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Gracie Barra instructor group photo

OUR JIU-JITSU INSTRUCTORS

Meet our team, then get in touch.

OUR INSTRUCTORS

Nicolai "Geeza" Holt

Professor Nicolai "Geeza" Holt

Black Belt 3rd Degree

Professor Geeza is the Head Coach of Gracie Barra Bristol. He is proud to be the only Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor teaching in the Bristol area that was promoted to Black Belt by a member of the Gracie family (Roger Gracie). Geeza is currently a Third Degree Black Belt with over 15 years of teaching experience in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He understands that each student has different goals, different abilities, and different needs.  He is happiest when each student grows and develops in their own particular way. Geeza likes to teach the Jiu-Jitsu of his Coach, Master Roger Gracie; he closely follows and teaches the new developments in the sport and he adheres to the legacy passed down through the Gracie Barra curriculum. Besides being an instructor, Geeza has earned many titles as a competitor including American National Champion (Brown), multiple time Pan-American (Blue, Purple, Brown), European (Purple, 2x Brown, and Black), NAGA Champion and mulitple time Grappler’s Quest Champion.

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Carlos Gracie Junior > Roger Gracie > Nicolai Holt

Professor John Bishop

Black Belt

Professor John 'Hippy' Bishop is a Gracie Barra Black Belt and an experienced competitor.  He is an authentic and sincere instructor who cares about the progress of his students and is the Head of the Fundamentals Program at Gracie Barra Bristol. He has been training at Gracie Barra Bristol since the school opened and two of his children also came up through the school. Professor John has gone from White Belt to Black Belt at Gracie Barra Bristol.

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Carlos Gracie Junior > Roger Gracie > Nicolai Holt > John Bishop

Professor John
professor leonardo

Professor Leonard Dos Santos

Black Belt

Professor Leonardo is one of the most well-liked and respected members of the Gracie Barra Bristol family.  Prof Leonardo teaches gi and no gi classes and is the head of the no-gi program at Gracie Barra Bristol. He is an active competitor with various titles and has a subtle and deceptive Jiu-Jitsu game that often leaves his opponents unconscious in competition. Professor Leonard has gone from White Belt to Black Belt at Gracie Barra Bristol.

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Carlos Gracie Junior > Roger Gracie > Nicolai Holt > Leonardo Dos Santos

Joanna Maple

Professor Joanna Maple

Black Belt

Professor Joanna is a Gracie Barra Black Belt, Head of the Kids Program, and the Safeguarding Officer at Gracia Barra Bristol.  She is an OFTSTED registered childminder and a qualified teacher.  She was the first woman to earn her Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jiutsu in Bristol and was the 2022 Brown Belt women's National Champion.  Professor Joanna closely follows the Gracie Barra method and has been a Gracie Barra Certified Instructor for over 5 years. She shares her passion for Jiu-Jitsu with her three children who are also members of the school and they are all active competitors. She also received ‘ the most dedicated female student ‘ award two years in a row at the school for her hard work and dedication to the academy and community. She has been successfully teaching the Future Champions Classes for the past few years. Joanna teaches at Gracie Barra Bristol and is also the Head Coach at Gracie Barra Staple Hill.

Professor Joanna has gone from White Belt to Black Belt at Gracie Barra Bristol.

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Carlos Gracie Junior > Roger Gracie > Nicolai Holt > Joanna Maple

mark russell

Mark Russell

Brown Belt

Mark is a Gracie Barra Brown Belt, and he is the Head of the Morning Class Program at Gracie Barra Bristol. Mark won the 2022 award for Most Dedicated Student at Gracie Barra Bristol. Mark is a kind and caring instructor who takes pride in sharing his knowledge with the students at the school. Coach Mark has gone from White Belt to Brown Belt at Gracie Barra Bristol.

Rainer

Rainer Groh

Brown Belt

Rainer is a Gracie Barra Brown Belt, and he teaches the GB1 program at the school. Rainer was in the German Olympics Team as a long jumper and then his passion turned to Jiu Jitsu. Rainer is a highly technical and intelligent grappler. He works as a lecturer at Bristol University and applies his great intellect to Jiu JItsu while he is on the mats at Gracie Barra Bristol. Coach Rainer has gone from White Belt to Brown Belt at Gracie Barra Bristol.

Matt Hodge

Matt Hodge

Brown Belt

Matt is a Gracie Barra Brown Belt, and he teaches the GB1 program at the school. Matt is a determined and highly flexible grappler. He teaches in the GB1 program and works as an art teacher in a high school. Matt uses his teaching skills and experience to convey difficult concepts to students in an easy-to-absorb format. He is a kind, attentive instructor and is a great communicator. 

Andy Sukandar

Andy Sukandar

Brown Belt

Andy is a Brown Belt and he teaches on the GB1 program at the school. Andy is a highly technical grappler who trained under Roger Gracie in London before moving to Bristol.  Andy is an active competitor and competes in National and International competitions.

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Dr. Gregory Clarke

Brown Belt

Dr. Greg has been training martial arts for over 30 years. He started training in Karate and earned his black belt in the early 90s. He continued to be an active Karate club member and instructor until he joined Grace Barra Bristol in 2016. He enjoys the “hands-on” approach of BJJ. He teaches the Saturday morning MMA class in which he aims to help Gracie Barra students gain and develop the link between striking and grappling. Greg is a firm believer that training should be fun as there’s more to life than fighting! He has gone from White belt to Brown belt at Gracie Barra Bristol.

Elizabeth

Elizabeth Maple

Purple Belt

Elizabeth is a Gracie Barra Purple Belt and she teaches on the kids program at the school. Elizabeth is a talented and flexible grappler who started her training on the kids program at the school and has now graduated to become an instructor at the school. She was National Women's Champion at Blue Belt in 2021. Elizabeth has gone from white belt, through the kids belts and up to Adult Purple Belt at the school.

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