Founder | Head Instructor
Dee is the most experienced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor in the Northeast TN/Southwest VA region, having the vision to pursue this martial art over twenty-five years ago, well before its current popularity. His belts have been earned the “old-school” way with extensive personal training and instruction under many great black belts, not video or internet learning or any “executive track” training programs.
Currently a second degree black belt under Julio “Foca” Fernandez, a 7th degree coral belt, a rank that fewer than 30 people in the world currently hold; and Andrew “Judo Goat” Smith, a 3rd degree black belt, Dee has trained with many of the world’s best in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu beginning at the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in 1994. He has undergone kickboxing training by Duke Roufus, trainer to many UFC Champions, and more recently undergoing formal training under the tutelage of Duane “Bang” Ludwig, a champion kickboxer and UFC great who holds the UFC record for fastest knockout, currently a purple belt in Bang Muay Thai.
our bristol tn facility
A little bit about absolute jiu-jitsu academy
Established in 1997 by Dee Smith, Absolute Jiu-Jitsu is the oldest and largest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school in the Tri-Cities Tennessee and Southwest Virginia region. Since those beginnings Absolute has been the Tri-Cities premier academy for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai kickboxing, and mixed martial arts. Dee Smith, a black belt under Julio “Foca” Fernandez and Andrew “Judo Goat” Smith, began his training in Los Angeles at the Gracie Academy and has since trained with numerous world-class black belts.
Absolute Jiu-Jitsu has a long history of frequent seminars with a number of world class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners, Muay Thai practitioners, and mixed martial artist such as Royce Gracie, Eddie Bravo, Kenny Florian, Duane “Bang” Ludwig, Marc Laimon, Duke Roufus, and Michael “Bolo” Jen to name just a few. Absolute Jiu-Jitsu is an official affiliate program of the BJJ Revolution Team and Bang Muay Thai.
Needless to say, Absolute Jiu-Jitsu is eclectic in technique and approach but also practical and coherent, with a well-organized curriculum under Dee involving a program of instruction individually tailored to students who vary markedly in age and walks of life as well as goals in undertaking martial arts training. Everyone is here to learn and help others learn. At Absolute Jiu-Jitsu, if your goals are for sold training for successful Jiu-Jitsu, or mixed martial arts competition, this is the place in the area to do it. If you just want to learn and “roll” with friends or just get in shape, that is fine too.
Many students, particularly those with little physical training or athletic background, have made truly incredible physical transformations with regular training. For many, the goal is for martial arts training and not even in the physical arena but rather as a vehicle for personal betterment, improved confidence, and mental toughness in one’s personal and/ or business life. Be assured that the atmosphere of the school is a friendly, relaxed, and no ego environment with respect for varied student goals for involvement in martial arts. At Absolute Jiu-Jitsu, we take good care of each other in our training. A newbie can and will enjoy training with our most experienced students.