Professor Darren started practicing Taekwondo in Montana in 1983. The part-time hobby eventually became a full-time pursuit. His obsession with martial arts would eventually lead to the decision to change career paths, and after short stints teaching English in Korea and public school in Montana, he opted to try his hand at teaching martial arts professionally. In 1995 he relocated to Roseville, CA where he taught for and trained under 1988 Olympian Jay Warwick. He managed, and eventually purchased the U.S. Taekwondo Center which he owned & operated until selling in 2004.

The move to California was a turning point in his career. While he got to dabble in Aikido & Judo in Montana, it paled compared to the rich martial arts environment of California. Here one could train not only with a world-class taekwondo coach, but with world-class Eskrimadors, and more importantly, world-class BJJ practitioners. Over time, Brazilian Jiujitsu became his primary focus, second only to his family.


Darren and his wife Agnes have made their home in Roseville. It’s the perfect place for raising their three amazing daughters: easy access to all the comforts of the suburbs, a wonderful, multi-cultural populace, and good schools. Plus, in just a short drive they can get a healthy mountain fix: hiking, backpacking, or skiing.

When not busy as a father of three, Darren can be found on the mat, both as a student and as a teacher.

2014 World Masters Jiu-Jitsu Championship
BJJ Lineage: Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Reyson Gracie > Osvaldo Alves > Fabrício Martins > Ricardo Reis > Cassio Werneck > Darren Figgins