Our Instructors

Jason Finnell

Jason Finnell has been involved and competing in some sort of martial arts his entire life.  A three time Tennessee State Champion wrestler for McCallie School in Chattanooga TN, and a University of Tennessee Chattanooga wrestler, Jason has been been coached and trained by wrestling and BJJ greats, including University of Iowa Head Coach Terry Brands, McCallie School Head Coach Mike Newman , University of Tennessee Chattanooga Head Coach Heath Eslinger,  Tommy Wales, Master  Renato Tavares, Chattanooga Fight Factory founder Chad Miller, and Professor Shawn Hammonds.

Jason was the 2011 Tennessee State BJJ NO-GI Advanced Division Middle Weight Champion, the 2012 Vero Beach Open Purple Belt Champion, and the 2015 IBJJF Dallas Brown Belt No-Gi runner up, and the 2016 IBJJF Atlanta Brown Belt No-Gi runner up.  Also competing in ultra distance mountain biking, running, & paddling races, he and his team won their division at the 2012 Atomic 30 hour Adventure Race.

Derek Cleary

Derek Cleary has been involved in martial arts his entire life.  He began training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Alliance Headquarters in Atlanta Georgia with BJJ legend “Jacare,” in 1996.  Derek loves BJJ and all the benefits he feels it brings to every person who dedicates the time and energy to train.  Derek is also a licensed mixed martial arts judge, and has judged numerous fights and main events for the UFC, Bellator, and other major mixed martial arts promotions.  Derek is a Black Belt under Professor Shawn Hammonds.

Pac Lewis

Pac started training Brazilian jiu-jitsu in 2005 with a local club and received his black belt in 2017 under Shawn Hammonds. Training primarily in southeast Tennessee and Georgia, Pac has competed and won gold at NAGA, Grapplers Quest, Copa-America, Lutador, Smoky mountains, and is a multiple time Tennessee state bjj champion. 

Besides being a black belt under Shawn Hammonds, Pac has also trained with Helio Soneca, Royce Gracie, Ryron Gracie, Renato Tavares, Tommy Wales, Samuel Braga, Cobrinha, Lucas Lepri, and many other world class competitors! 

Pac also tried his hand at mma attaining a record of 4-1 and an amateur boxing record of 4-0 rounding out his martial arts training. 

Gabe Shupe

Coach Gabe is a fire fighter for the Dalton Fire Department, and a member of the prestigious Georgia Smoke Divers.  He is a BJJ Black Belt under Professor Shawn Hammonds.

Ann-Marie Bernitt

Ann-Marie Bernitt began training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 2004.  She received her blue and purple belts from Master Pedro Sauer and her brown belt in 2012 from Master Renato Tavarez, and her Black Belt from Professor Shawn Hammonds in June of 2015. 

Ann-Marie is trained in, and has taught Gracie Jiu Jitsu and self-defense as well as BJJ for 7 years and has had the privilege to train with the following Jiu Jitsu legends:  Grandmaster Helio Gracie, Grandmaster Rorion Gracie, Master Rickson Gracie, Master Louiz Palaharez, Master Pedro Sauer, Master Renato Tavarez, Royce Gracie, Ryron Gracie, Renner Gracie, Helio Soneca, Israel Gomez, and Mike Budnik.  Locally she has trained with Professors Mickey Swafford, Tommy Wales, and Professor Shawn Hammonds. 

Vince Caggiano

Bio coming soon…

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