High Country Jiu Jitsu Instructors

Andrew Skaggs

Owner/Head Jiu Jitsu Instructor

Andrew grew up in South Jersey and spent most of his childhood on the east coast. He grew up with a passion for sports and competition, mainly playing soccer and baseball into High School. While living in the Northern Virginia area, his curiosity for Jiu Jitsu started when a friend of his started training jiu jitsu and convinced him to come try it out. In 2008, Andrew began his journey training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and currently holds a black belt under 3rd degree black belt Steve Toyryla.
Throughout the years, Andrew has had the opportunity to train under some of the best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructors in the world. He has had the opportunity to learn styles and teaching techniques from several different instructors and schools of thought, and has trained all around the US.
After College, Andrew began a career in software development where he currently works for a family medical facility in the Boulder/Denver metro area. Andrew has 3 kids, 3 dogs, and loves spending time with his family and exploring the outdoors in the Rockies. His two oldest kids will be staples of the gym as they have already begun their own Brazilian Jiu Jitsu journey and will be around to help other kids their ages have fun.

• Fairfax Jiu Jitsu 2008 – 2009
• 50/50 Jiu Jitsu 2009 – 2015 (Received Blue Belt from Ryan Hall)
• Easton Jiu Jitsu 2015 – 2020 (Received Purple belt and Brown belt from Eliot Marshall)
• 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu 2020 – 2022

High Country Jiu Jitsu Instructors

Rainer Barnhart

Kids Lead BJJ Instructor: 3 stripe white belt

Rainer is our kid’s lead jiu jitsu instructor with a passion for wellness and adventure. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Rainer’s journey into the world of martial arts began in April of 2023. Before diving into the world of Jiu Jitsu, Rainer honed his skills through competitive sports and later found solace in rock climbing and splitboarding.

Driven to further his knowledge and a commitment to holistic health, Rainer embarked on a transformative journey to Spain in 2023. There, he trained under the guidance of the renowned Wim Hof and Dr. Susanna Soberg, immersing himself in the practices of cold therapy, heat therapy, and breathwork. Equipped with these invaluable tools, Rainer returned to his community in Salida, where he now shares his expertise with others, empowering them to optimize their training and overall well-being.

High Country Jiu Jitsu Instructors

Christian Blaney

Kids Assistant BJJ Instructor: 3 stripe white belt

Christian Blaney began his Jiu-Jitsu journey at Bowerhouse MMA in Frederick, Maryland. He expanded his training to Strategic BJJ in Alton, Illinois, and Sitka BJJ in Sitka, Alaska. Though his martial arts experience was initially limited to JV high school wrestling, Christian’s athletic background in swimming, track and field, cross country, wrestling, and rugby laid a solid foundation for his jiu-jitsu skills. He likes navigating challenging positions and prefers ground techniques over wrestling for their enjoyment. The kipping escape stands out as his favorite move. Christian teaches kids after-school BJJ classes Monday-Thursday, and loves to help the students improve. Excited to continue to progress his own abilities, he looks forward to competing in more semi-local tournaments with High Country Jiu-Jitsu.
High Country Jiu Jitsu Instructors

Lenny Eckstein

Kids Assistant BJJ Instructor: 3 stripe white belt

High Country Jiu Jitsu Instructors

Andrew Astor

Asst Striking Instructor

Assistant Coach Andy is a long-time martial arts student and practitioner. He started with Tae Kwon Do as a kid living in Virginia and continued training at U.S. Tae Kwon Do center in Colorado Springs. He began practicing Muay Thai in 2004 at Muay Thai of Colorado under Kru Oscar Martinez. A long time Salida resident, Andy is excited to continue training BJJ and Muay Thai and sharing his passion for martial arts with others.







Our Mission

High Country Jiu Jitsu

Be Dedicated Icon
Be Dedicated
Make everyone feel welcome Icon
Make everyone feel welcome
Treat each student with respect Icon
Treat each student with respect
Empower our members Icon
Empower our members
Help members reach their goals Icon
Help members reach their goals

High Country Jiu Jitsu

Get Started Today

High Country Jiu Jitsu has everything…except you! Join our community today and begin your martial arts journey!