We at Genesis Jiu-Jitsu are very fortunate to be able to provide an incredibly skilled and diverse coaching team that all possess a wide variety of backgrounds yet share a genuine passion for helping others to grow in their own martial arts journey.
Today Genesis Azle is home to four IBJJF World champions.
Mason Woodward – Teen World Champ
Erica Barnes- 2x Master World Champ
Kari Summers- Master World Champ
Karen Banes- 5x Master World Champ
Get to know who you will be learning from and training with here:
Professor Karen Banes
Head Coach and Owner of Genesis Jiu-Jitsu Azle
Coach Karen is an amazing mentor, role model, and martial arts coach to the Genesis family that are fortunate enough to be a part of the supportive and positive community she has been building over the years.
She is the Head Coach and Owner at Genesis Jiu-Jitsu and takes great pride in being able to provide a safe and positive environment for kids and adults to be able to grow as martial artists and as people.
“I’ve been an athlete my entire life. I started competing in road races at the age of nine after my dad said there was no way I could run that far. I loved a physical challenge. I did six different sports in high school, two sports every season. In 1997, I graduated from Springtown HS and went on to Tarleton State University where I earned a scholarship in track and field as a heptathlete. I finished with a Bachelor’s degree and specialize in early childhood development.
I originally thought I would become a police officer. I was even the Lieutenant on the Police Explorers program in high school. However, my heart and passion for children led me into teaching instead. I am now the wife of a police officer and have over 20 years of experience working with children.
I started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2012.
In 2013 I took three amateur cage fights, under the leadership of UFC veteran and undefeated bare-knuckle fighting champion, Johnny Bedford. I finished all my opponents within the first two rounds. Two by rear-naked choke RNC and a TKO, earning the title of TXMMA Amateur Fighter of the year, Rookie Amateur Fighter of the year and a nomination for a national poll for WMMA.
In 2014 I shifted my focus solely on Jiu-Jitsu.
Earning my first IBJJF Master World Title and opening Genesis Jiu-Jitsu Azle under the leadership of Professor Albert Hughes. We are a Fight Sports affiliate Academy.
I had many opportunities to travel all over the US and Brazil. I’ve learned to accept new opportunities and take a risk. I have gone against some of the best to earn multiple titles in the adult divisions, undefeated 10:0 at brown belt, 5x IBJJF Master World Champion, and I have had 6 professional F2WinPRO matches.
2017 I earned my blackbelt and became one of the few Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Female Blackbelts.”
Coach Kari is a pillar of the Genesis community who coaches both kids and adult classes and also provides high-quality private lessons in order to help our team further evolve their Jiu-Jitsu skills.
Kari brings a unique skill set to our gym as she is a Certified Level 1 CrossFit instructor and also has her certificate for CrossFit Kids.
We are very proud of Kari’s recent achievement as a 2020 Master World Champion and she continues to inspire and contribute to the growth of our Genesis family!
Coach Mason is a genuine grappling prodigy as he is a highly skilled grappler as a Purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu and has won Gold in Gi and NoGi at Kids Worlds (2016), has a Fight2Win record of 5-1, and is 2X National All-American, 3X Weatherford Wrestler of the Year, Over 100 highschool Wins, 3X state qualifier, Highschool Record of 110 Wins and 16 Loses. 2019 State Runner Up
Mason teaches a no-gi combination of wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu and works very hard to elevate the grappling game of our team here at Genesis.
Matt Turdo has been a member of our coaching staff since September 2020.
He is an engineer that thrives to be a perfectionist. He likes to focus on correcting the simplest of mistakes to advance your Jiu Jitsu game.
Come join him every Wednesday and Friday at 6:30 AM.
He has been actively involved in Jiu Jitsu since he began training in mixed martial arts in 2011. He is a former semi pro football player for the Lehigh Valley Steelers of the Colonial Football Alliance.
He earned top honors by being named to the league All-Star team for 4 straight years (2006-2009) and winning league championships in 2009 and 2010. He graduated from Nazareth Area High School (Nazareth, PA) where he was a member of the Track, Cross Country, Football, and Wrestling team. He has 8 years of experience coaching youth wrestling in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and now Texas where he coaches for the local youth Azle Wrestling Club.
He takes pride in his knowledge he has gained over the years from the greats he spent time with as a youth and an adult including a PA Hall of Fame Coach, 2-time NCAA D1 Champion, and many other outstanding members of the wrestling community. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Temple University (Philadelphia, PA) and Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD).
He and his wife, Gretchen are the parents of Matthew (MJ), Miley, Brayden, and Britney
John is a steadfast member of our local Jiu-Jitsu community who teaches classes and private lessons as a Brown Belt.
You can often find John either training at the Genesis location in River Oaks, Here in Azle, or hitting different open mats in the area.
Coach John brings a wide variety of techniques in both gi and no-gi to his instructions and has proven himself to be a valuable addition to the Genesis family.
Erica Snow Barnes
Erica is another awesome addition to our powerful team as she brings over 20 years of Yoga expertise with her as well as being certified as a Group Exercise Instructor.
She started to learn Jiu-Jitsu for self-defense in 2016 and quickly became more than just about exercise and training for her, it became a passion.
Erica’s Jiu-Jitsu record:
– 2x Masters World Champion
-4-1 on the Fight 2 Win stage
– Kasai fighter,
– AGF Texas State Champion
– Silver American Nationals adult division nogi
Eli is a talented grappler who teaches both kids and adult classes each week. His achievements as a martial artist include being a Collegiate Wrestler, 2x Wrestling State Qualifier, Genesis River Oaks Competition Team Athlete, High-Ground Wrestling Coach, and serving as a reliable and skilled Head Coach here at Genesis Jiu-Jitsu in Azle
Eli is always diligently working to further hone his Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling and he makes for a fantastic addition to Team Genesis as he is always pushing his teammates to get better and better.
Katherine Capps Bucy
Coach Katherine has touched the lives of so many young people as she coaches kids’ classes with passion and enthusiasm while making sure to help the kids sharpen their Jiu-Jitsu technique.
She also leads a class dedicated for homeschool kids during the day and serves as a wonderful example of personal growth for our community and the kids that train under her always seem to have a blast as they continue to grow as martial artists.
“I never thought I’d be in a sport like this, but Karen gave me the opportunity to train, and now I’m a coach. I’m a high functioning autistic (Asperger’s). I’ve competed on a world level
“Just keep showing up”
Joe is a local small business owner and Jiu-Jitsu parent who trains with his family. He assists with coaching kids and adult classes as needed and just helping out the school however he can.
Joe is a published author, an entrepreneur, and he is passionate about self-development through martial arts and empowering as many people as possible to be able to protect themselves and each other. He and his other half also own a local cleaning business, Rise and Clean
You can check out Joe’s latest book and other content here:
Jessa serves as an assistant Jiu-Jitsu instructor and brings with her a wide array of unique skills as a LEO with a background as a Defensive Tactics Instructor and Rape Aggression Defense Instructor (RAD) for her department
She started training under Coach Karen in 2016 and helps coach kids’ classes when her work schedule allows.
You can also find her next door at High Ground Fitness training kickboxing or doing something with her family outdoors when she’s not working or training Jiu-Jitsu.
Jacob is a fellow Jiu-Jitsu parent who has grown with the Genesis family over time and helps with coaching kids’ classes.
He served as a k9 handler during his decade serving in the military, has a BAS in Justice Administration, and is now working hard towards his A&P as an Aviation Maintenance Technician
Jennifer is such a kind and caring member of our team that works hard to help the kids of Genesis hone their Jiu-Jitsu details while also making sure they are having fun and working hard.
Jennifer and her family are dedicated members of Genesis who all have been developing their skills and becoming key members of our martial arts community as they serve as great examples for other families who are considering training together as a family.