Instructors

Jeff Curran (5° Black Belt) -
Team Curran Jiu-Jitsu Ascociation Director

Jeff Curran is the founder of the Team Curran Jiu-Jitsu Ascociation and has a competitive history in MMA and BJJ that spans 20 years and counting.

 

Mr. Curran has devoted his life to martial arts for the past 25 years without rest and has managed to build a world-recognized team as well as become known as one of the top competitors in the world.

He and his staff have stayed the course to develop and brand their programs to be sought out and recognized inside the community and around the globe.

Mr. Curran has obtained the rank of 3rd Degree Black Belt under the legendary Master Pedro Sauer and has been trained and mentored by the world renowned Frank Cucci.

We believe in leading by example and have been fortunate enough to have led and trained thousands of students over the past 2 decades. Professor Curran Makes it out to team Haanpaa on a regular basis to oversee belt promotions and teach seminars. 

Professor Curran (Left), and Coach Darby (Right)
Darby Allen (BlackBelt) -
Head Instructor and Programs Director 

Haanpaa Martial Arts head instructor Darby Haanpaa has
spent the last 20+ years Investing in his passion for martial
arts. He is a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under world-class 
athlete and MMA Pioneer Jeff Curran.

As a young kid, and then teenager, Darby struggled to
rise above life's challenges struggling at home and school.
Dealing with bullies early on he sought to learn martial arts
and find an outlet for his frustrations. Luckily, as a young 
teenager Darby found Curran Martial Arts and began his 
martial arts journey. He studied Muay Thai, boxing, MMA  and 
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under some of the best instruction in the world. 
With top ranked fighters in the UFC and MMA Champions regularly
training at the academy, Darby got a world class martial arts 
education. This environment offered him an outlet to channel 
his energy and gave him the confidence to excel socially 
among his peers at school.

As he began to successfully flourish as a martial artist and athlete Darby took on some competitions in Amateur Boxing, Muay Thai, MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Even with all of this and being in what at the time was the largest MMA gym in the nation as an assistant instructor, the yearning to discover his purpose was nagging in the back of Darby's mind. 

Through a series of events that could only be explained as a calling Darby left his training behind for a season to attend Seminary in Rockford Illinois to become a Pastor. While in school, traveling on ministry trips and speaking at youth events across the country, the passion and thrill for martial arts continued. Darby kept training during summer, and winter breaks with his passion in the Martial arts. Not long after graduating Darby Married the girl of his dreams Amanda Allard (now Haanpaa). Together they felt more empowered taking their passion for helping people become their best intended versions of themselves outside the walls of their church. Instead they decided to bring it to people through martial arts.  With a new found sense of purpose and clarity Darby made it his life's work to communicate the character and sense of purpose he received through his ministry work and personal development in martial arts and help others find that same passion and confidence.

The joy of his personal development and growth in Fitness and Jiu-Jitsu ignited a dream to build Haanpaa Martial Arts. Starting at a wrestling club near the Rockford Airport, Amanda and Darby along with their two little ones (Owen and Lena) started building a school that can positively impact the lives of others through community & martial arts fitness. Since then Coach Darby and his team have seen much growth and many lives changed for the better.

We have a saying around HMA – “Sic parvis Magna” and it means Greatness comes from small things. It's about taking your current situation, no matter how small or underwhelming your circumstance and choosing to push yourself beyond your limits. Turn your negatives into positives and dig deep inside to find the strength to forge your own path. HMA is the tool that we use to help you walk it out.