Instructors

Professor Scott

Professor Scott "TNT" Tannenbaum

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu / MMA / Kid Jitsu

Scott began his passion for the Martial Arts at age 4 after watching a Bruce Lee movie. After studying Kung Fu for a couple years Scott was introduced to Aikido. Thrilled by the joint manipulations and throws Scott studied Aikido for several years while simultaneously studying a similar style of Japanese Ju-Jitsu. Always seeking to be a more well rounded Martial Artist, he was determined to improve his striking skills which he felt had been neglected by limiting his training to Aikido and Japanese Ju-Jitsu. Wanting to train in more combat oriented arts he began to train at a Muay Thai and Jeet Kune Do gym and a Ninjutsu Academy on his other nights.

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One day in 1993 a good friend and former training partner told him of a "new" martial art he had just begun training in a few months back. It was called "Gracie Jiu-Jitsu". Always willing to try out new things Scott traveled to the nearest Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy, an hour and a half away. There he was choked, twisted and controlled as if he had never trained in his life. His eyes were opened and he was hooked. He had been told that this was the most effective Martial Art in the world but he had previously heard that from many students and instructors of other Martial Arts in describing whatever discipline they were studying or teaching.

A few weeks later the first Ultimate Fighting Championship took place on Pay Per View. The UFC was a No Holds Barred competition pitting different disciplines against one another to show which styles were the most effective. The smallest competitor in the event was a skinny Brazilian named Royce Gracie representing his family's art of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. He easily defeated all the competition even though he was by far the smallest and weakest. After seeing this Scott needed no more convincing that this was the style to learn.

Soon after he moved to California to train with the masters of what today has been termed Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Scott has trained extensively with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legends such as Rigan Machado, Royce Gracie and Rickson Gracie and MMA fighters Fabiano Iha, Chris Brennan, Jeremy Williams and Eric Paulson. Scott eventually went on to earn his black belt from World Renowned Jiu-Jitsu practitioner and instructor Rigan Machado. Over the years he has competed in several No Hold Barred and Sanctioned events in which he holds an amateur record of 8-0 and Professional record of 11-2.

Scott continues to have the same philosophy as Rigan of constantly modernizing and updating his Jiu-Jitsu by incorporating wrestling, Judo and Sambo into his arsenal. Today Scott holds a 3rd degree black belt and is the only Internationally Certified black belt instructor in Arizona with Certification under the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation(IBJJF) and the World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation and the World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Organization(WBBJO).

As a black belt Scott still continues to think of himself as a student of the art and does not let his status restrict him from continually evolving and refining his technique. As an instructor his goals are to have a fun, safe, healthy environment for his students while learning the most realistic and effective self defense in the world.

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Melissa Crick

Melissa Crick

Cardio Blast / Suspension Training / Kid Jitsu

Melissa has trained under Fairtex certified trainer Apollo Sebastian, Master Chan, and Marc Laimon of Cobra Kai Jiu-Jitsu for self defense. Her style is primarily from Muay Thai, and she incorporates hardcore cardio into every workout. She pays special attention to the fitness goals of each student.

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Melissa is also mom to two active BJJ boys. Fitness is a major part of their life. Today, they continue to compete in BJJ and some MMA/Muay Thai events all over the Western United States. Melissa was on the OSU competitive water ski team in college and began her path to Martial Arts in Karate at that time. Melissa also currently trains in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has earned two Gold and one Silver medal in NAGA which is one of the largest National grappling tournaments in the world.
David Ruelaz

David Ruelaz

Muay Thai
Edwin Dewees

Edwin Dewees

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu & MMA Coach

Edwin Dewees has been fighting and training martial arts for over 14 years. Edwin began his fight career at such a young age that his mother had to sign his fight waivier in order for him to be able to compete. In his first 8 months of fighting for Rage in the Cage he was awarded fighter of the month twice and then was awarded fighter of the year. Also during this time Edwin had a 3 fight win streak in one night! Edwin quickly dominated the Arizona and held the Middleweight, Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight belt concurrently! Edwin also went on to excel in the grappling scene winning Gold in all his divisons in Arizona and a Superfight match at Grapplers Quest in Las Vegas. Eventually the UFC called and gave Edwin a shot. Edwin initially continued to fight around the country winning 3 different Title belts. Edwin would end up on the Ultimate Fighter (Season 4) where he made it to the semifinals and has what Dana White has called one of the bloodiest fights in UFC history.

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Edwin says the love for BJJ is what has always drove him to compete. He looks forward to accomplish his Ultimate and final goal and earn his Black belt under Professor Scott Tannenbaum and continue to love and pass on his passion through teaching BJJ and MMA. He is a currently 4th Degree Brown belt under Professor Scott and a Rage in the Cage Hall of Fame member, 14x Rage in the Cage Champion, Gladiator lLight Heavyweight Champion,League of Fighting Light Heavyweight Champion, No Limit Fighting Heavyweight Champion, Grapplers Quest Super Fight winner, 6 Time Desert Quest Division winner, and Member of the UFC Top 20 Tuffest moments.
Ernie Hinojosa

Ernie Hinojosa

Assistant BJJ & Thai Boxing Coach

Ernie grew up in a small town in Texas. Growing up he did all the normal activities from football to rugby. At a young age he trained in karate and while in high school wrestled as part of a conditioning program for football. After graduating from college he moved to Phoenix where he discovered Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. After his first night of training and getting submitted by smaller opponents he knew this was the sport for him.

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Ernie quickly developed a passion for BJJ often training six days a week. Now an as an advanced Purple belt he is an Assistant Jiu-Jitsu Coach at TNT MMA, Ernie finds he is able to explain the techniques in a way that make sense to everyone. Ernie has competed in numerous local and national tournaments and has placed in the top 3 every time he has competed.
Lee Accountius

Lee Accountius

Cardio Boot Camp / Assistant Kid Jitsu Coach

Lee has been training under Professor Scott Tannenbaum for more than two years and is currently a senior Blue belt at TNT MMA. He comes from a military family and grew up in the Philippines, Texas and Oklahoma.

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Lee’s competitive nature has always drawn him to sports. Along with BJJ, MMA and Muay Thai he still also participates in competitive paintball, soccer, volleyball and track. Lee dedicates himself to Cardio sudents looking to acheive maxumum health and fitness through execise and diet while also helping with the Kid Jitsu classes as well as working with new students.
Mike Klingener

Mike Klingener

Assistant Kid Jitsu Coach

Mike is a New Jersey native that began his martial arts journey in 2008 under Professor Scott Tannenbaum. Always an athlete Mike was a competitive athlete throughout school in wrestling, football and cross country. Mikes dedication and hard work earned him his Purple belt in just over three years.

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Mike volunteers his time to help instruct the Kid Jitsu students as well as our newer adult students. He is currently working hard to achieve his Brown belt.
Duane Linville

Duane Linville

Gi BJJ Instructor

Growing up in Iowa Duane began wrestling at a young age eventually earning a scholarship at University of Iowa. Duane later joined the U.S Air Force to serve his country and became a Weapons Systems Officer flying in F-4 Phantom Fighter jets in South Korea. While in Korea he began training in Judo where he often competed in tournaments across the country and eventually earned his black belt.

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In 1993 he began training with Rickson Gracie in southern California where he was awarded his brown belt in 2002.
For the past three years Duane has been an Assistant Instructor at TNT MMA where he shares his expertise in wrestling, Judo and BJJ with all of our BJJ students.
Sarah Leech

Sarah Leech

Yoga / Thai Massage

Sarah is a Philadelphia native who began teaching group fitness classes in 2009. Shortly after she began taking yoga as a means of stress relief and injury prevention. She quickly noticed the added benefits of increased flexibility, balance and strength. She now teaches Yoga to our athletes at TNT. She also provides Thai Massage to TNT members to help enhance flexibility, and therefore performance.