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Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, and Self-Defense Instructors at Hi Tech (Hanover, MD)

Meet our Martial Arts Brazilian / Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Instructors


Naqi Sayed

Naqi has been training Brazilian jiu-jitsu for more than a decade and was awarded the rank of black belt by Relson Gracie in 2021. He enjoys teaching self-defense and advance/competition classes. As a father of two daughters, Naqi is passionate about helping women and children learn self-defense. 

Naqi's goal is to help students become as resilient as possible by helping them develop the confidence needed to handle everything that life throws at them. Naqi believes the best ways to improve in Brazilian jiu-jitsu are to show up and train consistently, identify an accountability partner, establish a strong training rhythm, and adopting a growth mindset where the student is focused on learning and refining their techniques and not their rank. 

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Ted Hartman

Ted Hartman is a brown belt and has been training jiu-jitsu for 7 years. Having grown up playing Ice Hockey and Soccer, he began to study at Rising Tide Academy in 2016.  He began teaching kids classes later that year and continued to do so until 2019.  In 2019, Ted received his purple belt and began the morning program that has become popular at Rising Tide Academy.  He currently teaches fundamental, intermediate, and advanced adult classes. Ted is passionate about teaching Jiu-Jitsu to kids and adults to improve their health, self-defense, and confidence. 

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Anton Garcia

A brown belt, Anton Garcia has been training jiu-jitsu for over 8 years. Having grown up taking more traditional martial arts like karate, he was instantly impressed and drawn in by the effectiveness of jiu-jitsu. In 2016, he started teaching kids classes and became one of the head instructors for the Women’s Jiu-Jitsu program. He received his brown belt in January 2022 and currently teaches fundamental and advanced adult classes. Anton is passionate about teaching jiu-jitsu to kids and adults.

He is an advocate for the art’s ability to facilitate change in a practitioner's life for the better through mental, physical, and emotional growth. He loves developing new students, especially smaller and less athletic ones, into fundamentally sound practitioners that are capable of protecting themselves in self-defense situations. He believes that jiu-jitsu helps both kids and adults become more self-aware, compassionate, and confident human beings.


Mike Johnson

A black belt under Professor Pedro Sauer, Mike has been training jiu-jitsu for over 20 years. Mike teaches adult jiu-jitsu classes in Finksburg, Columbia and at Hi Tech. A lifelong martial artist and 25-year police veteran, Mike holds numerous defensive tactics instructor certifications. He brings real-world experience and decades of teaching experience to Rising Tide.


Tori Garten 

Tori received her black belt from Grand Master Relson Gracie in March 2019. Her self-defense and Jiu-jitsu journey started in December 2005 when she took her first self-defense class. She started training once a week, then two, then more. She started assisting with kids class early on in her journey, followed by starting a women's class in 2012. Tori has also led a variety of self-defense workshops for all levels of Girl Scouts, Venture Scouts, church groups, refugees, au pairs and even for Take Your Kid to Work day. Tori strongly believes that jiu-jitsu is for everyone. Her passion is sharing the mental and physical benefits of learning jiu-jitsu - especially from a self-defense perspective. Jiu-jitsu is a puzzle that opens up new layers of knowledge seemingly just in time. She looks forward to meeting you and sharing in your journey on the mats. Tori is certified in Advanced and Wilderness First Aid, AED and CPR, as well as trained for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).


Toney Waldecker

Toney is a sixth-degree Relson Gracie black belt, making him the highest ranked jiu-jitsu instructors in the region. A veteran of jiu-jitsu, Sambo, Muay Thai, and MMA competitions, Toney now coaches numerous professional fighters in the UFC and Bellator. Toney brings with him more than 30 years of experience teaching martial arts at the highest levels.

Toney is also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and is a certified Level 2 Army combatives instructor. He is an expert at teaching specialized Gracie jiu-jitsu self-defense techniques.


Kyle Hair  

Kyle is a purple belt in jiu-jitsu who has been training for over 7 years. He has experience in wrestling, Judo, and other traditional martial arts. He has competed and placed in tournaments at each jiu-jitsu belt rank. Kyle has an academic background in Operations Research and is a retired military officer.  He is a certified as Lean Six Sigma (process improvement) Coach and brings a process-oriented approach to jiu-jitsu instruction that is helps students understand and systemize jiu-jitsu. Kyle is an advocate for introducing 40-50 year old people to the sport and lifestyle of jiu-jitsu and its benefits. As a former collegiate football player, he found jiu-jitsu later in life and helps to keep active and sharp in many aspects of his life. He hopes to pass on the many lessons of mental health, happiness, self-improvement, and leadership that he has learned through training the "gentle art" to students at Hi Tech!

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Kris Reeves 

Kris is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has been training for over 6 years. He teaches fundamental jiu-jitsu and Self-Defense classes.  He began training shortly after both of his kids started at Rising Tide Academy and quickly fell in love with it. 

As a Project Manager and former software engineer, he is naturally curious and looks to find creative and logical solutions to problems that are offered in grappling. These same attributes carry over to both his teaching and Jiu-Jitsu styles - applying grappling solutions in a systematic fashion. Kris is passionate about teaching and enjoys sharing his knowledge with both adults and children. He finds it extremely rewarding to watch someone use in a live situation a specific concept or technique he has taught them.

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Jeannie Brown

Jeannie is a blue belt in jiu-jitsu who has been training at Rising Tide Academy for the past 4 years. She also has experience in other martial arts such as Krav Maga and Muay Thai. Jeannie has 4 years training Krav Maga and completed her Phase A certification for instruction.

Jeannie holds a certificate in Trauma Informed Coaching and helps lead the women’s self-defense program. She is a mother of 3 herself and is passionate about teaching children. Jeannie has a degree in education with a focus on developmental psychology and completed her BA Thesis on the Importance of Sports for the Developing Brain (Ages 6-10). She taught kindergarten for over 6 years while living abroad in Europe.

Jeannie is an advocate for introducing more women to martial arts so they can learn self- defense, enjoy the sport and develop the friendships that come with it. She believes learning jiu-jitsu will change and improve one’s life in every aspect imaginable.