Professor Finnie McMahon
Owner and Instructor of the fast-growing BJJ martial arts academy in Ft. Collins and a full-time second degree black belt instructor and mentor, Professor Finnie McMahon was first introduced to martial arts at the age of 10 through Kenpo Karate.
After kayak instructing for three years in Crested Butte, Finnie rediscovered his passion for martial arts and began training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Santa Fe, New Mexico under the instruction of Professor Alberto Crane, a black belt under Vinicius Draculino Magaelhes.
In 2001, Finnie moved to Boulder and began studying under Professor Amal Easton, a Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belt. From there, he managed the Easton Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Boulder for three years, while competing and training in BJJ and MMA. He emerged quickly on the scene, snagging first place honors at the 2001 American International championships, and has since continued to make a name for himself in national and international top-name events. McMahon’s success culminated at the 2009 Pan American championships in California where he won the gold medal in the Brown Belt division and was awarded his Black Belt on the podium by Professor Amal Easton.
Upon meeting Master Renzo Gracie for the first time in 2004, Finnie was so impressed with him that he travels to New York twice a year to train under Master Renzo and the RGA team. Because of this dedication, McMahon Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an official Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Affiliate school.
- 2001 American International Championship 1st place
- 2001 SLAM tournament 1st Place
- 2002 Pancrase 2nd place
- 2003 Maine Skirmish 2nd place
- 2003 Grapplers Quest West (Intermediate) 1st place
- 2004 Grapplers’ Quest East (Advanced) 1st place
- 2004 Pancrase Submission Wrestling 3rd place
- 2005 Pancrase Submission Wrestling 2nd place
- 2005 Grapplers Quest East (Advanced) 2nd place
- 2005 Ring of Fire 18 – Winner by referee stoppage 1st round
- 2009 Pan-American Championships Gold Medal Brown Belt
Professor Tessa McMahon
The owner of McMahon BJJ and one of the only female Jiu-Jitsu black belts in Colorado today, Tessa McMahon began her search for the most realistic form of self-defense as a senior at CU in 2001. She found it at Easton Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Boulder, where she quickly flourished in the art of BJJ – Tessa McMahon was the first American woman to win the Pan-American gold medal for two consecutive years, and was ranked the #1 female in her weight class in 2005.
After graduating from college, Tessa became a middle school Spanish teacher, and taught for five years in Aurora, Co. During that time, she continued to train BJJ under Professor Amal Easton, and competed successfully in various BJJ tournaments around the world.
In 2004, Finnie and Tessa were married, and two years later, decided to dedicate their lives to BJJ through opening the McMahon Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Fort Collins, Colorado. While Tessa instructs women and men of all ages and abilities in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, she also helps run the Academy’s rapidly growing circle of boys and girls learning the finest art in self-defense technique. In the summer of 2009, after 8 years of training Tessa was awarded her Black Belt by Professor Amal Easton.
- 2001 1st Place SLAM tournament
- 2001 1st Place American International Championships
- 2002 1st Place Grapplers’ Quest
- 2003 Bronze Medalist Pan-American Championships
- 2004 1st Place Grapplers Quest East
- 2004 Gold medalist Pan-American Championships
- 2005 Gold medalist Pan-American Championships
- 2007 Silver medalist World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships
Professor Roy Page
Now a favorite instructor at McMahon BJJ Academy, Roy Page began training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in March 2007 at McMahon BJJ just two weeks after his children started training.
As a white belt, Roy immersed himself in the basic fundamentals of BJJ and, upon earning his blue belt, began successfully competing. Roy has competed in both gi and no-gi BJJ. With black belt Professors Finnie and Tessa as his mentors, Roy also began teaching classes at our Ft. Collins Academy in 2008. Now, he proudly trains, teaches and competes for McMahon BJJ and in 2016 was awarded his black belt.
- 2008 – 1st Place Colorado State Grappling Master’s Absolute- No-Gi
- 2008 – 2nd Place Colorado State Grappling Master’s – No-Gi
- 2008 – 1st Place CKA – RAGE Grappling Tournament Intermediate Division
- 2009 – 1st Place Tournament of Champions 2 Master’s Blue Belt
- 2009 – 3rd Place Colorado State Jiu Jitsu Championship Adult
- 2009 – 1st Place Colorado Open Master’s Blue Belt
Professor Rich Atack
In 2007 Coach Rich started training at McMahon BJJ under Professor’s Finnie and Tessa McMahon. After training for a few years and reaching the rank of Blue Belt, Coach Rich realized how much he loved Jiu-Jitsu and decided to dedicate himself to teaching others. After working very closely under the guidance of Professor Finnie and Professor Tessa coach Rich began teaching Classes in 2010. In 2013 Coach Rich decided to test himself by competing in the Pan American Championships in California. Although it was his first competition, he came back with the bronze medal in the biggest BJJ tournament in the world. Coach Rich earned his black belt in 2016 and currently teaches both adults and kids classes.
- 2013 Bronze Medal Pan American Championships Purple Belt Gi
Professor Julie Hoponick
Coach Julie Hoponick began training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the fall of 2009 after graduating from Colorado State University with a masters in occupational therapy. Looking for a new team sport to become involved with, Julie spent some time researching various martial arts and settled on BJJ. During her first classes she became absorbed in the techniques and philosophies and is still engaged by the technical aspects of the game. After receiving her blue belt Julie started competing in local and international tournaments, she enjoys being a part of the team and is currently the competition team captain. When not on the mats Julie tries to get out and enjoy Colorado on her mountain bike or head up to the high country and hit the slopes on her skis. Julie started teaching adult classes in the fall of 2013 and earned her black belt in 2016.
- 2011 Gold medal Fight to Win Nationals Blue Belt Nogi
- 2011 Silver medal Fight to Win Nationals Blue Belt Gi and Absolute
- 2011 Silver medal Pan American Championships Blue Belt Gi
- 2012 Silver medal Fight to Win Nationals Purple Belt Gi Absolute
- 2013 Gold medal Colorado State Championships Purple Belt Gi and Absolute
- 2013 Gold medal Colorado Open Purple Belt Gi
- 2013 Fight to Win Colorado Female BJJ Competitor of the Year
Coach Josh Whittey
Coach Joshua Whittey grew up in southern California where he played multiple sports. When he was nine he got his first punching bag and quickly became addicted to wailing away at it. A boxing fan from an early age, Josh received more than a few tough back yard lessons and tried a variety of martial arts. Five years ago he began to study Muay Thai and fell in love with it. Coach Josh is the head of the Muay Thai program and holds the rank of blue belt in BJJ.
Coach Evan Acerbo
Evan Acerbo moved to Fort Collins Colorado in August of 2008 to pursue a degree in Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University. In April of 2011 coach Evan took his first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class taught by Professor McMahon. From that day Evan knew that Jiu-Jitsu was something he truly enjoyed. When he’s not training, Coach Evan also puts his energy toward teaching the children’s classes twice a week alongside his fellow coaches. Outside of the academy Evan currently works at a rehabilitation hospital as a therapy aid while pursuing his goal of being accepted into a Physician Assistant program at the graduate level. He currently holds the rank of purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.