Meet Our Coaches

Coach Gino

BJJ Black Belt
Yoga for BJJ Certified Instructor
BJJ Fit Instructor

I feel all my life’s experiences have prepared me for this role of head coach and co-owner of @balancebjjnorthlakes. Years of community work with kids, teens and families, to construction, etc has led me here.

I began training MMA in 2010, wanting to be a cage fighter. Although I quickly realised that life wasn’t for me, I fell in love with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and have been training ever since.  
As a Coach – I’am driven to to do the best i can by our students. To be the ABSOLUTE best coach i can be. 
My belief is that the difference between being a coach and an instructor is HUGE. A Coach’s role extends far beyond showing moves. My promise – is to constantly be improving my skills, methods and my approach. To put the students and their growth as grapplers and people FIRST. 

As a Coach  – I strongly believe in the theory of Ecological Dynamics. In our academy, we exclusively use the Constraints Led Approach (CLA). In my opinion as Head Coach, this is THE most effective method in guiding students learning and Skill Acquisition. 

Coach Steph

Pilates Instructor
Yoga For BJJ Certified Instructor
BJJ Blue Belt

I’ve been in the strengthening game for a while – preaching about nurturing the one and only body you’re given. As a practitoner of Pilates and Yoga for more than Ten years now I was focused on ‘old is the goal’ – wanting to stay mobile and strong as my body goes through life’s many challenges.

And then i found BJJ…. and knew i wanted to venture into a world that not only could keep my body strong – but could challenge me mentally in a way I hadn’t found anywhere else. However in this pursuit I learnt that the injury rate in BJJ is 100%. You can play a cautious game, but you rely not only on yourself but also your training partner – and accidents can happen. So then my focus went to how I can stay on the mats as much as possible for as long as possible – and help others do the same. While i know things are never one size fits all – I have found through Pilates, Yoga For BJJ and other mental and physical self care that I am able to aid in prevention and quick recoveries so that i can spend more time doing what I love.

Coach ryan

BJJ Fit Instructor
Storie Gym HQ Coach
Cert 3&4 in Fitness
BJJ Blue Belt

Ayo! Assistant coach Ryan here checking in. 

Since 2021, I have coached people at Storie Strong HQ to achieve their health and fitness goals. These have ranged from; becoming more resilient in BJJ, improving their body composition, increasing their strength for competition in powerlifting to optimising movement patterns for day-to-day life. I love helping those who are seeking change. 

Having walked this path of change, I was in a pretty bad mental space in 2016. Being overweight, physically and mentally weak, with poor self-talk and going through life with zero direction led me to not believing in, and ultimately giving up on myself. Knowing that I was made for more, I decided to flip the script on this narrative by focusing on eating right, getting stronger and performing better.

BJJ came into my life not because I was looking for it, but because I was ready. In my short time doing this there is no doubt in my mind, that like everything else in life, discipline and consistency are not optional, but necessary. As assistant coach, I will do everything I possibly can to motivate and empower you to foster and perform Jiu Jitsu in your own unique way.

coach Hunter

Assistant Kids Coach
BJJ Blue Belt

Hi, Im Hunter – better known in our academy as ‘Jimmy’. I began training bjj 3 years ago in Victoria, my home state before quickly finding my passion for the sport. Having been at Balance since our opening and I’ve had the incredible opportunity to learn and train as a coach. I always strive to give my all in coaching and in my day to day life. Recently I have begun management training with McDonald’s and look forward to seeing what the future brings. “It is what it is.” My personal favourite quote.

Coach jules

Judo For BJJ Instructor
Judo Black Belt
BJJ Brown Belt

I have been involved in martial arts since the year 2000. In 2014 I had my first MMA fight, was taken down and tapped out in the first round. It was then I realised that I had to learn grappling, in January 2015 I started Judo & Bjj a week apart and was instantly bitten by the grappling bug, realising that Judo complemented my Bjj stand up (every fight starts on the feet) and Bjj complemented my ground work. I spent between 2015-2019 travelling and training across Australia, Europe and Asia whilst actively competing, moving to brisbane in December 2019. I was actively competing in bjj until 2021 until Judo completely took my focus as I wanted to ensure I entered the higher belt levels at a certain standard and have been lucky enough to be training with Gino and the team at Balance Bjj since then. In November 2022 I obtained my bjj brown belt and judo black belt. Earning my Judo black belt has enabled me to take my focus off competition and re-examine the Gokyo no waza (Judo’s syllabus) in an attempt to understand and refine the basics. Im looking forward to sharing my knowledge and helping our members expand their knowledge in the standing position.