Brentwood Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy offers Middle Tennessee’s Ultimate Mixed Martial Arts and Fitness experience. Our diverse group of expert instructors draw from hands-on experience and years of martial arts training to bring out the best in their students, whether in competition, self-defense or fitness. Proficient, personable and professional, our instructors are crucial to making training with us an unparalleled martial arts experience.
With a diverse group of in-house and visiting instructors, Brentwood BJJ’s talent pool is always growing. Whether you want to compete in Jiu-Jitsu, Grappling, or Mixed Martial Arts, Get in Shape, Learn Self-Defense or just have some fun, Brentwood Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructors can help you achieve your goals.
Click on the names below to read each instructor's bio.
Jeremy Akin, Professor
Head Instructor Jeremy Akin is an IBJJF Certified 2nd Degree Black Belt in Gracie Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu under Luiz Palhares.
Jeremy is the head instructor at Brentwood Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He started his training in martial arts at the age of 16. Initially, Jeremy focused on stand up styles such as Muay Thai.
At 20 Jeremy began training in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. Bujinkan training introduced him to Japanese Jujitsu and grappling. After receiving his black belt he traveled to Japan to train directly with Soke Masaaki Hatsumi and Sean Askew who also cross trained with PRIDE fighter Enson Inoue.
After returning from Japan he relocated to Albany New York to open a school with Sean Askew who had just returned from living and training in Japan for 10 years. It was Sean who introduced Jeremy to Kosen Judo and Shoot Fighting. After training with Sean in New York, Jeremy was determined to begin serious grappling training.
Jeremy moved back to Tennessee after hearing that Luiz Palhares (at that time a 5th degree black belt under Rickson Gracie) would be teaching in Nashville. He devoted most of his free time to learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with Luiz in group and private classes. Jeremy traveled with Luiz to conduct seminars for the Military, Police, and other Martial Art schools and regularly competed in both gi and no-gi submission grappling tournaments. Earning his Black Belt in five and a half years he became the first American to go from White Belt to Black Belt under Professor Palhares.
Jeremy’s main focus since 2005 has been to learn and teach Jiu-Jitsu at the highest technical level possible. He considers himself a student first and constantly works to refine his own technique and knowledge base. While continuing to train with Luiz Palhares, he has also trained in group and private classes with other world class Jiu-Jitsu teachers such as Rickson Gracie, Carlos Gracie Jr., Saulo Ribeiro, David Kama, as well as many others.
Brentwood Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has a strong competition team that has given Jeremy the opportunity to coach competitors at every level from local tournaments in Jiu-Jitsu, Submission Grappling, Muay Thai, and MMA to the World Jiu-Jitsu Championships in California.
Andy Acuff, Assistant Instructor
Assistant Instructor and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Black Belt Coach Andy Acuff has been training in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu under Professor Jeremy Akin for 10 years. During this time he has been fortunate to watch the sport and art of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu grow and evolve drastically. Andy has also been fortunate to have been a part of Brentwood Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Academy’s growth into Middle Tennessee’s finest Brazilian Jiu-jitsu training facilities; producing multiple World and Pan-American champion atheletes.
In Coach Andy’s own words:
To anyone curious about training, I would say “just show up”. I can’t say why someone should train because the reason for training will be different for each individual. That reason will continue to change and evolve in time. My reason for training 10 years ago is different from the reason I train today. And my reason will undoubtedly be different 10 years from now. There will always be something for everyone to learn on the mats in our selves, in others and in life.
Fayyaz Akbari, Kid's Program Assistant Coach
In Fayyaz's own words:
I feel pretty young in the sport but I enjoy studying the art. Originally, my main sport was football, which I have played since I was 8 years old. It helped to shape me into a hard working and dedicated person. I started BJJ in high school on a whim. I was originally set up to play football on a college scholarship and played in one season. At the same time, I had competed in BJJ for the first time and really found my love for the sport. I left the football program to dedicate all of my time outside of college study to my training in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Overall my life revolves around sports and fitness. My major in college is Exercise Science and I am a personal training for strength and conditioning. Jiu Jitsu gives me a chance to better my self across a variety of planes. I think this is most important. I try to work hard in Jiu Jitsu and in fitness because this my way of bettering myself and helping those around me do the same. I believe that is also true for the kids class. When I was younger, a lot of role models invested their time in me to make me better and I am very thankful that Professor Jeremy and Coach Eron have given me this opportunity to do the same in the lives of other kids.
Billy Conn, Muay Thai Instructor
Muay Thai Instructor - Billy Conn, Brentwood Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Academy’s Muay Thai Instructor, began training in martial arts around the age of 15 starting with karate and moving into kickboxing and submission grappling around age 17. Due to the effectiveness of the Art, Billy was drawn to Muay Thai and is an avid student of the Art. Over the years, Billy has had the opportunity to train at Nashville MMA, Nemesis MMA, Elite Martial Arts- Bellevue, Clarksville Fight Club and a few others throughout Middle Tennessee. Billy also had the opportunity to travel to Thailand, the birthplace of Muay Thai, to train at the Muay Thai Institute.
In Billy’s own words:
I enjoy coaching and helping people realize their potential through hard work and detailed instruction. I am always hoping to learn more and continue to grow with the sport. I look forward to being able to share my knowledge with current and future students of the Muay Thai program at Brentwood Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Academy. I am also an active personal trainer in my free time. I train not only to become a fighter, or for fitness, but to improve my whole person.