Matthew ‘Stalone’ Callaghan
My name is Matthew Callaghan aka Stalone a nickname given to me by my professor Lucio ‘Lagarto’ Rodrigues.
I am a black belt of nearly 6 years (first degree) and have been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since 2003; I left my job in 2012 and started teaching full time at Gracie Barra Preston.
I am an active competitor and have competed all over the world, trained with some of the best guys in the world and have been to places I‘d have probably never been to if it wasn’t for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!
I’ve medalled at the European championship in both gi and nogi, won gold at the IBJJF London Open, British Open and even double gold at the IBJJF British Nationals in 2016.
This year I will mainly be concentrating on making a success of my academy and helping all my students achieve their personal goals be it in competition, training, getting in shape or just in self-confidence, but I’ll try to sneak a couple of competitions in too if possible!
Wayne ‘Gato’ Blezard
Wayne Blezard AKA ‘Gato’ is a Lucio ‘Lagarto’ Rodrigues Black Belt who has been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since 2007 and has been a Black Belt since August 2015.
Wayne started training in the martial art in his mid-thirties with the aim that he could share it with his two young boys when they got older. He soon became an avid fan of the art and has had to tailor his training around his family and work commitments.
Wayne has competed a number of times over his journey to Black Belt with his most notable win being at the British Open where he won gold in 2014, he has also won other competitions at Purple Belt notably Manchester Open and the North West Open.
Wayne is very keen to assist people in achieving their goals in BJJ and in assisting Professor Matt with creating a safe and welcoming academy for people to train and grow in. He realises it is not everyone’s goal to be a world-beater and has advice and guidance to those wanting to achieve their goals whilst being someone who has other commitments.
- Blue – Aug 2008 Lucio ‘Lagarto’ Rodrigues
- Purple – Aug 2009 Lucio ‘Lagarto’ Rodrigues
- Brown – Jun 2012 Lucio ‘Lagarto’ Rodrigues
- Black – Aug 2015 Lucio ‘Lagarto’ Rodrigues
Matt started BJJ late in life at the age of 41 and is a brown belt. Matt has been coaching for around 3 years.
As well as a coach, Matt is an active competitor, having competed at numerous events around the world. Most notable medals are silver at The World Masters in 2016 at Las Vegas and silver at The European Championships in 2014 and 2016, plus a bronze in 2013.