Our Origin Story

Year 2000. Madison, IL.

A VHS tape is purchased titled Gracie Jiu Jitsu in Action. Father (Steve) with a history in the world of body building, and a personal fitness business, and Son (Josh) age 6 watch this tape and become entranced with the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Steps from the house, the garage in the backyard is matted from corner to corner. Jiu Jitsu classes begin. A class is made up of watching a single move from the now infamous VHS, practiced on the father son pair, and repeated until the dinner bell rang. Not long after, they sought out a local gym teaching the art of BJJ. Friends were invited to the backyard gym. The Green room, lovingly named after the green wrestling mats pieced and taped together. Hours, Days, and Years of practice and sweat accumulated. Belts were earned. Stories, Scars, and Friends gained. That is where our origin story began.

Year 2015.

The pair opened the doors to their very own Jiu Jitsu Gym. 700 Square feet of bright blue, second-hand wrestling mats on the floor and walls. 4 friends/students attend the first class. Named HeadnodHQ, later dubbed the blue room. Working a day job, then coming home to spend every spare moment knitting together the inner workings of a gym. Building a following, filing paper waivers, laundering dirty mops. They grow, one person at a time.

Year 2020.

A large building was purchased in January and construction began turning it from a cosmetology school that had closed its doors into an open floor Fitness gym & Jiu Jitsu school. Through every obstacle, lesson learned, and success story the gym grew to what it is today. A local outlet. Teaming with life and laughter. A place where anyone, male or female, large or small, can come and learn the art of Jiu Jitsu. The art that so many around the world use to better themselves body & mind. Of the first students of HeadnodHQ, most still attend classes to this day. They’ve grown to over 250 students and 9 staff members. And continue to grow every day. The best part? You’re invited.