Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Coaching Staff

We are affiliated nationally with the Australian Jiu Jitsu and Grappling Association under national coach John Donehue. Coach Donehue is without doubt Australia’s number one exponent in his art.

We are affiliated internationally with with Nova Uniao the world champion team.

Our coaches have attained a wealth of knowledge under John Donehue and have been training many years in a number of different martial arts styles also. Our coaches want the class to be focused on self-defense and offer a warm welcome to all students.

In 1914, Esai Marda (Count Koma) arrived in Brazil. He was a World Champion in Jiu Jitsu and would travel to Japan as a professional wrestler and fight all challengers. Once in Brazil, Esai became friends with Gastao’s son, Carols Gracie.

From that point, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu developed and was spreading all over Brazil. It is a style based more on leverage than strength, so it appeals to people from all walks of life. It is the world’s fastest-growing martial art and it will continue to be this way as more and more people are recognising the need for the grappling arts.

John Donehue travelled to the United States in 1990 and began training with the legendary Gene LeBell. At one of these training sessions, John first met the Machado brothers. Gene suggested training with them so he could get more mat time.

Now John was training with Gene LeBell and Carlos and Rigan Machado. He kept training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, competing for the Marchado’s on their U.S.A. Competition Team winning the Nationals twice and also receiving a Gold and Silver medal in the 1997 Joe Moriera Internationals. After being asked to referee The Extreme Fighting Championships and The Contenders, John met Rico Chiapparelli, coach of the R.A.W. (Real American Wrestling) Team.

Rico is one of the best wrestlers America has ever produced. Rico was the NCAA Division 1 Champion, the U.S. Freestyle Champion, and the World Cup Champion. John and Rico started working out back in Los Angeles 4-5 times per week. Rico is teaching John wrestling and John teaching Rico Jiu Jitsu and Gene’s finishing holds.

After a decade of living in the U.S., John is the only Australian to live overseas and train from white belt to black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and one, of only four black belts in the World and the only Australian under Gene LeBell.

He also obtained a Shodan (black belt) in Judo from Gene and the United States Judo Association. He was the submission coach and training partner to Rio Chiapparelli and the R.A.W. Team.

John has returned to Australia as the most qualified and experienced Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and grappling practitioner and coach, whose goal is to bring a higher level of training to anyone who has an open mind and is willing to learn.

“John Donehue” is associated directly with Nova Uniao in Brazil and in the U.S.A. When they take a team over to Brazil or the U.S.A. for the competition, they compete under the same banner. They are proud to be part of the World Champion Team.