10TH PLANET PASADENA
Erik “Compella” Cruz was born in the Bronx, New York City and raised in Los Angeles where he was relocated at age 12. At age 15 he found a boxing/kickboxing academy run by the world famous Benny “The Jet” Urquidez and began learning striking techniques. He later met Muay Thai champion Chris Reilly at the Muay Thai Academy in North Hollywood, CA who introduced him to the Bomb Squad gym in Hollywood, CA featuring 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu with Jean Jacques BJJ black belt Eddie “The Twister” Bravo.
Over 13 years later, Erik is now a 1st degree 10th planet black belt under Eddie Bravo. Having earned a CAMMO record of 3-1(all wins via first round submission), Erik is no stranger to utilizing jiu-jitsu in an MMA environment. His approach to jiu-jitsu emphasizes a well-balanced, yet guard-ready game to prepare for worse case scenario situations that occur during a MMA or self-defense encounter. By nullifying your opponents attacks and counter attacking with submissions you can control the pace and ultimately the ending of a fight with the proper sequence of techniques. Erik was the founder and head instructor of 10th Planet Sylmar from 2008-2010.
He has taught at several notable martial arts academies including: 10th Planet HQ, 10th Planet Van Nuys, 10th Planet Burbank, The Academy (Rigan Machado), Mejiro’s LA, House of Champions, Grabaka Gym (Tokyo, Japan), Endure BJJ (Yakota Air Force Base, Japan) and 10PJJ Amsterdam. Erik recently sponsored the opening of 10th Planet Geneva, Switzerland in June of 2017. Erik has been doing commentary for the Eddie Bravo Invitational since EBI 1 and continues to do so on UFC Fight Pass and PPV.
Eric Ramey, a black belt under Eddie Bravo, began his training at the Renzo Gracie Academy in New York City. He then moved to Los Angeles in 2009, where he continued his development under Eddie Bravo at 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu Headquarters. Eric has been an instructor at 10th Planet H.Q. since 2010.
His attention to detail has made him a very sought after instructor for private classes which he teaches every week alongside his weekly classes at the academy.
Regarded as one of the most knowledgable and innovative practitioners within the 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu System and commonly referred to as a "leg lock master", he has taught seminars around the world; including the U.K., Europe and all across the U.S. Eric Ramey is the co-owner of 10th Planet Pasadena.
Lila Smadja-Cruz is one of the top female competitors and pioneers representing 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu. As one of 10th Planet HQ's original and longest training students she is the 3rd women to ever receive a brown belt from Eddie Bravo. Most recently she was a competitor in the first all female EBI Tournament on UFC Fightpass, and can boast the second fastest submission ever at 23 seconds.
She has dedicated her life to fitness and martial arts; beginning in 2006, she trained first in Muay Thai, then jiu-jitsu and has since added spinning instructor, certified yoga teacher and certified personal trainer to her resume. In 2016, she co-founded the original 10th Planet Women's Self Defense program whose mission is empowering women through the art of jiu-jitsu. 10PWSD is now stationed out of 10th Planet Pasadena where Lila is also co-instructing the kids program.
George Juaregui brings a wealth of knowledge to the 10th Planet Pasadena kids program. He is a purple belt under Eddie Bravo, an award winning LAUSD kindergarten teacher and has coached both kids and adult wrestling at 10th Planet HQ. Before bringing his talents to our team in Pasadena, he was also a wrestler whose been competing since 2004 with several notable victories along the way. Most importantly, he is a dedicated and caring coach who brings out the best in his students in class and in competition.
Dawna Gonzales is a brown belt and is one of the first women to train under Eddie Bravo at 10th Planet HQ, where she is also a kids instructor. She is the owner of Mat Therapy Life, a podcast, clothing line and event company for the jiu-jitsu community. Along with Lila, she co-founded the original 10th Planet Women's Self Defense program whose mission is empowering women through the art of jiu-jitsu.
Patrick Donabedian, a black belt under Eddie Bravo, is a professional competitor and coach of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Patrick’s style of instruction encompasses practical street self-defense tactics along with modern BJJ systems for students to gain unshakeable physical confidence and thrive in competition.
Patrick began his Jiu-Jitsu career in 2010, earning his blue belt from Romulo Barral of Gracie Barra. Patrick then trained and competed under Eddie Bravo for 6 years before earning his black belt in 2018. Other major influences of Patrick’s style have been 10P Pasadena’s Eric Ramey as well as the grappling systems of John Danaher and Gracie Combatives.
Patrick’s accomplishments include first place finishes at EBI Qualifiers and Gracie Worlds, as well as a victorious debut at EBI 14: The Absolutes. Patrick directs the early morning program at 10P Headquarters in DTLA and maintains a private coaching practice.
Howard Lee is one of the fundamentals instructors at 10th Planet Pasadena and a purple belt under Compella and Ramey. Prior to teaching at 10th Planet Pasadena, Howard has trained at Chute Boxe LA, Sityodtong LA, and even Gracie Barra (yes - the gi!) On top of being very meticulous in his instructions, Howard puts the FUN in fundamentals!
Alex Amiriyan is a Jiu-Jitsu purple belt under Eric Ramey and Erik Cruz with 4 years of grappling experience. He is one of the fundamentals instructors as well as the 6am class instructor. A lifelong Martial Arts and Fitness enthusiast stemming from Taekwondo in his youth, he actively pursues new grappling knowledge from various gyms and styles with a passion for teaching and improving the next generation of practitioners.
His unique, sport oriented game emphasizes a systematic approach ending with submission! He is also an ACSM certified Independent Personal Trainer. An adamant competitor with many submission wins, some of his accomplishments include:
*Submission Only Nationals
1st place Purple Belt 165LB Division
Expert 1st 170LB
Intermediate 1st 160LB
Purple Belt 163LB 3rd