INSTRUCTORS

ALEX FOLEY

Alex comes from a family full of Martial Artists, deciding early on that this was the path he wanted to follow as his lifestyle and career choice. He began training in Kenpo Karate at the age of 7 under Mike Foley Sr, and quickly became addicted to the thrill of the sport side of Karate, always eager to compete and determined to get his Black Belt. After training for several years and making his way up through the belt ranks, Alex took on a new passion for Jiu-Jitsu in his teenage years, further enthralling him in the world of learning & training Martial Arts. He began teaching classes for his family in his late teens and at the young age of 20, set out to open his own location in the Goulds. Alex says there is no better feeling than passing on his passion for Martial Arts and seeing the impact it has on his students lives, watching them work hard and grow into confident, capable adults. Always one to work hard and keep busy, Alex went on to open four locations of his own. 

In March of 2017, Alex’s hard work and dedication earned him the title of director of the WKC (World Karate Commission) for all of Atlantic Canada. Each year he travels with a team of students from the Atlantic provinces to compete at WKC Nationals in Ontario; students who place at Nationals become part of Team Canada and travel to WKC Worlds, which could take place anywhere across the globe (the team gets to travel to a new destination every year). This has opened the door to many amazing opportunities for Alex and our team – not only are we now taking in a lot of extra training opportunities with the best instructors & talent from all over, but there are also seminars & extra tournaments around the world bringing new friendships with Martial Artists from every walk of life. 

Alex still thoroughly enjoys teaching and training with his students and has no intentions of slowing down any time soon! He takes great pride in developing students into coachable athletes with strong skillsets, helping them reach their full potential.  Whether you want to train to potentially become a future World Champion, or learn some important self-defense and help boost your self-confidence, or just want a new fun hobby that keeps you active and helps you make new friends, he will do his best to help you reach all your goals! 

JIM FLOOD

Sensei Jim Flood is undoubtedly one of the world’s best Martial Arts coaches & athletes, and it’s an honour to have him as part of our team. He began training when he was 12 years old and has a multitude of accomplishments and accolades that set him apart from all other Martial Artists. He currently holds a 7thDegree Black Belt in Karate, a Black Belt in Gojo Ryu Karate, a Black Belt in ITF Taekwondo, and a Black Belt in Jiu-Jitsu through CJA. Mr. Flood has several major tournament wins over the years, taking home several National & World Championships throughout his competitive days. In addition to his training & coaching career, he is the founder of Elite Performance Consulting (which aims to help students from all sporting backgrounds achieve their best), he’s a successful school franchisor & businessman and coach of the Canadian National Team. Sensei Flood has certifications as a mental performance coach, a character coach is educated in the psychology of mindset and performance. Mr. Flood has helped produce hundreds of World Champion athletes and continues his coaching role as part of the WKC and as an important instructor & mentor at a few of our locations.  

Mr. Flood has an infectious personality and a way of building up everyone around him. He takes genuine interest in his students and does everything he can to help build them into the best versions of themselves, always showing students they can achieve anything they set their minds to. Mr. Flood’s vast experience as a Martial Artist, his education which further compliments his coaching abilities, along with his uplifting and positive attitude make him a phenomenal coach and a wonderful influence to have on our students at AFAMA.  

ZACK CONNOLLY

Zack has been a permanent fixture and familiar face at the club since he first registered at our dojo not long after we opened. After years of hard work & dedication, he was one of two of the first students we ever promoted to Black Belt at our academy. 

Zack has trained in every class he could over the years including Karate, Kickboxing, Jiu-Jitsu, Self-Defense and Weapons. He quickly became a Junior Leader, helping to teach other classes when he wasn’t training himself. His quiet, timid personality eventually gave way to show his genuine spirit and fun, down to earth personality that made him an instant hit with our students. He began teaching classes of his own when he got his Black Belt and is always there to support and encourage his team. 

Zack has traveled to multiple tournaments all over and has placed in several national and world events (including tournaments in Scotland & Florida), earning himself a spot on Team Canada to represent his country on a world level every time he’s gone to nationals. 

He is a talented athlete and a natural as an instructor, always a favorite among students of all ages. 

IVAN BURT

Ivan started training in our Adult Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program when we opened our first location in the Goulds in 2010. He has been there through all the changes we have made over the years and has become a very important member of our team. 

Ivan is an extremely detail-oriented instructor and makes sure all of our students are reaching their full potential. Always one to step back from his own training in class to lend a hand to someone who needs extra help, Ivan was an instructor long before the role was official, always taking time to help others learn and do better. 

He is a very positive, goal-oriented person who is determined to achieve what he sets out for. Ivan never started training until his mid forties and is determined to get his Black Belt in Jiu-Jitsu – he’s a true inspiration and testament to how age doesn’t matter in Martial Arts; you can start training any time! 

DON SINNOTT

Don started training in our Adult Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program in 2015 shortly after his son registered for Kids Jiu-Jitsu with us. He has been a great asset to our team over the years, always extremely reliable and willing to help coach, ref, set up at tournaments and help out with our Kids Jiu-Jitsu classes. 

Don is always up for a challenge, loves a good training opportunity and is always game for competition. His natural ability for the sport, combined with his competitive spirit and knack for teaching kids made it an easy decision to have him take on classes of his own. 

Don is a great instructor and a big hit with our students, balancing class time with a good focus on the curriculum while also having fun and getting the most out of training. He is an important part of our team and we are lucky to have him teaching our students!

FAITH PATEY

Faith has been training with us at our academy since she was 7 years old. She will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the most dedicated students we have ever had – she has always been there when needed, training in every single class available to her (in every applicable program), junior leading everyday and helping out any way possible; she has been a constant presence at the club since the day she joined. This hard work and dedication has earned Faith the title of our first ever female Black Belt in 2021 (a goal she set out to achieve many years ago).  

Faith has trained in several programs over the years including Karate, Self-Defense, Kickboxing, Weapons, Continuous and Jiu-Jitsu. She has an extremely competitive spirit and is a force to be reckoned with on tournament day. Faith has traveled to compete in tournaments all over the world, placing in several major events with our team (including massive tournaments in Scotland, Florida & New York), even earning a spot on Team Canada to compete at a world level.  

Faith is a natural when it comes to teaching kids, possessing that special quality that always makes her a favourite with our younger students. Her long term dedication and natural teaching ability made her a perfect fit to start teaching classes of her own!Faith is a great role model for all current and future students and we are proud to have her as part of Team Foley. 

ALEXANDER BIRMINGHAM

Alex registered for Karate in 2014, and the transformation that has taken place since that day is still one of our favourite stories to talk about. Alexander was an extremely shy, quiet young boy who instantly fell in love with training. He buckled down from day one and worked extremely hard to make his way up through the belt system, finally earning his Black Belt in Karate in 2021 alongside two of his best friends. We are proud to say that Alex is now a confident, strong and reliable instructor who inspires his own students everyday to break out of their comfort zone and push themselves to be their best.  

In addition to Karate, Alex has trained in multiple programs over the years; including Jiu-Jitsu, Self-Defense, Weapons, and Continuous Sparring. He definitely has a competitive side and his hard work and focus shines on tournament day. Alex has competed and placed in some major tournaments, including the 2018 WKC Aberdeen Open in Scotland.  

Alex is an extremely important member of our team and we are proud to have him influencing all future AFAMA Black Belts!  

RYAN BENNETT

Ryan started training with us in 2011, not long after we opened. He was a funny, extremely energetic child who quickly rose to the challenge of being a junior leader and has done a phenomenal job since day one. Ryan’s genuine, kind and down to earth personality makes him an instant hit with students of all ages! He is a very well rounded, natural athlete and has trained in multiple programs with us including Karate, Jiu-Jitsu, Continuous sparring, Weapons & Self-Defense. Ryan has travelled to compete in multiple tournaments all over the world, including major events in Ireland, Scotland, Florida, NY and more; he has consistently earned himself a spot on Team Canada and went on to win two World Titles at the age of 17.  

Ryan’s patient and friendly character make him a great asset as an instructor. He has a great way of bonding with every student in class, no matter their age or experience level. He is a big part of the AFAMA fam!  

KATELYN FARRELL

Katelyn began training in Martial Arts at a young age, and her passion & love of training keeps her dedication strong all these years later. She is an extremely focused, hard-working and detail-oriented student who puts her all into everything she does. Katelyn takes in every training opportunity she can and never backs down from a challenge. She travelled with our team to Nationals in Ottawa last year where she earned her spot on Team Canada to compete at the World Tournament in NY. Katelyn actively trains in every single class she can, working hard to achieve all her goals in Karate, Jiu-Jitsu, Weapons, Self-Defense & Continuous. She received her Karate Black Belt at AFAMA in 2021! 

Katelyn has proven to be a very responsible, reliable instructor who quickly gains the respect of everyone who shares the mats with her. Her friendly and down to earth personality make it easy for her to hit it off with students of all ages, always demonstrating the importance of hard work & commitment and we couldn’t be happier to have her on board at AFAMA.  

LEAH FLOOD

Leah is an extremely talented Martial Artist who definitely shines even more when it comes to kata & weapons. She began training when she was 9 years old, quickly getting bitten by the competition bug at the age of 10 and has gone on to compete in numerous tournaments around the world since then! On the mats, especially in competition, Leah is a laser focused, disciplined and intense Martial Artist who can use a bo-staff like it’s an extension of her own arm! Off the mats, Leah is the most friendly, kind and humble person who always has a smile on her face.  

Leah’s hard work & dedication has brought her to several major tournaments all over, travelling to places around the world including Ireland, Scotland, Florida & more after earning a spot on Team Canada to represent our country on a world stage. Leah’s skillset has earned her World Titles at these events many times over. We are lucky to have her on board as part of our team!  

Junior Leaders

Our team of Junior Leaders is made up of our most advanced, committed students who have demonstrated dedication and amazing work ethic in their own training. Our leaders play an extremely important role in the function of our dojo; they act as assistant instructors in classes other than their own to help our students reach their full potential. Our leadership team is well respected among students and parents – they are known to go above and beyond everyday to help make every student’s experience a positive one, whether your child is having trouble learning a new move or just needs a little encouragement making their way onto the mats for the first time, our junior leaders will be there to help with a smile.  

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