Professor Darren started practicing Taekwondo in Montana in 1983. The part-time hobby eventually became a full-time pursuit. All through college, he trained, competed, and started teaching children’s classes. 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 at the University, the rich martial arts environment of California was an entirely new world. Here he 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 met his wife Agnes in Roseville, where they’ve made their home. Roseville is the perfect place for raising their three amazing daughters. Here there is ready 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, and skiing.

When not busy as a father of three, Darren can be found on the mat, both as a student and as a teacher. Learning and sharing the martial arts with others is his passion, and every day provides him the opportunity to grow and pass it on.

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