Chris Rees - Head Coach / Founder

1st Degree Black Belt


Chris has been coaching full time for 12 years now and he can honestly say that his passion for being on the mats and sharing knowledge with the students at the academy is as strong as ever. Whether he is playing games with the three year olds class or talking tactics with his elite competitors, he absolutely loves being at the academy. He believe it's important to lead from the front and as such he looks to stay active competitively whenever his schedule allows. 

Notable Achievements

> First Welsh person to achieve the rank of Black Belt in BJJ

> Coach to elite competitors in BJJ , NoGi and MMA including Ufc and EBI athletes

> IBJJF European No Gi Master 1 Silver Medalist Black Belt Medium Heavy

Ashley Williams - Head Coach

Black Belt


Ashley has trained in martial arts from the young age of 4, gaining a black belt in both Japanese Jiu Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. At the age of 14 he started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with the goal of competing as much as possible. To date he has won over 100 medals winning championships all over UK and Europe. Since achieving his black belt he has made his stamp on the world scene being the first British athlete to be invited to the prestigious EBI. Alongside his busy BJJ schedule he has won three MMA titles and gained a bachelors degree in astro physics from Cardiff University.

Notable Achievements

> 2 x EBI Veteran (135lbs / 145lbs)

> IBJJF European NoGi Champion x 2 (brown,black) Feather Weight

> NAGA European Elite Gi and No Gi Champion Feather Weight

Multiple time IBJJF IO Champion including Paris / Madrid / Gothenburg / Munich / Zurich

> IBJJF Pan American No Gi Silver Medalist Brown Belt Feather Weight

> Ranked #1 IBJJF No Gi Feather Weight 2015

> Achieved the rank of Black belt at 22yrs old

> 6 x British open champion

MMA Record

6 - 0 Amateur MMA

Painpit Feather Weight MMA champ

Adrenaline Feather Weight MMA champ

Celtic Fight Nights Feather Weight champ

Ross Barrington - Head Kids Coach / BJJ Coach

Brown Belt


Ross began training Brazilian Jiu jitsu in 2010, achieving his brown belt in Nov 2015. After training near enough full time he gained a passion for coaching and became a full time coach in January 2017. His main ambition in BJJ is to gain his Black belt and to continue to coach at CRA.

Notable Achievements

> Welsh open champion (2013 & 2015)

> Amsterdam Pro trials Bronze medalist (2015)

> British Nogi Masters Champion (Brown belt, 2016)

John Maflin - BJJ Coach

Brown Belt


John is a full time RAF Officer currently on elite athlete status to compete and train full time in BJJ. Originally from East London, started training BJJ in 2009 at the Chris Rees Academy while at university in Swansea. He has now returned to Swansea where he will be training and coaching full time pursing elite status in the competition scene.

Notable Achievements / MMA Record

> IBJJF Asian Champion Brown Middle 2017

> IBJJF Pan Pacific champion Brown Middle heavy 2016

> English No Gi champion Brown Middle heavy 2017

> Kleos Elite Gi Absolute Champion 2017

Aidan James - BJJ Coach / Kids BJJ Coach / Assistant MMA Coach

Purple Belt


From a young age Aidan has been fascinated with martial arts, this started with Shotokan Karate, then progressing through various other stand up martial arts styles ranging from point style Kickboxing to Kung Fu and Boxing. 

At 19 he moved to Swansea and started  training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Chris Rees and Ashley Williams.

He is now a Full-Time coach at the academy allowing him to pursue his passion of competing professionally in MMA.

Notable Achievements

> British Open Blue belt - Featherweight - Silver  

> Kleos Open White - Featherweight - Gold

> BJJ 24/7 Manchester No Gi Elite - Lightweight - Gold

> BJJ 24/7 Liverpool No Gi Elite - Lightweight - Gold

> Welsh Open  White Belt - Featherweight - Gold X 2

> Newquay Open Blue Gi / No Gi - Lightweight - Gold

MMA Record

Professional  1-0 Amateur 13-3 

3 time Amateur British Champion in MMA 

UK representative in the IMMAF world and European Championships  

Ashely Bendle - Assistant Kids Coach

Purple Belt


Ashley first started training in 2002 at the age of 5. She had an immediate passion for competing and has done through every belt and age level. As one of Chris' longest serving students Ashley become fond of coaching and began assisting Chris with the kids classes early on. Over the years Ashley has become and integral part of the kids coaching team whilst maintaining her status as an active competitor. She is currently studying a bachelors degree and plans on pursuing her BJJ ambitions upon completion.

Notable Achievements

> Multiple time British champion (most recently 2017),

> Multiple time European gi medallist

> European nogi champion 2016

> Multiple time Naga elite champion

> Multiple time IBJJF open champion

Scott Pederson - Assistant Kids Coach / Assisitant MMA Coach

Blue Belt

Scott Pederson has a stand up background training in both Boxing and Kickboxing from the ages 9 through 16. This then led to his passion for MMA which he started at the age of 16. Scotty has competed / fought in multiple disciplines gaining a wealth of knowledge and an impressive record, claiming many titles on his way. At the young age of 20 Scotty is as hungry as ever to compete and show the world what he can do, he trains full time at CRA, assisting in our kids and MMA programmes. He achieved his Blue Belt in BJJ the later end of 2016 and still trains in a gi regularly with his main focus being MMA.

Notable Achievements

> BJJ 24-7 Liverpool Open Lightweight Blue Belt Silver

> British Open Lightweight White Belt Bronze

> Welsh Open Lightweight White Belt Gold

> Bristol Open Lightweight White Belt Gold

> Newquay Open Gi and No Gi Lightweight White Belt Gold

MMA Record

> CageWarriors Lightweight Amateur Champion

> Former Made for the Cage Lightweight Amateur Champion

> IKF K1 British Welterweight Champion x 2

> ICO Kickboxing British Lightweight Champion

> KMA Kickboxing Welsh Lightweight Champion

Ben Miles - Assistant Kids Coach

Blue Belt

Ben began Japanese Jiu-Jitsu at the age of 12 and went on the attend CRA at  the age of 14.

At 16 he started MMA with Chris and now trains full time at the academy.

Notable Achievements

> British No-gi white belt Champion

>Newquay Gold 2016

>Rolla Models Gold 2016

>GRIP sub only Silver 2017

MMA Record

> 5-2 Amateur

Taylor Waters

Strength and Conditioning

Taylor is a qualified personal trainer and the current S & Coach at the Chris Rees Academy.
He is a Sports Management Graduate, currently completing his Msc in Sport Science and Studying for a PhD in Exercise Psychology. As a athlete Taylor competed internationally in Alpine Skiing from a young age. Due to lack of funding Taylor retired from Skiing competition and spent time practicing a number of martial arts including BJJ, Submission Grappling, Muay Thai and Kick Boxing. Currently Taylor competes as a Classic Bodybuilder, placing at multiple national qualifiers and competing at the Arnold Classic Barcelona in 2017.
Taylor has long had an interest in Strength and Conditioning, Nutrition and Sports Psychology, and how it can be used to improve sports performance. With a keen interest in BJJ and MMA Taylor is now looking to bring his knowledge, experience and expertise to add a new dimension to the club and help maximize the potential of the athletes at the Chris Rees Academy.

> BA Sports Management
> Msc Sport Science
> PhD Exercise Psychology (Current)
> Level 2 Gym Instructor
> Level 3 Personal Trainer

> British Junior GS Skiing Champion
> Welsh Junior Skiing Champion
> UKBFF Classic Bodybuilding Midlands Champion
> BJJ Blue Belt
> IFBB European Classic Bodybuilding Competitor

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