THE INSTRUCTORS

GREG HALSOR

Head Instructor

Greg Halsor has spent over 20 years in the grappling arts. Growing up wrestling in Iowa, he was a state champion for Cedar Falls High School in 1993 and went on to be a collegiate All American in 1997. After college, Greg and his family moved to Crystal Lake, Illinois where he met current WEC/UFC veteran Jeff Curran and fell in love with the sport. Greg began teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the Cedar Valley in 2000. He is one of the only Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belts in Northeast Iowa and one of the highest ranking practitioners in the state. 

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VERN KALKBRENNER

Head Kids Instructor

Vern is the kids instructor at Cedar Valley Jiu-Jitsu and has been training since early 2009. In June of 2016 he was promoted to purple belt by Greg Halsor.

Vern's jiu-jitsu competition record is 9-6 and he was a NAGA gold medalist as a white belt, and NAGA silver medalist as a blue belt.

Off the mat, Vern is a happily married father of three and is the Director of Digital Sales at Mudd Advertising in Cedar Falls, IA. In his free time he enjoys clean eating, healthy living, and finding space for his extensive collection of overpriced jiu jitsu gis.

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MICHAEL DRAHAUS

Assistant Instructor

Mike Drahaus has been practicing jiu jitsu for over 10 years and is currently a brown belt. He spent his high school and college years playing trumpet in the marching, jazz, and pep bands. In 2003 he was forced to take a lab for his personal wellness class at UNI and ultimately settled on Jiu-Jitsu. This changed everything. Having found a sport that's as thoughtful as it is active Mike was immediately enamored. When the class ended he started dropping in on the other sections just to squeeze in more practice. When summer rolled around he found Halsor's class at a local gym. He's been training there ever since.

 

Mike organized and instructed a Jiu-Jitsu sport club at UNI for two years. He competed heavily in the region for many years (refusing to "cut weight") and was the top RANKED competitor in Iowa ~2006. He's still competes, but not quite as often as his white/blue belt days.

 

Mike has never wrestled a day in his life and he never did much with organized sports after grade school. His story shows that people with any kind of athletic background (or none at all!) can find what they want with Jiu-Jitsu.

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NEAL TITUS

Assistant Instructor

"Nitro" Neal Titus has been practicing jiu jitsu for 10 years and has been an active MMA fighter. Neal is best known for his explosive technique and the ability to improvise using innovation and sound technique. When he is not training, Neal is a regional manager at Mudd Advertising in Cedar Falls.

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BILL HENNINGER

Assistant Instructor

Bill has been practicing BJJ for 7 years and grappling sports since 1st grade. Like most Iowans he started wrestling in 1st grade and continued through his senior year in High School. As a senior in college he took up judo. After graduation he joined a Judo and Sambo gym in Kansas City and trained for 2 years, while developing his love of leg locks. In 2008, he was forced to move to Waterloo, Iowa and thought his training days were over due to a perceived lack of opportunity. Luckily, he found CVBJJ and quickly realized it was the sport for him. Currently, he is a professor at Univeristy of Northern Iowa.