Founder | Instructor
Aaron is IBJJF World, Pan American, No Gi World, 2x American National Champion and 3x US Open Champion. He is the head instructor and founder of ZMATA. In addition to being a Black Belt under the Soul Fighters, Aaron is a certified coach through the California Interscholastic Federation. His lifelong love for competitive athletics, pursuits in martial arts and deep background in sports – his father is a retired high school teacher, athletic director and coach – inspired his interest in Kajukenbo, Kickboxing, and ultimately his passion for the gentle art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. After a successful; collegiate basketball career and upon graduating with his Masters Degree in Sport Management from the University of San Francisco, Aaron founded the ZMATA with a focus on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling and Judo. Aaron embraces and exemplifies the ZMATA vision and belief that through martial arts we can change and enhance the lives of others.
STEVEN “STEVIE” MARTIN
Owner | Instructor
Steven “Stevie” Martin Jr. is a lifelong martial artist that began his martial arts journey over thirty years ago. Stevie is a Black Belt (Sandan) in Judo receiving his black belt from Olympic/Paralympic Judo Coach Willy Cahill. Stevie has travelled all over the world competing in Judo and Wrestling. Stevie was a 2002 NCAA All-American Wrestler at Loras College (2nd NCAA DIII), and a former member of the US Olympic Training Center Judo Team in Colorado Springs. Stevie also was employed as a Police Officer where he was a K9 Handler and a Defensive Tactics Instructor.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion | Women's Head Instructor
Jennifer is a two-time Master World Champion, US Open Champion, All-Star Champion and American Cup Champion. She is a brown belt under her brother and head Jiu-jitsu instructor of ZMATA, Aaron Zaballos. She is the head instructor of the women’s Jiu-jitsu program. Her passion for the art has driven her to share her knowledge with other women to empower them to have more self-confidence, learn a practical self-defense, and to become the best person they can be. Jennifer has a long history of athletic adventures including yoga, swimming, triathlons, and kick boxing. She also has a background in personal training, holistic nutritional health, and massage therapy.
Judo Black Belt | Instructor
Anatoliy brings to ZMATA over 30 years of distinct Russian-style Judo with a strong focus on competition. Anatoliy started Judo at age 6 to learn how to defend himself against street bullying in his native Moscow. Under the guidance of Andrey Tsupachenko, one of the most decorated Judo and SAMBO practitioners in the Soviet Union and the former head coach of the Soviet Judo Masters Olympic Team, Anatoliy quickly developed a true passion for grappling that he retains to this day. After a long and successful heavy-weight competitor career with numerous victories in regional, national, and international championships in both Judo and SAMBO, Anatoliy is happy to share his knowledge and experiences with the next generation of fighters. Anatoliy is a Judo Black Belt and USA Judo Federation Certified Coach as well as an experienced Women’s Self-Defense Instructor. Off the mats, Anatoliy loves to spend time with his family (both of his kids are ZMATA students) and friends. Anatoliy earned his undergraduate degree in Mathematics from UC Berkeley and MBA from Johns Hopkins University. Anatoliy’s day job is in the field of financial business intelligence and analytics.
When we go to the ground, you are in my world. The ground is the ocean, I am the shark, and most people don’t even know how to swim.