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Jeff Tipton

Judo Instructor


Jeff Tipton is a Sandan (3rd degree Judo black belt) who started studying judo in 1993 with the Asheville Judo Club under Sensei Wayne Jersey and later on studying traditional JuJitsu under Sensei Carl Wilcox and Sensei Jeff Rhodes of Center for Martial Arts in Asheville. He was introduce to judo by his father, David Tipton, who had started judo a year earlier and invited him to express his natural talents of subterfuge and being in exactly the wrong place at the right time. Studying judo with his dad for so many years is one of his great honors, defining their relationship and bringing them closer than either thought possible.

Having previously studied at The Southern Academy of Ballet in Tallahassee, Jeff was looking for the next form of physical expression. Judo fit the bill perfectly. The two principles at judo's core being efficiency of effort and benevolence resonated deeply with Jeff. He realized judo is the physical syntax of these ideas, expressing them more fluently than any spoken language can. Now in middle age, Jeff has discovered the joy of watching students grow both on and off the mat.

Zach Hill

Judo Instructor

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Zach has been training Judo since 2002 and currently holds the rank of Nidan (black belt). His instruction style focuses on competition as he’s been an active competitor for his entire Judo career. He placed 4th in Junior Nationals at 13 years old and competed in the first Judo division of Kakuto, placing double gold. He’s a multi-time State Champion in Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina. 

His first Judo coach trained under Sensei Nageyasu Ogasawara at West Point Military Academy. Zach has also helped train US Olympic National Team members and professional MMA fighters. He’s a former wrestler and holds a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He owned his own dojo for 10 years and was the assistant coach for a middle school wrestling team for two years.

Bobby McMasters

Instructor + Co-owner of Open Source Jiu-Jitsu

*Asheville's only Beltchecker Verified BJJ Black Belt*

*Asheville's only IBJJF Certified BJJ Black Belt*

I'm an active competitor both in Judo and BJJ (gi and no-gi). I feel that competing is an important (but not mandatory) part of everyone's journey and I make an effort to compete when my teammates/students compete. It is through active competition that I try and stay current with the various rule sets and techniques as well as develop appropriate approaches and strategies as a coach.

I’ve been very fortunate to have had a very rich and fulfilling “Jiu-Jitsu journey” thus far, with so many different sources of influence and inspiration and rewarding experiences along the way. I’ve been teaching BJJ since 2006, when I was a white belt. I’ve worked professionally as a teacher and counselor for most of my career, and I believe that this has significantly both shaped and complemented my path and place in the greater BJJ community. I have a strong interest in working with strict beginners and am always trying to improve my “teaching game,” just as much as, if not more than, my “Jiu-Jitsu game.”

While you can probably find more detailed information and videos, etc on me by just plugging my name into a search engine, here’s a link to a short documentary on BJJ in Moldova I made way back in the day {watch it here} and here’s probably the nicest thing anybody’s ever written about me {read it here}.

Grappling Career Highlights:

  • 2004-present: Dozens of competition placings (NAGA, Arnolds, Newbreed, Fight2Win, USA Judo, Grappling Industries, etc.)

  • ​2017: Started “Open Source Jiu-Jitsu”. Asheville, NC

  • 2011: Started first BJJ tournament series in Moldova (“Burlacu Tri-Duals”, Burlacu, Cahul, Moldova)

  • 2006: Started first BJJ program in Moldova as a Peace Corps Volunteer

  • 2004: Began training BJJ with Saulo & Xande Ribeiro, Detroit, MI

  • 1999-2002: Collegiate wrestling (NJCAA-DIII, NCAA D-II)

BJJ Black belt //
Ikkyu (brown belt) in Judo //

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