Rodness' Martial Arts Center Reviews

I am a petite woman and could easily be overpowered, unless I trained to defend myself and fight off an attacker. My friends and I were looking for a place where we could learn practical self-defense tactics. We were referred to Rodness Martial Arts and found exactly what we were looking for. The students range from young adults, teens to seniors, women and men. Classes are varied and fun too!

Karen Sandler

Great bjj instruction and great club environment. Everyone here is very welcoming and really learning a lot from the coach. Definitely would recommend for beginners and advancedđź‘Ť


The Rodness Center has shown my wife and me an amazing sense of family belonging, as they beat the basics of self defense into us. The time of the classes fit our busy schedule, and Mr. R. is nothing short of a true professional. He mixes the "hands-on" with the more intellectual analysis of what he's teaching, and makes it a GREAT experience! Carry on!!

Jonathan Perlman

I have been attending both the Taekwondo and Kickboxing classes for a month now and have completely fallen in love with the environment of the studio. As a college student I thought this was a good way to get my body moving, but more importantly to learn things like self-discipline and confidence. Steve Rodness is a wonderful instructor and in my short time here, has made me feel both valued as a student and capable of achieving anything I work hard enough at. You'll find that the techniques and lessons you learn in class will serve you in all parts of your life. I highly recommend stopping by his studio and giving it a try if you're look to build both physical and mental strength!

Additionally, these classes are extremely affordable for a college student. Every cent you put forth will pay you back ten-fold in your personal life :)

Sana Karimi

Excellent instructor. He’s very skilled and agile, and teaches technique while also incorporating fitness. I feel like I’ve leanred so much in jiu jitsu.


Great gym, great classes, great energy and great people. Mr Rodness is a great example and teacher. Apart from teaching the details of the techniques he also shows the level of respect that is to be given from each and everyone through sheer example. I’m very happy and proud to have the opportunity to train here.

Pavlos Pikrodafnis

Great bjj instruction and great club environment. Everyone here is very welcoming and really learning a lot from the coach. Definitely would recommend for beginners and advancedđź‘Ť

Pádraig O'Luasa

I had been very interested in getting my son (8) involved with a martial art for some time. He had previously taken a short introductory session in Taekwondo some years prior and had enjoyed it, so I was on the hunt not only for "where" but "what." He and I spent some time looking at videos online and he expressed an interest in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), which, given its place in MMA, I was all for.

After some research on available schools in Davis, I emailed Rodness' Martial Art Center for more info and from the get-go Mr. Rodness was courteous, encouraging, professional, and easy to work with. We started with an introductory class where my son really had a great interaction with Mr. Rodness as the teacher, but also with the other students, which is also reflective of the environment they learn in.

I signed up my son for classes, and since then it is something he looks forward to every week. In the two months we've been attending he has already learned a tremendous amount (as have I observing), and is discovering a love for a pursuit that will benefit him for the rest of his life.

More importantly, as I alluded to above, I am incredibly impressed with the learning environment Mr. Rodness creates, both encouraging and task-oriented, with an emphasis on camaraderie and respect. The classes aren't simply technique, but the logic behind the technique, the respect of learning the building blocks, and how to interact with both the teacher and the other students. More advanced students are often asked to help peer-coach newer kids during some drills (including my son), and seeing two kids discuss proper technique colloquially and patiently, walking through each step, is also reflective of how those kids were taught to interact.

While my son is in BJJ, I've had the opportunity to observe the Taekwondo class prior to my son's, and there is no difference in the quality, type, and interaction between Mr. Rodness during that class with his students. He is a strong teacher, engages well with the skilled and non-skilled students, and really is adept at talking and explaining things to kids in a way that they understand not just the "what" but the "why".

The cost of lessons is in line with other schools, extremely reasonable, and worth every penny.

If you're looking for a martial arts school where your child gets to learn in a fun, safe, and encouraging environment - this is the place in Davis.

Merlin Love

This is a great and unique martial arts gym! The instructor, Mr. Rodness, has a wealth of expertise and trains you with patience and accuracy. He also has a charisma that makes classes very personable — no wonder this gym has been successful for the past 25 years! My favorite thing about taking kickboxing classes is the supportive environment the classes have. The other students in the class are like family. Rodness pushes you (the workout is INTENSE) past boundaries, but it’s a load of fun. The price of the membership is a steal compared to other gyms in the area/industry. Overall, my boyfriend and I love it!! We learn great skills while getting an incredible workout.

Pamela Hong

Being referred to Rodness Martial Arts Center has been one of the best things for our family - a positive lifestyle change. In a nutshell, I highly recommend anyone interested in marital arts, self-defense, to swing by the classes to experience for themselves. Mr. R and the coaches are great Instructors! Emphasizes the use of technique of "the gentle art" and provides great class structure to keep students of all ages engaged and motivated.

For those that like a little more detail …Our almost 5 year old son has been enrolled in the children’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) class for about 10 months. Our son actually looks forward to the classes and enjoys both Mr. R and Coach Ms. Jen tremendously! They pay attention to detail with each student and do a great paring them off to learn from each other. They have greatly helped shape his confidence and discipline; and there is no better evidence than in the more seasoned children at the school who are great role models for the newer belts. It is a joy to see the level of excitement in all the children, especially in our son when he is on the mat rolling.

I attend the adult BJJ classes on a regular basis. I have to admit that I was a little hesitant enrolling into a martial arts class that I have had no prior experience in, at my age, and being out of shape for the better part of a decade but after my first week of class (and feeling tremendously sore), I could not wait until the next week. Mr. R and other students make it very welcoming and everyone is very aware of each person’s capabilities and does a great job of motivating each other to the next level. It has been a great lifestyle change that has helped me feeling better about my health and in just under 10 months has helped me shave off almost 15 lbs. – a little more than half way through my goal of losing 25 lbs. When I can, I attend the MMA for the Street classes!

Above all, it has been a great bonding experience with my son! Recently, our family even got to experience attending our first BJJ Tournament together to cheer on fellow classmates.

Eugene K Hsu

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