GLENN SPIERS, our Head Coach, is a full time, professional judo coach. A 5th Dan (Level 4) judo instructor under the BJA, Glenn teaches Judo to kids and adults in some of the best clubs in London, places such as the Budokwai (the oldest Judo club in the world outside Japan), Carlson Gracie London (where he also trains BJJ, holding a brown belt), and Imperial College Judo Club. Renowned for his excellent tuition, friendly and informal style (and strong ne-waza), he has a ton of experience in both teaching and competing, and he is also a BJA official. Glenn is the backbone of Shinbudo – without his teaching, passion, and tutelage the club would not exist (period). In a previous life, Glenn was a school English teacher for some 17 years!
ILYA SAMORODOV, is our Level 1 Sambo/Combat Sambo coach. Ilja started his Sambo journey at a young age, in his native Lithuania, developing early on a keen interest for competitive Sambo. Ilja’s achievements include:
- Sambo/Combat Sambo Certified Level 1 Instructor;
- Judo Black Belt (shodan under the BJA);
- Gold- Baltic Open Sambo Championship (Estonia);
- Bronze – Lithuanian Sambo Championship (Lithuania);
- Silver 2x – Kent Open Sambo Championship (United Kingdom);
- Gold 3x – Vilnius Open Sambo Championship (Lithuania);
- Bronze – St. Petersburg State University Open Student Sambo Championship (Russian Federation);
- Silver – Lithuanian Kyokushin Karate Championship (Lithuania);
- Gold – Vilnius Open Kyokushin Karate Tournament (Lithuania).
Through his Sambo journey, Ilja trained with some of the best in the business. Legendary figures such as USSR Master of Sambo Vladimir Yashkin, 3 times World Sambo Champion Eduardas Rudas, and Lithuanian Combat Sambo champion Alexandr Gorelik. Having moved to the UK as a university student a few years ago, and currently working in the City of London, Ilja remains passionate about spreading Sambo in the UK.
EMMA PURSEY is our BJJ coach. Emma accidentally started jiu jitsu when she arrived at a class she had thought was something completely different, and was too polite to leave. (She was a full day late for the class she had meant to go for…)
Polite as ever, she has since gone on to win a bucket-full of national titles at white, blue and purple belt, as well as making three major podiums, with a silver and bronze at the Europeans, and a silver at no-gi worlds.
At 52kg, Emma has developed a game to suit smaller athletes, and has proved its efficacy with a haul of open weight victories over significantly larger opponents.
Emma was top-ranked blue belt in the UK in 2018 before earning her purple belt from Darragh O’Connail in early 2019.
Work commitments have taken Emma back and forth between Cardiff, Kent and London, allowing her to gain invaluable instruction from black belts Dickie Martin, Sam Gibson, Ffion Davies, Bryn Jenkins, Omied Khakshour and Jamie Hughes.
Now permanently based in London, Emma trains full-time at Carlson Gracie HQ.
NICK KOUNTOURIS is a level 2 wrestling coach under the British Wrestling Association. He is also a shodan in Judo (and a L1 coach under the BJA) and a blue belt in BJJ.
Nick started with wrestling and, then, judo as a youngster, but his interests drifted towards the striking arts when he was a teen (‘In retrospect, time well spent’ he says – especially the years competing in Shotokan karate-do, where he holds a black belt too). He rekindled with grappling in his early thirties, training assiduously, and never looked back.
When he is not on our mats he enjoys (‘a lot!’) teaching law in one of London’s universities.
As a club we are are massively indebted to a number of groups and individuals that have assisted us and shared their knowledge with us. First and foremost those who taught our athletes in the past, before the vicissitudes of life brought them to pastures new.
Kazuhiko Fuchikawa was one of our assistant coaches in 208-19. Kazu is a 2nd dan black belt under the All Japan Judo Federation and, while here qualified as a Level 1 BJA judo coach. He started judo in his native Japan, studying under Andou Katsuhide (安藤勝英) Sensei, and was once a member of Keio University’s judo team. Admired for his effortless style (and feared for his ashi-waza techniques), Kazuhiko brought to our club a taste of the Japanese judo spirit: technical mastery combined with generosity, modesty, and courtesy (which is probably what the principles of Seiryoku zenyo/maximum efficiency and Jita kyoei/mutual benefit are all about). Now back in his native Japan, Kazu is still active on the judo competition scene – and extremely active on the Competition Law one!
Mabast Hussein was our Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach in 2017-18. Mabast started training BJJ at Carlson Gracie London when he was 13 years old and is currently training under 10-times world champion legend Roger Gracie. He is a purple belt and a consistent and keen bjj competitor having won numerous national titles in comps such as the IBJJF London International Open, the British Open, English Open and many more. He has travelled around the world to compete and train with some of the best in the sport. As a result he has a highly sophisticated and well-rounded understanding of the sport and is now keen to pass these skills onto his students. When he is not rolling on some bjj mat, Mabast is an equally hardworking theoretical physics student at Imperial College.
Eric Ciake taught wrestling at Shinbudo in 2016-17. Eric needs no introduction. Once a formidable competitor in the 66Kg, Eric eventually moved into coaching, quickly rising through the ranks and becoming one of the most senior and respected Team GB, UWW qualified coaches. During his short spell with us, he laid the foundations of our current wrestling division.