(503) 360-8692
14935 SW 72nd Ave, Tigard, OR 97224

About River City Warriors
in Tigard, OR

Meet Joe Heller

Owner and Chief Instructor at
River City Warriors in Tigard
Guro (Kali and JKD), Professor (BJJ), Kru (Muay Thai)

Welcome to River City Warriors!

If you’re looking for a “one stop shop” where you can get in the best shape of your life, improve your personal development skills and learn real-world self-defense, you’re in the right place at the right time.   

The moment you walk through our doors, you’ll see that our entire staff is passionate about teaching martial arts and helping our students become the best they can be. Our goal is to help you master every kick and punch you do and achieve a 5-star body, mind and spirit.

With every class you take, you’ll start to see changes in your body and in the way you think. You’ll become sharper, quicker and get in the best shape you’ve ever been. And the BEST part about that is that we make it Super-Fun so that your whole family can learn, laugh, play and get fit together. Our school is family-friendly and practicing martial arts together is an excellent way to strengthen the bond between family members.  

Some of our top instructors have trained for more than 40 years and have real-life relationships with people like Helio Gracie, Rickson Gracie and Dan Inosanto (Bruce Lee’s #1 student). By pursuing this lineage from the beginning and nurturing these relationships, we’re able to provide a high level of technology and cutting-edge information that’s unparalleled in our region.

River City Warriors offers a variety of classes for kids, teens and adults. Whether it’s Kid’s Martial Arts, Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Women’s Only Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai or JKD & Kali, each provides an excellent balance of learning, challenge and getting a great workout.

Are you NEW to martial arts and maybe a bit nervous about some things? Don’t sweat the small stuff! Our instructors love beginners and take a well-planned, safe approach to teaching you in a way you can understand and participate in.

If you’re worried about your fitness level or whether you’ll be able to keep up; again, we’ve got your back and we’ll work with you at whatever level you’re at. Your goals are our goals and we won’t stop until we meet them. It’s just that simple.

Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced level student, our first-rate classes are designed to provide you with AMAZING results in your body, mind and spirit. You’ll experience…

  • Improved focus, confidence and determination
  • Reduced stress & the ability to act quickly with a calm, clear mind
  • Total body fitness, a strong core and lean muscles
  • Goal-setting, self-discipline & follow-through skills

Those are PRICELESS benefits and you’ll be amazed to know that martial arts is really a low-cost activity.

In fact, check out the CRAZY-LOW Web Special going on right now! Classes fill up fast because it’s such a great deal… so reserve your spot today!

You’re just one click away from looking your best, having a blast and mastering new self-defense skills that will empower you for life. We can't wait to train with you and celebrate all your accomplishments, big or small!

Chief Instructor

Joe Heller grew up in the 80’s where the hype was still rolling from the Bruce Lee craze in the 70’s. Combined with nonstop action movies, the popularity of martial arts was at an all-time high. Exposed to things like the Ninja Turtles and the Karate Kid, I was enamored by martial arts and begged my parents to find a place for me to train. My first JKD and Karate lesson was back in 1986, but as a 7-year-old, I wasn’t fully prepared for the journey ahead.

I casually explored a few schools, garnered a youth black belt and, at the end of high school in 1997, I began to spend my own money on travel for training. That led me to study at a prominent MMA school in the local area where I was further exposed to JKD, Kali/Escrima, Muay Thai, Boxing and BJJ.

A year later, I would meet one of my favorite mentors, Dan Inosanto. Guro (teacher) Inosanto was in his early 60’s at the time and moved with the speed and deftness of a man half his age. Guro Dan introduced me to my Muay Thai instructor, Ajarn Chai, and would continue to inspire me to this very day. He’s now closing in on his 82nd birthday and still trains every day!

In 2007, I was fortunate enough to hear about Relson Gracie, the oldest living son of Helio Gracie, who was in Portland giving a seminar. I was blown away. Another mentor in his 60’s, Relson demonstrated BJJ principles and techniques with a softness and efficacy I had never seen before. In one afternoon, he had completely rewritten the rules I thought I knew about BJJ and changed my life for the better.

One of Relson’s childhood friends, Anibal Lobo, happened to be in the audience and was planning to move to Portland. Anibal agreed to work with me one-on-one and we’ve been training and teaching together ever since.

These experiences and seeking out the best information from the best people possible would build the foundations of the River City Warrior Academy. I continue to build on these experiences and relationships. Never satisfied with stagnation, I continue to explore martial arts through a variety of mentors locally and abroad.

On average, I take around five trips a year to continue my training and incorporate it into the RCW curriculum. As the school continues to grow and staff has come into place, I still show up to the school on the days I’m not required to teach. You can find me there in class training with everyone else, making conversation and being part of the family of students. I’m passionate about what I do and love being at the school. It’s my second home and I’m happy to share it with everyone in our community.

How to Get Started

Come join our Tigard, OR Martial Arts facility! We offer programs in Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kali & JKD, and Kids Martial Arts. Choose a program that most interests you and have the opportunity to sign-up right here on our site for one of our awesome web specials. Or feel free to give us a call at (503) 360-8692 if you have any further questions. River City Warriors hopes to speak with you soon!

Get Started!