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

Frequently Asked Questions

Muay Thai

Q: “What level of fitness is required for Muay Thai?”

Any! Our classes help people who aren't in shape, get in shape. And they help people who are in shape get in even greater shape, fast.

Q: “Will my past injury / medical condition interfere with classes?”

Contact your doctor, and see what he/she says. If your doctor has any questions for us, let us know and we'll gladly answer them!

Q: “Muay Thai seems very intense. Do people get injured a lot?”

Muay Thai IS intense. That's what's so awesome about it ;-). However, people do NOT get injured a lot. We've created a supportive, safe environment here.

Q: “What experience levels are these classes for? Beginners? Advanced? Etc.?”

All of the above. Our classes are designed for people of all Muay Thai experience levels to get an awesome experience. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned vet - you'll get what you're looking for.

Q: “Are these classes for competitive fighters only?”

Our classes are for BOTH competitive fighters, as well as people just looking to get an awesome work out, and learn a powerful martial art. If you're a competitive fighter, you'll get the attention you need to become quicker, stronger, more agile, and full of impeccable technique. If you're not, you'll get a kick ass workout that'll get you lean & toned in no time.

Q: “I AM a competitive fighter. Are these classes right for me?”

Absolutely. We've helped - and continue to help - many MMA & Muay Thai fighters prepare for matches. In fact, 2 of Team Canada’s fighters, Matthew ‘Milkman’ Kendall and Jason ‘Madhatter’ Hinds have trained with us since the beginning of their careers! You'll receive expert guidance for your technique and abilities... state-of-the-art conditioning to strengthen and quicken your body... and support to get your mindset right for your match.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Q: "What kind of physical shape does Brazilian Jiu Jitsu require?"

You can start BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) no matter what kind of shape you're currently in. Because it's a great workout, you'll get in awesome shape in no time.

Q: "Will a medical condition / past injury interfere with participating in BJJ?"

Probably not. But we advise speaking with your doctor first. He / she will know better than anyone - and may be able to tell us what exercises you can & can't do.

Q: "Is there a high risk for injury?"

Definitely not! After years of practice and expertise with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, we've identified the key factors that lead to injury - and designed our program to counter each of these factors. The result: injuries do happen (as they do with any intense sport), but they're extremely rare.

Q: "Are there women in the classes?"

Yes! While the majority of our BJJ students are men, there are women who come and have an awesome experience, too.

Q: "What's the class-environment like? Fun? Serious? Etc.?"

Our classes are a mixture of supportive, fun, serious, focused and goofy. There are moments of intense concentration... moments of fun & games... moments of encouraging one another to keep going, and do your best... and so much more. It's a vibrant blend of fun, focus and passion.

Q: "I have no interest in competing. Can I still take these Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes?"

Absolutely! There are just as many competitive BJJ-ers here as there are hobbyists.

Q: "I'm a competitive fighter. Will these classes help me in my matches?"

Definitely. Our expert instructors will work with you to strengthen your weak points... boost your strong points... get you in amazing shape... and prepare you mentally for your matches.

Kids Martial Arts

Q: “Will Martial Arts, Karate, Tae Kwon Do teach my child to be hostile and aggressive?”

Absolutely not. Children learn a lot about what it means to be respectful and polite here. As a result, kids who weren't violent in the first place become even more respectful and kind. Kids with behavior problems often become very respectful and calm.

Q: “Can my child get injured with Martial Arts, Karate, Tae Kwon Do?”

As a parent, I'm sure you've seen that kids can get injured doing just about anything. Martial Arts is no different, however we take safety very seriously here. Yes, injuries do sometimes happen. But we do everything in our power to avoid them. We do special exercises and stretches to make your child's body limber and flexible.

Q: “Are these Martial Arts, Karate, Tae Kwon Do classes fun?”

Yes! After all, these are children we're dealing with here. And kids love their fun. We do a variety of games and activities that have kids howling with laughter, and constantly smiling. We work hard here - but we play just as hard.

Q: “Will Martial Arts, Karate, Tae Kwon Do improve my child's confidence?”

Yes! Martial Arts is a powerful source of confidence for kids. They practice hard and learn techniques in order to advance through the ranks. And as they advance, they fill with pride. After all, they're the ones doing all the work - so they feel all of the accomplishment whenever they learn a new move... achieve a new belt... or get praise from their fellow students and instructors.

Q: “What ages are the other kids in the Martial Arts, Karate, Tae Kwon Do class?”

We have classes for kids as young as 3, and as old as teenagers. Martial Arts is the kind of thing that grows with you. So as kids get older, they learn new techniques, perfect old ones, and advance. When they're younger, it's more about fun and games, with learning thrown in too.

Q: “Is Martial Arts, Karate, Tae Kwon Do for boys only? Or can girls participate as well?”

Our martial arts classes have been, and always will be, for boys AND girls! Every class has a good blend of the two as well. In fact, girls often get the hang of it sooner than boys as they're naturally more flexible.

Q: “My child isn't athletic. Can they still participate in Martial Arts if they're not athletic?”

Yes! In fact, Martial Arts is a beacon of light for kids who just don't fit into team sports. Kids who couldn’t throw a ball well or run fast find that Martial Arts is accessible to them. It's something they excel at, and as a result, their confidence soars. one is left out or sits on the bench at River City Warriors! We make sure everyone gets personal time to work on specific needs for success!

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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…


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.

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