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Coaches & Instructors

At CORE MMA we are lucky to have a diverse and experienced coaching team, surrounded by senior students who fully support the team and act as additional trainers.

We promote growth in all areas, and often host seminars with local & international specialists in order to bring fresh techniques & ideas to the training table.



Carlo Meister

With Blackbelts in both Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & Karate, Carlo has an equal appreciation of both grappling and striking. Learn more

Chris Heke

Chris is known as one of the academies two 'mad professors', a very technical grappler - but never one to ignore the importance of solid fundamentals. Learn more

Ezra Berghan

Group fitness coach and the Beatdown IV Champion. Ezra has always taken an interest to physical improvement in its many forms. Learn more

Ethan Shepp

Kickboxing & Muay Thai Coach with fighters winning World Titles, King in the Ring and competing at Glory, ONE Championship. Learn more

Toby FitzPatrick

Toby is an excellent wrestler with international rankings, and has extensive skills in freestyle and submission wrestling as well as MMA. Learn more

Carl Houben

Carl absolutely loves teaching Beginners and Kids classes and has a real passion for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Learn more

Tiago Santa Ritta

Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Blackbelt (2nd Degree) & NZ Grappler National Champion. Learn more

Paris Tattersall

Receiving his BJJ Brownbelt under Team IPPON in the UK, Paris relocated to NZ after completing his degree in sports development and coaching. Learn more

Julius Poananga

Julius holds the rank of BJJ Purplebelt, and has accumulated a number of submission wins throughout his MMA career. Learn more

Mike Ryan

Mike is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Purplebelt and one of our Beginners BJJ coaches. He really enjoys seeing personal progress through BJJ. Learn more

Alexander Kalnins

Alexander is a BJJ & Judo practitioner, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Brownbelt and a frequent Masters division competitor on the NZ BJJ scene. Learn more

Ryan Johns

Ryan is the first to have graduated from both of our Youth MMA and Colts MMA programme to later become a staple member of our competition team. Learn more

Jonny Molloy

Personal Trainer, MMA Coach & former professional athlete in the English Super League. Learn more

Marc Lelievre

NZ representative for the IMMAF Amateur World Championships 2016 in Las Vegas, Shuriken & XFC Australia Champion. Learn more

Kim Hancy

British and NZ National Champion with a passion for supporting women’s jiu jitsu and the positive lifestyle that comes with it. Learn more

Kodee Ngatai

Muay Thai Trainer and Team Downs Gym founder. Kodee believes in applying sound scientific principles to Muay Thai. Learn more

Francis Bourke

Franky specialises in Long Term Athlete Development, with a keen interest in Sports Injury Management and Recovery. Learn more

Frank Jarrett

In early 2015, Frank won the "Road to Vegas" Lightweight tournament to find an NZ rep for the IMMAF Amateur World Championships in Las Vegas. Learn more

Joesef Hamblin

Joesef reached the coveted rank of BJJ Blackbelt in remarkably short time, and has won No-Gi Gold at the Gracie Worlds in Los Angeles. Learn more