Onyx MMA did not inherit any BJJ programmes when we transited from Onyx Muay Thai to Onyx MMA. That said, we've had valuable partners that provides BJJ expertise when we evolved in Onyx MMA. In April 2015, after much sourcing and discussion, Onyx officially went into an agreement and proceeded to a deep alliance with Synergy Jiu-Jitsu Academy as our official BJJ expertise.
Henceforth, Onyx Synergy BJJ was born.
At the helm of Onyx Synergy BJJ is Coach Shinya Kakita; who was bestowed upon us by Niko Han, black belt, and founder of Synergy BJJ Academy.
Shinya Kakita, (or Shinya-san as we call him) is from Tokyo, Japan. He is currently a two-stripe purple belt under the lineage of Niko Han. His BJJ journey began in 2008 at Synergy BJJ Academy in Bali, Indonesia. Subsequently, he received his blue belt one year later, in 2009, and purple belt in 2012.
Our journey with Shinya san started when we approached Niko Han, to be subsumed under the umbrella of Synergy BJJ affliation for Onyx's BJJ programme. While ideally we would want to grow and harvest our own brand of BJJ, it is near impossible without proper lineage and when we spoke to Professor Niko, he gladly accepted our request and recommended Shinya to us.
Prof Niko's first words to us about Shinya san:
"While he has little experience in coaching, I can confirm that he is an great competitor and fighter."
Prof Niko's words are not to be taken lightly. Shinya indeed has a wealth of experience in competing. To name a few, Shinya has competed in Djarum Super Indonesia Submission Championships, ADCC Philippines, South East Asian Grappling Challenge, Taiwan International BJJ Championships, etc. In the few months that Shinya's been with us, he has already competed locally and overseas in various competitions, formats, and rules. His fight schedule remains packed until the end of the year.
"I'm always ready." - The standard answer from Shinya san if you ask him on how he feels about any upcoming fight.
Niko Han - The Synergy Jiu-Jitsu Lineage
Professor Niko is Shinya's BJJ coach through and through. Since setting up Synergy Jiu Jitsu Academy in 2003, Prof Niko has produced notable fighters within the MMA scene such as Francino Tirta, Max Metino, Leo Krishna etc.
Prof Niko's BJJ journey started with Rickson Gracie in Los Angeles, and over the years, have trained with many prominent fighters and grapplers, e.g. Eddie Bravo, Roy Nelson, Kendell Grove, etc, to name a few. Prof Niko has also trained significantly in the birth place of BJJ; Brazil. He returned back to Indonesia in 2003, and inaugurated Synergy Jiu Jitsu Academy with the aim of spreading the love of BJJ and MMA in Indonesia. In Shinya's words, Prof Niko is a top-notch instructor and a great friend. Shinya emphasised to us that during his training days, Prof Niko often hung out with the boys and treated each student equally in knowledge and in sharing of the art.
Fast forward to today, Shinya's been with us for a few months and we've all grown to love Shinya as a logical, methological, and detailed coach. From the revision of techniques, to the structured syllabus from Synergy, to the structured and detailed manner in which Shinya executes his instructions and techniques, they are an absolute delight to experience. This was echoed by many of us, who are mostly from striking background.
Shinya's parting words to us is simple, yet pragmatic. He reminded us a message that BJJ "training at Onyx is NOT a competition", but grounds for practioners to experiment and revise on techniques. Strengthen your weaknesses so that they will become your strengths.
"... then I will just keep training with the guy who tapped me, until he can't tap me with the same move anymore. Problem solved."
Coach Shinya instructs at Onyx every Monday to Friday, from 630pm onwards.