Coaches

All of our coaches are fully committed to give you quality instruction to fit your needs.

  Derryck ANDA    Classes  Toddlers, Kids, Adults, Cardio  Derryck and his family run The Stronghold Rancho Bernardo location. The fellow purple belt is very patient and eager to meet all new and old students. His attitude and demeanor will make you feel as if you were lifelong friends if not family.  

Derryck ANDA

Classes
Toddlers, Kids, Adults, Cardio

Derryck and his family run The Stronghold Rancho Bernardo location. The fellow purple belt is very patient and eager to meet all new and old students. His attitude and demeanor will make you feel as if you were lifelong friends if not family.  

  MICHAEL CUSI    Classes  Kids and Adults  Mike has been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since 2000 and received his Black Belt from Roy Harris in 2010. He is currently continuing his training with Rubens “Cobrinha” Charles. It has always been his dream to start an academy and takes great pride in seeing his students progress both on and off the mats. 

MICHAEL CUSI

Classes
Kids and Adults

Mike has been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since 2000 and received his Black Belt from Roy Harris in 2010. He is currently continuing his training with Rubens “Cobrinha” Charles. It has always been his dream to start an academy and takes great pride in seeing his students progress both on and off the mats. 

  JASON COOK    Classes  Kids and Adults  Coach Jason began training with Professor Mike in 2009. It was his goal to become an owner and instructor after the first time putting on a gi. He started coaching in 2013 and has a passion for teaching all ages and skill levels. His style is to takedown and pass the guard.

JASON COOK

Classes
Kids and Adults

Coach Jason began training with Professor Mike in 2009. It was his goal to become an owner and instructor after the first time putting on a gi. He started coaching in 2013 and has a passion for teaching all ages and skill levels. His style is to takedown and pass the guard.

  RIC SORIANO    Classes  Kids and Adults  Ric joined the Stronghold family as a blue belt in 2009, eventually receiving both his purple and brown belt from Professor Michael Cusi. His goal is to give back to the community by teaching.  

RIC SORIANO

Classes
Kids and Adults

Ric joined the Stronghold family as a blue belt in 2009, eventually receiving both his purple and brown belt from Professor Michael Cusi. His goal is to give back to the community by teaching.  

  johnny Tama    Classes  Adults  From  BJJHeroes  site, "Tama joined the class of Juan Miguel Iturralde Aguirre, brother of Leonardo Iturralde, Francisco “Sinistro” Iturralde and a black belt under the aforementioned Di Piero. Juan Miguel would remain by Johnny’s side throughout his development as a grappler, though Tama was also assisted by other coaches throughout his many travels in search of high level coaching and competition. One of his bigger influences was Rubens Charles, a legend of the sport with whom Johnny trained on many occasions while climbing the belt ranks of jiu jitsu. Tama received his black belt from the hands of Juan Miguel Iturralde."

johnny Tama

Classes
Adults

From BJJHeroes site, "Tama joined the class of Juan Miguel Iturralde Aguirre, brother of Leonardo Iturralde, Francisco “Sinistro” Iturralde and a black belt under the aforementioned Di Piero. Juan Miguel would remain by Johnny’s side throughout his development as a grappler, though Tama was also assisted by other coaches throughout his many travels in search of high level coaching and competition. One of his bigger influences was Rubens Charles, a legend of the sport with whom Johnny trained on many occasions while climbing the belt ranks of jiu jitsu. Tama received his black belt from the hands of Juan Miguel Iturralde."

  john laird    Classes  Adults  Coach John Laird has been training over a decade and teaching Jiu Jitsu since 2016. He was recently promoted to Black Belt in May 2018 by his instructor Mike Cusi.   If you attend one of John’s classes you will know he is constantly encouraging his students to do their best and to ask questions. He is supportive on and off the mat. Stronghold is not a team but a family unit for John.  He believes there is always room for self improvement and is always trying to learn new moves to teach his class.   John’s favorite position is close guard and will find a way to use his lapel wizardry on you while in closed guard. Watch out!

john laird

Classes
Adults

Coach John Laird has been training over a decade and teaching Jiu Jitsu since 2016. He was recently promoted to Black Belt in May 2018 by his instructor Mike Cusi. 

If you attend one of John’s classes you will know he is constantly encouraging his students to do their best and to ask questions. He is supportive on and off the mat. Stronghold is not a team but a family unit for John.

He believes there is always room for self improvement and is always trying to learn new moves to teach his class. 

John’s favorite position is close guard and will find a way to use his lapel wizardry on you while in closed guard. Watch out!

  james belt    Classes  Adults  James started Brazilian jiu jitsu in 2007. He loves being on the mats and helping the team grow stronger. His judo background has helped immensely with the students in their takedown game. 

james belt

Classes
Adults

James started Brazilian jiu jitsu in 2007. He loves being on the mats and helping the team grow stronger. His judo background has helped immensely with the students in their takedown game. 

  leslie ANDA    Classes  Kids   Leslie was introduced to jiu jitsu by her brother, Coach Ric. After her youngest of four was born, she started training alongside her husband, Derryck. Training has become a daily family activity. She loves to see not just her family but other families enjoy themselves while learning the gentle art together. The fellow blue belt encourages females to step out of their comfort zone to step on the mat. You can often catch Leslie behind the scenes in the office or in the Yard working out. While a knee injury has temporarily sidelined her, she doesn't let that deter her from learning the moves of the day. 

leslie ANDA

Classes
Kids 

Leslie was introduced to jiu jitsu by her brother, Coach Ric. After her youngest of four was born, she started training alongside her husband, Derryck. Training has become a daily family activity. She loves to see not just her family but other families enjoy themselves while learning the gentle art together. The fellow blue belt encourages females to step out of their comfort zone to step on the mat. You can often catch Leslie behind the scenes in the office or in the Yard working out. While a knee injury has temporarily sidelined her, she doesn't let that deter her from learning the moves of the day. 

  David LADIEU    Classes  Cardio and Toddlers  David started Jiu Jitsu way back in 2006. The demands of work required him to take a long break. When his son started at Stronghold in the toddlers program, David immediately “got the itch” again and couldn’t wait to get back on the mat. He has been involved in the toddlers program since 2017. The kids are super fun to teach and have the best attitudes! Fitness has been a staple in his life since 2002. He has been involved in teaching HIIT style workouts since 2014. David really enjoys helping each person get to the next level as they pursue their fitness goals!

David LADIEU

Classes
Cardio and Toddlers

David started Jiu Jitsu way back in 2006. The demands of work required him to take a long break. When his son started at Stronghold in the toddlers program, David immediately “got the itch” again and couldn’t wait to get back on the mat. He has been involved in the toddlers program since 2017. The kids are super fun to teach and have the best attitudes! Fitness has been a staple in his life since 2002. He has been involved in teaching HIIT style workouts since 2014. David really enjoys helping each person get to the next level as they pursue their fitness goals!

  Henry morris    Classes  Cardio  Henry graduated from San Diego State University as a fitness specialist. The human body and how we use it daily is something that Henry is very mindful of when constructing the workouts for Cardio BJJ. Improving your range of motion for better flexibility and mobility is what makes Coach Henry great to work with. Whether you are beginner, intermediate, or experienced, he has scalable workouts for everyone.  

Henry morris

Classes
Cardio

Henry graduated from San Diego State University as a fitness specialist. The human body and how we use it daily is something that Henry is very mindful of when constructing the workouts for Cardio BJJ. Improving your range of motion for better flexibility and mobility is what makes Coach Henry great to work with. Whether you are beginner, intermediate, or experienced, he has scalable workouts for everyone.  

  Rachelle Lagman    Classes  Toddlers and Kids  Rachelle started jiu jitsu in January 2013 at The Stronghold RB. She has seven years of experience working with K-5 children at the Poway Unified School District and as a private music tutor. You can often find this blue belt assisting the coaches with toddlers and beginning kids classes. She would love to see more female presence on the mat and encourages young girls to learn the martial art. She believes empowering children, especially young girls, on the mat will boost their confidence in and outside of the gym. 

Rachelle Lagman

Classes
Toddlers and Kids

Rachelle started jiu jitsu in January 2013 at The Stronghold RB. She has seven years of experience working with K-5 children at the Poway Unified School District and as a private music tutor. You can often find this blue belt assisting the coaches with toddlers and beginning kids classes. She would love to see more female presence on the mat and encourages young girls to learn the martial art. She believes empowering children, especially young girls, on the mat will boost their confidence in and outside of the gym.