Master Danny Ives
3rd Degree Black Belt in Jiu Jitsu
Owner and Head Coach of Ivey League MMA
Growing up in North Philadelphia, I learned from an early age that fighting was just a part of everyday life. I got into my first real street fight when I was 5 years old (I got beat up badly too), the first of many street fights as it turned out.
I was a big fan of the cartoon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and that got the idea in my head I should start learning martial arts. I begged my mother to sign me up for Karate classes and I knew from the moment I threw my first kick on that first day, I was all in, this was what I wanted to do with my life.
At the age of 13 I discovered the UFC, Gracie Family, and their brand of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I took my first class a few weeks later and was hooked. I trained BJJ as often as I could, and learned all I could.
I started competing in BJJ/Grappling tournaments both locally and beyond. I trained as hard as I could in practice, and over time and my results kept getting better and better. I got to the point of winning every major title in the United States for BJJ and NoGi.
In 2001 I competed in and went on to win the gold medal at the prestigious Pan American Championships in Florida. At that time, it was extremely rare for an American to win his or her division and It was one of the happiest moments of my life.
Fast forward to 2008, and my boyhood dream of owning my own Mixed Martial Arts school went from dream to reality. I opened Ivey League MMA in 2008 in Annapolis and it’s been my home, and a home to many others for over 12+ years.
I love what I do, and I love working with students, and helping give them the gift of martial arts and life changing benefits it has to offer. I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life. I love what I do, I’m very lucky to live the martial arts lifestyle.