life beyond the auto glass business
Brian Fenner, Owner, Safe Glass Technologies
Name: Brian Fenner
Day Job: Owner, Safe Glass Technologies
Location: Easton, Pa.
Alter Ego: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Participant
Anyone who’s been in the auto glass business for any amount of time would
probably agree that some afterhours stress relief is needed. It was this
need, along with a desire to get into shape, that initially drove Brian
Fenner, owner of Safe Glass Technologies in Easton, Pa., to become involved
in the Gracie style of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
“I was looking for a physical activity to release stress … and lose
weight,” he says. “I have always been intrigued by the martial arts and
I am a big fan of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). One of the staple disciplines
in most fighters is Jiu Jitsu and I thought this was a good
fit for me.”
Since Fenner discovered the sport, approximately 18 months ago, he has
been attending a local class at least twice a week, for two to three hours
at a time. He recently earned his blue belt—the second of five achievable
belts in the sport.
“In my opinion, out of all the different styles of martial arts, Jiu Jitsu
is the most technical style, so it takes a long time to gain rank, and
it means a lot when you do achieve different ranks, because of what all
is involved and how hard it is to do it,” he says.
To work through the ranks, the class participates in drilling and sparring
activities with a partner. Fenner’s instructor, John Terry, who once trained
under Ultimate Fighting Champion (UFC) Royce Gracie, observes Fenner and
his fellow classmates and their developing skills.
“At the academy I go to, part of every class is live rolling or sparring,”
Fenner says, “and that’s basically where, the style is so interactive
it requires another individual to work with you to be able to do what
you want to do and vice versa.”
At this point, he participates in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu mainly for fun and
relaxation, but Fenner, who took home first place in the 2009 Walt Gorman
Memorial Windshield Repair Olympics, says competition could be in his
“I have a competitive nature, so it’s certainly not something I’m ruling
out,” he says.
Though Fenner thinks he may someday compete, he stresses that Jiu Jitsu
actually means “gentle art,” and it’s a bit more subdued than what most
people associate with MMA.
“Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is one of the staple disciplines of MMA fighters,
but there’s no intentional striking or kicking involved in this style
while training,” he says.
Fenner and his wife, Kelly, have a two-year-old son, Noah. He founded
his business in 2001, and also works as an aircraft maintenance supervisor
for Continental Airlines.
Interested in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
For those interested in joining in the growing sport of Brazilian
Jiu Jitsu, Brian Fenner, owner of Safe Glass Technologies in
Easton, Pa., says getting started can be a simple process.
“You basically learn as you go and you become conditioned as
well,” he says. “If you’re not in great shape starting out,
as far as cardiovascular fitness, endurance, etc., it comes
The first step, Fenner says, is finding an academy.
“I would certainly suggest that you do some research online
for who’s in the general area you’re looking for as far as the
Gracie discipline of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu,” he says.
Once you find an academy, he says one of the most important
aspects is remembering to relax.
“You find yourself in positions that are uncomfortable,” Fenner
warns. “Trying to relax and breathe is critical. Try to have
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