Unlock Your Power

Buried within everyone is an inner warrior, it doesn’t brag or boast, but if you get between her and her family you’re in for a reckoning. At RCW we purposefully tap into the warrior spirt with tried and true techniques that work for men and women of all shapes and sizes. Our Gracie Jiu Jitsu heritage spans decades in the evolution of grappling. What was once a niche activity is now a mainstream sport that provides women with astounding confidence, respect, and self defense.

Unlike the magazines and posters at the gym that focus on an ideal shape of one possible body type, Gracie Jiu Jitsu leads practitioners to a comfort within their own skin. Rather than compare what our bodies look like next to another, Gracie Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) exclaims “look at what my body can do!”

Classes just launched, a great time to get started with other beginners:

At RCW we have numerous co-ed classes throughout the week, but today we are thrilled to announce the return of our AMAZONS. A program for women, led by women in the BJJ community. Our top coaches have trained for more than 7-8 years to be able to offer this program with the authenticity you deserve. Come check out any session on our schedule and start your path to becoming a warrior in your life. You’ll find our Amazons class currently every Monday night at 6pm and we always offer a free trial to help you get started. River City Warriors is located conveniently in the Lake Oswego, Tigard, and Tualatin triangle. We have a Portland address as we’re right off of both I-5 and 217, we’re super easy to get to when you make the leap to come down and join us.


We look forward to seeing you on the mat and being a part of your success.


RCW Staff




Make a Resolution That Counts:

It’s that time of year again, as we open up 2022 with that shiny new car smell, let’s take a moment to make sure we’re setup for success. Too often we set a new goal to embark on a fresh start at the beginning of the year, but we fall short of our mark. River City Warriors has been going strong since 2008, we’ve seen it all, and like most martial arts academies and gyms we get an influx of people ever January.

Like you, we’ve learned over the years what makes us more successful, or at least gives us the best shot at success. It hurts our souls to see people come and go, particularly when they’re making great progress in their Gracie Jiu Jitsu or Jeet Kune Do. Whatever the subject, we know we can help everyone get the results they’re after. That’s our New Years commitment to YOU! All you have to do is follow our professional advice and make it in to the school for some great classes.

All In The Approach

One of the biggest stumbling blocks to any new habit, which is really what a resolution is suggesting, is making a goal that’s unattainable. Don’t get us wrong, we’re huge fans of long term goals at RCW. We have several coaches who are Gracie Jiu Jitsu black belts and it took all of them more than 11 years to attain that accomplishment. A funny but fitting analogy is the old adage “How do you eat an Elephant?” One bite at a time of course!

When we make long term goals, but fail to give ourself short term ones in tandem we are setting ourselves up for failure. Because we won’t reach the long term goal we’ll flounder and burn out before we ever get there. How you approach your resolution is key to determining your success or failure. Another aspect of this long term goal fallacy is that we’ll often be incredibly hard on ourselves. We think that if we’re not fit right away, or an expert, or making this our new lifestyle 7 days a week that somehow we aren’t moving forward. The second key component of our approach is we believe you should seek PROGRESS, not perfection.

Imagine having a diet where you never allow yourself a cheat day. That might work in the near term, but it’s unsustainable in the long run. You’ll quickly feel like you’re missing out on never having your favorite foods. That lack of flexibility will usually sabotage your deeper goal of living well and having healthy eating habits. Not too mention if you decide not to eat in this incredibly specific way down the road, you’re likely to gain the weight again and return to where you started. Flexibility supports your goal, but often we feel like we’re failing when we bend the rules around our desires and the cycle continues.

Did You Catch the 3 Keys?

  1. Set a goal and include both short and long term milestones.
  2. Focus on progress, over perfection.
  3. Allow yourself some flexibility.


So You Wanna Become a Badass Warrior?

With some goal setting structure out of the way, lets dive in to how YOU can become a Warrior. At RCW, we are good at our job. We know exactly what skill development looks like and how to train people from beginner all the way to expert in MMA, JKD, Muay Thai/Boxing, and all our other self defense classes. Time and again we’ve repeated this process and if you follow our advice you’ll unleash the inner badass that you’ve always known was in there.

Set a schedule. We recommend attending class twice per week in the beginning. A lot of people think they’re going to need 5 days a week to get going, or that somehow it’ll accelerate the learning process. Usually what happens is people fry themselves out, they get fatigue and sometimes even injure themselves because their body isn’t used to the activity. Two days a week is a great start, and you can go to multiple classes on those days.

In the beginning, it’ll still be tough. Despite the best intentions, creating a new habit of going to class twice a week will be challenging. By setting dedicated days aside where you’ll be training that’ll help facilitate a solid start. We found that people who attend 90 days twice per week in the beginning of their journey at RCW typically stay active with us about 3-4 years on average. That means they made it! Set your days and be ready to stay committed when social invites come up, when work wears you out, when any reason to skip comes up you’ll be able to hold steadfast to your goal.

Stay flexible, you’re a Warrior in training. Do your absolute best to stick to your schedule but allow yourself some flexibility. Listen to your body, if you feel like you can handle a third day jump on in. We’re writing this resolution to do list on the internet, not stone tablets. Be free to make POSITIVE adjustments. Don’t beat yourself up and get defeatist if you miss a day. That too, is probably going to happen. When you eat poorly you have the chance the very next meal to try and get back on course. Training is the same way, if you miss, don’t hate yourself, see if you can fit in a second day that week and keep your goal. In the rare case you absolutely can’t, then get back on track the following week and take a moment to evaluate why your schedule didn’t work. As long as you keep going, you’re on the path of progress.

This is really all it takes. Really. There’s no magical switch we can flip, shortcuts, or some special talent that turns someone into a badass. Which should relieve you, because it means with consistency and a quality curriculum that anyone can do it!

And Now in a Numbered List:

  1. Set a schedule you can keep, 2 days per week.
  2. Be ready for outside factors to challenge your new schedule. How will you respond?
  3. Stay flexible, an extra day is great, but try to stay on track to your 2 day commitment.
  4. Don’t beat yourself up, but find a way to get back on track if you stumble. Remember it’s natural.
  5. 2 days a week for 90 days, and you’ve got it made! New habit unlocked!! Consistency is all it takes.

Nicky P. Winning another match at the Roseland representing RCW.

You Are Not Alone and in Good Company!

River City Warriors is filled with a diverse community of people working together toward common goals. It’s something we’ve intentionally built over the near 15 years we’ve been in this game. You’ll find the other students in the school as helpful as any of the coaching staff on the floor. Building great relationships and hanging out with other people sharing a similar purpose is a great way to stay on track. Whether your goal is self defense, competition, fitness, learning a skill, or any of the benefits that come with martial arts, you’ll find RCW supports you every step of the way.

Don’t take our word for it though, come on by and see for yourself. We always offer a FREE trial so you can see the quality training and community on offer at RCW. If you’re interested you can jump in right now by following the link. —-> FREE TRIAL <—


Thanks as always for reading, and from all of us at RCW we wish you the best in 2022!!

We share your concern, let’s talk about it Warriors:

Unless you’ve been under a rock lately or have a disciplined practice of avoiding the news, you’ve heard of the Delta variant sweeping the nation. Delta is a more contagious version of Sars-CoV-2 that spreads with less exposure and has even caused a number of breakthrough infections to those fully vaccinated. It all seems very scary, let’s consider a few key points:

  • Masking Up in Public Places
  • Vaccination Status
  • Hospitalization and Morbidity
  • Personal Responsibility

Guarding the face: ex-boxer Haye launches mask to fight COVID-19 | Reuters

Mask up! Because we’ve always wanted to be a Ninja anyway:

At the beginning of the pandemic there wasn’t a whole lot of research on masks and their efficacy. We now know they’re a highly effective layer of protection and there’s countless peer reviewed studies. Here’s one based on influenza from a while back showing that cloth surgical masks (the blue disposable type) are nearly equal. The study reports more than a 90% efficacy rate when worn properly and consistently, and we know with Covid that protection goes up when both people present are wearing masks. You can read the study here: Before Covid influenza mask study.  If you’re interested in further research here’s 49 peer reviewed studies on the effectiveness of masks during Covid specifically:49 PEER REVIEWED mask studies. 

RCW has been committed to keeping our students and staff safe, and we’re currently following the new state mandate of masks for all indoor businesses in Oregon. To this date we haven’t had one case of transmission from one student to another, although a handful of our members have contracted the virus at family gatherings, work, or school.

You’re vaccinated right?

The best layer of protection that we have against this virus currently is to get vaccinated. It’s easy, it’s free, and it’s widely available, in fact the Walgreens by my house when I checked this week has availability without an appointment even being required. Over 95% of all our students are fully vaccinated and the same goes for our staff. As of today over 360 million doses have been administered in America and BILLIONS worldwide. It’s safe and effective, and simply eliminates a lot of the risk. Imagine you’re going to store your life savings in a bank and the clerk offers to insure your balance for FREE. Would you say, “no thanks, I’m financially healthy right now and I really don’t foresee anything that could topple my success.” Of course not, you’d take the insurance, because a major part of life and success is managing risk that life tosses our way.

I won’t go into detail again about the safety of the vaccines themselves, or that no steps were skipped in their development, as there’s a previous blog post for all that jazz. What I will say is categorically the virus is currently sweeping the unvaccinated. If you’re fully vaccinated, you’re largely covered from the worst symptoms of this virus and the odds are greatly in your favor. Folks that we’ve known who are vaccinated who have had Covid have recovered quickly without medical care or even a trip to the doctor.

By the numbers, hospitalizations:

Alright so we’re at the uncomfortable part, a lot of people don’t like hearing about this data. In my opinion we need to face it head on to know what we’re up against. Only with a clear picture provided by the data can we face our fears with the courage to move forward. In the month of July it’s reported that over 82% of all cases, hospitalizations and deaths were unvaccinated.

Being vaccinated, and younger than 65, this gives me a lot of comfort. Coupled with everyone wearing masks at RCW and our high vaccination rate of students, I feel very safe training at the academy every day. Here’s the monthly report so you can check the data yourself: Oregon in JULY


Personal Responsibility:

We live in a country with a lot of pride in our freedom of choice. However, that freedom comes with responsibilities and obligations to our fellow citizens. I can’t drive drunk, go to a movie theater naked, speed at a 150MPH down the highway, or a host of other poor decisions that would endanger my community. In my opinion a warrior is a shield for their community. Thinking back to Sparta and how important the shield was to keep the friend next to you alive in the Phalanx. I’ve trained a number of veterans over the years, and they will tell you that you’re only as good in a fight as the warrior next to you.

That’s why we all need to band together to fight this virus, because we’re in it together. It effects us all whether that’s the burden on our healthcare and economy or the tragic loss of a loved one.

At RCW we’re doing our part by offering as many layers of protection and security as we possibly can. We wouldn’t be open right now if we didn’t feel the tools we had were adequate to address the situation. We’re covered by the vaccine, the masks, and the actions of our community, and we’re comforted by the data that’s out there rather than panicked by it. At some point, we’re going to have to learn to live with this virus, and that’s exactly what we’ll be doing: LIVING.

We’ve been training almost this entire time, and with these measures in place we have never had ONE case of transmission from within the academy.

We understand that everyone has to make their own decisions during this difficult time, but at RCW we’ve believe that we’re still moving forward out of this pandemic. We’re doing all we can and will remain steadfast in our commitment to you, the students who keep us going each and every day.


Thanks for all your support, hope to see you at the school!

-Coach Joe


RCW is 100% OPEN

Our doors are open with absolutely zero restrictions!! It’s been so great to see everyone’s faces again, as of a June people who were fully vaccinated were able to train without masks and without socially distance. We’ve nearly closed in on a 70% statewide vaccination mateark and with that all restrictions have been dropped. Any one, any time, can show up and train at River City Warriors and celebrate this milestone with our community.

It cannot be understated that without our incredible tribe of warriors, RCW wouldn’t be back in business right now. Many businesses in our category took losses too great to bear and have shuttered their doors permanently. Our students and their families out of the generosity and goodwill of their hearts made it so RCW would be place to train when this pandemic was behind us. We cannot thank each and every one of you enough for making git possible for our academy to roar back in 2021. We will be announcing some FREE seminars and events soon, as a way to give back to those who supported us during this difficult time. Until then, please know that we appreciate you every day and have never taken your kindness and fortitude for granted.

It’s time to show our faces again!

The Fight Isn’t Over

Although we’re fortunate to be in a country with access to vaccines, we recognize others are not. Covid is still with most of the world and we mourn the loss of those taken by Covid around the globe and right here in our own community. We also realize kids can’t be vaccinated just yet, with that said if anyone wants to continue wearing a mask for training that’s their option to do so and will be respected at RCW. Much like we also understand some people are wary about the vaccine and that’s their choice to make as well. However, I would like to use this platform today to urge you, if you’re eligible to be vaccinated, please consider it.

Our experiences with Covid

As I mentioned a moment ago, we have mourned the loss of a couple family members in our circles due to Covid. Both were healthy individuals younger than age 40, family members of our students. Beyond that, we’ve had a number of students contract cover and end up hospitalized. If you’ve been around the training hall long, you know that most people there live a healthy lifestyle as these folks did. One of my own private students became a Covid long hauler, and 8 months later he still has persistent symptoms. I realize that these stories are anecdotal, but there’s plenty of statistics out there that would say the same, if I can share some uncomfortable moments some warriors walked through it might help others avoid unnecessary risk.

One of our new students is a surgeon, but recently they’ve given him rehab cases for Covid patients coming from the ICU. Yesterday he told me a story of mother and daughter nurses who had both rejected the vaccine. Both ended up in the ICU in the same week, both regretted having skipped out on the vaccine when it was available. “You just never know how it’s going to effect you” our on site doctor added. Like my long hauler, ex marine, private student, you feel invulnerable until you’re not. I have a few more stories I could share with you today, but my main point is why take the chance?

Me, You, and the vaccine

Nearly all of the coaching staff at RCW has been fully vaccinated since March, some as early as February. Not only that, but 90% of our student body is currently vaccinated as well. It was easy, relatively painless, and besides some folks who had mild flu like symptoms or a headache, nobody was the worse for wear. Myself and Coach Erik didn’t really have any reaction at all to our mRNA vaccines. I was fatigued for an afternoon, and Coach Erik went for a 5 mile run because he has vegan super powers.

We feel safe, we’ve been back to “normal” fo months. Training with who we want, without social distancing for quite some time. There was a sense of relief too, knowing we wouldn’t accidentally pass Covid on to someone else. No vaccine is 100% and we recognize that by limiting spread we’re reducing everyone’s chance in our community to contract the illness or allow a variant to spread. We feel this is our duty and obligation to our friends, family, and community. Much like we would step up and protect someone in need of a physical threat, and we teach people to do that every day, we have to step up and protect them from this invisible threat as well.

The good news is you don’t have to be a black belt in JKD or Jiu Jitsu to do the same! We urge you to get vaccinated and do your part to stop the spread of Covid 19 for good. It may save your life, someone you love, or a complete stranger. It’s never been easier, most clinics have walk in hours now and you can find a location near you by going to: www.Vaccines.gov

Don’t get played by misinformation

The fact is other than extremely rare situations that less than 0.001% of the population faces, the vaccine is safe and effective for everyone. If you check out the website there’s a hotline you can call to answer any questions or concerns you might have. You could also check with your local doctor who knows your medical history. There’s been a lot of misinformation in the works, bad actors advocating against the vaccine for any number of reasons. Most of them should be dispelled by now. Think about how many of your friends or neighbors have done their part? As of today over 327 MILLION shots are in the arms of Americans. If there were crazy side effects like turning up your cell phone coverage, magnetism, infertility, or a reaction worse than Covid we would know about it. I may have mentioned I received mine in February and after the initial day I forgot all about a little soreness in my arm. Again, if you’re really worried, consult your doctor and make the decision that’s right for you.

I don’t bring this up to be critical of anyone, I’m urging you to get vaccinated for two key reasons:

  1. I care about you and every member of our community and I don’t want to see you contract a severe case of Covid.
  2. I care about you and every member of our community and I don’t want to see you be a vector to give someone else a severe case of Covid.

Just like our students and their families wouldn’t let RCW face necessary risks of a shutdown alone, we refuse to let our students take unnecessary risks with their health without being vocal about it. It’s the least we can do to make sure that everyone in our circle is safe and protected when we’re so fortunate that in this country, it’s easy to do our part.


Thanks again Warriors for all you do, including letting me rant a bit,

– Coach Joe





The Martial Arts Melting Pot

I was raised in Hillsboro in the 1980’s, which at the time was a farming community. From 25th and Cornell to 185th was all 100% farmland, there were no stores or apartments, and often you’d see Cougar strolling down the road! The diverse workforce that Intel brought, the burgeoning farming community, and the migratory hipster had yet to take root in the Portland area.

Fortunately, my local martial arts school was a grand melting pot of diversity. My instructor was an Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) and our classes were filled with countless ethnic backgrounds. It was my window to the world, I had an opportunity to learn about so many different cultures from all my teammates. Forming those bonds was one of my favorite features of the academy and in my naivety I believed the rest of the world was as accepting and diverse as a small martial arts club in Oregon.

Professor Anthony Ramirez in his Brown timeline with Master Rickson Gracie

Tracing Diversity to the Source

Of course we know this isn’t the case, but one thing in my journey was constant. EVERY single martial arts academy I have ever trained at has been a multi-cultural celebration. One thing that adds to this foundation is the fact that most of the arts are from various regions of the world. Muay Thai from Thailand, Gracie Jiu Jitsu/Karate from Japan and Brazil, Kali from the Philippines, and Boxing from Britain and America, and that’s just to name a few. Every culture in history has there own indigenous form of combat, including Native Americans, Africans, Hawaiians and on and on..

Coming up in the 90’s/00’s you had to go to the source. To learn Muay Thai, I studied with my coach from Thailand, Ajarn Chai. To learn Kali I trained with Dan Inosanto who’s American born Filipino. BJJ with the Gracie family and their students directly from Brazil, like Pedro Sauer. All teachers from diverse backgrounds and they are experts at working with people of equally diverse background. Not to mention the fact I looked up to these mentors and the incredible skills they shared.

Bringing People Together is the Secret Sauce

Once you have conditions like this; diverse instructors teaching a diverse group of people, it perpetuates itself. We absolutely model this quality at River City Warriors and cultivate a welcoming place for all people, all religions, all races, all cultures, all sexual orientations, and all backgrounds. People who have great influence on your life and expose others to incredible diversity, encourage that to continue.

When people toil with one another, simply as human beings, without the baggage of bias, a very powerful thing happens. All the barriers of preconceived notions are dropped and strong relationships are formed. Martial Arts classes are the perfect training ground for this, because in class you’re going to share a space like I did with people of all walks of life. You work intimately with your partners to solve the puzzle of learning technique, to carefully test each other through sparring, and you grow together as you overcome obstacles in your path. All of that hones an appreciation for one another, a celebration of our unique differences and contributions, and an underlying principle at the core: We are all the same, one humankind. At RCW we cherish that, and will never falter to be the champion for all our family, friends, and neighbors in our community.

Guro Dan Inosanto, bringing people together in Martial Arts since the 1960’s

Friends hanging after class in the OG RCW building


We are thrilled to be back

First things first:

We have to keep talking about how awesome our Warrior community is, because we just can’t overstate it. There’s plenty of students coming back to the academy these days, and plenty more who have supported us over this long haul and made sure RCW stuck around. We appreciate you more than words can convey and we have some cool plans in the works to begin giving back as we open up.

We’re getting there:

It may not be at the pace we all desire, but currently we feel that the pandemic is winding down. It’s not quite time to drop our guard yet, but good news is all around.

  • All of the head Coaches currently teaching at RCW have received the vaccine! This protects us, but studies show that it diminishes our ability to spread the virus and protects all of our students and their families as well. We’re also happy to report that everyone went through the process easily with extremely mild side effects.
  • Daily cases for the nation and Oregon have been plummeting as the vaccine rolls out. Average daily cases declined almost 40% in the last 7 days, and even more comforting daily deaths have dropped 70%
  • Vaccine rollout continues to improve despite everyone feeling that it could be faster. Current reports project that by April everyone who wants to get the vaccine will be able to get an appointment. We feel like this is the key to getting back to normal, and a feeling of safety with everyone returning to the academy and their regular social lives.

The end to restrictions at RCW! (almost)

One of the reasons we felt like dropping an update today is because the state has lifted all the restrictions in the state that affect RCW directly. We no longer have any real capacity restrictions because of the size of our space. There’s no need to schedule classes in advance, although that helps with attendance and other metrics. Anyone can currently just drop by and train and we’ll be thrilled to have you there. We’re working with partners in all classes and there’s hardly any modifications on part of the students.

The one mandate left in place we MUST absolutely follow is the state mask mandate. Everyone training since the summer is fairly used to them by now and a lot of us feel like it’s been a boon to our cardio. The simple act of wearing a cloth mask can greatly reduce the spread of Covid, and we appreciate all of you continuing with the habit to protect those who haven’t yet been vaccinated.

We can’t wait to see you in class!

Sometimes the academy feels a bit different because so much of our community has taken a long hiatus. Our one wish every day is to see more of you as you feel comfortable showing up to class. We’re all shaking off the rust together, and you’ll be surprised to see a whole new crew who have joined us in the past year during this off and on again timeline.

Our number one concern since this all started is your safety and the well being of your families. We know when the time is right we’ll see you at the school, and we can’t wait until that includes everyone in our community.

Until then Warriors, stay safe out there!

-Professors Joe & Erik


We’re baaaaaack!!


We are pleased to tell you we will be reopening on Monday, February 1st 2021. There’s no way we’d be here without the support of many of our students, friends, and families. YOU contributed a lot to us being here that cannot be overstated. In fact, we’re saddened to report many of our neighboring businesses have closed their doors for good. Over 30% of all service industry businesses have been wiped out during this pandemic. We have thanks beyond measure for all of you who ensured that we would be here as we crawl to the other side of this timeline.

Classes are like before, the most recent before, not the before, before.

If you attended classes after May 1st 2020 then you know what to expect at RCW right now. We ask that no one attempt to participate in classes if you have any kind of cold symptom whatsoever, even seasonal allergies. Masks and social distancing are required at all times while in the academy, but don’t let this dissuade you. We had a ton of fun over the summer and were able to get into the normal routine of training in no time at all. My cardio actually improved a ton while wearing the cloth masks, so double benefit! Kali, JKD, and Muay Thai will resemble the normal affair, and in BJJ we want to resume our plan of having one dedicated rolling partner.

Book online:

Class sizes are going to be limited to 12 people TOTAL until the state loosens restrictions further. We HIGHLY recommend all ADULTS booking your class online and there’s 3 ways to do it.

  1. Book on the “Schedule” tab right here on our website
  2. Use the MindBody App and search for our school.
  3. Download the River City Warriors App from either iOS or Mindbody, make sure if it’s your first time using it that you select “FORGOT PASSWORD” when logging in or it will create a duplicate account.

You may try to show up at the school, but online registrations will take precedence and we will be forced to turn students away who show up without a spot reserved. In no way shape or form do we want to be on the hook for violating the state restrictions. Thank you for your understanding and we think this is indicative of the final step. We anticipate vaccine rollout to continue to improve, and many of our students have already received their shots. Right now we only have expectations that everything will continue to advance from here. By the end of February we expect more and more good news as we move into spring.

Welcome Back Warriors!

Restrictions are never fun, but we are delighted and thrilled to get back at it! Many of you have been training with us for over 5 years now, and you know this is a way of life for everyone at RCW. We can’t wait to be a part of your lives again and are looking forward to the usual routine that has been anything but in this past year.

The Warriors - PCSX2 1.3.1 - 4K 60FPS - YouTube

We’ll see you in class, Sincerely,

Professors Joe & Erik

We Appreciate You Fighting for US


Quick update on our incredible community: 

First let us say we are eternally grateful for all of you who choose to continue to support RCW and ensure that we will be a place you can return to in the future. There’s hope on the horizon with the vaccines trickling out and finally being distributed to those most vulnerable, our family, friends, and loved ones. Some of you have attended ZOOM classes, several returned in person when we opened under Phase I measures, and many of you have called to offer your support even though we haven’t seen you in quite some time. All of this speaks volumes to the impact RCW has had on your lives, and words can’t express our appreciation and gratitude. I’ve always said in class, that I believe teaching of any kind is a two way street. The professor in the classroom benefits as much as the community they nurture. It has never been more true than it is now, because we frankly wouldn’t be able to outlast this pandemic and offer you the assurance that we will be here in 2021 without your help.

We also can’t go without saying that we don’t want to be a burden on anyone during this time. We don’t want anyone to feel like we’re asking for something we don’t deserve either. If anyone has any membership requests, would like to pause, cancel, or hold, please reach out to the school number at any time and we’ll respond right away. Keep in mind that any adjustments made to any membership usually take a billing cycle. We are here for you too and are honestly just trying to manage this situation as best as we possibly can.

Quicker update on Covid:

As for Covid guidelines, they’re currently a bit of a mystery. We’ve been in contact frequently with the OHA to try and make sense of the Governor’s new restrictions. Unfortunately that’s about as much as we’ve gleaned from those interactions. Thee’s not much to go on, more than what you see in the news. We’re told to wait every 2 weeks for an “assessment” and then county risk will be determined by that evaluation and things will remain closed, or start to open as they improve. As of today the next available date is January 15th.

We know this isn’t forever, and continue to suspect that it’ll be short term. The vaccine is being rolled out, and will only ramp up in distribution as time goes on. We predict that we’ll see a drop in fatalities among our most vulnerable very soon. That alone will start to allow for more liberty and movement in the general population, but it’ll just take a bit more time before we round that corner. We value all our students and their families, and we encourage you to stay strong and protect the health of yourselves and others by wearing a mask and following social guidelines during this time. We’re tired too. We want class to resume as regular, life to go on as normal, to head to the movies or attend a competition. It will happen, and likely in the coming year, but we need to tap into some of the key character traits that martial arts provides; perseverance and resilience. It’s tough on all of us, but together we’ll have the chance to come gather again in person and appreciate one another in the near future.


We’ve had a lot of questions about these lately, ZOOM classes are ONGOING! Based on attendance we’re currently offering them at the schedule below. Should it ramp up and we see the need to add more sessions we absolutely will. Right now we’re doing a combined “striking” hour with a mix of Muay Thai, JKD, and Kali, with the latter being only used for the warm up. Any current member of RCW and their family can attend any and all ZOOM classes regardless of membership, even kids!


Monday/Wednesday @6pm: Virtual Striking

Required equipment: NONE

Optional equipment: Having some kind of handheld object nearby like a pair of Kali sticks, a hammer, training knife, or spatula would help with the Kali warmup. Boxing gloves, a heavy bag, or anything that you can hit would help make the rest of the class more engaging. Again these aren’t required, but they will help YOU get more out of class. Most people enjoy having some kind of minimal equipment at home because it helps them feel like they’re doing more than shadow boxing (which is still valuable!)


Monday/Wednesday @7pm: Virtual BJJ 

Required Equipment: We highly suggest that you have a grappling dummy or family member for participation. We can work around it but since it’s grappling focused this will make the class much easier to follow along. There’s TONS of Youtube DIY grappling dummies made from household objects out there. We’ve linked to them on the blog and facebook before, but if you just search for it you’ll find endless results.

Meeting information: 

Meeting ID: 678 877 2943

Passcode: together#3



We’ve really worked hard this year to ramp up our digital curriculum. There’s still more in the works, but we are consistently putting information on our channel to supplement our ZOOM classes. This has been really helping our community stay together, especially for those who the online class times don’t work for, or just aren’t their thing. It’s a great place to engage with RCW and we’ve been taking requests from students, and strangers on the web, to produce content that’s directly related and provides material you can work on at home. Always had a question you wanted to ask in class? Weren’t able to attend that last seminar? Just curious on how to throw a Jab better? Hit us up on Youtube and let us know how we can help, or just take your time and browse any of the hundreds of videos we’ve already posted since March.

You can go directly to our channel —->HERE<—-


Thanks Again!

For all you do Warriors, we really wouldn’t be here without you and that’s an understatement. We can’t wait to be back in real physical classes with all of you and as soon as we hear word on restrictions changing we’ll post them right here on the blog.


Until then, all the best,

Coach Joe


Taking Pause


Dear Warriors, I personally spoke with the Oregon Health Authority yesterday,  and I wish I had better news for our students and community. Under the new guidelines our school is in a bit of a precarious place. “Gyms” and fitness are one of the most restricted activities at the moment and that looks to continue at least for two more weeks.

The Governor has instated a risk based approach to assess each individual county and we’re all starting off at extreme risk. The first week will be an evaluation to see what the case load will be like moving forward. The subsequent week the state will use that evaluation to see if they can lower the risk level and increase the economic and social activities. Essentially the previous pause we all went through was preparing for this new agenda as a reset. If that sounds confusing and ambiguous it’s because it is. OHA couldn’t give us any more information other than check back in two weeks, it’s left me personally concerned for the health and well being of RCW as a place to train.

First and foremost I’d like to thank every single one of you who have supported us during this difficult time. We literally would not make it without your contribution to ensure that the school exists in the future. Thanks is not even enough, and Coach Erik and I are looking for more ways to serve our community and give back to you all. We currently have ZOOM classes going on each week (info below!) and any suggestions you have during this time would be more than appreciated. All I know is that we will return the favor for the so many of you who have given us a leg to stand on as we watch all our neighboring competitors permanently shutter their doors.

Lastly, we understand the impact of Covid is well beyond our sphere of influence. If anyone has any need, whether it’s putting a membership on hold, or just needs some help to get through this situation please reach out to us and we’ll respond right away. In the meantime, check back here and on Facebook, as we’ll be following the restrictions very closely to open the first chance we get. As soon as we know any further details, they’ll be posted right here ASAP.


Thanks again, grateful to you all,

Coach Joe



Looking ahead…

We’re thankful this pause is brief, and hopeful that we can get back to training right after the Thanksgiving break. We know that wearing masks diminishes the spread, but it isn’t bulletproof. All of the coaches at RCW have someone in their family that has an underlying condition or is in a high risk category. We appreciate you looking out for us and doing your part during this time. Our school is a community, one that’s reflective of our city, our state, and not separate from it. Please consider your holiday plans carefully and let’s follow the advice of science and health experts as best we can. We care about you too, and hope you’ve seen us ardently cleaning and maintaining health and safety protocols at the academy during these past few months. It looks like several potential vaccines are on the way in the coming year, and we’re asking you to hang in there with us a little while longer. If you need anything, have any concerns about the school, or your membership, please feel free to contact us any time.

During the break…

We’ll be back on ZOOM and YouTube sprinkling in a few sessions in the interim. Stay tuned to the blog here for the latest update. By Wednesday 11/18 we’ll update this page to reflect our plan for virtual lessons. Stay tuned.

UPDATED 11/30/20

ZOOM times for the next two weeks are as follows, all classes will be restricted to the 45 minute ZOOM time window, and to allow us to prepare for the next class. Kids are welcome! Partners are encouraged! Even if they’re not a member at the school, the more the merrier, we’d love to see you online and in class.

Monday and Wednesday THIS WEEK!

6pm: Standup Striking – Coach Joe and Erik will be blending JKD, Boxing, Kali, and Muay Thai skills into one session. You don’t have to have any equipment but if you have a simple stick, or a kitchen spatula, or a training knife that would be a benefit as we’re going to warm up with hand held tools. We’ll be demonstrating and focusing on shadow boxing, but if you have a heavy bag in your home gym that’s definitely a bonus to amp up your class.

7pm: BJJ – We’ll be using the grappling dummy, and also doing general movement workouts that are specific to aid and benefit your Jiu Jitsu. If you went through the course during the last lockdown there should be some familiarity to you. Since we can’t train with each other our goal is to how we can effectively teach our body to move, stretch, and function in a way that has a positive impact on and off the mat.

ZOOM Details: you’ll need the ID and code to enter, along with being a current active student, it will be the same for all sessions. If you haven’t used it before ZOOM is really straightforward and most smartphones can capably run the app, as well as any laptop or other device you might have around the house.

Meeting ID: 678 877 2943

Passcode: together#3

Still You-Tubing:

We’re producing a lot of online content right now to help supplement these workouts and expand your curriculum. Nearly everything we post online is something we cover in class. This is a great way to continue training right now if you can’t make it to the ZOOM class times. If you haven’t checked it out yet our Youtube channel is stacked with videos, we’ve been producing content for it all year long and there’s quite a collection now across all the arts.

You can check it out —> HERE <—


We’ll be right back! (UPDATED 11/30/20)

December 2nd is right around the corner, and if the current plan holds true that’s when we’ll open. River City Warriors is in Washington County, which means we won’t be on pause as long as Multnomah County if everything goes according to plan. We’ll keep you updated Warriors, thanks again for all the grace and understanding that our community is known for, you are the best.




Highest regards,

Professor Joe



(UPDATED 6/8/20)

NOW OPEN!! Here’s what you need to know.

Today Washington County was approved to reopen following Covid-19 guidelines set forth by the state. That  means River City Warriors can reopen as well! We’re excited about the opportunity to see all of you in person and return to the community we’ve so proudly built. With that we need to inform you that outlined by the state are some baby steps in moving forward.

What does training look like now?

Business owners tackle one obstacle after another and this is no different. I can tell you we absolutely never thought we’d be facing public health challenges to keep our doors open. This is a learning process for us, and our goal is to follow the ethical and legal guidelines while offering the most comfortable environment possible. Here’s what we have determined in the moment.

Participation and Health:

  1. Students will be REQUIRED to sign up for classes in advance. We have to limit the space available for all classes to keep the six foot social distance for students. There’s two ways to do this, you can sign up right on our website under the schedule tab HERE. The second way would be to check in using the River City Warriors app found on the Google Play store or the iOS App Store.  This also helps us avoid the step of taking manual attendance and having every student touch the same tablet at the front desk. IMPORTANT: Either step will ask for a password and most students will not have this. You need to use the email you used when enrolling at the school, AND choose “Forgot Password.” Otherwise what you’ll do is end up duplicating your account and it will NOT let you register for classes.
  2. According to the state’s guidelines masks are required for staff and we’re going to require them for participants. (including kids) As we engage in boxing, in visceral workouts, we cannot understate the importance of this step. The mask as I’m sure you all know do a tremendous amount to protect those around you. When you mask up, you’re stating you care about your fellow student’s health and well being, and their families.
  3. Classes will be 45-50 minutes during Phase I: The state mandates as a “fitness” facility we MUST clean all equipment and surfaces every hour after each session This window of time we’ll let us prep for the next session. We’ll be using all CDC approved cleaning supplies as well as having soaps and sanitation supplies for students.
  4. You must use your own equipment, particularly GLOVES as there’s no way for us to clean these items as thoroughly as required. You’re welcome to find your own, and we’ll be selling gloves and equipment at 50% off upon reopening to make this as accessible as possible. As always you’re welcome to find gear online or any store of your choosing.
  5. During our 15 minute cleaning window in between classes. We’ll need everyone to exit the building to allow us space to clean. This will also avoid people congregating at the lobby in close proximity.
  6. We encourage students to explore the arts in this unusual time. Many of our programs will look different as we’ll list in a moment. Take this time to explore something new with an open mind, and get to know your fellow students who share our community.
  7. June 8th, 2020 – We’d like to announce kids classes today. Due to the aforementioned strict guidelines some things you should know. All requirements and procedures for adults are in effect, and youth students will need to bring their own grappling dummy to train with at class. We may be running them through a variety of drills but we have numerous safety measures in place.
    1. Students will find designated spots to line up on the floor that are six feet apart. They won’t have to wonder or worry if they’re social distancing, we’ll do that for them
    2. Parents may only drop off and pick up at this time, we cannot allow family members to sit and watch youth classes at this time.
    3. Our schedule will be limited as we have staff that cannot return at this time. It should be updated right here online at RCW, but in general we’re aiming for Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5pm, and Saturday Mornings at 9am.
    4. Thanks for your patience and understanding, we’re trying to do our best to accommodate everyone at this time.
    5. Kids are still welcome to attend all ages ZOOM sessions Monday and Thursday nights during posted class times.


How will the actual training work?

Again, as we’re excited to open, a few changes dictate what we can do in Phase I of this reopening. Keep in mind Oregon is currently in a fortunate place, our Covid 19 cases are fairly low in comparison to the nation. We’re happy to move forward cautiously to help keep this trend going in the right direction. Hopefully these restrictions are temporary and in a few short weeks we’ll move in to Phase 2 and then onto 3 which is a complete return to normalcy.

  1. Kali/JKD – This program will be converted to mostly handheld tools in the short term. Using eskrima sticks will allow us to keep six feet apart and still be able to train with another person. We look at this as a blessing, and feel fortunate that this is one area we can continue to train in a familiar way. Class size will be limited to 20 students.
  2. Muay Thai/Kickboxing – Phase I unfortunately doesn’t allow for contact among people even wearing boxing gloves or equipment. This session will be circuit driven as we cycle students through heavy bag, medicine ball, rope, and combination drills. There will be a form of sparring and a myriad of inspiration from us as coaches where we’ll explore the art more than we can describe here on virtual paper. Class size will be limited to 20 students
  3. BJJ – In this phase this class we’ll look a lot different. Professor Erik and I have gone back and forth on what we can do during this time. We determined that the best way to serve students at this time is to have a class where all students bring their own grappling dummy. We’ve posted a couple different ways to build your own low cost BJJ partner using materials around the house. Since there is no partner contact allowed, this is the best solution we could arrive at in lieu of canceling the class altogether. Class size will initially be limited to 10 participants.


What and When?

We’re thrilled to announce that we can reopen as early as this Monday June 1st! During this initial week, we’ll be launching all ADULT co-ed classes. We expect kids classes to resume the following week, we’ll look at capacity in regard to the Amazon’s BJJ class for women. In addition we’ll be doing daytime BJJ on Tuesdays and Thursdays only. We’ll do our best to reflect the temporary schedule changes online as well, and expect our full class syllabus to rapidly return. In addition to the schedule, we’ll be streaming classes live via either Facebook or Zoom for anyone who’s still hesitant to come in.

This gap in the schedule at the moment will give us space to make further improvements, prepare the space, and give attention to other requirements on RCW during Phase I. We’re thrilled to be here for you, to see everyone again, and while this list might seem like a lot to follow it’ll flow smoothly. We never expected to face these changes ourselves and never in our lifetime has the model of martial arts been uprooted like this. It’s an usual time, but like we’ve stated since the start of this situation, we are all in this together. We’ll get through this, manage the changes, and before we know it training will return to the lifestyle we all enjoy.


Before we get this show on the road, A HUGE THANK YOU

We can’t overstate the amount of support we’ve received from our students and their families. Over half of our students voluntarily kept their membership active during this pandemic. Many of you reached out personally and let us know how much RCW meant to you, that you wanted it to be there when we could return. It is your actions that allowed us to navigate this trying time and we’ll keep our promise to return the favor. Words can’t express how truly grateful we are for everything you’ve done for RCW, for us as people, and our community. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.



Professors Joe & Erik