History of Coffey Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Fitness

Coffey BJJ, founded in 2010 by Professor Chip Coffey, has quickly become one of the most recognized and most respected Jiu-Jitsu academies in the North West Atlanta area. Through their success, the Coffey BJJ team has attracted talent from all over the south. We have a motto that guides our training atmosphere at Coffey BJJ, “If you don’t have concern for the other people in this room, there is no place for you on this TEAM.”

In August 2015, Dustin Shelton, current Coffey BJJ Purple Belt, became a managing partner at Coffey BJJ.

Team Bios

Professor Chip Coffey with Professor Roberto Traven

Chip Coffey

Chip Coffey was born and raised in Barnesville, Georgia (a small town in the center of the state) the oldest of 4 brothers. Sports were a part of his life from an early age. He played football, baseball, basketball, soccer, and just about anything else that would quench his thirst for competition. Although Chip’s school was without a wrestling team, he had the advantage of having a wrestling coach at home. In his high school career, Chip’s father, Thomas Coffey, was an accomplished high school wrestler in New Jersey at 157lbs. As you can imagine, he started teaching Chip and his brothers the fundamentals of wrestling from an early age. Chip and his brothers would try to best their father in wrestling matches in their backyard, but as Chip recalls, they never did get the best of him. His father’s desire for his sons to be active and competitive paved the way toward Chip’s initiation into the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at age 17. From then on, Chip found his love for a sport that has no comparison.

Shortly after graduating from high-school, Chip joined the Navy and was selected to serve his first 2 years in the Ceremonial Honor Guard in Washington DC. In the Honor Guard, Chip performed in over 1200 Full Honors Military Funerals at Arlington National Cemetery. While in Washington, Chip also performed ceremonies at the White House and at the Pentagon. Even when Chip’s service placed constraints on his schedule, he would make the time to train in BJJ at different gyms, and cross train in Boxing on base and at other places in the DC area.
In 2004, after his duty in DC, he was stationed in Jacksonville, Fl where he was able to get back into BJJ full swing under mentor and friend Larry Shealy. It was in Jacksonville that Chip started to develop his unique teaching style and where he got his start as an instructor at Jacksonville Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Chip’s teaching style and philosophy are geared towards anyone wanting to learn. He encourages his students to, above all else, enjoy the life changing benefits of the sport. Whether a student decides to compete or not, he supports all of his students, whatever the goal.

After his duties in Jacksonville, Chip returned to his hometown and started teaching inside a stucco building beside his house. He knew he would have to start small, being fresh out of the military. Chip worked as a laborer on a brick and block mason crew. During the day he hauled brick and block and at night he taught BJJ, while training 5 days a week. Although this little building had no heat, no air and no windows (they were busted out), his desire to teach was too strong to stop. After more than a year in this building, interest in training began to grow in town. Along with a friend Chip opened Barnesville Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Now back in his home state of Georgia, Chip turned over his training, and came under the tutelage of 2x Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion Roberto Traven.

Chips accomplishments

  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt under Roberto “Spider” Traven
  • Pro-Am Champion
  • Naga Champion
  • Casca Grossa Champion
  • 2x Master BJJ Tournament Champion
  • 2nd place US Nationals
  • 2nd place GA Grappling Championships
  • 2nd place Jackson Fight Night Tournament
  • 3rd place Abu Dhabi World Pro US Trials Brown/Black Belt Adult Division
  • 2010 3rd place BJJ Pan American Championships Brown Belt Adult Division
  • 2009 Quarter-finalist Pan American Championships Brown Belt Absolute Adult Division
  • 2009 Quarter-Finalist World Championship Brown Belt Adult Division

Chip made his Professional MMA debut in January of 2010 and has a record of 1-0. He continues to teach at his gym in Cartersville, and is now focusing his personal training toward his MMA career. Although his heart will always be in his small town of Barnesville Ga, Chip now resides in Cartersville. Outside of his training and teaching, he spends his time with his wife Brianna and his kids Lanier, Major, and Chastain. Additionally, Chip and Brianna are expecting another baby girl in February.


Jesse Mayo

Sambo Black Belt
Isshinryu Karate Black Belt
Kempo Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt
Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Jesse started his martial arts training in 1995. Along the way, Jesse has trained in other martial arts such as Judo, Muay Thai, Thai Chi, Hapkido, Kickboxing, King Fu and various forms of wrestling and weapons styles. Jesse has spent much of his time over the years teaching classes for large groups and private classes for individuals ranging from private citizens to law enforcement, military and professional athletes. Jesse has an impressive competition resume in many different rule sets including Grappling, Striking, and MMA. Jesse is considered an expert on leg attacks, and he has made instructional videos that were sold worldwide.



Chad Walton

Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Advanced BJJ Instructor

Chad carries a great label as the “the first”, He is the first student to be promoted to the Rank of Black Belt under Professor Chip Coffey. Chad received his Black in December of 2014. He has been training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for almost 10 years with 7 of those years under Professor Chip Coffey. Chad is well known for his intensive pressure style of Jiu-Jitsu. Chad currently teaches Advanced Jiu-Jitsu at Coffey BJJ.


Marta Covre

Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Women’s BJJ Instructor

Marta Covre began training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 2011 in Pordenone, Italy. After moving to Las Vegas and training there for a number of years, she moved to Georgia. She has been training under Professor Chip Coffey for 2 years. Marta currently teaches our women’s class and is great at helping hone your personal style while focusing on fundamentals. A true competitor, Marta has competed at both IBJJF tournaments and local. She’s an amazing asset to our gym! 


Corey Walker

Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

With nearly 10yrs experience, Cory brings an incredible amount of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu knowledge to the mats. He is known for his smooth techicnal rolling sessions. If you are detailed oriented, Cory can definitely help take your game to the next level. Cory started training under Professor Chip Coffey in 2010. Cory currently teaches Advance Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Coffey BJJ.

Corey Ranic


Corey Ranic

Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Head Kids Instructor and Muay Thai Instructor

Corey started training Mixed Martial Arts(MMA) in 2005, He later turned pro in 2008. Shortly after his time fighting MMA, Corey started training Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Coffey BJJ in 2011. Corey is what Coffey BJJ is all about, He trains and teaches with Tenacity and Enthusiasm! Our kids program is one of the best you can find in Atlanta. Corey received his Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu on December 12th, 2015 from Professor Chip Coffey.

Dustin Shelton, Coffey BJJ Cartersville, GA


Dusty Shelton

Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Co-Owner Coffey BJJ

As someone who is a self proclaimed 100% Coffey Product, Dusty came to Coffey BJJ in 2011 with no grappling experience. Putting in an immense amount of mat time over the last 5 years, Dusty fills many different roles at Coffey BJJ. He currently teaches kids advanced class, adult fundamental class and our new all women’s BJJ class. In August 2015, Dusty became a managing partner at Coffey BJJ.


Brent Hamilton

Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brent has more than 30 years combined wrestling and BJJ experience. He grew up wrestling and competed all around the world through school and in the Army. He got his first exposure to BJJ in 1996 when he was in college but he was not able to train consistently until around 2000 while he was in the military. The early part of his BJJ training was primarily No-Gi because of the similarity to wrestling. It was not until 2010 that he started consistently training in the Gi. He received both his blue belt and purple belt from Coffey BJJ black belt Chad Walton and in December 2017 he was promoted to brown belt by Chip Coffey. Brent teaches kids classes and also runs the Coffey BJJ Competition Team and training.


Nat Bomar

Brown Belt in Judo
Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Nat began practicing Judo in 2005 and earned the rank of Brown Belt in 2009. He began training BJJ under Professor Chip Coffey in 2011, earning his Brown Belt in December of 2017. With over thirteen years of grappling experience, Nat primarily focuses on the basics and overarching concepts (including effective use of pressure – a Coffey staple). Nat currently teaches our 5:30 AM fundamentals classes on Tuesdays and Fridays.


Steve Hamilton

Wrestling Coach

Steve Hamilton was born and raised in Emmetsburg, Iowa. While in high school Hamilton was a 4x State Place finisher and a 2X State Champ. Hamilton was also in the top 8 in the country three times in high school,reaching the top 8 at Junior nationals his Sophomore year and 3rd and 2nd in the country his final two years.

After high school, Hamilton earned All-America status four times at Iowa State for Head Coach Jim Gibbons. He joined Cael Sanderson as one of 8 Cyclones wrestlers to have the title of four-time All-America. As a freshman, Hamilton placed seventh at the NCAA Championships at 158 pounds. He finished third at the NCAAs in 1990 at 158, second in 1991 at 150 and third in 1992 at 167. Hamilton won 123 career matches which ranks 10th on the school’s all-time wins chart. He was voted the school’s most valuable wrestler as a junior and senior. He graduated from Iowa State in 1992 with a degree in History Education.

After college Hamilton continued to compete on the national and international level for the Hawkeye Wrestling Club under Dan Gable. Hamilton was a club coach under Gable from 1992-1997. Hamilton was a member of the 1993 U.S. Freestyle Team. He placed fifth at the U.S. Nationals in 1993 and eighth in 1994, took second at the Sunkist Open in 1993 and third in 1994, and finished in fifth place at the 1995 Grand Prix Slovakia, and the Medved Grand Prix. He won the Olympic Trials South in 1996.

Hamilton began his collegiate coaching career at Northern Iowa where he served under Head Coach Mark Manning from 1997-2000. Hamilton helped the Panthers move from 50th place in the country to a top 11th place finish in third year of coaching at the program. Northern Iowa also crowned its first National Champion in 36 years, and had 4 All-Americans during Manning and Hamilton’s tenure. Hamilton followed Manning to Nebraska in 2000, He spent two seasons from 2000-02 as an assistant coach under Mark Manning at Nebraska.. Hamilton helped coach seven All-Americans as Nebraska finished eighth at the NCAA Championships in both of his seasons.

In 2004 Hamilton joined the University of Tennessee/Chattanooga staff as an Assistant Coach under Terry Brands. During his time at UTC Hamilton helped coach 2 All-American and help UTC place 24th in the country, the second highest finish in school history

After his tenure at UTC Hamilton coached at the high school level till 2015. While coaching in high school Hamilton had 33 state qualifiers, 18 state place finishers and 3 state champions. .

Currently Steve is coaching at the private level, working with youth wrestlers from Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.



Drew Silvers

Purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Drew has been training under Professor Chip Coffey for almost 4 years. He currently teaches Adult Fundamentals and Kids Fundamentals at Coffey BJJ.

Coffey Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Fitness Testimonials

I was an athlete for a number of years, including about 20 years in the martial arts—I’ve been dormant for about 10-15 years now. I’ve considered studying grappling arts for years, and finally realized I had been making excuses to myself to not join–the typical “too busy”–“I’ll do it later”—that sort of thing.

Anyway, I’m a middle-aged guy and was suffering a bit of a confidence issue in the fact that my conditioning is weak, and dormancy has taken its toll on my mind and body, to say the least. I had also heard a number of horror stories about mma gyms with elitist attitudes…which was also affecting my decision to start training again. I joined Chip’s gym this week.

Never in my life I have I ever felt so welcome in a martial arts gym (and I’ve been a member of a few of ’em). These guys and gals have gone out of their way to make me feel comfortable and to make me feel like a welcome addition to their family. I met Chip for the first time last night, and it was obvious where these attitudes originate.

All the “feel-good” stuff aside, I’ve spent a bit of time this first week observing and asking questions. And I’ve determined not only is this gym full of down-home, friendly, and welcoming people—-Chip and his team of instructors know their stuff.

Cheers to you guys. I can’t thank you enough for going out of your way to make me feel like I’m part of something much bigger than myself. I’m proud to be here.

Current Member

I love training here, everyone is great and always willing to help, I joined with absolutely no knowledge of Jiu Jitsu and was immediately taken in as part of the family. The guys I train with have become more than teammates, they are truly some of my best and closest friends. You will not find a better place to train and definitely will not find a better value for the quality of instruction available. Chip Coffey is a world class BJJ competitor with the ability to simplify and breakdown techniques to teach them in a way anyone can grasp. Manu Ntoh is a 6x Muay Thai world champ whose accomplishments speak for themselves. From black belts to white and professional fighters to weekend warriors Coffey BJJ has someting to offer everyone.

Clint Wells
Current Member

Chip Coffey is a true elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor and competitor. He has consistent brilliant performances at each world level competition. He has a tremendous amount of knowledge from the world’s greatest coaches, and he has blended his experience into his own world-class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu system.

Chip is an essential component of my personal training for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. I am honored to call him a coach, training partner and friend.

Brian Stann
Pro MMA Record 11-4
Former WEC Light Heavyweight champion
Current UFC Middleweight
Marine Officer
Naval Academy Graduate

My son has been a student at Coffey for over a year. The instructors are engaging and energetic; but also demanding and incredibly intelligent about their sport. They can break the different movements down and transfer that knowledge on to the little ones- at their pace. Not only are the “little gorillas” encouraged to roll and train hard, they are taught how to apply solid BJJ character traits at home and at school. Their performance inside and outside of the academy is reviewed by their instructor before every belt promotion is given.

This is just a solid academy for adults and kids alike. No egos. No cocky attitudes. Everyone has a “learning attitude”- no matter their rank… you’ll work your tail off, and get results.

January Shiftlett

So I’m 47.

Before looking into Coffey BJJ, I never had a lick of martial arts training, nor a wrestling background. I have a desk job, a busy schedule, and a paunch that’s fighting hard to make a permanent settlement on my mid section. Most guys my age are dropping their kids off at the Kid-Jitsu classes.

So what the heck is a guy like me doing here? That’s easy. Jiu Jitsu is a metaphor for life: sometimes you cruise along, sometimes it throws you for a loop, and no matter what your age or how well you do, it’s always humbling. Every time I train I’m reminded that life requires equal measures of mind, body and soul; blood, sweat and tears; planning, preparation and creativity. So, who cares if I’m 47? I’m not dead yet! And so long as I live I want this daily, metaphorical reminder of how to roll with life’s blows.

It goes without saying that without excellent instruction, the above mentioned would just be an exercise in frustration. Chip Coffey, Sean Dyer, and Manu Ntoh are the best of the best. They’re refined technicians, champion practitioners, passionate about their sport, and extraordinary teachers. With their help (and the help of my outstanding team mates), I’m staying healthy, learning a great set of skills, and having loads of fun.

Like I said before, Jiu Jitsu is a little slice of life and Chip Coffey expresses his world through it. He does it naturally, organically. He couldn’t help it even if he wanted to; it’s in his blood and it’s who he is. Every day I walk out of a training session, I take a little of his Jiu Jitsu with me out into the world. I’m stronger, less stressed, and I roll with life’s ups and downs a little more easily than I did before. If Jiu Jitsu is like life, Chip Coffey wants to make sure yours is a good one.

Come roll with us.

Rick Gomez
Current Student

I started coming here 7 weeks after giving birth to my son. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming, and I had a great time. Over a year later, I’m still making it in weekly and having more fun than ever! I’m in good shape too! Great people and wonderful instructors, with a good workout for any fitness level.

Kesh Conklin
Current Member

When my daughters and I started training at Coffey BJJ over a year ago we had modest goals in mind. We wanted to increase our fitness while learning one of the greatest and most practical martial arts on the planet. We had all trained in Karate and had done some jiu-jitsu in the past but had never been enrolled in a true jiu-jitsu school. I feel that it is very important for my girls to learn an easily applied form of self defense so I talked with Chip, DeSean and Chad at Coffey BJJ. They all assured me that anyone can practice jiu-jitsu and that it is a sport that can equalize an opponent by using technique along with your natural strengths.

The sport teaches discipline, patience, confidence and respect. My daughters are 13 now and even though they are young teenagers they are still eager to come to class. I too am always eager for class. The friends I have made and the skills I have learned will last a lifetime. If you think Jiu-jitsu isn’t your thing then try one of the Cardio Kickboxing classes or attend the Muay Thai class. I have attended every class at Coffey BJJ and each one is outstanding. The students are great the instructors are caring and qualified and the technique is second to none. I feel very fortunate to be a part of this team.

Corey J. Ranic age 34
Abigail L. Ranic age 13
Alyssa R. Ranic age 13
Adairsville, Georgia

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