Erik “Compella” Cruz began his martial arts journey at age 8 with Tae Kwon Do in the Bronx, NYC where he was born and raised until a family emergency relocated him to Los Angeles at age 12. By age 15 he found a boxing/kickboxing academy run by the world famous Benny ”The Jet” Urquidez and began learning boxing techniques. By age 17, Erik began training at the Muay Thai Academy in North Hollywood, CA. At age 18, now a freshman in college, Erik began training in Quantum Jiu-Jitsu at UC Santa Cruz and started gravitating towards the grappling side of martial arts. Erik also studied Tai Chi and sparred regularly with a small group of Jeet Kune Do students. By age 21, Erik discovered the Bomb Squad gym in Hollywood, CA owned by Muay Thai champion Chris Reily and featuring 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu with BJJ black belt Eddie Bravo. Up to this point Erik had only trained in a Gi and was intrigued by this no-gi, MMA applicable style of grappling and thus began mastering the 10th planet system of no-gi jiu-jitsu.
10 years later, now a 10th planet jiu-jitsu black belt, Erik continues to compete at local and regional tournaments. Having earned a CAMO record of 3-1(all wins via first round submission), Erik is no stranger to utilizing jiu-jitsu to finish a fight. A veteran of a multitude of grappling tournaments, Erik has been in well over 30 competitive matches since he began training under Eddie Bravo. Erik’s approach to jiu-jitsu emphasizes a well-balanced, yet guard-ready game to prepare for worst case scenario situations that occur during a MMA or self-defense encounter. By nullifying your opponents attacks and counter attacking with submissions you can control the pace and ultimately the ending of the fight with the proper sequence of techniques.
Erik was the founder and head instructor of 10th Planet Sylmar from 2008-2010 until he disbanded it to pursue his MMA goals. Erik has taught at several notable martial arts academies including: 10th Planet HQ, The Academy (Rigan Machado), Mejiro’s LA, House of Champions, Grabaka Gym (Tokyo, Japan), and Endure BJJ (Yakota Air Force Base, Japan). Erik currently teaches private classes at several gyms in the Los Angeles area as well as Saturday classes at 10th Planet Van Nuys.