JUSTIN ETHERIDGE

Founder • Head Striking Coach

Justin has been helping fighters, athletes, and fitness enthusiasts reach their goals for years. Whether he’s training his rapidly growing fight team or teaching group classes, his favourite approach is to blend boxing and Muay Thai with conditioning. Known for his energy, passion, good sense of humour, and work ethic, Justin is a coach with experience in competitive grappling and mixed martial arts. He has travelled internationally to train with world-class coaches including Dickie Eukland, Sean Thompkins, Martin Kampmann, Mark Delagrotte, Mike Passenier and the legendary “El Guapo” Bas Rutten. Bas Rutten said of Justin: “It’s refreshing to meet people like Justin, people who come in to train and actually really want to learn and become better teachers.” Justin firmly believes that if a coach is not learning, he's not doing his job. That's why, whenever he gets the chance, Justin likes to travel and train with the best coaches in the sport.

DIEGO VÀZQUEZ

Head Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Coach

Diego grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He started his training in judo when he was three years old and competed for the first time when he was only five. At 13, Diego switched to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and he earned his black belt under BTT Canada founder, Fabio Hollanda. With over 30 years of training in BJJ, competition and his passion for coaching, Diego is one of the best coaches in Canada. He does not sugarcoat things. He says BJJ is a very hard sport, especially when you begin. But he promises that if you work hard and tough it out, “you get addicted.” Still, even if BJJ is not for the fainthearted, Diego welcomes his students to every class with a wide and friendly grin.

IAN CLYDE

Boxing

Ian “Shotgun” Clyde has had a long and storied life as a boxer. His father boxed in the Navy and started training Ian when Ian was only 8 years old. Ian went on to win the Golden Gloves competition when he was 16 and compete in the Olympics, PanAm and the Commonwealth Games. When he finally turned pro he was coached by Angelo Dundee, who also coached Muhammad Ali.

This all sounds impressive enough but when Ian was only 3 years old, growing up in Verdun, he was afflicted by a disease that dried out his joints and he had to wear a steel brace on his legs until he was six years old. Doctors gave him 50/50 odds of walking without it and told him he’d never play sports. It was during those years that he began the focused visualization that he carried with him throughout his career. In 1974 he beat the Cuban champion Bautista Hernández and Fidel Castro offered him a cigar and predicted that Ian would become the next world champion in his division. Other historical figures in Ian’s life are Sugar Ray Leonard, Joe Lewis, Muhammad Ali, Jackie Gleason, Farrah Fawcett, Sylvester Stallone, Mordecai Richler, Pierre Trudeau, and he even had a brief meeting with the Queen.

Ian says boxing is “a game of chess with muscles” and he firmly believes in the power of goal-setting, hard work and positive visualization. He says that “whatever you can believe, you can achieve.”

SEAN ST. LOUIS

Muay Thai

Sean started training in Muay Thai around 2009, driven by his love for martial arts movies and watching MMA. Although Sean has always been a competitive person and was active in many sports, doing Muay Thai was the first time he really felt challenged. That drove him to be better. Sean loves how Muay Thai is a no-nonsense, all business martial art. In his classes he enjoys blending cross training and Muay Thai, because this gives each class a different feel and allows his students to work on strength, flexibility along with martial art technique. He says that, “watching the development of my students and private clients is the most rewarding” and that “the pure joy you see when they make a breakthrough or can suddenly do a technique they previously couldn’t, is amazing to witness.”

CONNY REYES

Boxing

Conny is an amateur boxer in the classic sense of the word. She loves the sport. Since discovering boxing in 2009, she has boxed competitively and become a boxing coach. She has over 20 amateur fights already under her belt and these days is training with Canadian boxing legend Ian Clyde to build on her plans to go pro in the near future. What hasn’t changed is her love of boxing. As a teen, Conny tried a cardio class to lose weight and get healthier. The class wasn't what she was looking for but, at the same gym, she saw two fighters working pads. Once she tried the pads, she was instantly hooked. She asked them where the boxing gym was and the rest is history. She says that, “being the only girl at that boxing gym, it motivated me to prove to the other fighters that I can accomplish the same thing as them.” Conny says that she was often the last person at the gym because “for very first time in my life, it made me feel that I was in a safe place, it gave the power to believe in myself, to have a clear mindset.” What drives her to teach are students who want to learn more about authentic boxing, who respect the sport, and who enjoy being trained and pushing their limits. She knows that, no matter your size or weight or gender, nothing can stop you if you work hard enough and with enough focus on your goals.

KATHY PRATO

Cross-Training

Kathy has done sports all her life and loves the passion, the discipline and the challenge to be the best version of herself that she can be. She is drawn to teaching because she loves helping people, making them smile and helping students challenge their limits. Kathy is particularly happy when she sees people realize that anything is possible if they work hard and are disciplined. She pushes herself to always be learning new kinds of workouts, and loves how the different personalities of her students make her adapt her teaching all the time. Kathy says, “I guide my students to find balance between Mind, Body and Spirit in a dynamic and fun way. Let me take you to the next level!”

SIMON TRAVERSY

Boxing

Boxing is the last combat sport Simon took up but it's the one that stuck. He loves the chess-like element of it and he enjoys learning about its long history, from the Ali-Frazier trilogy, to Mike Tyson's epic life. Most of all, Simon loves learning boxing itself. This learning took a giant step forward in 2014 when he first travelled to Cus D'Amato's KO Boxing Gym, home of the famous peek-a-boo style. Currently, Simon is a level II boxing instructor with the FQBO and says that, "Boxing is truly a cerebral and psychological sport where you play chess with your opponent." He loves how it makes him try to outdo his adversary by trying to figure out his next move. For Simon, he says, "boxing is not about fighting but self-discovery, self-control, self-discipline and self-mastery." He believes that anyone from any age, gender, background or social status can benefit from it. One of the beautiful things about boxing is that you don’t have to fight to enjoy the benefits of it. He points out that many people take up the sport just to stay in shape. In the end, he says, "it takes heart and smarts."

HAYDEN BYE

No-Gi Jiu Jitsu

Hayden holds a brown belt in BJJ with Brazilian Top Team. He discovered MMA in high school and fell in love with the sport. It was when he fought at the amateur level for a couple years that he realized that he was a natural grappler. In university he switched to pure BJJ. For Hayden, there are always more details or strategies to learn in BJJ and he always finds something new. He says, "it's the perfect balance of the physical and mental." For him teaching makes him think about why he does what he does and keeps him developing a deeper understanding of it. The moment he sees students click with a drill, whether in training or competition, makes it all worthwhile. Hayden knows BJJ is a challenge but he also knows that students that "listen, show up and try hard regardless of skill or talent" are the ones that make the best progress.

JASON MOREAU PEATE

Kids BJJ

Jason holds a purple belt under Fabio Holanda with Brazilian Top Team Canada. He has trained BJJ since his early twenties and soon began volunteering with kids' classes. Once he'd earned his purple belt, he started teaching the class. He says that his passion is in "retransmitting my love of the sport to younger generations, teaching through amusement, fun and proper knowledge of our techniques." Jason says he firmly believes in what Joe Rogan once said, that “it’s good for kids to learn complicated things.” With this in mind, Jason says his goal is to make sure his young students enjoy their time in the class, learn how to resolve issues and get out of trouble. With regular effort they will figure out the how, why, and when of the sport. They will learn to work together, to win with humility, and lose with their heads held high. Jason says, "the parents of my students have often said to me: 'I don’t know how you do it. How are you so patient?' To this, I usually reply, 'I have not forgotten what it was to be a kid. I’m here because I love doing this.'"

BEN GALLO

Kids BJJ

Bio coming soon!

All trainers are certified, experienced and have CPR and/or First Aid.