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SCOTT OATES

BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU BLACK BELT & OWNER OF VBJJ

Scott is an experienced former Navy SEAL, 18 Delta Combat Medic and Nationally certified Paramedic (NREMTP). Scott has been an avid martial artist for over 35 years with a vast knowledge in a wide variety of martial arts, to include BJJ, Judo, wrestling, FMA and JKD. Scott has 15+ years of combative and hand to hand teaching experience. He is extremely proficient with both edged weapon and close-range handgun defense focusing on retention, shooting from retention and disarming techniques, as well as, Concealed Carry courses of instruction. Scott has taught in depth combative courses of instruction to civilians, Federal and State Law Enforcement, all branches of the Military and multiple foreign military groups to include Canadian Special Forces, as well as being a long standing combative instructor for a small nimble segment of the intelligence community.


Scott is a 3 rd degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under 6X World Champion Saulo Ribeiro, and a Black Belt in Judo. He has competed at every level of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition, both Nationally and Internationally, to include placing 3rd in the IBJJF World Championships as a Black Belt.


Scott is also a certified instructor for ShivWorks, a training and products organization that has been conducting training in the private sector in the U.S. and abroad for the past 18 years teaching open and closed coursework in 42 states and 11 countries outside of CONUS.


Scott also has vast experience as an Executive Protection (EP) SME for mobile security close protection details and counter assault support. He is also an experienced Surveillance Intelligence specialist and consultant, providing high-end support and consultation, i.e. Surveillance, counter surveillance and SDR (Surveillance Detection Routes) to many governmental agencies and the intelligence community, to include DOD, JSOC and USSOCOM.

Scott Oates Instructor _ Virginia Beach Jiu-Jitsu
DALE MCCLELLAN

BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU BLACK BELT & CO-OWNER OF VBJJ

Dale took 2nd place at the IBJJF Championship 2022 Masters 5 Lightweight Division as a Brown Belt. He earned his Black Belt under Professor Scott Oates.

 

Dale has owned and operated a Jiu-Jitsu Gym for many years. He received his instructor certification in Jiu-Jitsu in 2017 from Professor Saulo Ribeiro.

 

Dale is a former Navy SEAL combat veteran, and has been integrating full spectrum combatives in CQC training with firearms and other weapons to military and law enforcement for over 27 years all around the world.

 

Dale’s further professional experience is reflected in his biographical information at his other Companies; Special Tactical Services, LLC & Frog Dog K9, Inc. 501(c)(3).

BECKY ROSS

GENERAL MANAGER | WOMEN'S INSTRUCTOR

Becky Ross, a dedicated practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, holds the rank of brown belt under the esteemed guidance of Scott Oates. As the pioneering Head Instructor of the Women's Program and an instrumental part of the Kids Program, Becky has become a cornerstone of the Jiu-Jitsu community in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Her journey into Jiu-Jitsu began at Veneration BJJ in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where she initially watched from the sidelines as her children engaged with the sport. Compelled by the art and its discipline, Becky decided to step onto the mat herself, marking the start of a transformative journey. The Ross family's move to Virginia Beach in 2014 brought her under the mentorship of Scott Oates, where she has flourished both as a practitioner and an instructor.

Recognizing the challenges and barriers that women may face in a male-dominated sport, Becky has dedicated herself to creating an inclusive and nurturing environment within her programs. Her own experiences as one of the few women on the mats during her early days have informed her approach to teaching, aiming to demystify the sport for women and girls while fostering a sense of community and self-discovery.

In May 2021, Becky achieved a significant milestone in her Jiu-Jitsu career by receiving her brown belt from Scott Oates. This achievement not only represents her technical proficiency and dedication to the sport but also her commitment to enriching the lives of her students. Through her leadership and vision, Becky Ross continues to inspire and empower women and children in the Jiu-Jitsu community, proving that the martial art is for everyone willing to learn and grow.

SCOTT HORNE

ADULT INSTRUCTOR

Scott Horne, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and Navy submarine veteran, has woven discipline, perseverance, and a sense of community into his martial arts journey. Awarded his black belt by Professor Scott Oates on January 27, 2018, Scott's path in Jiu-Jitsu began in 2007 at Hybrid Training Center, fueled by an interest in MMA. His competitive journey saw him participate in local tournaments from 2008 to 2020, with a memorable first-place win in his initial no-gi tournament at a 2007 NAGA event in Virginia. More than his achievements, it was the experience of having his son Gabe cheer for him that remains a cherished memory, symbolizing the deep personal connections fostered through Jiu-Jitsu.

Scott's coaching philosophy is influenced by his naval experience, emphasizing consistent effort and the importance of a supportive community. Transitioning from a children's Jiu-Jitsu coach to focusing on adults, his teaching approach is grounded in building a strong foundation, enabling students to unlock their creativity and potential on the mats.

The relationship between Scott and Professor Oates extends beyond the dojo, characterized by mutual support through life's challenges. This bond has been pivotal in Scott's development, allowing him to cultivate a unique style of Jiu-Jitsu that champions individuality.

Beyond Jiu-Jitsu, Scott's interests in competitive chess, running, woodworking, and astronomy mirror the strategic and physical disciplines of martial arts. His son Gabe's involvement in Jiu-Jitsu has reinforced their bond, highlighting the sport's role in fostering resilience and community.

As he looks to the future, Scott aims to inspire through competition and contribute to a nurturing and inclusive Jiu-Jitsu community. His dedication to teaching adults and promoting a culture of kindness and open-mindedness reflects his commitment to the martial art's growth and the well-being of its practitioners.

MICHAEL KARAYIANNIS

ADULT COACH | INSTRUCTOR

Michael started his Jiu Jitsu journey in 2013 with Jonathon Uzcategui in Wilmington. After receiving his Blue Belt, he moved to Virginia Beach and found a home with Scott Oates at Hybrid Training Center, and now with Virginia Beach Jiu Jitsu. Throughout his colored belts, he competed in local tournaments all the way up to international tournaments. He really found his competition stride at Brown Belt, winning multiple IBJJF Opens, achieving two bronze medals at the IBJJF Pan American Championships, and winning multiple super fights in between all of that. In November 2022, he was awarded his black belt by Scott Oates. He has continued to compete as a black belt, winning the IBJJF Tampa Open and placing in multiple other IBJJF events. His current jiu jitsu goals are to teach and help others improve their jiu jitsu as both a hobby and as competitors, as well as to challenge himself in both local and international competitions.

TODD MCGOVERN

YOUTH COACH

Coach Todd Mcgovern Brown Belt VBJJ

• Wrestling and boxing background

• Started Jiu-Jitsu 2002

• Coached various fighters in Mixed Martial Arts from 2007 to 2015; both amateur and professional

• Professional Referee in MMA, Muay Thai, and Boxing from 2008-2016

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JONATHAN BUNCH

YOUTH | ADULT COACH

Born on July 18, 1990, in Norfolk, VA, Jon embarked on a journey that intertwined the disciplines of wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu into the fabric of his life. A graduate of Norfolk Collegiate School in 2009, Jon's initial foray into martial arts began with wrestling during his school years from 2002 to 2009, laying a foundational grit and discipline that would later fuel his passion for Jiu-Jitsu. His transition to Jiu-Jitsu occurred in 2012 while attending Flagler College, marking the beginning of a profound commitment to the art.

Under the guidance of influential figures such as Kiel Reid, a professional fighter with a history that includes participation in UFC's The Ultimate Fighter Season 9, and Roberto Cuartero, the owner of Gracie Barra Jacksonville, Florida, Jon refined his technique and philosophy in Jiu-Jitsu. Scott Oates further played a pivotal role in shaping Jon's approach to the sport, emphasizing the importance of dedication and continuous improvement.

A significant turning point in Jon's martial arts career was his transition to coaching, a role that allowed him to share his knowledge and deepened his understanding and appreciation for Jiu-Jitsu. Observing the sport's growing popularity over the past decade, Jon remains optimistic about its future, witnessing firsthand the evolution of Jiu-Jitsu into a more systematic and widely embraced discipline.

Outside the dojo, Jon is a passionate dog trainer, a hobby that reflects his patience, attention to detail, and ability to guide others, whether canine or human. These qualities translate seamlessly into his teaching philosophy, where he prioritizes clear communication, fundamental skills, and a mindset geared towards growth and resilience.

Looking forward, Jon aims to continue his journey as both a practitioner and an instructor, contributing to the development of Jiu-Jitsu through his dedication to teaching and his commitment to fostering a supportive and ambitious community. His advice to newcomers in the sport is simple yet profound: embrace the journey, focus on personal goals, and remain open to the lessons Jiu-Jitsu has to offer, both on and off the mat.

THOR WRIGHT

ADULT COACH

From the diverse landscapes of Pennsylvania and North Carolina, a passion for grappling took root in the life of a wrestler who would eventually embrace the intricate world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This individual found solace and challenge in the outdoor adventures of hiking and the joyful companionship of dogs, but it was the call of martial arts that truly shaped their path. 

 

 Inspired by the innovative approach of the Mendes Brothers and fueled by a competitive bond with their brother, this person embarked on a Jiu-Jitsu journey characterized by growth, introspection, and a commitment to excellence. After a hiatus for college and work, a pivotal return to the mats in 2017 marked a renewed dedication to the sport, reflecting a broader evolution within Jiu-Jitsu itself—a shift from isolated techniques to comprehensive, systematic training.

 

Achieving a black belt stands out as a crowning achievement, underscoring a journey not defined by trophies but by personal evolution and the overcoming of unseen challenges. Preparation for competition became a mental and physical regimen, focusing on strategic game plans tailored to individual strengths and goals. 

 

The transition to teaching was sparked by a desire to share knowledge and influence the next generation of practitioners. Emphasizing a conceptual approach over rote memorization, this instructor prioritizes mental preparation, instilling a mindset of focus and creativity in students. The belief is that understanding the goal of each position fosters a more adaptive and innovative Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. 

 

 Looking ahead, the aspiration is simple yet profound: to train indefinitely, sharing wisdom with as many as possible. The strategy for contributing to Jiu-Jitsu's growth lies in teaching—passing on a mindset of dedication, focus, and adaptability. This legacy, built on the mats and shared through every lesson, aims to inspire students not only to achieve in sport but to embody the principles of Jiu-Jitsu in every aspect of life.

Collin Walker
COLIN WALKER

ADULT COACH

Colin is an instructor with the Fundamentals/Intermediate program at VBJJ. He first found jiu-jitsu through Penn State’s club team during his Junior year. After graduating, he returned to his home town and spent 3 years training MMA under UFC veteran Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch. 

Following a move to Virginia Beach (and 5 year hiatus from jiu-jitsu), Colin’s passion for the art was reignited. He resumed his training at Virginia Beach Jiu-Jitsu in 2016 and has been here ever since, receiving his brown belt from Scott Oates in 2023. As a Fundamentals coach, he emphasizes the foundational concepts and physical principles behind the effectiveness of each technique, and promotes a systems-based approach to strategy. 

Outside of the gym, Colin is a zoo and aquarium Curator of Reptiles, Amphibians, Invertebrates, & Aquatics, specializing in the biology, training, and captive management of crocodilians, snakes, and lizards. 

JORDAN BINDER

YOUTH | ADULT COACH

Jordan, originally from Currituck County, North Carolina, is a dedicated family man, married to Megan with three children, and a seasoned police officer with a passion for sports, including wrestling, baseball, and ice hockey. His journey into jiu jitsu began alongside his son, blending his professional need for self-defense with a personal interest in martial arts. Guided by Professor John Scamordella and inspired by his training partners, Jordan embraced the discipline, learning to appreciate every training session as an opportunity for growth.

Jordan's background as a three-time North Carolina state wrestling champion and his collegiate wrestling at UNC Pembroke highlight his competitive spirit and athletic discipline. Transitioning from wrestling to jiu jitsu presented challenges, especially adapting his techniques and overcoming the size disadvantage against larger opponents. His approach to competition preparation combines mental focus and physical training, leveraging his wrestling experience.

Jordan's teaching career in jiu jitsu evolved from sharing his wrestling expertise to teaching fundamentals, emphasizing the importance of patience, humility, and respect. He aims to equip his students with a strong jiu jitsu foundation and life skills such as hard work and discipline. As he looks forward to achieving his black belt, Jordan sees it as a collective victory, reflecting the support and dedication of his community. He remains committed to teaching, particularly enjoying his role in shaping young minds through jiu jitsu, and plans to continue contributing to the sport's growth, possibly through wrestling training opportunities. Jordan's story is one of passion, adaptation, and the desire to leave a lasting impact on his students and the jiu jitsu community.

Jordan Binder
Gian_VBJJ
GIAN GACES

YOUTH COACH

Gian has been training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for over 4 years. He originally began his Jiu-Jitsu journey in Las Vegas and moved to Virginia Beach after joining the Navy. He found a home within Virginia Beach Jiu-Jitsu and has become a passionate competitor, competing in several local and national tournaments. He began helping with the kids' classes over a year ago and enjoys teaching and growing the kids' program.

PATRICK BROCKMAN

ADULT INSTRUCTOR

BIO COMING SOON

DAVID BICKFORD

YOUTH COACH

David is a wrestler turned Jiu Jitsu coach. He has competed in many local and regional tournaments at both blue and white belt level. In Highschool he wrestle for Steve Castle at Episcopal HS, where he held the record for the quickest pin in just under 9 seconds. David went on to place 3rd in the state of Virginia, at the 119 LBS weight class.  David is senior Vice President of Divaris Real Estate, where he negotiates industrial high bay leases and sales. His coaching philosophy is largely focused on drills over stagnant move lessons. The more reps, the better the muscle memory. When he’s not on the mats you can find him surfing at 1st street or spending time with his family. His son Dylan is a fierce BJJ competitor and attends most local and regional tournaments.

ANN MARIE MCGUNNIGLE

LITTLE SAMURAI INSTRUCTOR | COACH

Ann Marie joined VBJJ in February 2015. She quickly fell in love with the gym, the atmosphere, the instructors and her teammates. Ann Marie has been involved in youth sports and youth groups, from softball, to Boy/Girl Scouts her entire adult life. Her commitment and draw to youth activities is natural and when the opportunity to help assist in 2019 presented itself, she happily accepted it.  She became Lead Instructor of the Little Samurai classes (ages 4 – 7) in 2020 and has helped to grow this amazing team of Little Ninjas. Ann Marie’s approach to coaching is to provide a safe, disciplined and FUN mat space for her “Littles” along with laying the foundation for lifelong skills such as teamwork, discipline, self-control, self-esteem and confidence. Ann Marie teaches the very basics/beginnings of Jiu Jitsu, her primary goals are to keep them engaged and encouraged. Ann Marie believes their Jiu Jitsu journey will last their lifetime, so keeping it interesting & fun is also her goal. Ann Marie is the Director of Contracts at International Flooring & Protective Coatings, Inc., where she oversees Project Management & Estimating of decking on Navy Vessels and Commercial projects.  Some of Ann Marie’s other interests are reading, camping, and spending time with her family.

Ann Marie
CHASE BINDER

YOUTH COACH

In the heart of Virginia Beach, Chase Binder's story unfolds, deeply rooted in a family passionate about martial arts and storytelling heroes like those in Star Wars and Batman. Chase’s martial arts journey began with a shared interest with his father, Jordan Binder, leading them to the mats of Virginia Beach Jiu Jitsu (VBJJ) and embarking on a path of discovery and growth together. 

 

Chase's mentors, including his father, Professor Will Loushin, and Professor Todd McGovern, have been pivotal in shaping his jiu jitsu philosophy. Their influence is evident in Chase’s dedication and approach to the sport. A defining moment for Chase was his transition from student to teacher, marking a new chapter in his jiu jitsu journey. This evolution mirrored the sport's own development, growing more complex and competitive, offering practitioners like Chase new challenges and opportunities.

 

 

 Achieving his blue belt and taking on the role of instructor are highlights of Chase's jiu jitsu career, symbolizing his commitment and progress. Facing challenges, such as training with the formidable Professor Chris Ward, has only sharpened his resolve and technique. Now, with three years of teaching experience, Chase strives for a teaching style that combines enjoyment with discipline, aiming to forge not just adept jiu jitsu practitioners but also well-rounded individuals. 

 

 Chase believes in the transformative power of jiu jitsu, emphasizing the importance of humility, discipline, and the potentially lifesaving nature of the skills learned. His vision extends beyond the mat, hoping to inspire his students and contribute to the sport's global recognition, perhaps even seeing jiu jitsu represented in the Olympics one day. Guided by the principle that the journey in jiu jitsu is as rewarding as it is challenging, Chase continues to grow and inspire, living by Todd McGovern’s motto, “If it was easy, we’d all stay home,” and pushing forward in his quest to enhance the jiu jitsu landscape.

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