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Ben Van Doren

Ben Van Doren photo Ben Van Doren
  • Brown Belt

I started training BJJ in 2013, progressing from day one to brown belt under Clint Crabtree at Grand Rapids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

I also achieved the rank of Sankyu (brown belt) in Judo under Jim Murray, as part of the Godai Judo team . I’m married with two adult daughters, one of which trained BJJ for about 5 years. I am the General Manager at Slows Bar BQ in the Downtown Market, and have been in the restaurant business for over 20 years. I hold a B.S. in Economics, and I am a certified personal trainer under the International Sports Science Association.

My initial love for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu came from the pairing of physical and mental challenges involved in rolling. I quickly learned the mental chess match was the key to winning the physical match, and that began a never ending quest to learn as much about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as possible. In the process of getting comfortable on the mats, a lot of great teachers and mentors shared their knowledge and love of the sport with me. Their time, dedication, and patience allowed me to grow in this sport and my love for teaching stems from the desire to pay this forward. I hope to create the same sense of joy, excitement, and technical wonderment in my students, as was instilled in me.