Building a Better You

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Waza BJJ specializes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (both gi and no-gi) and is open seven days a week for scheduled classes and open mat sessions.  We offer classes for both adults and children ages 4 through 16.  Waza BJJ opened in 2010 in the Elk Grove community of Laguna West.  The name "Waza" was chosen because it means "technique" in Japanese, which is an appropriate name given BJJ’s subtle, yet highly technical nature, and compliments “Jiu Jitsu,” which means “gentle art.”


Our Mission


To provide a safe, positive, supportive, and welcoming environment for all
people. To use the Jiu Jitsu lifestyle as a tool for our members to become better, happier, healthier, and fulfilled human beings. To follow the highest professional standards and strive to support the growth of every student and
guide them in achieving their goals. To nurture a community that supports
one another internally as well as gives back to the larger community.



Motto: Through the Jiu Jitsu Lifestyle, Become a Better You

Waza Kids

Motto: Happy, Healthy, Smart



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Adults Program

“I love training at Waza BJJ and I still remember what Derek DiManno said to me when I first met him and joined.  I had just moved to the area and was thinking of quitting.  I had previously trained at a tough guy BJJ gym where the upper belts would use and beat up the lower belts.  I had lost my motivation and was about to give up.  Derek inspired me to give Waza a try and just keep coming one day at a time.  He understood that life gets busy, and sometimes after a hard day at work it's very tempting to skip out instead of working out.  And when I notice that temptation, to just go and train instead.  So I did, and I rediscovered the fun of BJJ.  Here is a place where the people are so positive and encouraging, just happy to be learning and training hard together


Waza means "technique" in Japanese, and that sets the tone for Derek's phenomenal instruction.  I've never met another person who so deeply understands leverage, distance and timing, and has such skill in communicating the details to a wide variety of students.  We're all inspired to give our best, and to help each other along the way.” - Andy B.

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Kids Program

John is an amazing instructor and a fantastic role model with unlimited patience and guidance for a difficult age group [4 to 6 year olds].  I do not think it would have been possible for us to enroll my son in kindergarten had it not been for the early guidance of John.  I really cannot say enough to express my gratitude in all the hard work and patience he puts into all of the kids.” - Sarah H.