Professor Nate Daughenbaugh

My Jiu-Jitsu journey began in 2006. I was stationed in San Diego, CA, with the US Army when I happened to walk by a small dojo and peered in the window. It was a strange, paradoxical atmosphere in which people were locked in combat and enjoying it immensely. I decided to try it and quickly realized I needed to make jiu-jitsu a habitual part of my life.

I trained with Team Revolution under Professor Phil Moore for the next two years. In 2008, the Army transferred me to Seoul, South Korea. I immediately found Professor John Frankl (also known as “The Godfather” of BJJ in South Korea). I trained under him 5-6 times weekly for the following year. I also managed the US Army Combatives Program for my entire Unit.

Following an honorable discharge from the Army in 2009, I moved back to my hometown of Steamboat Springs, CO. I searched for somewhere to train BJJ, but nothing was available. I decided to buy some mats and start up my club. At that time, a small group of dedicated students shared techniques and trained hard. We called ourselves the “Old Dog Fight Club.” Since then, the club has grown and become what it is now: Steamboat Springs Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

I’ve been instructing and training jiu jitsu here locally since 2009 and love sharing this fantastic martial art with others. I currently hold the rank of Black Belt; awarded to me by Professor Finnie McMahon in 2019 (owner of McMahon Training Center located in Fort Collins, CO).

Jiu-jitsu is a lifestyle and passion of mine, but my career and full-time occupation is as a veterinarian for Steamboat Veterinary Hospital. I’m truly grateful to call Steamboat Springs home and am blessed to be surrounded by family and friends. I live on a small ranch with my fantastic wife and 2 beautiful daughters.

Dave Mars with a snow-covered beard during a winter outing

Professor Dave Marrs

As Nate's first student, Dave has been training for the past 13 years. He was awarded his black belt by Professor Finnie McMahon August, 2021. In addition to training BJJ and directing the kid's Jiu Jitsu program, he has been a teacher at Steamboat Mountain School (formerly known as Emerald Mountain School) for the past 14 years. Dave also enjoys mountain biking and skiing. 

Brett Shaw, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach, giving a thumbs up at the gym

Professor Brett Shaw

I started training jiu-jitsu in 2010, after an invitation from then blue belt Nate D. I was hooked from day one and prepared as much as possible. I desired the expression of competition, camaraderie with the team, and physical/mental workout. I also own and operate Timberline Contracting Inc., a custom home-building company founded in 2001. Family and faith are a huge part of my life, being supported by my late wife, Sancy, who was my biggest cheerleader. Now, I am supported by my wife Rachel, sons Wyatt, Mason, Jaxon, and daughter Charlee.

I earned my black belt from Professor Finny McMahon of McMahon Training Center, in 2021. I’m passionate about teaching and experiencing growth in our students.

  • Coach Ben Russel with a black gi and brown belt, smiling at the Jiu-Jitsu dojo

    Coach Ben Russel

    Ben Russell has lived in the Yampa Valley since 2001 and brought with him a passion for martial arts. Currently a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, after starting in 2013, he is also a 2nd-degree black belt in Go Ju Ryu karate and has studied Judo and Shotokai. His favorite part is teaching and helping others improve their game and knowledge. He hopes to see you in class!

  • Coach Danil Sulimov

    I moved to Steamboat Springs in 2004, originally from Russia. I met Nate D in 2016 while working out in a local gym, “Manic Training,” and asked about his rash guard with the SSBJJ logo on it. We chatted about the sport, and I attended my first class. Coming from a contact sports background, I enjoyed the competition element of Jiu-Jitsu, and I later learned that a rabbit hole goes way deeper.

    I enjoy being able to breathe unless someone is choking me. Then I like it even better! I prefer my joints and ligaments to be intact. Thank you!

  • Coach Abbey Rae Rester smiling in a white gi at the Jiu-Jitsu dojo

    Coach Abbey Rae Rester

    Abbey Rae arrived to Steamboat in the fall of 2020 as a purple belt. She immediately became an integral part of the crew and currently leads our "drillers are killers" class. Long walks in the forest allow her to formulate new strategies in which to apply her favorite submission, the armbar!

  • Coach Annalia Bailey in a blue gi, smiling for a portrait at the Jiu-Jitsu dojo

    Coach Annalia Bailey

    I grew up in Louisiana. A couple of years after graduating college, I moved to the Steamboat area in 2014. I was introduced to jiu-jitsu in the spring of 2018, and for the first time, I found a practice I truly loved. I’ve had the opportunity to train with and learn from some incredible people and have developed lifelong friendships. SSBJJ has become a second home, and jiu-jitsu has significantly influenced my life.

  • Justin Barker, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor, standing in front of the gym chalkboard

    Coach Justin Barker

    With a background in Hapkido, Judo, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Justin Barker leads the weekly Take Down Study Group. His teaching combines skill development with the philosophy of martial arts. Justin's approach creates a supportive environment that promotes physical and mental growth in his students. If he's not belly up at the armbar, you might find Justin practicing human-powered flight with his Jiu-Jitsu partners.

  • Coach Jared Kennedy

    I attended my first jiu-jitsu class in the fall of 2019. I came to the valley the year before and was settling into a new job just a half mile from SSBJJ. I am from Southwest Iowa and grew up wrestling and playing other sports. If you’re reading this and getting excited about some excellent standup wrestling, let me take a moment to manage your expectations: I am not naturally coordinated. As such, I was never an impressive wrestler—especially not by Iowa standards. The foremost carryover from wrestling to my jiu-jitsu game was the speed and strength with which wrestling is executed versus the measured, unhurried method of a finely tuned jiu-jitsu game. This disparate approach suffuses my Jiu-Jitsu journey to this day.

    The ultimate jiu-jitsu game renders invalid the attacks of an opponent while retaining a status of utmost composure and measurement of action. The maxim above is one that I try my best to carry with me in my career as a firefighter, how I serve my household as a husband, and my actions as a man. As Jiu-Jitsu informs life, the rest of life informs Jiu-Jitsu. Don’t read me as a self-aggrandizing pretender—the height of my goals is matched only by the number of mistakes I make and the myriad ways I constantly fall off the path. The struggle is the journey.