At IFA martial arts, we have a line up of the best coaches and instructors from all discipline and art forms.


Shihan Richard Awad

Head Instructor and Principal

  • 5th Degree Black Belt (Ryu Bujitsu Kai Karate)
  • Black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (LEAD BJJ) 
  • Certified kids BJJ coach Level 1(Leticia Ribiero)
  • Certified level 1 MMA coach (International Mixed Martial Arts Federation)

At a very young age Shihan Richard started martial arts training in Shaolin Long Fist Kung Fu. This was to combat the bullying that Richard had encountered in his early schooling and teen life.

Upon discovering Ryu Bujitsu Kai Martial Arts, Shihan Richard began his journey under the expert instruction of master and founder of the style, Kyoshi Robert Janceski.

The 25 + year Journey continues till this day with Shihan Richard expanding his portfolio of martial arts with Adam Eddine Kickboxing since 2008 working extensively in boxing and kick boxing.


Shihan Richard has been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since 2001 (quite extensivley in the last 12 years) and achieved his black belt under professor Daniel "Jacare" Almedia who was accompanied by Lead BJJ President, Professor Bruno Bastos (5X world champion)

Over the years, Shihan Richard had spent a number of years studying and training in wrestling and MMA with the likes of UFC veteran Brian Ebersole and the Australian team wrestling coach, Leonard Zavlasky

The training continues today where Shihan Richard continiues his intensive training in Senshin Ryu Karate-Jitsu, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Boxing/kickboxing and Muay Thai

"I always had a love for the martial arts. Growing up with icons such as Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris and Jackie Chan. Upon meeting and training under the expert instruction from some of the top instructors, I have found the true journey of Martial Arts, OSU."

Professor Paul Mystakidis


  • Head BJJ coach
  • 1st Degree Blackbelt in Hapkido
  • 1st degree Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt (Nova Uniao)

Started training Hapkido in 2006 through the Australian Hapkido Association under Mitchell Wetherill and Daniel Maree.

Now a provisional black belt. Hope to attempt black belt in Nov 2013. Accredited coach, official AFBJJ referee. Green belt in Judo.

Trained wrestling basics with Leonard Zavlasky. Trained overseas in Korea, South America and Europe. Started BJJ late 2008 under Rodney Ellis (Nova Uniao). Achieved purple belt early 2012. On the 14 February 2015, Paul was awarded a BJJ black belt by Professor Rodney Ellis and in the presence of the president of Nova Uniao Australia, Marcelino Freitas.

Basic training philosophy – train ever more frequently and consistently. Once you are committed to a class, there is never any reason for why you should not attend (barring illness). Even if you don’t train hard that day, I guarantee you will learn at least one thing.

Put yourself in a position where you can lose. It is only through exposure to risk that you will really learn how to defend yourself. Remember the classic tale of the hare and the tortoise. Be the tortoise!

Coach Costa Da' Donna


  • Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Brown belt
  • 2012 – Bachelor of Education (Physical and Health Education)
  • High School PDHPE Teacher
  • Competition Team Coach

In 2011, Coach Costa started training in RBK Karate under Shihan Richard Awad. Shortly after beginning his martial arts journey, Costa transitioned from RBK Karate to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) training in 2012, which continued until mid 2013 when he sustained a shoulder injury.


Upon his return to training, Shihan Richard suggested that Costa begin his return to training through the martial art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) as a way to ease back into full time training. This would then spark Costa’s passion and love of BJJ after only a few lessons.


Two years later in August 2015, Costa would receive his BJJ Blue Belt under Professor Paul Mystakidis. During this time Costa began to compete in ISKA and Grappling Industries Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitions. As his passion for BJJ increased, so did his hours of training and exposure to other forms of combat (Wrestling and Kickboxing).


A short time later in March 2017, Costa then received his BJJ Purple Belt from Professor Paul Mystakidis. Soon after his promotion in BJJ, Costa then began teaching regular BJJ lessons at IFA Martial Arts. This then developed his passion for coaching others, as well as analysing rolls to assist in the further development of IFA members’ BJJ ability, thus resulting in the role of Competition Team Coach.


“When it comes to training, consistency is key and being honest with where you stand. It’s about being better than you were yesterday.”

Coach Jessica

BJJ COACH/ Head Female BJJ coach

  • Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Purple belt
  • 2012 – Bachelor of Education (Physical and Health Education)

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