MARTIAL ARTS FOR BOTH CHILDREN AND ADULTS!

International Black Belt Academy proudly serving Northern Colorado Since 1985

International Black Belt Academy has Classes Perfect for Kids, Teens, and Adults.

Who we Are And why You Should Train With us

Since we’ve opened, we’ve been dedicated to changing the lives of people one person at a time, through martial arts, education and coaching. We strive to provide a safe, comfortable, and welcoming atmosphere for all students and family members. We take pride in creating an environment for individuals to achieve, develop, and succeed in their personal goals.

We strongly believe that martial arts can be for everyone, regardless of age, gender, or experience levels. Throughout all of our programs, students will not only learn the necessary skill sets to protect themselves, we stand behind our realistic and practical approach, confident it will enable every student to achieve greatness and live their best life.

Get To Know Our World Class TEAM

Greeley TEAM

Kyoshi James Denning, International Black Belt Academy Colorado

Kyoshi James W. Denning

Chief Instructor

Kyoshi James Denning is a 7th Degree Black Belt in International Kenpo Karate Jujitsu under Professor Robert Austin. In addition, he is a 5th Degree Black Belt in Shorin ji Tetsuken do Kanda ha Kamishin Ryu Aiki JuJitsu under Soke Don Phillip. Kyoshi Denning is the Chief Instructor at the Greeley IBBA School. Mr. Denning is a 3rd generation Greeley native and has trained under Professor Austin since 1992.

He is committed to teaching a developmentally based curriculum which teaches not only useful self-defense skills, but also provides an uplifting and family-oriented environment with an emphasis on character traits, self-discipline, courtesy, respect, self-control, goal setting and personal safety. “After 20 plus years, it is still a pleasure to be a part of a wonderful team of encouraging staff members as well as this wonderful family of students! I am very glad to be the lead instructor at the Greeley school!”

Sensei Demitris Skipwith, International Black Belt Academy Colorado

Sensei Demitris Skipwith

Senior Instructor

Sensei Demitris Skipwith has been a student at Mountain States International Black Belt Academy for many years. He is now a 4th Degree Black Belt and a Sensei at the Greeley school. “When I started here, I was a very shy, timid child. I would be that person who kept himself out of all the fun and adventurous activities that life has to offer because of low self-esteem.

If you had told me when I first started that I would one day become an instructor, I would have said you were crazy. Now I love what I do so much that I could not imagine doing anything else.” Over his time at International Black Belt Academy, Sensei Skipwith has grown into a more confident person and says he owes it all to the fantastic team and training partners he has met here over the years.

Gerardo Aguilar, International Black Belt Academy Colorado

Gerardo Aguilar

Instructor

Gerardo has been training at Mountain States IBBA for over 9 years, earning his Jr. Black Belt in February of 2019 and 1st Degree Black Belt in August 2022. He has been an active member of our Leadership Team for years and joined IBBA as an instructor in January of 2021. “Eight years ago, I was given an opportunity to be a part of an incredible community that has changed me in so many ways that I never thought I needed. Practicing those eight years has shown me valuable life lessons that I use today and in the future, and amazing martial arts on top of that! Now I am giving back to my community in a way that I didn’t expect years ago, but absolutely love! I am happy to be able to teach something that I loved since a young age and learn lots more in the process.

Brandon 1st Degree 1 Scaled 1024x1024, International Black Belt Academy Colorado

Brandon Middleton

Instructor

I have wanted to be an instructor since I started training almost 9 years ago. Before I became an instructor, I was on the performance team and leadership team for over 5 years. I am very happy to be a part of such a great community, and I can’t wait to see you on the mats!

Lindsey French, International Black Belt Academy Colorado

Lindsey French

Receptionist

Lindsey has been training at Mountain States International Black Belt Academy for over 9 years, earning her Jr. Black Belt in August of 2017 and her 1st Degree Black Belt in August of 2021. She joined the IBBA Team as a receptionist in January of 2021. “Being a receptionist here has helped me with my confidence, especially when talking to people. Working at the dojo makes me feel like I am making an impact on people’s lives, whether it is just having a conversation with someone or making their bad days a little bit better knowing that there is always someone in their corner.

Debbie Smith 300x300, International Black Belt Academy Colorado

Debbie Smith

Office Administrator

Debbie is a long time Karate mom, having raised 4 kids at Mountain States International Black Belt Academy. She quickly became a part of our team when her kids were first students here by volunteering to help with belt tests and special events. Circumstances eventually found her behind the desk, greeting people and implementing new ideas and processes in our office. She is currently our Office Manager, working side by side with Sensei and Mrs. Jauch and Kyoshi Denning to provide the best possible dojo experience to our students and their families. Debbie handles all aspects of our office administration from new student enrollment, scheduling, marketing, testing coordination and much more. If you have any questions about any aspect of IBBA, Mrs. Debbie will always make the time to meet with you.

Owners 300x300, International Black Belt Academy Colorado

Sensei Philip and Shelly Jauch

Owners

Philip and Shelly Jauch have been married for 30 years and have four children. Their karate journey began when their second son turned 10 and they wanted to find something to help build his confidence and self-discipline and something Philip could do for exercise. A friend recommended karate as something they could do together and IBBA as a great place with friendly staff and focus on character education. “We loved the fact that the curriculum was not about fighting, but about doing your best to stop a fight and focusing on your character to always choose ‘right over might’”. Philip made great friendships and found a passion for martial arts while finding a healthy physical program, their son made connections with others and worked hard to earn his Jr. Black Belt, and eventually their daughter and third son joined as well! “My favorite moment as a karate mom was cheering on my daughter and husband working to earn their Jr. Black Belt and 2nd Degree Black Belt together.” 

Fort Collins team

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Sensei Philip Jauch, International Black Belt Academy Colorado

Sensei Philip Jauch

Owner / Chief Instructor

Philip Jauch holds the rank of Sensei and 4th degree Black Belt in International Kenpo Karate Jiu Jitsu under Professor Robert Austin, Sensei and a 3rd degree Black Belt in Shorinji Tetsuken Do Kanda Ha Kamishin Ryu under Soke Don Phillip, and 1st Degree Black Belt in Progressive Arnis under Chad Bailey and ongoing studies in BJJ and Wu style Taiji.

He believes in supporting the journey of every student to improve themselves. He works diligently to provide a well-rounded education to his students as he trains to improve his own abilities to the same end. “I work with some of the best team in the industry within our school. It’s an honor to watch the students’ progress and grow.”

Sensei Carl Bachenberg, International Black Belt Academy Colorado

Sensei Carl Bachenberg

Senior Instructor

Sensei Carl Bachenberg has been training at International Black Belt Academy for 16 years. He has earned his 4th degree Black Belt in International Kenpo Karate Jiu Jitsu under Professor Robert Austin, and is now a full-time instructor and the operations manager for our school. He is committed to teaching health and wellness as well as moral values and personal growth and development through martial arts training. “Being able to change lives and help people is what this program is all about,” Sensei B says. “I am proud to be a part of a place with such wonderful staff and students.”

Sensei Lee Urton, International Black Belt Academy Colorado

Sensei Lee Urton

Senior Instructor

Sensei Lee Urton is a lifelong Martial Artist, father of three, and veteran of the Iraq war who has been teaching at Kaizen IBBA for nearly a decade, currently a 3rd degree in International Kenpo Karate Jujitsu. He spent his childhood training in traditional Karate schools, and in his teenage years transitioned into western boxing before joining the Marine Corps in 2000. While a Marine, Sensei Urton served as an infantry team leader and received numerous awards and commendations for his service in combat during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Since his military service, Sensei Urton has attended CSU’s Health and Exercise Science program, as well as devoted his life to teaching and empowering people of all ages (particularly children) to live healthier, happier, and more active lives through Martial Arts, inspiring all his students to live up to their potential. As a father of three, Sensei Urton understands the value of Martial Arts in young people’s lives and the enormous positive impact it has on both physical and emotional health, and he has made it his mission to share Martial Arts with as many people as possible.

Sensei Mike Klusman, International Black Belt Academy Colorado

Sensei Mike Klusman

Senior Instructor

Sensei Mike Klusman is currently a 3rd degree Black Belt instructor and licensed Sensei. He began training in Kenpo over 10 years ago in the Loveland IBBA school where he earned his Shodan Rank under Sensei Keith Scheutt while working as an assistant instructor. His teaching emphasis is on truly understanding and embracing the principles and tenants of International Kenpo Karate JiuJitsu.

Mr. Klusman has participated in a number of seminars and competitions throughout the USA and abroad following his love for Filipino Martial Arts (FMA). He has participated at the world level in live stick fighting. He continues to promote FMA and coach a Kaizen to share his love for FMA.

Sensei Darcy Thor, International Black Belt Academy Colorado

Sensei Darcy Thor

Tier 1 Instructor

Darcy Thor has been training at IBBA Fort Collins for over 10 years.  “I’m just going to try this out for a little bit with the kids” she thought. This very quickly turned into an obsession (in a good way) with no end in sight. Darcy earned her 1st degree in August 2015 in a group of nine students.  In August 2017, four of those earned their 2nd degree, and by February 2021, it was just Darcy and one other student earning their 3rd degree rank. Ms. Thor was awarded her Red Coat instructor certification at Extravaganza August 2021 and her Sensei license shortly afterward.

 

Darcy has a passion for teaching teenagers and adults. She is known to work had and wants her partner to feel out a technique to make it truly effective. She values the friendships she has formed on and off the mat and strives to foster these opportunities for her students. Off the mat, Darcy has a passion for camping, hiking, skiing, and traveling in general.  “One of my favorite memories was taking the Jr. Black Belts up Horsetooth rock and listening to the chatter and camaraderie as they sweated up the hillside. Then we come back and had cake.” 

Sarah Reichert, International Black Belt Academy Colorado

Sarah Reichert

Tier 1 Instructor

Sarah Reichert has been studying and practicing at Kaizen IBBA for the last six years and is currently a 2nd Degree Black Belt working towards her 3rd Degree and Sensei licensing. She participates and practices with Kaizen’s FMA Stick Fighting Team and has been trained as a Tier I Instructor through the school’s program and developed the Mini Monkeys preschool class. International Kenpo/Ju Jitsu has been a challenging and rewarding part of her life and she looks forward to expanding her knowledge of both the art and the best methods to pass on its legacy through teaching.

 

Sarah is a certified Early Childhood Education teacher, published novelist, and poet. She volunteers her time as a writing mentor through workshops and conferences as well as manages a blog about writing. She’s a mom of two girls and, in her limited free time, she enjoys hiking, writing, practicing yoga, and spending time with her kids.

Kierra 202109080001 1008x1024, International Black Belt Academy Colorado

Kierra Jewell

Tier 1 Instructor

Kierra Jewell has been training at Kaizen IBBA since November 2012. She began her journey after enrolling her son in the program and seeing how much fun he had while he learned new life skills. Kierra earned her 1st degree Black Belt with her husband in February 2017 and she just earned her 3rd Degree!  She enjoys teaching with the level 2 & 3 Panther classes and hopes to move to teaching adults as well and most recently is co-leading the Demo Team with Mr. Strauss. She believes that martial arts have something for everyone and the most important things she has gained from her training are self-confidence and her “Ohana”.

Elijah Strauss, International Black Belt Academy Colorado

Elijah Strauss

Tier 1 Instructor

Elijah Strauss is a 17-year-old lifetime martial artist. He has been training in martial arts since he was 5 years old. He holds a 3rd degree Black Belt in Taekwondo and a 2nd degree Black Belt in traditional Japanese Karate. Within the context of that training, he’s also studied Jujitsu, Judo, and a little bit of MMA. Elijah has competed with traditional Japanese forms and creative/XMA Bo staff forms. Currently, Elijah is a 1st Degree Black Belt in International Kenpo Karate through IBBA and is co-leading the Demo Team with Mrs. Jewell.

Training in martial arts has given Elijah a strong sense of self-discipline and responsibility. He understands that achieving one’s personal goals takes hard work and dedication and teaching gives him the opportunity to encourage other students to keep going… even when it’s hard!

When it comes to teaching, Elijah feels that one of his greatest strengths is his ability to break down complex movements into smaller, more easily digestible pieces. Being on the mats with Dragons, Tigers, and Panthers gives him the opportunity to be the kind of role model and mentor that he’s enjoyed throughout his own martial arts journey.

Lauren Newman Lipp, International Black Belt Academy Colorado

Lauren Newman Lipp

Program Director

Lauren started working at IBBA in the office in February of 2014 while finishing her English degree at CSU. She worked as a First Impression Specialist until August of 2018 when she left to pursue a career teaching 6th grade Language Arts for two years. She returned sporadically to help out but officially came back as the Program Director in July 2020. “I loved my time working at KIBBA and missed the connections I made during my time here. After I had my daughter in October 2019, I knew I wanted to return. KIBBA always felt like home, and I’m thrilled to be back with my Ohana!

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