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Now Open In Woodstock  And Byron IL

Call Or text 815-345-4153 


Founded January 2015 in Woodstock, Illinois  by Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt  Dan Hart – Hart Jiu Jitsu  believes In The Core Concepts Jiu Jitsu.  While every aspect of jiu jitsu is important and valid; competition, self-defense, and mixed martial arts fighting, it is the core fundamental art that is central to all of them.  This art can be transmitted to anyone, regardless of their athletic attributes.   

September 2023 Hart Purple Belt Bryce Franck founded Hart Jiu Jitsu Byron at 703 N Walnut inside Kinetic Grit Cross Fit. Offering Class Tue , Thu 6-8pm WIth Sunday 10am Open Mat

Dan is  a Black Belt Under Henry Akins. Mark Millare is a Black Belt Under Mike Budnik

It is this attitude that drives Hart Jiu Jitsu.  We strive to offer a low stress learning environment, welcoming to anyone, who wants to learn the art of jiu jitsu regardless of their reasons for doing so.  It is our goal to offer highly technical, effective, and safe instruction of the highest caliber.

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The concept of techniques based on leverage and angles, not physical attribute, became the core principle of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or BJJ. To prove how effective their art was, the Gracie family issued an open challenge to anyone who doubted the applicability of BJJ in a real fight. These challenges, known as “Vale Tudo” (Portuguese for “anything goes”) matches, would become the precursors of today’s MMA competitions.

The Gracie family fame quickly rapidly as their art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu performed admirably in these challenge matches. In 1993, Helio’s eldest son, Rorion engineered the first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in the United States. This was seen as a means to exhibit the effectiveness of the art, and not the practitioner. As such, one of the smallest of the Gracie clan, Royce, was chosen to represent the entire family. To the surprise of many viewers, Royce won three of the first four UFCs, and in the process defeated opponents up to 80 pounds heavier than he was. This success, and effectiveness of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, caused many martial artists to think about the ground fight in a new light as well as how it applies to a realistic combat situation.

The growth of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since the first UFC has been unrivaled in the history of martial arts. BJJ remains a staple of MMA training, competitions in BJJ have reached professional levels, and practitioners interested in self-defense have embraced it as a valid, effective methodology. Here at Alpha BJJ, we are proud to be a part of such an amazing history and tradition.


We are proud to offer self defense and martial arts training to kids from ages 6 and up to encourage self discipline, confidence, and physical fitness.kids2kids1

Muay Thai (Thai boxing) is a martial art and combat sport, which dates back to the 13th century.

Known as the “science of 8 limbs, it incorporates strikes using the fists, knees, shins and elbow as well as an element of grappling.

With its roots in Thailand’s military, It is now trained across the world and numerous organisations broadcast Muay Thai ring fighting events to millions of fans globally. It’s also a key component of MMA styles such as the fighting you would see in UFC or Bellator bouts.

Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in ancient India. First codified by the sage Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras around 400 C.E, the practice was in fact handed down from teacher to student long before this text arose. Traditionally, this was a one-to-one transmission, but since yoga became popular in the West in the 20th century, group classes have become the norm.

The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj, meaning “to yoke,” or “to unite”. The practice aims to create union between body, mind and spirit, as well as between the individual self and universal consciousness. Such a union tends to neutralize ego-driven thoughts and behaviours, creating a sense of spiritual awakening.

Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years, and whilst many different interpretations and styles have been developed, most tend to agree that the ultimate goal of yoga is to achieve liberation from suffering. Although each school or tradition of yoga has its own emphasis and practices, most focus on bringing together body, mind and breath as a means of altering energy or shifting consciousness.



Dan Hart

Dan Hart

Henry Akins Hidden Jiu Jitsu Black Belt. Bronze Medalist 2018 NoGi World Championships Brown Belt- Silver Medalist 2019 Pan Am Championships Brown Belt –Fundamentals Instructor At AlphaBJJ. Dan Doesn’t Just Teach Fundamentals, It Is What He Practices.  Dan Focuses His Jiu Jitsu on Simple Pressure based Basics. Referring To His Jiu Jitsu As “Old School”.  Dan Competes regularly and Fought As A Amateur MMA Fighter In The XFO, Amassing a 3-0 Record Before Stepping Away To Focus On Jiu Jitsu.

Dan Owns Wanderlust Gi Producing Travel Gi’s, As Well As Wanderlust Grappling, Hosting Super Fights And Tournaments. Dan Is Also A Former Elected Member Of The Woodstock City Council, And Owns Several Local Restaurants. 

Mark Millare - Kids Instructor / Gym Manager

Mark Millare received his black belt from Mike Budnik . Mark wrestled throughout middle and high school, and has been training martial arts for the last five years. Mark also trains Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts. Mark holds a record of 2-1 as an amateur MMA fighter.

Mark graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health with an emphasis in Health Promotion. He Is the gym manager at Alpha.

Mark hopes to provide a fun and safe environment for his students so they can confidently train and grow their skill set.

Bryce Franck - Muay Thai Instructor

Bryce Franck began in traditional martial arts in the 1980’s. In the 90’s, he began training in Muay Thai under famed coach Duke Roufus.
As an athlete, he was the United States professional heavyweight champion, and was ranked in the top 3 in the world. He began coaching athletes in the early 2000’s, and has coached recreational athletes all the way up to top professional contenders. Bryce is also a active Jiu Jitsu competitor holding the rank of Purple Belt under Dan Hart

Alex Embry

Alex Embry has 30 years of experience in the martial arts. His current focus is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in which he holds a black belt under Prof. Mike Budnik. In addition to this, he holds multiple black belts in two separate forms of kempo under the auspices of the United States Black Belt Association.

While exploring other arts, Alex has also earned Apprentice Level Instructor certification in Jeet Kune Do, the art created by Bruce Lee, under Professor Roy Harris. He is also a Junior Level Shootfighting Instructor in the ISFA where he competed in this art. In addition to his instructor credentials, Alex had spent extensive time studying other combat arts including Pekiti Tirisa Kali which he studies under Paul Ingram of the RFA Academy.

Alex competed in the first mixed martial arts events that exploded after the early UFCs and he continued to train in that methodology for several years at multiple facilities including No Joke MMA and the Hackney Combat Academy. This coupled with his Bachelor’s Degree in Athletic Training/ Sports Medicine has given Alex a unique perspective on the martial arts.

Alex works as a police officer for the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department and is the lead officer for the Firearms Training Unit there as well as the Control Tactics Cadre in addition to serving on the SWAT team. This worldview has shaped his views on tactics and the reality of interpersonal conflict.



222 N Benton St, Woodstock, Illinois


703 N Walnut, Byron, Illinois

Inside: Kinetic Grit Cross Fit

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