Owner, Head Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor
Brian is from Covington, Virginia, where he began studying jiu-jitsu in 2009 under Dennis Hayes. He currently holds a purple belt.
Brian established Total Defense Martial Arts in 2016, when he purchased Valley Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
He lives in Stuarts Draft, Virginia, with his wife and two daughters.
He believes strongly in the self-defense side of jiu-jitsu, particularly in a child’s ability to defend against bullies.
Affiliate Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor
As one of the owners of our parent school, HYBRID Martial Arts, Dennis Hayes mentors Total Defense’s members, provides guest instruction, and officiates our belt tests.
Dennis earned his black belt in 2008 from Master Pedro Sauer and now holds a third degree. He lives in Roanoke, Virginia, with his wife and two kids and works for Roanoke City Fire/EMS.
Self defense is Dennis’s first priority in jiu-jitsu, with competition being a close second. He says jiu-jitsu is a great training ground for empowering its practitioners to deal with other areas of life not strictly related to martial arts.
Art brings 70 years of boxing experience to Total Defense Martial Arts. He has trained almost 30 professional boxers and two national amateur champions.
He is a USA Certified coach and previously instructed at the Staunton Boxing Club.
From Philadelphia (like another famous boxer), Art now lives in Waynesboro, Virginia.
His training philosophy is, “Keep your hands up!”
After 20 years as a Tae Kwon Do practitioner, Leasa began boxing in 2000 and eventually instructed at the Staunton Boxing Club.
She has trained more than 20 amateur competitors.
Originally from Vietnam, she now lives in Fishersville, Virginia, with her husband. She has six children and thirteen grandchildren.
Her training philosophy is simple: “Work hard.”
Filipino Martial Arts Instructor
Originally from Colorado Springs, CO, Jay has been training in the martial arts since 1984 and holds black belts in Shorin Kempo, Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Kung Fu, and of course, Arnis Kali.
He was a full-time professional martial arts instructor from 1990 until 2017, when he moved to Staunton where he now lives with his wife and son.
Kids Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor
Matt assists Brian in teaching our 6–12 year olds the fundamentals of the art.
He is originally from Burke, Virginia, where he earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He began jiu-jitsu in 2013 and now holds a blue belt.
He lives in Staunton, Virginia, with his wife and two sons. His boys, Owen and Thomas, also study jiu-jitsu, a course Matt hopes they will maintain their whole lives.
Matt is an author, and jiu-jitsu occasionally features in his stories.