Meet The Team


Adam Gregory

Co-founder and Mixed Martial Arts coach


Michael Wood

Co-founder and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach


Jose Maria Macedo

Co-founder and assistant coach


Kieran O'Brien

Co-founder and Kickboxing coach


Shane Ogley

Co-founder


Andreana De Vecchis

Customer Experience Manager


Daniel Hope

Wrestling and MMA Coach


Joseph Butler

Head of Kids programme


Adam Gregory

Co-Founder and Mixed Martial Arts Coach

Adam is a professional Mixed Martial Arts competitor with a 7-1 record and four finishes (http://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Adam-Gregory-112407). In competition he has won MMA Championships and multiple British national titles in Taekwondo. Adam is a qualified instructor in Kickboxing, MMA and Kung Fu. He has been lucky enough to travel the world teaching martial arts under Grandmaster Samuel Kwok for over a decade. In addition, he is an experienced fighter and catch wrestler having been coached by Erik Paulson blackbelts and former MMA champions James Evans-Nicolle and Matthew Chapman for several years. Adam's martial arts excellence and coaching ability was recently recognised by the World Wide Martial Arts Council who honoured him with the title of 'Teacher of the Martial Arts' - making Adam one of the youngest people ever to receive the award. Like his friend Coach Kieran, he is also a Lancaster University graduate with a skill for research. Adam excelled in his studies receiving multiple academic awards and graduating with a first in Business and a distinction in his masters in Knowledge Management. Adam decided to put his doctorate studies on hold while he attempts to be one of the best Mixed Martial Arts competitors in the country. He looks forward to training with you!

Michael Wood

Co-founder and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach

Although he only started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 6 years ago, Michael is already widely regarded as one of the top BJJ competitors in the UK, having won: Manchester open, Liverpool open, Blackpool open, Northwest open, Grapplemania, Grapplenation. While it may seem prodigious to some to achieve this much success in such a short space of time, Michael is no stranger to becoming world-class at things quickly, having been one of the best counterstrike players in the world in his teens and and later an extremely high-level powerlifter and bodybuilder. Using these experiences, he applied the same method to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: meticulously studying the very best and most cutting edge BJJ practitioners in the world such as Caio Terra, Ryan Hall and the Mendes brothers and mimicking and modelling himself after them. As all his students will attest, he is also an excellent teacher and communicator, having quit his job as a schoolteacher to found Kaizen. Michael's aim is to become a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world champion.

Jose Maria Macedo

Co-founder and Assistant coach

Jose Macedo (or Zé) is a Lancaster University student and a former teenage poker prodigy and self-made millionaire turned entrepreneur. At 16 he began playing online poker and quickly rose up the ranks to become one of the best players in the world, attracting sponsorships from Lock Poker (one of the biggest poker sites in the world at the time) and working as the top instructor for PokerStrategy - the biggest online training site in the world. At 19 he quit poker and began his entrepreneurial journey - starting BTMCleaning, a student for student cleaning company that quickly grew to employ 60 people and KitchPack - a student supplies company which had partnerships with 30+ Universities throughout the UK which he sold last year. Jose is also an avid martial artist, having trained with Kieran, Adam and Michael for years. Using his knowledge of game theory from his online poker days, he helped refine their years of martial art experience and knowledge into a cohesive syllabus guided by unifying principles rather than techniques.

Kieran O’Brien

Co-founder and Kickboxing coach

Kieran is an undefeated professional Kickboxer, 2X Brazilian Jiu Jitsu European Champion and Mixed Martial Arts competitor who has challenged for two national amateur MMA championships.
Martial arts have always been Kieran’s passion, and he has practiced and studied them obsessively since he was 12 years old. His quest for martial mastery has taken him all over the world where he traveled to train with and learn from the martial arts elite, including Ninjutsu Grandmaster Maasaki Hatsumi, Wing-Chun Kung Fu Grandmasters Ip-Ching and Ip-Chun (sons of Bruce Lee’s legendary Wing Chun teacher Ip-man) and MMA legend Masakazu Imanari. He’s achieved black belts in Ninjutsu, Wing Chun Kung fu and kickboxing as well as training and competing extensively in MMA, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling and Taekwondo.
Kieran has used this experience to craft his own unique style which emphasizes elusiveness and hitting without getting hit, blending together the best of each martial art he studied with a deep understanding of rhythm and timing from his years as a high-level drummer. Indeed, Kieran is constantly learning and not just from martial artists as he’s borrowed concepts from game theory, philosophy and even music theory and incorporated them into his game (If you’re interested feel free to come by the academy and ask him about it, as those who know Kieran will attest to the only thing he likes doing as much as martial arts is talking about martial arts). Upon graduating from Lancaster University with a masters in Philosophy he decided, much to his parents' disapproval, to devote himself to martial arts full time. His aim is to become one of the best MMA fighters in the world.

Shane Ogley

Co-founder

Shane is a local entrepreneur and self-made man with an inspirational story. Although he always had big dreams, growing up he was forced to quit academia in high school and begin working as a labourer in order to support himself. However, he always hated the work and knew he wanted to do more with his life so he spent all his spare time reading books seeking to improve himself and learn new skills. At 24, he felt ready to take the plunge, so he quit his job as a labourer and began working at a mobile phone shop. Since he had no qualifications, he started at the very bottom as a shop assistant, but in 2 years he rose through the ranks to become the highest paid sales executive at the entire company. Not satisfied with working for someone else, he quit his job and struck out on his own, using his experience to start a mobile phone repair centre which was such an overwhelming success that he's now expanded to multiple shops across the UK. One year later, he started another business - Prestige Hair Salon which is a very popular business in Lancaster. Having boxed since a young age, Shane immediately understood the problem Kaizen Academy sought to fix: that the martial arts are extremely interesting and intellectually challenging but are often taught poorly and in hostile environments. He has put his other businesses on auto-pilot and is now focussed on putting all his expertise to use in making Kaizen the best it can be.

Andreana De Vecchis

Customer Experience Manager

Andreana De Vecchis is a Law student from Rome, Italy. You may wish to ask, and in fact people often do: “What on earth is she doing in Lancaster?”. To cut a long story short, she met and fell in love with Kaizen cofounder Ze Macedo on a Greek island in the Summer of 2014 and one year later they were living together in Lancaster.
While she witnessed the birth and growth of Kaizen, she never quite understood what all the fuss was about as she remained adamant that she didn’t want to try out the training (“there’s too much touching”) until July 2016 when she finally gave in and tried out Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. She immediately fell in love with the art and with Kaizen, training everyday and entering and winning her first competition after only 3 months.
As Kaizen kept growing, Andrea became and more and more involved in the business and her authenticity, intelligence and personality made it absolutely clear that we needed her on the team. She has been Kaizen’s first hire and our official Customer Experience Manager, ensuring our customers have an excellent experience both on and off the mats. While she has only been at Kaizen two months, none of us know how we ever survived without her.

Daniel Hope

Wrestling and MMA Coach

Dan is an extremely experienced fighter and competitor in multiple martial arts as well as one of the current top professional MMA fighters in the country. Dan has fought all over the world including in Russia in front of Vladmir Putin! He has also fought some of the top fighters in the world including current UFC fighters such as Rashid Magomedov. He is currently the #1 ranked welterweight MMA fighter in Scotland and #18 ranked Welterweight fighter in the UK. Not only this, he is also a former top 10 ranked Muay Thai fighter in the UK and as well as a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu purple belt with phenomenal competitive results (he has won every competition he entered). His home gym is The Griphouse in Scotland - one of the best gyms in the UK - and he has brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to Kaizen, specifically on the wrestling and cage-work front. Dan currently takes the MMA classes on Mondays at 19:30PM.

Joseph Butler

Head of Kids programme

Joseph Butler (Joe) is a former school science teacher with a passion for the martial arts. Lancaster born and bred, Joe attended Lancaster Royal Grammar School before studying Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of Manchester. It was during his time in Manchester that Joe found martial arts, training in Wing Chun Kung Fu and Wrestling. Seeking to widen his knowledge of the human body, Joe also worked part-time as a personal trainer and gained a REPS Level 3 Qualification. Upon returning to Lancaster to work as a Science teacher, he began training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Kaizen Academy and in under a year dominated the local competition scene, winning the Northwest Open and Scottish Championships. Joe initially began helping us with some of our youth classes and we were so impressed with his teaching ability, work ethic and passion that we decided to offer him a job heading up our kids programme. Joe, a firm believer in the benefits of martial arts for children’s development, left his job and accepted our offer. His goal is to combine teaching theory with martial arts in order to develop a world-class kids programme and produce future champions - on and off the mats. Additionally, Joe is also a highly skilled musician and has played in several bands including being guitarist and vocalist for a touring death metal group.

Come down to meet the team or get in touch below

Contact Us