Functional Stand Up Striking


Helping our clients perform at their best in the Ring is one aspect of our business.  Helping our clients perform at their best in their life and career is the other!

Centerline Gym coaches a functional self-defense based program

Unfortunately if we like it or not, there are situations that require many people to defend themselves these days. Because of this fact we endeavor to make our approach a program that is functionally driven in self-defense application to allow our clients to adequately defend themselves if need be. Beyond this though we endeavor to coach our clients the soft approach of avoidance, awareness and communication to deter the likelihood of an attack upon themselves or their family.

Most importantly we want our program, to be for the everyday guy and woman!

  • Develop a Functional Striking Game for Self Defense– The skills and training methods we utilize in our stand up program are usable across platforms. This means that whatever you are training in class is usable in more than one type of application. Learning to deal with strikes being thrown at you AND being able to throw back effectively are important skills, of course. Our aim is to help you develop these skills quickly while having a blast!
  • Develop A Solid Game for Competition– 99% of our clients train for reasons other than competition but for those that do have that itch we want to get you up and running as quickly as possible. To that end we makes sure you get the sparring and training you need.
  • Enjoy the Gamesmanship of the Striking Game– It’s no secret that to develop a real kick but game you need to spar. There is simply nothing like it. The biggest problems most people run into, unfortunately, are being thrown into it too early or just having coaches who don’t know how to run a sparring program. We want everyone to have a great time at the gym so NOBODY is MADE to spar. In fact, we believe in the benefit of sparring so much we gave it it’s own class! But here’s the catch, this class is only available once two things are in place: You ask to spar and the Coach says you’re ready. That said, this is not about shark tank survival sparring but about training together to explore how to implement our striking in an enjoyable environment.

Martial Arts are a wonderful vehicle for positive, healthy change in people’s lives- helping them move out of negative spaces and into positive ones. Of course this only happens if martial arts are coached correctly and with philosophical implications.

Through our martial arts program we strive to find the life lessons in everything we do in the ring, on the mat and in the gym. If what we are coaching and practicing does not help us perform better in our lives and career outside the gym then we don’t want to coach it. Developing focus, patience, mindfulness, centeredness, discipline and a healthy attitude towards obstacles are only a few of the lessons our program actively engages in creating.

Ultimately sparring and training in the martial arts is not about dominating the person in front of you, but a vehicle for learning to control fear, cope with frustration, and developing self control!

Centerline Gym strives for Ecological and Social Consciousness

Beyond using the martial arts for self-defense and developing a healthy personal philosophy- we also want our practice to be mindful of how our actions and our martial art practice affects the ecology around us, and the greater society as a whole. Therefore we seek out an active roll in our neighborhood, our society and the planet as a whole. We realize that the quality of our consciousness is directly linked to the quality of our relationships with the people in our gym, our neighborhood and the ground we stand on.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Bazilian Jiu Jitsu is a Combat sport, self protection system and a martial art that utilizes primarily grappling techniques, mostly ground fighting. Originally, Jiu Jitsu came from pre-Kodokan Judo, during the early 1900’s.

One of the corner stones of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (also known as BJJ) the the use of leverage. This concept of leverage allows a smaller, weaker person to successfully defend him or herself from a larger, stronger opponent. Through proper technique and leverage, specifically joint-locks, choke holds and other submission techniques; the smaller and defeat the bigger.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has a sport element in which competitors can be in a gi (Kimono) or without a gi. Also, BJJ is one of the main components of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) another sport. . The art of BJJ can also be used as a method of self defense and has been adopted by the U.S. Military as part of their “Un-armed” combat program. There is also an artistic side to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, allowing the practitioner to gain inner peace, confidence and artistic expression.

The main component of BJJ is Rolling, the common name to sparring between two players. This live drilling and training is the main method in which performance is evaluated. In fact grades/belts and competition are based on performance from “rolling”.
Brought to Brazil by Mitsuyo Maeda also known as Conde Koma or Count Coma, he was a member of the Kodokan school of Jiu Jitsu. As one of Judo’s top ground work experts, Jigoro Kano (the founder of Judo) sent Maeda around the world to spread the art of Judo. Using demonstrations as the main method of spreading the art, Maeda left Japan in 1904, visiting several countries. He challenged wrestlers, boxers and fighters from any other martial system he found. Eventually Conde Koma arrived in Brazil in 1914.

As part of the Japanese Immigration Colony, Maeda settled in the Northern state of Para. There he met an influential business man named Gastao Gracie. Gracie helped many Japanese to settle in the area. In gratitude, Maeda offered to teach Judo to Gracies oldest son Carlos. Carlos Gracie learned Judo for several years, eventually teaching the techniques to his brothers.
Helio Gracie was the youngest of the Gracie brothers. When Helio was 14 he moved in with his older brothers who taught Jiu Jitsu and lived in a home in Botafogo, part of greater Rio De Janeiro. Doctors recommended that Helio should not be to active, and so he was limited to watching his brother perform Jiu Jitsu.

When he was 16 Helio was left alone at the studio, a student appeared and Carlos was not there. Helio had learned all the techniques from watching his brother, and so started the class. After Carlos arrived, he apologized for being late. After the lesson, the student asked if Helio could continue being is instructor. Helio is credited with gradually developing many of the techniques adopted from Judo.

Red Zone Knife Defense Program

The Red Zone program is the name given to the empty hand weapon defense program we teach at Centerline Gym. Our approach to weapons defense focuses much more on depth of knowledge than accumulation of techniques. All of the techniques employed are gross motor which helps to make them more easily accessible in the heat of a confrontation. If we try to rely too heavily on fine or complex motor skills we will be in trouble when things go bad.

The goal in any weapons defense program that has any connection to reality is to exit the situation as soon as possible. In many cases, those who claim to teach edged weapon defense pay lip service to avoidance and escape and then spend an inordinate amount of time showing intricate (and highly inappropriate) disarms and counters. In the Red Zone program escape is not an afterthought, it is the entire focus. This means that all of our techniques and training methods revolve around creating a window of escape at the earliest opportunity.

Having said that, there are definite hands on skills that can greatly reduce the amount of damage we suffer should we have to go hands on. The main objective in our method (when escape is not an immediate possibility) is to gain control of the weapon bearing limb. This is achieved a few different ways depending on the type of attack. Once we have a hold of the weapon bearing limb we have to establish a dominant control position from which we can counter attack. To this end we utilize a few different positions such as the baseball bat, and the modified 2-on-1 . These positions can be transitioned through to deal with the rapidly evolving situation much in the same way Brazilian Jiu Jitsu utilizes positional control in order to strike and submit. Once a control position has be achieved, we can work to attack the attacker and end the confrontation.

Beyond the physical aspects of the program, we also work to dispel common myths regarding knife defense (we will get to some of these later). Also covered is force on force training and dealing with various types of static attacks (knife at throat etc.)

The 2 DVD’s which cover the Red Zone program have sold all over the world. The RZ program is currently being taught in law enforcement and military groups throughout the world. The feedback has been tremendous. We will continue to post updates to the program as well as training insights here which can help to supplement the material taught on the DVD series.

The videos are currently available at Centerline’s Online Store

Private Training

Private Training – Seminars & Personal Training Blocks (PTB’s) Seminars

Jerry Wetzel is available for lectures, demonstrations, seminars, and one or two day workshops for:

Law enforcement  / Churches/  Military / Youth Organizations / Women’s Groups /  Businesses/ Martial Arts Schools /  And More…..

Personal Training Blocks (PTB’s)

Personal Training Blocks or “PTB’s” are a way to get concentrated training in one or two specific areas or an overview of several areas of training. As the name suggests, PTB’s are blocks of time set up, typically one or two days of a weekend, to receive ten full hours of private training. PTB’s are great for those who are about to begin training for the first time, for people traveling from out of town, or for experienced martial artists/instructors who want to update their training or add certain aspects to their own curriculum. Students receive a great deal of information including tools, tactics,and training methods as well as getting a good workout.

Personal Training Blocks are available in one or two-day sessions.

1 Day = 5 full hours

2 Days = 10 full hours (2 five hour days)

*Contact Centerline Gym for prices or to schedule your PTB.

Topics of Instruction
  • Red Zone Knife Defense
  • Brazillian Jiu Jitsu
  • Fear Management
  • Empty Hand Weapon Defense
  • Dynamic Scenario Training
  • Applied Street Psychology
  • Close Quarter Combat
  • Rape Prevention
  • OC Spray