Here, you can meet our team of experienced instructors working at Gracie Barra Harrogate, and learn more about their journey, both on and off the mats.
All of our instructors undergo periodic Enhanced DBS checks, First Aid and Safeguarding in Sport Training.
Lewis Matthews, Head Instructor
Rank: Black Belt
Professor Lewis Matthews is the head instructor and owner of Gracie Barra Harrogate, and has been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since 2006. He was awarded his black belt in December 2017 from world champion and head of Gracie Barra Europe, Professor Victor Estima. Professor Lewis is a keen competitor and enjoys testing the efficiency of his Jiu Jitsu under pressure; but his main focus is in spreading the benefits of BJJ to members and supporting them in achieving their own goals. He places a strong emphasis on developing sound fundamentals and utilising intelligent grappling over the use of physical attributes to ensure longevity in the sport. Lewis believes in the ‘Jiu Jitsu for Everyone’ approach and ensures that Gracie Barra Harrogate caters for all students, from hobbyist to competitor alike.
Rank: Blue Belt
Luke joined Gracie Barra Harrogate in 2016 as a white belt, new to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He immediately fell in love with the art and since joining he has committed to training daily, completing his instructor certification in late 2018 to assist with the GB Kids programme as well as representing GB Harrogate at a national competition level. His youth and enthusiasm for Jiu Jitsu is a huge asset within our GB Kids programme, where he has developed his teaching style to effectively communicate complex techniques to our younger members.
Rank: Blue Belt
Phalana joined Gracie Barra Harrogate in 2016. After receiving his blue belt, he completed his instructor certification in order to help in the GB Kids programme and run our midweek daytime GB1 classes. He has a solid understanding of the fundamentals of Jiu Jitsu and is also a fully qualified Yoga instructor, so likes to incorporate health and flexibility into his teaching. Working within our GB Kids programme is where coach Phalana’s passion for Jiu Jitsu and teaching really shines through.