way of rear naked choke.
Want to join our team of training professionals? We can make that happen, too.