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Denny Prokopos is the standard-bearer of Eddie Bravo's 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu system and the head instructor of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu, San Francisco.
Denny has been studying martial arts from such a young age - his parents encouraged him to try tae kwon do at age 5 - that he can't remember a time when it wasn't an important part of his life. He still recalls his admiration of the heroic figures of his childhood - professional wrestlers, boxers and martial arts stars. When he happened upon videos of the early UFC matches, he became fixated on the Brazillian Jiu Jitsu fighters, who demonstrated how expertly a smaller opponent could overcome a larger one. He started training hard to gain that kind of skill. And he loved how training made him physically and mentally tougher. In fact, he just loved to train; and his dedication to repetition and refinement caused him to excel at an early age.
As a young teen, even though his jiu jitsu was already mature, Denny lost a tournament because of an unfamiliarity with takedowns. Reflection on this experience led to a defining character trait: Denny spotted a missing piece in his game and worked diligently to replace it. He joined his high school wrestling team and spent the next few years drilling the techniques and internalizing its purpose: vie for position and exploit opportunities to execute moves. (He continues to train in wrestling to this day, because of his conviction that this method makes him a more complete grappler.)
Today, Denny is one of the top featherweight grapplers in America. His awards and titles tell the story of his advancement. Denny traces his jiu jitsu lineage to Jean-Jacques Machado - Abu Dabhi champion - who advanced Eddie Bravo to Black Belt. As the first Black Belt of Bravo's 10th Planet system, Denny brings this lineage to the cutting-edge of the discipline, actively competing in jiu jitsu tournaments, fighting in MMA bouts and even representing the United States at the Grappling Worlds Tournament.
The most important technique in jiu jitsu is repetition. Denny has refined a teaching style as effective as his grappling game: he ensures that each of his students will meaningfully advance, by disassembling maneuvers into their smallest parts and making sure that every student rehearses each gesture that comprises the larger statement - the result is jiu jitsu fluency.
Click here for Denny's Career Highlights and keep checking 10thPlanetJiuJitsuSF.com for fight updates.