Our Instructors

Alex Riley

The Start Of Alex's BJJ Journey

Alex’s path to becoming the head coach at Black Dog BJJ is marked by both challenge and triumph. Following a car accident that necessitated a shift away from various sports, Alex found a new avenue in Jiu Jitsu. This discipline not only offered a physical outlet but also became a key factor in his recovery, helping him navigate through a difficult period in his life.

Taking a different approach With BJJ

With a strong national competition record and considerable coaching experience, Alex brings a high level of expertise to the mats. His concept-led approach to teaching BJJ, diverging from traditional detail-focused methods, emphasises broader principles and strategies, empowering students to develop a more intuitive understanding of the sport.

Black Dog Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Black Dog Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: As an active member of the BJJ Globetrotters, under the lineage of Chris Paines, Alex embodies the community’s values of openness, inclusivity, and a non-political approach to BJJ. This ethos resonates in his coaching style, where the focus is on learning and enjoying the art in a welcoming environment, free from the constraints of traditional hierarchies.We do things differently here at Black Dog BJJ.

Alex’s story is not just about overcoming personal obstacles but also about embracing the communal and transformative spirit of BJJ. At Black Dog BJJ, he is not only a coach but a mentor who inspires through his journey and dedication to the sport.

Alex Riley Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Dog BJJ Head Instructor

Oly Whelan

The Start Of OLy's BJJ Journey

With a rich background as a 12-year veteran of the UK military, brings a distinct blend of discipline and strategic acumen to the mats at Black Dog BJJ. His martial arts journey is augmented by his experience in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), which has provided him with a comprehensive understanding of combat sports.

DIfferent ideas in bjj

Embracing Jiu Jitsu in his mid 30’s, Oly is a testament to the idea that passion and commitment to martial arts can flourish at any age. His MMA experience enhances his BJJ instruction, offering students insights into both striking and grappling disciplines.

Black Dog Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

As an instructor, Oly is dedicated to guiding students through their martial arts paths, emphasizing resilience, adaptability, and continuous learning. He is especially skilled in mentoring those who begin their BJJ training later in life, creating an inclusive and motivating environment.

Oly’s journey from military life to the world of BJJ, enriched by his MMA experience, underscores his dedication to both personal growth and the empowering nature of martial arts, making him a key asset to the Black Dog BJJ team.

Oly Whelan Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Dog BJJ Head Instructor