Coach Alder on Joey Diaz’s Podcast. CWHN #174

May 7th, 2014 In Comedy, Interviews, Podcast | Comments Off


Comedian, actor and entertainer Joey “Cooo” Diaz, had me on on his podcast, “The Church of what’s happening Now.” If you are a martial arts enthusiast, you know him as Joey Karate. To be a guest on his show was an absolute pleasure. Joey is one of my favorite people on the planet. It was tons of fun.

CLICK HERE to check out the show!

Best of Renato Laranja On Eddie Bravo Radio

June 20th, 2013 In Renato Laraja | Comments Off





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10th Planet’s First Black Belt, Denny Prokopos is Teaching a Seminar June 1st in Van Nuys!

May 15th, 2013 In 10th Planet Van Nuys, Seminars | Comments Off

Denny Prokopos Seminar

June 1st, 2013 @12pm

10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Van Nuys

16760 Stagg St. Suite 218

Van Nuys, CA 91406

(818) 781-5487



Denny’s Bio

Denny Prokopos was born in San Francisco around 1988. He was interested in Pro Wrestling as a child, and it was looking for Pro Wrestling tapes at a video store that he found out about the UFC. He bought a few tapes of the fighting organization’s first tournaments at the store and as he saw the footage he was amazed by Royce Gracie’s prowess inside the cage. He was so fascinated by the Gracie Jiu Jitsu style that he managed to convince his parents to let him train Jiu Jitsu (who vehemently opposed to it in the beginning). He was 12 years old when he started and his first coach was Charles Gracie.

As Denny got more involved with Jiu Jitsu, he started preferring the Nogi aspect of the game; this was when he sought out Eddie Bravo for private classes in Nogi. Eddie at the time had already made a name for himself in the Nogi community and was a great believer of the benefits of training without the kimono. Denny ended up leaving his previous instructor and turning his full attention to Eddie Bravo’s way of thought and method, he was around 16 at the time.

In highschool Denny Prokopos also added wrestling to his resume, competing all throughout secondary School with the exception of the last year due to a bad injury that prevented him from training. He ended up quitting the academic life to focus solely on Jiu Jitsu training and competition, that hard work and dedication paid off with several important victories at a national and international stage, culminating with his black belt award in 2009. In that same year he was part of the American National Team at the FILA Grappling Championship, being coached by Ricardo Liborio in preparation for the tournament (a competition he won), he has also worked extensively with Jake Shields.


-BJJ Heros

10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Van Nuys: The Ham Sandwich Sweep and Submission

January 8th, 2013 In 10th Planet Van Nuys | Comments Off

This move is awesome! It’s very difficult for you opponent to see it coming. When you get it locked in, it’s almost impossible to scramble out. If you opponent does happen to get out, you can transition to a heel hook, or sometimes even a figure four leg lock!

10th Planet Jiu Jitsu – UFC 155 Velasquez vs Dos Santos – FREE at Orochon Ramen Burbank!

December 28th, 2012 In 10th Planet Van Nuys, MMA | Comments Off

We’re at it again! 10th Planet Van Nuys and the gang are doing it big! UFC 155 is the event, Orochon Ramen is the spot! Prelims should start about 6, Main card at 7pm. Get there early to ensure seating. Bring all your friends and make sure they’re hungry!

We’re going to have a special unannounced surprise on the card. Hugo vs. David Hah in the light weight Spicy Orochon Special # 2 challenge-fight of the century. Who will reign supreme? Who will go home with stomach issues? This is a can’t miss match up that you won’t dare want to miss!

UFC Heavyweight Champion

Junior dos Santos
Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Cain Velasquez
Yuma, Arizona
Lightweight (155lbs)

Joe Lauzon
Jim Miller
Sparta, New Jersey
Middleweight (185lbs)

Tim Boetsch
Sunbury, Pennsylvania
Costantinos Philippou
Merrick, New York
Middleweight (185lbs)

Alan Belcher
Biloxi, Mississippi
Yushin Okami
Kanagawa, Japan
Middleweight (185lbs)

Chris Leben
Portland, Oregon
Derek Brunson
Wilmington, North Carolina
Bantamweight (135lbs)

Brad Pickett
London, England
Eddie Wineland
Portage, Indiana
Bantamweight (135lbs)

Byron Bloodworth
Wilmington, North Carolina
Erik Perez
Monterrey, Mexico
Lightweight (155lbs)

Melvin Guillard
New Orleans, Lousiana
Jamie Varner
Phoenix, Arizona
Lightweight (155lbs)

Michael Johnson
Springfield, Missouri
Myles Jury
Hazel Park, Michigan
Heavyweight (265lbs)

Phil De Fries
Sunderland, England
Todd Duffee
Evansville, Indiana
Flyweight (125lbs)

Chris Cariaso
San Francisco, California
John Moraga
Phoenix, Arizona
Featherweight (145lbs)

Max Holloway
Waianae, Hawaii
Leonard Garcia
Plainview, Texas

<10th Planet Van Nuys> Submission Only Tournaments are Superior.

November 29th, 2012 In Theory | Comments Off

As of recently I was perfectly happy with the rule set in BJJ. Alright, I lied a little bit, I’m really unclear as to the system of advantages that the IBJJF use. It’s not for a lack of trying to figure them out either. So, maybe I’m not completely happy with that, but otherwise, I’m ok with it. I think there’s always going to be a place for the point system. It system was put into place to make a game out of self defense so we could compete against each other so see who the best martial artist was. This can lead into the whole self defense vs. sport bjj argument which I’m not going to get into today, that a different topic. The point system represents moving into a more advantageous position. The idea is if this were the streets or a fight of whatever, we would theoretically be able to inflict more damage without sustaining as much, thus we’d be “winning the fight.” By no means is it a perfect system, but it was the best we had.

Lately there’s been a string of great “submission only” tournaments. The rules in these tourments are simple. The person who wins by submission wins, and continues in the tournament. If there is no submission, both competitors lose. It may seem harsh, but there’s some definite advantages to this style of competition. Here’s a few things that I like.

1. Submission only cuts down on “grey area” wins. There’s a ton of arguable calls in jiu jitsu. Many times refs aren’t 100% sure what the rules are because they’re not very specific at times. What I call a pass, sometimes isn’t a pass to another referee. There’s too many subjective calls. This can leave fans, and competitors alike with a bad taste in their mouths. I can’t tell you how many people who may have otherwise gone to more competitions, either to watch or participate, were turned off by the whole thing, because of grey area calls.

2. Sub only discourages stalling. If you came to pass the guard, get 2 points and stall out the rest of the match, this kind of contest is not for you. We have a joke at 10th Planet Van Nuys about losing 2-0 to a wrestler. The wrestler who have little to no submission ability will enter a Jiu Jitsu tournament, take his opponent down, and then shut down for the rest of the match. I don’t feel doing the bare minimum, and laying on top of somebody represents winning. The term wet blanket was coined for these type of fighters.

3. Sub only promotes action! The idea is that in submission only tournaments, if you’ve trained for a month, paid an entry fee, dieted, cut weight, waited around for hours for your name to be called, you’re not going there just to lose. That mean’s you’re there to win, and the only way to win, is to go for submissions. If 2 combatants are in there trying to win, you’re going to see Jiu Jitsu at it’s most exciting.

4. It’s more fan friendly. Having fans will make the whole sport grow. If the sport grows, maybe we’ll see it in the olympics. Even if submission only was the gateway drug that led you to get into the point system eventually, wouldn’t that be good? If a casual fan goes to a tournament, they soon learn, even though they might have paid 10-20 dollars to get in, this tournament is not for them. Most of the time, you can’t see the clock, so you don’t know how much time is in the match. You can’t see the score cards. They’re usually set up so that only the competitors can see them. As a coach, I usually can’t even see them. In many cases, especially with advantages, fans don’t know the rules. Forget the fans, like I said earlier, coaches and competitors are unclear with the rules because of subjective grey areas. If there’s 6 matches going on at a time, and you are trying to watch 2 at the same time, if you look away and you miss points, you’re lost because you can’t see the score cards. Submission only takes all that away, either the match ends in submission and you see somebody tapout, or you see two people walk off the mat, not to return that day. It’s simple and easy to follow.

Now, I admit, sub only isn’t perfect either, it’s going to have shortcomings too. However, it does have some really great points. I’d love to start seeing more of the really big names in the sport come out for the sub only format, just like in Metamoris. The Gracie Worlds is coming up January 20th, in Los Angeles. Hopefully we’ll see a big turn out.

Coach Alder Hampel
10th Planet Van Nuys

<10th Planet Van Nuys> Passing the Guard is 80% of Jiu Jitsu! Part 2

November 28th, 2012 In Theory | Comments Off

This is continued from yesterday’s blog Passing the Guard is 80% of Jiu Jitsu!

Let’s say I pass the guard, mount, move to knee on bell, take the back, etc. I’m still going to have to avoid my opponent countering, and being put back into the guard. We’re constantly, passing, recovering, passing and recovering. There are in fact, very few times a person doesn’t need to be concerned, at least a little bit, with “passing the guard.”

My point is this, where should we be spending most of our time when we’re looking up new techniques, drilling, game planning, and practicing? I think I can make a good argument for activities revolving around the guard. I feel that much of your game, especially in the beginning should have the guard in mind. Many of your most sexiest submissions will be much easier to get once you’ve successfully mastered guard passing. It’s really one of the foundation of Jiu Jitsu.

I’m not here to change your game or to tell you what to do. All I’m trying to do is give a little insight. Take a step back, try to look at the game as a whole. Now ask yourself this; “How would working on my guard passing really help my game? If so, how? How could it help me as a bottom player, even if I don’t like to play top?” Now whatever your answer is, go to practice, and start coming up with some answers! If you come up with some arguments, let’s hear them, I’d like to open up a discussion on how you feel about it.

Coach Alder Hampel
10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Van Nuys

<10th Planet Van Nuys> Passing the Guard is 80% of Jiu Jitsu! **Part 1

November 27th, 2012 In Theory | Comments Off

Passing the guard is 80% of the game of Jiu Jitsu! At least according to my not so scientific calculations. I didn’t spend anytime researching that number, I didn’t review any stats, I just declared it as of right now. How did I come to that conclusion? Well, the statement was made specifically to get your attention. Did it work? I guess I could have said something like, it’s 97.7% of the game, that might have been more shocking, but probably less believable. Anyways, now that I have your attention, let me get to my point.

Guard passing gives you freedom! I don’t want anybody telling me where I can and can’t go. The more options I have to move about the body, the more options I can go when I’m shut me down in one way or another. It will also give you the mobility to get into advantage positions, (mount, back, north/south). It will give you the ability to control, and submit at a higher clip, because your opponent has less tools from which to defend with. On the other side of the coin, being on your back, passing will keep you from being put in these bad positions. Knowing what the top player is going to do before he does it, will allow you to stifle, and counter.. Thus, keeping you safe, while putting them into worse positions.

Today, I can’t imagine a world where I can only use submissions from the topside of the guard. If you decide to bypass passing you’re limited to a very small game. You don’t have to pass to submit your opponent. D’arces, neckcranks and foot locks are all available. There’s some crazy kamikaze fly over or rolling techniques that are available as well. I look at these moves as shortcuts, and although you may be able to tap your opponents now, once people figure out that’s your game, they will be less likely to be taken off guard. I know this all too well from experience. When I first started Jiu Jitsu, I was all about the quick submission. I wanted to beat you as fast as I could. It was my own ego trip. I wanted to trick you with superior technique. When I watched Ken Shamrock heel hook Pat Smith at the inaugural Ultimate Fighting Championship, I wanted to be just like that! I thought if I could sub you quick with some wild foot lock, I wouldn’t need to get good at clearing the legs and passing the guard. It worked well for a while, but once guys figured out that was my schtick` I got crushed. Point is, there’s not substitution for hard work and consistency.

In Jiu Jitsu, the match always starts standing, right? Yes, and takedowns and techniques from standing are important, I wont dispute that. You don’t have to stay on the feet for very long however, even if the rules in a tournament require you engage, touch, or are even penalized for pulling guard. The fact is, if you want to nullify the wrestling advantage, you can pull guard, and butt scoot towards your opponent. So basically, if I trained since I was 5 at wrestling, and I got into a match with a jiu jitsu guy, and he just dropped to his bum, all that skill and experience would be taken from me at that point. Now, I’m forced to what? Play the guard passing game. Now if I’m the guy who pulled guard, I’m not playing the guard passing game right? No, actually that is incorrect, I AM playing the guard passing game. I’m having to defend the guard pass. Even if, simultaneously, I’m trying to sweep, I still have to make sure I don’t leave an opening for the top player to pass.

Guard passing can be overlooked quite a bit. I’ll see guys working on the latest and greatest techniques without any context of the big picture. Many times they’ll completely overlook how they are going to get to the technique they’re practicing. They’ll be practicing the move like it exists in a vacuum. I suggest this, whenever you work on a new technique, have an idea what would have lead you that position. Most times you can trace it right back to the guard. This kind of thinking is what builds great game plans because it forces you to connect the right techniques together in a series. ie takedown > guard pass> mount > armbar or guard pull > sweep > pass > americana. When this is done smoothly, and with efficiency you’ll get a beautiful chain of events that looks like a work of art.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog for part 2!

The Best Rear Nake Choke (rnc) Finish Ever: 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Van Nuys

August 25th, 2012 In Techniques | Comments Off

Give us a shot, the worst thing that could happen is you get addicted to jiu jitsu!

Mike Frausto Training Highlight Reel for his August 30th fight at the AFC!

August 23rd, 2012 In MMA | Comments Off

Jiu Jitsu and MMA stud, Mike Frausto has a fight coming up at the Amir Fighting Championships August 30th, 2012. He’s been training at his home gym, 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Van Nuys as well as at Defiant Muay Thai. Tickets are on sale now! Support your local Fighter!

10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Van Nuys Cirriculum – Back Attacks – The Lazy Sunday Armbar

August 22nd, 2012 In Techniques | Comments Off

10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Van Nuys Coaching Program

July 15th, 2012 In News | Comments Off

Ever wanted to become a career martial artist? Ever want to teach your own MMA/Jiu Jitsu class? Ever wanted to learn how to coach and corner your own UFC or MMA fighter? 10th Planet Van Nuys has a coaching program for up and coming coaches. If you’re interested in learning to become a coach, the first requirement is that you’re a 10th Planet Van Nuys member, and the second is you have a happy healthy attitude. Still a white belt? Doesn’t matter, as long as you’ve been with us for 6 months and you’re willing to put in the time, you’re good!

For more info, come in and see us!


10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Van Nuys Promotions

June 18th, 2012 In News | Comments Off

First, ‘Id like to give props to the 6 new blue belts! It’s not easy to get a blue under me, so when you do, you know you’ve earned it. Every student’s journey is different, for me, the criteria for each person to get their blue belt is different. I want to see the student is proficient in all the major positions, and submissions. I want to see a strict, consistent training regiment, even if it’s twice a week. I want to see them building a game plan and constantly revamping it. I want to see them helping their team mates, and having a positive attitude in class. Loyalty is big, are you helping the team get better, or are you only concerned with your progression? Effort, do you train hard, show up on time, go one more round even if your mind says no. The list goes on and on.

Not every promotion is a belt rank. Today, I promoted Mike Frausto to competition Co-Captain. Mike has shown amazing ability in competition, training and teaching. He has show exemplary leadership abilities and at the same time, remained humble and egoless. Mike himself has all the makings of a champion and a black belt, at the same time, he also has the traits to one day be a world class coach.

Congrats gang!!!

Blue Belts
1- David Alvarez
2- Gabe Calvento
3- David Hah
4- Bhimerjeet Kahlom
5- Bill Reusch
6- Daniel Godinez

***Competition Co-Captain – Mike “Lobes” Frausto



10th Planet’s Eric “Compella” Cruz Fight’s In The First Ever Sanctioned, Combat Jiu Jitsu Match

June 16th, 2012 In MMA, Tournaments | Comments Off

I had the awesome privilege of cornering the first ever Combat Jiu Jitsu match held at Nokia Theater in downtown Los Angeles. This may be the next thing that ties Jiu Jitsu into MMA. Maybe one day we’ll see big names in jiu jitsu use this as a stepping stone into getting into full blown mma.

10th Planet Van Nuys Has a New MMA Champion!

May 21st, 2012 In MMA | Comments Off

10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Van Nuys sees it’s first MMA champion! Congtatulations to “Gorgeous” Georgie Garcia as he becomes the first ever, U of MMA, 145lbs champion. His victory was heralded by the promoters as, “the most exciting match the promotion has ever had in it’s history.” This was also the first time in the history of the sport, an MMA show had been held at the Nokia Theater, at L.A. Live, in downtown Los Angeles. The even was running side by side with the Kings and the Clippers playoff games. The atmosphere down there was electric.

The battle between Georgie, and his opponent, Chris Bonilla, was an epic back and forth battle. Bonilla came out strong, and went right after the 10th Planet Van Nuys and Saekson’s Muay Thai product. Bonilla, had no fear of the undefeated fighter. After some great exchanges on the feet, Georgie used his San Fernando wrestling pedigree to take his opponent to the mat. Bonilla, showed he had dangerous jiu jitsu off of his back, and was able to lock in, what might be a game ending triangle. It looked like Georgies perfect record, along with his aspirations for the title, were in jeopardy. Fighting through the fact that all the blood was being blocked from flowing to his brain, Georgie was able to find a way out. Just when it looked like he was out, Bonilla transitioned masterfully to an armbar. Georgies arm was stretched out completely straight, and again it looked like he could be finished. HIs mental fortitude and never say die attitude kicked in and he ripped his arm out of the submission. At this point, his opponent looked gassed. Going for the submission took everything he had. This was the turning point in the fight, although Bonilla would never quit, and would continue to come on strong, Georgie was just too much for him. Both fighters scrambled back to their feet where towards the end the round, where Georgie, feeding off the energy of the crowd, would grab a head and arm throw, and toss his adversary’s feet high into the sky. The round ended with Bonilla landing on his head upside down pinned against the cage with Garcia ground and pounding from a schoolyard headlock position. This was much to the delight of the huge crowd that had come out to see these men do battle in the main event.

At one point in the fight Georgie faked the shot, and came over the top with a monstrous overhand right that sent his opponent crashing to the canvas. He swarmed the dazed competitor, throwing brutal shots from the guard on the ground. Respecting Bonilla’s excellent ground game, Georgie was a bit tentative in going all out and trying to finish the fight. Bonilla, was able to recover from onslaught, mount a comeback, and would lock in what could be a game ending kimura. Yet again, Georgie was able to scramble out of it and land a WWE inspired double leg take down that dazzled the crowd. Georgie seemed to have an answer for everything Bonilla threw at him. George landed take down, after take down, and combination after combination, he controlled the ring like a true general. At the end of the fight it was clear to most people who one the fight, including “Big” John McCarthy and the other 2 judges, who in the end, had it scored for unanimously for the New 145lbs champ, “Gorgeous” Georgie Garcia!

In other notable fights on the card, 10th Planet Van Nuys’s Mike “Lobes” Frausto and Mike “Tipz” Venturella both were on the card and had exciting fights. Both fighters have made huge adjustments and improvements to their respective games. Both look fight and compete again soon. I’m extremely proud of those two, they’ve come a long way and constantly surprise me with how good they’ve become. Also on the card,10th Planet’s heavy weight freight train, Amir Allam fought to a draw, showing his durability, outstanding wrestling and superior ground skills. Erik “Compella” Cruz fought and won the inaugural Combat Jiu Jitsu fight by RNC with one second left in the first round. Combat Jiu Jitsu is Eddie Bravo’s brainchild which sees Jiu Jitsu with ground and pound. It has recently been sanctioned by CAMO in California, and this was the first one we’ve seen on a show. The idea seems to be to lure Jiu Jitsu players into MMA without having to learn striking ri ght off the bat, allowing MMA training wheels to be applied to their game.

Thanks again for reading our newsletter! If you’d like to come down to try out classes, please go to our website Thank you for your continued support, and we’ll see you on the mats.