Members Profiles

history (12)Kyoshi Joe Hughes 7th Dan
Joe has been involved in Jiu-Jitsu for nearly thirty years. He achieved 1st Dan on 28th November 1987 and achieved his 6th Dan Shihan in 1996 and Kyoshi 7th Dan. 2010. He is one the foremost authorities on Jiu-Jitsu fighting systems in the World today. He has a high level of commitment to the Art and is a brilliant caring Sensei. Amongst his great pleasures is seeing his students achieve their Dan grades. He has represented his Country many times and has given demonstrations and seminars throughout Ireland and in Germany. He is a Commissioner on the National Executive Council and specialises in formalising the requirements for all Gradings and Syllabi examinations.

He is a Sport Ju-Jitsu Silver medal holder from the World Ju-Jitsu Championships held in Doncaster, England in 1993. His main hobby for relaxation (after Jiu-Jitsu) is motor cycling.

ken byrne Kyoshi Ken Byrne 7th Dan
Ken Byrne started his career in martial arts at age 14. He achieved a brown belt in Kempo Karate in 1983. He joined Jiu-Jitsu in 1986 and achieved his 1st Dan Black belt on 19th May 1992. Declared Shihan at 5th Dan achieved on 20th April 1997. promoted to 6th Dan Shihan on 16th May 1999. He has represented Ireland in Europe and in the United States. He is a gold medal winner from the United States Karate-do Karate and Jiu-Jitsu Open Championships held in Peoria, Illinois, USA in July 2000. His present position on the National Executive Council is International Liaise Officer and Commisioner.

He has assisted in establishing links for Jiu-Jitsu Ireland, through international seminars and courses, in the USA, France, Italy, Poland, Germany Belgium, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. He is involved in the successful completion of the formal Training Manual for Jiu-Jitsu Ireland. A long time goal was to record the required knowledge from Beginner to Black Belt and ensure that the system can proceed forever. His greatest moment has been achieving the rank and title of Shihan Grade (now Kyoshi). He is an accomplished Instructor and enjoys watching his students progress through their well-deserved grades. His other personal achievements include:

  • Diploma in Architecture Technology 1986
  • League of Ireland Football for Dundalk 1985-86
  • Shot first Stag 1999 (his principle hobby outside of Jiu-Jitsu is hunting and shooting)
  • Skied first Black slope – Italy 2002
  • Married a wonderful woman in 2005.
  • Became an adoring dad in 2008.

20150709_220154(0)Kyoshi Justin Gough 7th Dan
Justin has been practicing Jiu-Jitsu for over 20 years. He achieved his 1st Dan on 27th July 1993, his 5th Dan in May 2001 and 6th Dan 7th July 2011 with the title of Renshi. He has represented Ireland several times over the years and is a European medal winner from the IMAF Jiu-Jitsu Championships in 1998. He holds a winners gold medal from the USKK Open Karate and Jiu-Jitsu Championships held in Peoria (Chicago USA) in 2000. He has been involved in Seminars, Courses and demonstrations in many parts of Europe (including France, Germany, Italy, Greece and the UK) and in the United States.

He is the National Liaise Officer for Jiu-Jitsu Ireland and is a Director of the JJI Academy at Julianstown, Co. Meath, Ireland. Justin is a dedicated serious martial artist with very skillful knowledge and an excellent teaching rapport.


Shihan Geoff O’Toole 5th Dan
First took up Jiu-jitsu in June of 1989 and soon became an addict to the training and the now legendary Jiu-Jitsu Ireland “social scene”. Received Shodan status in august 1993. He made contact with and trained with Jiu-Jitsu exponents in Australia when he resided there in 1993/1994. On returning to Ireland helped Kyoshi Ken Byrne to establish the Glasthule, South County Dublin Dojo, which was the mainstay of Jiu-Jitsu in the South Leinster Region.

Geoff has been a mainstream player in Jiu-Jitsu Ireland affairs since he first joined in 1989. He formed part of the International Exhibition Team which travelled to several Countries including Poland, Germany, Italy and the United States. He was graded 4th Dan (Yondan) in February 2002. Officiated at European Jiu-Jitsu Championships held in Dublin in 2002. Has been involved in Jiu-Jitsu Ireland at administrative level having served on the National Executive Council as Chairman and was a member of the Jiu-Jitsu Ireland Commission.

Geoff was awarded his 5th Dan and declared Shihan in January 2006 in appreciation of his many years of dedication and commitment to Jiu-Jitsu Ireland. He greatly appreciates and holds great pride in seeing his fellow martial artists represent their Country on a regular basis overseas. Geoff retired from Jiu-Jitsu in 2008.

Achievements outside of martial arts:

  • Honours degree in geography and sociology, Trinity college Dublin.
  • Played representative Handball for Dublin.
  • Worked as chef in award winning restaurants.

Other interests:
Deer hunting, fishing, ornithology, rugby, football, swimming, reading, theatre and movies.


breff gaffney Shihan Breffni Gaffney 5th Dan
Breffni has been training in Jiu-Jitsu for over 25 years. He was promoted to 5th Dan at the UMAA International Seminar, Washington DC in September 2009, by Nitta Sensei Grand Master from Japan. He was bestowed with the title Shihan by Hanshi Lupton 10th Dan.

Breffni resides in Canada with his wife and children.




Renshi Don (Donald) W Dike 6th Dan
Donald started his martial arts training in 1967 in Udon Thani, Thailand under Sensei Millon R. Smith, a nidan judoka from the Kodokan. Mr Dike achieved sankyu in 1968.
After training in TKD for several years, Mr Dike started training in Karate and kobudo under Hanshi Phillip Koeppel (8th dan) in 1983.

In the summer of 1988 Don was introduced to 10th dan Master Yuichi Kuda (Mr Koeppel’s Sensei) and began receiving instruction from him at Mr Kuda’s yearly seminars. One of Master Kuda’s senior American students, Kenneth L Penland, (8th dan karate-10th dan jiu-jutsu) took an interest in Don and has been his tutor in karate, kobudo, and jiu-jutsu since 1989.
In 1990 Don became the only person in USKK history to achieve the rank of shodan in kobudo before attaining that rank in karate.
In 1993 Don started training in Shinto Yoshin Ryu under Sensei Alan B. Cromer. Mr. Cromer was a fellow instructor at Mr. Koeppels karate Dojo and introduced Don to Master Douglas Grose, 10th dan, of the AJKA.
In the summer of the year 2000, Hanshi John D. Lupton brought the a Jiu-Jitsu Team from Ireland to the USKK National Championships to compete. Don befriended the JJI team and Johnny Lupton in particular, which resulted in Don traveling to Ireland on a regular basis.
Don has established his Jiu-Jitsu creditials in the United States and left the USKK (despite being a life member) in order to build his own Dojo. He has achieved that ambition.

Don is also a member of the International Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Federation and American Ju-Jutsu Karate Association.

There are further profiles being prepared and will be installed on the website shortly.

Jiu-Jitsu Ireland – Distribution of Black Belts
Recognised and licenced Dan Grades for Jiu-Jitsu Ireland:

  • Julianstown (HQ) 
    • Kyoshi Justin Gough
    • James Bannon.
    • Marcy Weldon
    • Shihan Breffni Gaffney
    • John Cunningham
    • Barry Reynolds
    • John Kiely
    • Stuart Waters
    • P.J. Collins
    • Barney Cunningham
    • Dave Rooney (Deceased)
    • Philip Browne
    • Darren Ferguson.
    • Ciaran Roche
    • Bob Hanan
    • Paul Ferguson
    • Clive Dredge
    • Steven O’Brien
    • Barry Lupton
  • Dublin Westwood, Leopardstown
    • Kyoshi Ken Byrne
    • Shihan Geoff O’Toole
    • Katrina Bouchier
    • Ed Hick
    • Margaret Bouchier
    • Ultan Lacey
    • Bredagh Moran
    • John Cowap
  • Dublin Deansgrange
  •           Kyoshi Ken byrne
    • Shihan Shane Breslin
    • Gerry Mone
    • Tony Moroney
  • Portrane
    • Kyoshi Joe Hughes
    • Siobhan Wolf
    • Jim Bannon
    • Willie Doyle
    • Damien O’Shaughnessy
  • Ashbourne
    • Gerry Flanagan
    • Kevin Monks
  • Balbriggan Dojo
  •           Kyoshi Justin Gough
  •           John Kiely.
  •           Barry Lupton


  •           Joe Nix
  •           Podge O’Brien
    • Derry O’Malley
    • Alan Power
  • Shannon
    • Robert Adrian
    • Pat O’Connell
    • Julian Rouchy-Kelly
    • Conor Murphy
  • Ennis
    • Frank Duffy
    • Fergal Quinlan
  • Castleblayney
    • Tim Byrne (decd)
  • Westport
    • Adrian Noonan
  • Waterford
    • Michael Murphy
  • Canada.
  •           Shihan Breffnin Gaffney
  • Hong Kong (Representative)

    • Shihan Nigel Slattery
  • Chicago (USA Representative)
    • Kyoshi Don Dike
  • Germany
    • Reiner Gabriel (Deceased)
    • Jorg Kaspari