MEET THE COACHING TEAM
Our coaches are fully qualified with the British Judo Association and hold Safeguarding and Protection Certificates, First Aid Certificates, and are DBS checked.
Head Coach: Mike Nugent - 3rd Dan - UKCC Level 3 Coach
Mike has been involved in Judo for over 30 years and has run several judo clubs in that time, an area champion during his competitive career and involved with England Youth training. Mike oversees all the coaching that takes place at Drake Judo Club, including setting technical theory and lesson plans for our other coaches. Mike personally takes charge of our ‘Squad’ session on Wednesday evenings and is also one of 3 examiners within DJC. Mike has a ‘Judo for All’ ethos which runs through the spine of our club believing that every child or adult deserves the same amount of time and support.
Junior Coach: Ross Taylor - 2nd Dan - UKCC Level 2 Coach
Ross started his journey in Judo 30 years ago as a 7-year-old novice. Since then he has been involved in coaching at several different clubs with judoka of all ages. Ross has twice been selected for the Great Britain Masters team and has two silver medals from National Championships. He oversees our Saturday morning classes in Plymouth with a focus on competition technique. Ross also runs our Sparkwell Classes and delivers
taster sessions to schools around the Plymouth and Tavistock area
Ross is one of our 3 examiners within DJC.
Mark Adams: Deputy Head Coach – 4th Dan – UKCC Level 2 Coach
Mark started his Judo career almost 20 years ago as a junior with Plympton St Maurice club, since then Mark has gone on to be one of the most successful players from the Western Area having won championships all over the UK as both a Junior and a Senior, he is a former British Number 1 ranked player as a senior and a former British Champion and has fought at many European and World events as a Master culminating in a Bronze Medal at the World Championships. Mark has also trained in Japan in some of the world’s top dojo’s, Mark is based in our dojo at FLO Martial Arts and coaches a variety of beginners, intermediates and advanced players.
Kylie Adams: Ladies Coach – 3rd Dan – UKCC Level 2 Coach
Kylie began her Judo career at the age of 8 in Cornwall and through hard work and determination managed to achieve consistent National rankings, she has won many many different championships all over the UK and abroad. She is a two time former British Champion and a European medallist, she also represented GBR at the 2012 Olympic Test Event in London, as a competitive 3rd Dan she is one of the most highly ranked females in the area and has a passion to promote Ladies and Girls Judo which is her main focus here at Drake Judo Club, she is based in our dojo at FLO Martial Arts. Kylie is also an Examiner within DJC.
Junior Coach: Corey-Ann Lidstone - 1st Dan - UKCC Level 1 Coach
Corey-Ann is a Plympton girl and started Judo here in the city as a child. She is a rare 3rd generation player, with her Dad and Grandad being well known Plymouth players, a national medallist in her competing days, she trained under Roger Downs in Saltash, which is evident in her style of Judo and coaching, focusing on core strength, movement, positioning and overall gymnastics. Corey-Ann currently coaches the biggest classes here at Drake Judo Club at our Saturday morning Intermediates class. Extremely popular with our younger players.
Corey has been with DJC since our inception.
Junior Coach: Ros Hopkins - 1st Dan - UKCC Level 1 Coach
Ros is well known within the Western Area under her maiden name Lucas. She was a member at the Launceston Club for many years and represented Great Britain at Pre-Cadet, Cadet and Junior levels, being selected for National Squads at all 3 age levels. Countless area titles and national and international medals make Ros one of our most successful individual players at Drake Judo Club. Ros is currently a support coach for the Western Area and also mat-side coaches for our players at competition passing on her considerable experience to our players at that level.
Junior Coach – Rob Hutton - 1st Dan – UKCC Level 1 Coach
Rob is originally from Kent and spent his junior years there before joining the Royal Marines, he is a former national medallist and being a lightweight is an important part of our junior coaching team, he is also still competitive and has taken numerous medals in the area and at Combined Services events, Extremely quick and agile his Judo is very technical and explosive.
Elite Coach: Gary Gregory – 2nd Dan – UKCC Level 2 Coach
Gary takes care of the Elite side of our Judo meaning the players that are looking to make the step up to national level can benefit from Gary’s experience, his sessions focus on competition techniques and scenarios and many of our players have seen huge benefit from the work Gary has done with them, Gary is an England Judo Support coach. Gary is a competitive 2nd Dan and has won numerous National Medals himself subsequently becoming part of the British squad, he has been involved with Martial Arts for virtually all of his life. His record of developing players from novice to champion is unrivalled.
If you have a bad habit Gary will spot it a mile off and get it removed!
Guest Coach: Steve Coles – 2nd Dan – UKCC Level 2 Coach
Steve has been practicing Judo for over 20 years and was part of the Great Britain squad as a cadet, he was also selected for the Great Britain Squad for Masters a few years ago, Steve is very passionate about understanding the movement and flow of technique and brings to the club his unique coaching skills, Steve has a deep Judo knowledge base and adopts a very Japanese style of coaching he attends session for both Seniors and Juniors
Junior Squad Coach: Ben Fletcher – Olympian
Ben currently coaches our competitive juniors where his sessions always prove popular with both the players and his fellow coaches, Ben is an Irish international and Olympian(Rio 2016) and is one of the World’s best judo players, consistently being inside the worlds top ten rankings, As a junior he was a World Championship medallist and National Champion on numerous occasions. Asa Senior he has won Gold at IJF World Cups, European Cups and countless international tournaments, In the last 2 years he has taken two Grand Slam titles and medalled in 7 others making him one of the most consistent players in the World. He will be representing Ireland at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020 where he will be one of the athletes looking to make a big impression. As you can imagine Ben is a huge inspiration to all our players
Senior Coach: Charles Knape - 2nd Dan - UKCC Level 2 Coach
Charles began his Judo journey in Plymouth some 40 years ago and quickly established a reputation as one of the cities and indeed the country’s top fighters. As a junior, Charles was Area Champion countless times, fought in National Teams and became British Champion, He represented England abroad and also trained with the junior British squad and trained at the world famous Budokwai in London under some of the world’s best players. Fantastic technique and a will to win are the attributes that Charles relishes in passing onto our players. Charles heads up our classes in Tavistock for 8 year olds, all the way up to our senior competitors.
Senior Coach: Mike Askew – 1st Dan – UKCC Level 2 Coach
Mike or ‘Yorkie’ as he’s known (he’s from up north!) is our Junior coach for our Ashburton Class.
Over 30 years in Judo makes Yorkie one of our most experienced coaches, he has trained over the years at both BJC and BJA clubs. He has excellent technical Judo and is a fantastic coach for players taking their first steps, Ashburton caters for all ages and grades. Mike also has a driving school when he’s not coaching Judo, ‘Black Belt Driving Academy’ we think he’s hoping to get a few customers over the next few years!
Assistant Junior Coach: Kate Green - 1st Dan - UKCC Level 1 Coach
Kate is an active competitive player for Drake Judo Club, representing us in some of the biggest competitions in the UK. She is starting to make her journey on a coaching career and assists at Tavistock and Plymouth.
She also recently achieved her 1st Dan Black Belt.
New Coach: Dave Aston - 1st Dan
Primaries Coach: Mark Bettey - 2nd Kyu – UKCC Level 1 Coach
Mark took up Judo a few years ago and has been steadily making his way through the grades. He oversees our primary section and is the lead coach for that age demographic. He is also competitive and won numerous medals for DJC.
Junior/Senior Coach: Dan Brown – 2nd Kyu – UKCC Level 1 Coach
Dan started Judo as a result of his son taking up the sport and has progressed very well since starting,
he is one of our founder members and remembers when we only had 7 players on our main class!
He is currently a 2nd Kyu Blue Belt and has won more medals at competition than any other Senior player.
Dan currently ‘floats’ and takes many sessions across all our centres, He is also a qualified Mat-Side Coach and can examine up to Orange belt
Assistant Junior Coach: Callum Lyons – 2nd Kyu – BJA First Steps into Coaching Qualified
Callum is one of our older Juniors and currently assist both Ross and Corey with the coaching of younger junior players, at 15 his own career is still very much in his infancy and is progressing very well having taken medals at the British Schools and BJC Nationals, Callum is very popular with our juniors all of which look up to him as a fantastic example of how a DJC Judo player should carry themselves. He has passed the BJA First Steps into Coaching Course and will later this year take his UKCC Level 1 course
Assistant Junior Coach: Lucy Knape – 3rd Kyu – BJA First Steps into Coaching Qualified
Lucy has been involved with judo since 4 years old, she has won many medals for Drake and currently assists in Tavistock on a Friday evening, with Mark for our Primaries and with her Dad during the Junior class, Lucy does her own training on a Friday and Wednesday. Lucy has passed the BJA First Steps into Coaching Course.
Assistant Junior Coach: Jessica Jennings (JJ) – 5th Kyu - BJA First Steps into Coaching Qualified
JJ started Judo just over a year ago through one of our taster sessions at Plymstock School, she has made remarkable progress in that time and is one of most constant attendees when it comes to her own training. She now assists Corey and Ross on a Saturday and Mike on a Wednesday, JJ has passed the BJA First Steps into Coaching Course.