Chris Slavens Bio

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Submission Grappling & Combatives Instructor

Chris Slavens grew up in Kaneohe in the 70’s and 80’s. Prior to being adopted by his stepfather, his name was Chris Gilday, which he changed his name to Slavens during his senior year in high school.

Chris started boxing at the Kaneohe Boxing Club in 1979 at the age of 11 under the tutelage of Mr. Todd Bristow. Todd was a champion amateur boxer in the mainland before coming to Hawaii. He taught a classic amateur boxing style and was very influential in shaping Chris as a young man. He taught Chris good sportsmanship and class as a competitor, to train hard, to be loyal and to always fight hard. He trained numerous fighters and champions on the state and national level.

Chris started off boxing in Police Activity League (PAL) smokers at 86 lbs and eventually competed in USA Amateur Boxing Federation (USA ABF) fights and tournaments here in Hawaii. Chris won the 125 lb and 132 lb state amateur titles before representing Hawaii in the National Amateur Boxing Championships in Columbus, Ohio in the summer of 1982. Chris made it to the semi finals before losing by decision.

Chris continued to train and compete on and off through his high school years. Chris stopped competing while in college but continued to train and have gym wars at the Kaneohe Boxing Club well into the early 1990’s. Chris also served as a referee and judge for the Amateur Boxing Federation here in Hawaii for a couple years as well.

Chris joined the Hawaii Army National Guard in 1986 and eventually went on to be commissioned as an Infantry 2nd Lieutenant in 1992.

Chris started training Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in January of 2000 under the instruction of the Onzuka brothers, Chris and Mike. They picked up right where Todd left off teaching honor, respect and toughness. Chris has competed as a white and blue belt in the Hawaii Triple Crown and NAGA Grappling tournaments as well as in the Amateur Fighting Competition in 2004, beating the prior 8-man tournament’s runner up in the first round via unanimous decision.  Shortly after he was activated with the 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Hawaii Army Guard for an 18 month mobilization to Iraq.

In December 2005 in Balad, Iraq, Chris was awarded a Bronze Star for leading an initiative to increase the armor protection on the Brigade’s combat vehicles. Chris chose to retire after 21 years of service in the Hawaii Army National Guard in order to better care for my family in 2007

Chris is currently a brown belt and jumped at the chance to contribute to the academy by teaching boxing and kickboxing and O2 Combatives class for kids and adults as well as beginner level Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu for both kids and adults. Chris has also worked as a small group instructor for the Hawaii Army Guard, teaching leadership principles, physical fitness, Infantry Tactics as well as unarmed combat and self defense.

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