The FIRST Renzo Gracie Black Belt in Canada
Pat Cooligan is a black belt under Renzo Gracie – the first in Canada, and the fourth Gracie Jiu Jitsu Black belt in Canadian history.
For the past several years, he has been a professional martial artist and full-time instructor.
Aside from his BJJ accolades, which include a silver medal at the Pan-American BJJ Championships, he also holds the rank of 4th degree black belt in traditional Jiu Jitsu.
His real skill, however, lies in teaching, in which he has had (and continues to have) a rich and varied experience.
Pat has not only produced several championship grapplers, he was featured in a 4-week BJJ demonstration on the A Channel’s “News at Noon” program, and also in On The Mat, one of North America’s premier grappling magazines.
Pat also has taught the Canadian Army and Special Forces on numerous occasions, and is the recipient of several commendations from the Department of National Defence as well as from several different branches of the Canadian Army.
Pat has also had the pleasure of training with some of the best BJJ has to offer – notably Helio, Royce, Rickson, Renzo, and Roger Gracie, to name only a few of the Gracie family members he has met..
Pat has also traveled to Brazil several times to the world-famous Gracie Barra School to hone his skills and teaching ability, and stay current on the newest techniques in Brazil.
Pat is OAMA’s Head Instructor, and oversees all programs.
You can contact Pat via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Multi-talented athlete – the most diverse instructor at OAMA
Nick Castiglia has been training in the martial arts since he was ten years old, beginning first with traditional Jiu-Jitsu before moving on to Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate, where he received his first degree Black belt from Sensei Mike Sywyk.
He also had the opportunity to compete with Team Canada in Japan and the United States. While in Japan, he was able to train extensively with the Okinawan Masters at the Jundokan.
When he was twenty years old, Nick met Pat Cooligan, with whom he began learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and also continued his training in traditional Jiu-Jitsu.
In September 2003, Pat awarded Nick his first degree Black belt in traditional jiu-jitsu, and less than a year later, his Blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.Then after winning the Renzo Gracie Invitational at Blue Belt in April 2008 he received his Purple Belt from Pat Cooligan.
BJJ has led Nick to Brazil, where he trained at the famous Gracie Barra, and to the United States, where he trained and competed. He has also had the privilege of training with many high-level BJJ Black belts as well.
Under Pat, Nick has also ventured into the world of professional Mixed Martial Arts, traveling as far as Guam to fight.
Nick began training Muay Thai in January 2003. Several years into his training, Nick traveled to Thailand to train under Kru Andy Thomson at Lanna Kiat Busaba Muay Thai Gym in Chiang Mai.
While there, Nick learned to be a better Muay Thai practitioner, but more importantly in his mind, a better Muay Thai instructor and pad holder, which is now his specialty. Nick has also spent a great deal of time training at The Wat in New York City with Kru Phil Nurse and WKA National Muay Thai Champion Jamie Crowder.
While in Canada, Nick makes frequent trips to Toronto to train with Kru Chris Kew, an alumnus of Lanna Chiang Mai and the Ontario Middleweight Champion.
One of Nick’s main foci at OAMA is now managing, in which he works very closely with Matt Hache.
Nick has been teaching children the martial arts since he was 15 years of age. He also has over four years of experience as a Child and Youth worker.
Nick draws on much of his experience with children both in and outside of the martial arts, and consistently works with the industry’s leaders to further his knowledge of working with and better understanding children.
Nick also runs marathons and triathlons in his spare time.
Nick is one of the most diverse instructors at OAMA (teaching Muay Thai, Children’s Jiu Jitsu, Kettlbell, and MMA)
Nick’s achievements include
Renzo Gracie invitational Blue Belt Champion
2X Grapplers Quest Champion
Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Champion
RKC Certified Kettlebell Instructor
Can Fit Pro certified personal trainer
Accomplished competitor, teaching at all levels – from kids to professional MMA fighters
Matt Haché is one of the most dedicated students and accomplished competitors at Team Renzo Gracie.
Matt has been training with Pat since November 2002, and received his Purple belt from Renzo Gracie in May 2006. Then Matt received his Brown Belt from Pat Cooligan in Aug 2008 and finally he received his Black Belt from Renzo Gracie in October 2012.
Over the years, Matt has emerged as one of the main instructors in the BJJ, MMA, and Children’s programs at OAMA.
Matt also helps coach students at BJJ tournaments; he also helps OAMA’s Professional MMA fighters prepare for their fights; and is in their corner come fight time.
Matt is Assistant Instructor to Pat when working with the Canadian Army and Special Forces. He has represented OAMA at numerous community charity events as well.
Matt’s involvement in BJJ has led him to travel the globe. Matt has been to Los Angeles multiple times to train and compete.
During the 2005 Pan American BJJ Championships, Matt was asked to represent the US in the “Brazil vs. USA” series.
He has trained extensively at the main academy in New York, and traveled to Brazil multiple times to train at the world famous Gracie Barra Academy in Rio de Janeiro. He has also competed in the Mundials in Rio in 2005 and 2006. Matt has competed at the Worlds in L.A. in 2007, 2008 and 2009. During the summer of 2003, Matt had an extended stay in Barcelona, Spain, where he trained with Robin Gracie.
It is very common for Matt to train with the likes of Renzo Gracie and John Danaher on a regular basis, making Matt a valuable part of the team.
On the tournament circuit, Matt has defeated notables such as Miguel Torres, Ryan Hall, Taylor Hayes, Andy Kwan, and Andrew Redden. Matt has won OAMA’s Excellence in Competition Award every year since the award was created.
Along with teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA, Matt is also heavily involved in the development and growth of the children’s programs offered at OAMA. Also to further his knowledge of self defense Matt has now immersed himself in Israel Martial Arts.
Matt’s acheivements include –
Boston Open 2011 – Brown Belt Bronze
Las Vegas Open 2011 – Brown Belt Gold
Miami Open 2011 – Brown Belt Bronze
British Open 2010 – Brown Belt Gold
NYC Open, 2009 – Brown Belt Silver
NAGA/Arnolds, 2008 – Purple belt Champion, No Gi Advanced Champion
NAGA New Jersey, 2008 – Purple belt Silver, No Gi Silver
Renzo Gracie Invitational 2008 – Purple belt Champion
NAGA New Jersey, 2007 – Purple belt Champion, No Gi Advanced Champion
NAGA/Arnolds, 2007 – Purple belt Champion, No Gi Advanced Champion
Renzo Gracie Invitational 2007 – Purple belt Champion
NAGA Connecticut, 2006 – Purple belt Champion, Advanced No Gi Champion
Grapplers Quest New Jersey, 2006 – Purple belt Bronze, Advanced No Gi Silver
NAGA Rhode Island, 2006 – Purple belt Silver, Advanced No Gi Silver
Arnolds 2006 – Blue belt Champion, Amateur No Gi Silver
NAGA New Jersey, 2005 – No Gi Intermediate Silver
Grapplers Quest Virginia, 2005 – Blue belt Silver, No Gi Intermediate Champion
Grapplers Quest New Jersey (New Jersey), 2005 – Blue belt Silver, No Gi Intermediate Champion
Pan American Championships 2005 – Blue belt Silver, Brazil vs. USA series Silver
Arnolds 2005 – Blue belt Champion
Grapplers Quest New Jersey (Elizabethtown), 2005 – Blue belt Champion,Advanced No Gi Silver
Grapplers Quest Las Vegas, 2004 – No Gi Intermediate Silver
NAGA New Jersey, 2004 – Blue belt Silver, No Gi Intermediate Champion
Grapplers Quest Virginia, 2004 – No Gi Intermediate Champion
Grapplers Quest New Jersey, 2004 – No Gi Intermediate Bronze
Arnolds 2004 – White belt Bronze
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