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.

Most my adult life I have been heavily invested in health and fitness- from CrossFit to kettlebells and beyond, including yoga.

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. What draws me to BJJ, is it represents the purest form of immediately measurable human improvement. You train, fail, learn, adapt and try again. Jiujitsu can change your life. It breeds confidence, discipline, resilience and determination. BJJ isn’t easy, and will challenge the body AND the mind of the student who trains. The rewards however – are so worth it. BJJ is, in my opinion the single greatest tool for improving physical and mental health. BJJ CAN be for everybody. For every age. That’s the beauty of the art. Anyone who takes the mats with the right attitude can benefit and see change.


I began teaching at Blue Belt, many many years ago.

I realised very early in my grappling journey that my passion is to teach and share Jiujitsu. To give people the opportunity to see the beautiful impact it can have on their lives. Also showing people how to have BALANCE. How to invest in their bodies and it’s longevity. Learning to supplement BJJ with other types of training is crucial, to keep us healthy and thriving on the mat and off. That’s what we focus on here at @balancebjjnorthlakes.

In December 2021 i was awarded my BJJ Blackbelt under my coach Robbie Paraha with my other coach, Dan Higgins in attendance. Not many make it to Blackbelt. Bjj is tough on the body and the mind. I made it, not through talent or physical gifts – but rather through resilience, passion and by being fortunate to have great coaches and training partners over my journey.

At Balance, we want to provide our people with an environment where they can put their hard hats on, do the hard work and discover resilience and determination they didn’t know they had.

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, I’m Hunter! Recently I’ve begun instructing at Balance BJJ and I’m so excited to have the opportunity to teach others this amazing sport. Recently I’ve moved from Victoria to the North Lakes and have been enjoying the warmer weather. Currently I am completing year 11 and hope to obtain my ATAR.

Im looking to join the army after high school. 

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.