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Jacob Harman

Jacob Harman

Jacob Harman (Jake) is a renowned freestyle and folkstyle wrestling coach, well known for his work with the Calvary Chapel High School Churchboyz Wrestling, Team Thunder, and countless jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts (MMA) athletes, who he helped improve for important no-gi and cage-fighting events. Among the most famous BJJ competitors who worked with Harman are names such as Marcus Almeida (Buchecha), Rômulo Barral, Edwin Najmi, Catherine Perret, Yuri Simões, Gabriel Arges, and MMA fighters such as Duane Ludwig, Luke Rockhold, and Josh Barnett.

Jacob Harman Wrestling


High School
- 3x California National Team Qualifier
- California All-Star Team Member At Nationals

Weight Division: 190 lbs

- Rancho Alamitos high school
- Arizona State University
- Church Boys Wrestling

Jacob Harman Biography

Jacob Harman was born inside an American military base located in Yokosuka, Japan, on March 24, 1975, being the son of a US naval officer.

With an unfavorable start at life, Harman was born paralyzed due to labor complications, while also suffering from severe jaundice. As such, Jake’s first 18 months were spent at an intensive rehabilitation program with the help of which he slowly gained mobility.

At the age of 5, Harman and his family moved back to America, settling in California’s Garden Grove, where young Jake started playing sports. Jacob was a hyperactive kid and for that reason, his parents placed him in a gymnastics class. An activity he played for 2 years. After that Jake moved on to soccer and football shortly after, playing the latter all the way up until his senior year of high school.

During his mid-teens, Jacob did not fit the narrative of the average high-school football player. He had long hair, enjoyed skateboarding, and did not hang out with the football crowd. For that reason, he was regarded as an outsider - even though he made the team. A few of his coaches and teammates would often try and bully him on the training ground, and it was on one such occasion that Harman found wrestling, as explained by Harman in an interview taken by Wrestling Fanatics on May 2020:

I found my way to the wrestling room in a very interesting way. it was my first year in high school, and I rode my skateboard everywhere including football practice. I was pretty athletic, but I didn’t fit in with the normal clique of the football team because they thought I was just some kind of surfer/long-haired skateboarder and so they just put me on the scout defense not thinking very much of my knowledge of football. Nobody really knew that I had already been playing football competitively for six years before this, and so I just chose the position that I had grown up playing which was a defensive end. They kept running the “stack I” power offense right at me time and time again, and I would stick the full-back and make the tackle almost every play. The coaches were getting frustrated, they chose larger fullbacks and tailbacks and kept running the same offense at me and I was still able to make the play. Finally, one time they sent these huge running backs at me, and after the initial hit, I just grabbed the guy in a body lock and without even knowing it I guess I executed a pretty good ‘suplay’ to finish the tackle. After that play, one of the coaches was jumping around all excited, grabbed me by the facemask and looked me dead in the eye, and said, ‘you just signed up for the wrestling team!.’ I did not know that this football coach was also the head wrestling coach.” That coach was John Gonzalez.

John and his brother Randy Gonzalez were Jacob’s first wrestling instructors at Rancho Alamitos High School from 1990 to 1993. These two men were instrumental in Harman’s growth as an athlete and as a young man.

Equally instrumental in Jacob’s life was coach John Azevedo, who taught wrestling night classes at Golden West College, which Harman attended. Azevedo was the founder of what would become the Churchboyz Wrestling Dynasty at Calvary Chapel High School In the early 90s, a Southern California project with which Harman would become well acquainted.

Under the guidance of these 3 men (the Gonzalez brothers and Mr. Azevedo) Jacob Harman went on to wrestle for Arizona State University (ASU), one of the top grappling institutions in the nation.

Given how stacked the ASU squad was in Jake’s weight class, coach Lee Roy Smith advised Harman to compete in the 190 lbs weight class, 1 above his natural category. "I told him that he would have an uphill battle, that it would be a real challenge," Smith told the Phoenix News Times back in 1999 "If he wanted to accept that challenge, then I'd give him a shot." Harman accepted the challenge going on to become well known and respected for his strong mindset when facing bigger athletes.

This mindset became one of the strongest weapons worked by Jacob when he turned towards coaching after graduating, in 2000. Harman took a coaching position at the Calvary Chapel high school Churchboyz wrestling and Team Thunder, positions he held up until 2017, a time when he moved on to broaden his range as an instructor, working on improving the wrestling skills of several jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts athletes.

Jake Harman Knee Slide Coaching