Sensei Phillip Palmejar
Phillip Palmejar began his martial arts journey prior to his teenage years after moving to Calaveras County from the California Bay Area. There he obtained the rank of 1st Dan Black Belt in the art of Tae Kwon Do in an attempt to counter act what he saw as an apparent lack of size and strength and to gain confidence.
The next step in his martial arts career began in the dynamic art of Jeet Kune Do. Originally gravitating to the art through the influence of Bruce Lee and his philosophies, Phillip has continued to study and train in Jeet Kune Do for over 15 years eventually obtaining his instructor certification under the tutelage of Sifu Roy Harris.
Through his familial influence and training in JKD, Sensei Palmejar was exposed to the world of Filipino Martial Arts and to many of the unique styles of combat that exist within the scope of FMA. Starting initially with the Inosanto blend of Kali, which is used as a foundation for many of the techniques and movements within JKD, Sensei Palmejar has expanded his FMA training to include Jendo / Arnis, Kalis Ilustrisimo and Pulahan Derobio Eskrima. As an FMA teacher and practitioner, Phillip has successfully won several expert division and world level tournaments, was inducted into the Universal Martial Arts Hall of Fame (Houston, TX 2015) and has visited and trained in the Philippines under several masters in which he received his Third Degree Black Belt in Jendo/Arnis under Grandmaster Jonathan Makiling Abaya.
One day while training at a multi-use martial arts facility, Phillip caught a glimpse of a nearby BJJ class during a rolling session. He was invited on to the mat that day and has continued his grappling career ever since. Phillip has excelled in his more than 15 years on the mat obtaining not only his Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but also his level 1 and level 2 No-Gi grappling instructor certification under Sifu Roy Harris who is one of the original 12 non-Brazilian Black Belts in the world (BJJ dirty dozen).
Phillip is an ever evolving martial artist in both learning and instruction, recently focusing on and obtaining his 2nd degree Black Belt in Greek Pankration Athlima under 8th Degree Black Belt Hanshi Roberto Serrano, Jr. Through Pankration, Phillip has been able to compete for the US National Team in 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012 amassing a total of 7 World medals. He is also the 2012 California State Champion (145lbs) and National Champion (65KG) and was an official USA National Team Coach for the Palaismata and Polydama events in 2011 and 2012. His Pankration Black Belt is recognized through WPAF (World Pangration Athlima Federation), WAMAI (World Amateur Martial Arts International), FILA (Federation Internationale des Luttes Associates, aka International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles), USFL (United States Fight League) and the USAFPA (United States of America, Federation of Pankration Athlima).
In his scholastic endeavors, Sensei Palmejar holds an Associate’s Degree from Southwestern College in Chula Vista, a Bachelor’s Degree in Comparative Government from UCSD and is currently enrolled at the California Institute for Human Science in Encinitas in a Master’s program for Comparative Religion. He also volunteers at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) Federal Prison in downtown, San Diego, teaching Buddhist studies every Monday afternoon.
Lineage in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Lineage in Jeet Kune Do
- Bruce Lee
- Dan Inosanto
- Roy Harris
- Phillip Palmejar
Lineage in Pankration
- Greek Pankration Athlima Counsel
- Roberto Serrano
- Phillip Palmejar
Lineage in Kalis Ilustrisimo
- Antonio “Tatang” Ilustrisimo
- Tony Diego / Romy Macapagal
- Roy Harris / Peachie Baron Saguin
- Phillip Palmejar
Lineage in Jendo / Arnis
- Jonathan Makiling Abaya
- Phillip Palmejar
Professor Roy Harris
Since 1981, Mr. Roy Harris have been involved in thousands of hours of hands-on martial arts, self-defense, military combatives, defensive tactics and functional fitness training. In those 30+ years, he has obtained several black belt and instructor certifications.
To date, he has taught 528 seminars in 25 countries, written more than 300 articles, answered thousands of questions on various martial arts forums, written a book, produced several apps and have produced a few hundred instructional videos for his students, instructors, and clients on his various websites.
He owned and operated a martial arts academy in San Diego, CA for seventeen (17) years. After closing his martial arts academy, he began pursuing police departments and military units to consult with. To date, he has contracted with two Southern California law enforcement agencies and is in negotiations with a couple of others. He is also working on contracts with a couple of military units.
He has personally trained and promoted thirty students from white belt to black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He’s also trained over 200 high-level instructors in Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do, Filipino Martial Arts and Law Enforcement Defensive Tactics.
Several of his students have fought and won numerous times in the UFC, Bellator, King of the Cage, Rumble in the Cage and various other MMA events. Some have earned championship belts.
Life In General
He is a U.S. Air Force Reserve veteran. Over the past three decades, he’s held a variety of jobs – everything from associate pastor to truck driver, busboy to police officer, auto body specialist to Kettlebell instructor, paramedic to private investigator, and basketball instructor to bodyguard. He’s gained quite a bit of experience in many areas of life and has been fortunate to have met and made friends with people from all walks of life: Mothers who were athletes to Senators, musicians to foreign dignitaries, Navy Seals to leading scientific researchers, and homeless individuals to vice chancellors.
He has mentored, and continues to mentor, a handful of men and women in San Diego, Orange and LA Counties. He enjoys sharing his life with them, as well as watching them grow, mature and blossom!
Mr. Harris feels fortunate to have lived the life he’s been given, had the family and friends he’s been given, had the professors, teachers and instructors pass on their knowledge, experience and wisdom to him, as well as had the students and instructors within his association!
The DetailsSince 1981, Mr. Harris has studied and been involved in thousands of hours of hands-on training in twenty-seven (27) different styles of martial art. Here they are:
- A California Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) Certified Arrest and Control Instructor.
- A California P.O.S.T. Certified Academy Instructor (AICC).
- A Fifth Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Professor Joe Moreira.
- A Certified Third Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under the IBJJF Federation.
- A Basic Level Instructorship in Kalis Ilustrisimo under Guro Romeo Macapagal.
- A Green Glove in Boxe Francaise Savate under Professor Salem Assli.
- A former Senior Full Instructorship in Jeet Kune Do Concepts / Filipino Martial Arts under Sifu Paul Vunak.
- A former Associate Level Instructorship in Jun Fan Gung Fu under Guro Dan Inosanto.
- A former Associate Level Instructorship in Filipino Martial Arts under Guro Dan Inosanto.
- A former Apprentice Level Four Instructorship in Jun Fan Gung Fu under Sifu Larry Hartsell.
- A former HKC (Hardstyle Kettlebell Certification) Certified Instructor from Mr. Pavel Tsatsouline.
- An Honorary Fourth Degree Black Belt in Taihojutsu (Police Tactics) under Sensei Tom Snowden.
- An Honorary Third Degree Black Belt in Sho Shin Ti modes Karate under Sensei Larry Kurtz.
Groups I Have Trained
Law Enforcement Agencies
- American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers (ASLET)
- California Narcotics Officers’ Association (CNOA)
- California Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission (POST)
- Carlsbad Police Department
- Chula Vista Police Department
- Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) – Newark, NJ
- Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) – San Diego, CA
- El Cajon Police Department
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD)
- Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office
- McHenry County Sheriff’s Department
- Military and Civilian Law Enforcement Association (MACLEA)
- National City Police Department
- San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office
- San Diego Police Department
- San Diego Sheriff’s Office
- San Diego Narcotics Task Force (NTF)
- San Diego P.D. (S.W.A.T. – S.R.T.)
- Transportation Security Administration – US Air Marshals (Chicago Office)
- Trondheim Police Department (Trondheim, Norway)
- University of California, San Diego, Police Department
- US Border Patrol
- US Marshals
- US Secret Service (Department of Homeland Security)
- Various Law Enforcement Agencies throughout Western Poland
Law Enforcement Academies
- Rio Hondo Police Academy (I taught there weekly for 3 years)
- San Diego Regional Police Academy
- San Bernardino Sheriff’s Academy
- San Diego Sheriff’s Academy
Four Important Law Enforcement Highlights
- In the summer of 2015, I was hired by a Southern California Law Enforcement Agency to assist them in helping their officers gain confidence, as well as some usable and repeatable skill sets in defensive tactics. Together, we are working on revamping the current arrest and control program through a variety of new and innovative training methods. Additionally, I am in negotiations with two other agencies.
- While attending the police academy as a recruit in 1991, because of my diverse and highly specialized background and training, I was invited (by the Academy Command Staff) to teach an on-going ground fighting class to my fellow recruits. The evaluations I received were stellar! I am very proud of this accomplishment.
- In 1993, I was invited to participate in a law enforcement symposium sponsored by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training! This symposium was being held because of the Rodney King incident.
- In my brief time working as a police officer, I am proud to say that no one subject / suspect / detainee ever took a swing at or assaulted me. I was able to talk everyone down and get them to comply with my verbal requests / commands.
- Polish Special Land Forces (G.R.O.M.)
- Slovakian Special Forces
- US Navy Seals
- US Marine Corps
- Norwegian Army
- Indian Special Forces
- Qatarian Special Forces
Local And National Businesses
- Anheuser-Busch (The Bud Girls) – 1998 Bud Bowl in San Diego, California
- Balboa Park Recreations – San Diego, California
- Ballistic Fighting Methods – Carpentersville, Illinois
- Body Workshop – Pacific Beach, California
- Century Business Schools – San Diego, California
- Chula Vista Center Mall – Chula Vista, California
- Colorado River Indian Tribes – Arizona
- Holiday Inn Hotel Security – San Diego, California
- Horton Plaza Mall Security – San Diego, California
- Mercyhurst College – Erie, Pennsylvania
- National University – San Diego, California
- Numerous Sororities in San Diego County
- Oliver-McMillan Firm – San Diego, California
- Paradise Valley Hospital Security – Paradise Valley, California
- Radisson Hotel Security – San Diego, California
- San Diego District Attorney’s Office – San Diego, California
- San Diego State University Recreations – San Diego, California
- Scripps Health – San Diego, California
- University of California, San Diego Recreations – La Jolla, California
- Z90 Radio Station – National City, California
Martial Arts Academies
- Aikido of North County – Vista, California
- Small Axe BJJ Academy – Oceanside, California
- Ballistic Fighting Methods – Carpentersville, Illinois
- Blackline Training Center – Carlsbad, California
- Blind Fury BJJ – Columbus, Georgia
- Elite JKD Systems – Bloomingdale and Rockford, Illinois
- Hal Faulkner BJJ Academy – Eureka, California
- Hawaiian Martial Arts Center – Honolulu, Hawaii
- House of Champions – Van Nuys, California
- Huard’s Martial Arts – Winslow, Maine
- Inosanto Academy of Martial Arts – Marina del Rey, California
- Jiu Jitsu de Brasil – Costa Mesa, California
- Martial Arts America – San Jose, California
- Martial Arts America – San Diego, California
- Martial Arts America – Rochester, New York
- Minnesota Kali Group – Duluth, Minnesota
- Minnesota Kali Group – Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Modern Self-Defense – Middletown, Connecticut
- North County Fight Club – Carlsbad, California
- Numerous sororities throughout San Diego County
- Partch’s Grappling Academy – Chula Vista, California
- P5 Academy – San Diego, California
- Progressive Fighting Systems – Greenfield, Indiana
- Progressive Fighting Systems – Rockford, Indiana
- Progressive Fighting Systems – Newark, New Jersey
- Roy Dean Academy – Bend, Oregon
- Sidekicks Fight Academy – Canyon Country, California
- Sagauro Jiu Jitsu – Vail, Arizona
- Saunders Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – East Rochester, New York
- SoCal Martial Arts Center – Bonita, California
- Southbay Jiu Jitsu Club – Chula Vista, California
- Strong Grip Jiu Jitsu Club – Chula Vista, California
- Team Magnitude – Vista, California
- 3D JKD, Naramata, BC, Canada
- Baja California Mexico Jiu Jitsu Club – Mexicali, BC, Mexico
- Champion’s Creed Martial Arts Centre – Calgary, AB, Canada
- Borret BJJ – Shanghai, China
- Canadian Martial Arts Centre – Lethbridge, AB, Canada
- Champions Creed – Calgary, AB, Canada
- Combate Dept. – Monza, Italy
- Fighter Fitness – Obertshausen, Germany
- Kaisho Martial Arts Academy – Helsingborg, Sweden
- Lee Mein’s Canadian Martial Arts Centre – Lethbridge, AB, Canada
- Jeet Kune Do Slovakia – Harichovce, Slovakia
- Mariusz Linke Academy – Szczecin, Poland
- Nomad BJJ – Sherbrooke, QC, Canada
- Progressive Fighting Systems – Munich, Germany
- Progressive Fighting Systems – Milano, Italy
- Progressive Fighting Systems – Varese, Italy
- Progressive Fighting Systems – Vancouver, Canada
- RPI Academy – Melbourne, Australia
- Sakura Jiu Jitsu Academy – Mexico City, DF, Mexico
- Sefcik JKD – Harichovce, Slovakia
- Shooters MMA – Goteborg, Sweden
- Shooters MMA – Stockholm, Sweden
- Shooters MMA – Copenhagen, Denmark
- Speretti JKD – Asti, Italy
- Strefa Walki – Poznan, Poland
- Team Resurrection Jaguar – Mexico City, DF, Mexico
- Trondheim BJJ – Trondheim, Norway
- Winkler JKD – Langenthal, Switzerland
- Various Karate schools throughout Northern and Central Switzerland
- Various Jiu Jitsu schools throughout Northern and Western Poland
- Various schools through Ireland, England, the Philippines and Indonesia
A Few Notable StudentsHere is a short list of individuals who have sought out private / personalized instruction from me over the years:
- Guro Dan Inosanto
- Guro Paul Vunak
- Guro Thomas Cruse
- Dr. Mark Cheng
- Dr. Jack Yang
- Dr. Paul Haydu
- Mr. Phillip Palmejar
- Mr. Quentin Jammer
- Mr. Jacques Cesaire
- Mr. Marques Harris
- Ms. Diana Moscarda
- Mr. Keith Blackburn
- Mr. Jason Lambert
- Mr. Lee Mein
- Mr. Jordan Mein
- Mr. Nick Ring
- Mr. Brian Bird
- Mrs. Sheila Bird
- Mr. Israel Camacho
- Mr. Jorge Lopez
- Mr. August Wallen
- Mr. Manny Rodriguez
- Mr. Jeff Clark
- Mr. Roy Dean
- Mr. Matt Stansell
- Mr. Quinn Deveraux
- Mr. Johan Skalberg
- Mr. Björn Friedrich
FeaturedI have appeared on a syndicated television show entitled “Don’t Be A Target: A Television Guide to Crime Prevention”. I’ve also appeared on a local San Diego based news station because of my expertise in Jeet Kune Do. I was featured in Black Belt Magazine, a few Southern California newspapers, as well as several international martial arts magazines. Back in the mid-1990′s, I was interviewed by a San Diego based radio station and even answered questions as callers called into the station to learn about martial arts and self-defense. Because I’ve taught 100+ self-defense workshops to the general public, free of charge, I was nominated as “Angel of the Week”.
Hall of Fame InductionI was inducted into the Masters’ Hall of Fame in August of 2007.
AffiliationsI am (or was) a proud member of the following associations / organizations:
- Executive Security International Alumni Association
- American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers (ASLET)
- Lifetime member at Frontsight
- Professor Joe Moreira’s Jiu Jitsu de Brasil Association
- Guro Romeo Macapagal K.I.T. (Kalis Ilustrisimo Tradicional) Association
- Punong Guro Tony Diego’s Kalis Ilustrisimo Association (former)
- Guro Dan Inosanto’s International Instructor Association (former)
- Guro Larry Hartsell’s Instructor Association (former)
- Sifu Rick Faye’s Minnesota Kali Group (former)
- Guro Paul Vunak’s Progressive Fighting Systems (former)
InfluencesHere is a short list of instructors who have heavily influenced my martial arts teaching and training:
- Sensei Robert Koga – Koga System
- Guro Romeo Macapagal – Kalis Ilustrisimo
- Punong Guro Tony Diego – Kalis Ilustrisimo
- Guro Dan Inosanto – Jeet Kune Do, Filipino and Indonesian arts
- Guro Rick Faye – Jeet Kune Do, Filipino and Thai Arts
- Guro Larry Hartsell – Jeet Kune Do and Filipino Arts
- Guro Michaelangelo Buot – Balintawak
- Professor Salem Assli – Boxe Francaise Savate, Le Canne et Baton, Panache
- Pendekar Paul De Thouars – Pentjak Silat Bukti Negara
- Comrade Pavel Tsatsouline – Kettlebells
- Dr. Mark Cheng – Kettlebells
- Sensei Darrell Bullock – Sugar ryu Jiu Jitsu
- Professor Nelson Monteiro – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
- Sensei Robert Crosson – Sugar ryu Jiu Jitsu
- Sensei Jesse Jones – Judo
- Sensei Larry Kurtz – Sho Shin Ti
- Professor Joe Moreira – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
- Professor Rorion Gracie – Gracie Jiu Jitsu
- Professor Royler Gracie – Gracie Jiu Jitsu
- Professor Rickson Gracie – Gracie Jiu Jitsu
- Professor Rigan Machado – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
- Professor Jean Jacques Machado – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
- Guro Tom Cruse – Jeet Kune Do and Filipino Arts
- Maha Guro Victor De Thouars – Tongkat
- Guro Paul Vunak – Jeet Kune Do and Filipino Arts