Head coach and owner of the Renaissance Academy Jamie Ridgeway has been training Martial Arts for 32 years, with this being his 10th year above the rank of black belt. He also has been training in Brazillian Ju Jitsu for 24 years. Coach Ridgeway will now properly be referred to as, “The Professor”, which is a title reserved for 3rd degree black belts exclusively. As a “Professor”, Jamie can now hold all testing here in Lynchburg for all ranks.
In 2012 Coach Jamie was a guest coach on the TV show The Ultimate Fighter for Team Sonnen. He successfully competed at a high level for years in both Muay Thai and karate, but today his true passion is changing lives through the martial arts. Some students dream of competing in MMA, submission grappling and kickboxing, a dream that he has helped many students achieve as Team RAM has grown into one of the largest and most successful competition teams in the Mid-Atlantic region. Other students simply hope to get into the best shape of their lives, to learn how to defend themselves in an emergency, and to build lasting friendships. No matter what his students’ background and goals, he is dedicated to helping them reach their potential and have fun in the process.
Caleb McAllister has been training for more than 14 years and came to the Renaissance Academy of Martial Arts in 2006. He began working here as an assistant coach several years later.
Caleb loves competition in all forms, and has competed successfully in a variety of different martial arts. MMA is by far his biggest athletic passion and he has been very successful in his pro mixed martial arts career.
Caleb began learning martial arts for several different reasons. Most importantly, he says, he believes God gave him the passion for it, and that motivates him to work as hard as he can to reach his potential. Plus, he says martial arts training is as close as he can get to actually having superpowers. His wife Rachel says he’s only half kidding!
An active member of his local church, Caleb calls his faith the most important part of his life. When he is not training, Caleb works as a freelance writer. He also enjoys reading and traveling with Rachel.
Coach Chris Jaggars has been training for more than 22 years now, and has recently earned his 2nd degree black belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu under Master Pedro Sauer. He is also a black belt in Thai kickboxing/Total Defense.
Coach Jaggars currently holds a 1-0 record in MMA via TKA in the second round, but he loves studying martial arts primarily for the personal challenge and for the ability to pass his abilities on to others.
He currently teaches both Muay Thai and gi Gracie Jiu Jitsu classes. Coach Jaggars’ incredibly precise, technical approach to teaching makes him an invaluable resource for students of any level!
JULIE RIDGEWAY FIELDS
Coach Julie began her martial arts journey in 2006 for quite a few different reasons – not the least of which was her brother Jamie’s encouragement!
The years to follow would see Coach Julie earn a black belt in Muay Thai kickboxing/Total Defense, as well as a blue belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu. She has now been teaching Muay Thai and Total Defense for several years. She says she thoroughly enjoys passing along the knowledge and abilities she has gained as a martial artist, especially to other women and children who could greatly benefit from learning practical self-defense.
In addition to her martial arts training, Julie has also competed in roller derby, through which she met her husband Ryan. When she is not training or teaching, Coach Julie enjoys spending time with her family, kettlebell training, and reading.
Ben Shaw has been training martial arts for over a decade. He has trained with top level martial artists in areas of street self-defense and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He received his brown belt under Pedro Sauer.
Coulton is a Black Belt in our total defense program and a BJJ Purple belt. He has competed and taken belts in Naga and many Gold medals in other Grappling competitions as well.
Mark has nearly 40 years of Martial Arts experience including MMA, Combat Submission Wrestling, Boxing, Muay Thai, Kali, Taekwondo, and more! Arthur is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Pedro Sauer, a 3rd degree black belt in our Total Self-Defense Program, and a full instructor in Combat Submission Wrestling.