SBG Dublin24 coaches

Paddy Holohan: MMA coach

Tallaght born UFC flyweight Paddy Holohan is the head coach of SBG Dublin24. Paddy was a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter before he moved into fighting in the UFC. Paddy has fought five times in the UFC as well as fighting many times under other promotions. Now that Paddy no longer fights professionally, he has turned his full attention to SBG Dublin24.

‘Paddy doesn’t teach a class he gives a performance’

Paddy began his martial arts journey years ago and became a professional MMA fighter at the age of 19. He had a professional record of 12-2-1. Paddy was the number one fighter in Europe in 2015 and 2016 until he retired from MMA. He fought on the legendary fight card in Dublin with fellow SBG fighters Conor Mcgregor, Aisling Daly, Cathal Pendred. Paddy also headlined The UFC Dublin card in 2016.

Paddy went along to a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class when he was 18 in SBG Rathcoole with his best friend. He said on the way home in the car “I’m going to do this for the rest of my life”. He started coaching when he received his blue belt. Paddy is qualified to coach to the highest levels in many disciplines and has been coaching for years in other SBG gyms until he opened his own SBG Dublin24.

Paddy grew up in Jobstown and has always wanted to open his own gym here. “Tallaght has always been good to me, and I really love this place. Honestly, people don’t realize how beautiful this place is and I always appreciated that my people have my back.”

Paddy is as passionate about teaching beginner children as he is teaching and coaching SBG Dublin24’s talented fighters.

“I am passionate about taking both average & naturally athletic people out of their comfort zone and into something new. Using functional martial arts to gain confidence and fitness in a comfortable environment.”


Joey Breslin: BJJ coach

Joey from Athy is our jiu-jitsu coach here at SBG Dublin24. Joey took up martial arts at a young age. At 7 Joey took up karate. However, he moved onto boxing and kickboxing when he got older. Joey began Jiu-Jitsu in 2007 and has been coaching since 2011 in SBG city centre, black rock, Concorde, Cill Dara MMA and most recently SBG Dublin24. Joey mainly got into martial arts because he thought ninjas were really cool and was inspired by movies like fists of fury.

Joey has a long list of competition success but his proudest victories are as follows 3X Irish champion, 2X British champion, London ibjjf open gold medal at purple and Naga UK champion at brown belt. He received his brown belt from John Kavanagh,

Joey’s classes are structured in a way that Joey felt would be best based on his experience of a lot of other classes. Students in his class will always have the opportunity to participate in live training, practising technique, good vibes and good culture. Joey strives to ensure that everyone moves at their own pace and learns the most that they can on the mats. Joey’s aspirations in martial arts are to truly enjoy martial arts as well as enjoying the rolling and the friendships that made on the mats. Also, he wants to get his black belt in jiu-jitsu.

“I am a passionate coach and competitor. I bring my competition experience to the classroom always sharing tried and tested techniques and strategy.”


Gary Rooney: BJJ coach

Gary got into martial arts because he is from a boxing family. He also acknowledges that growing up in a rough area means that you have to know how to fight. Gary’s aunty Paula went to college with Paddy and this prompted him to join SBG. He was training with Owen Roddy for 3 years and this is when he learnt how a smaller person can beat a larger opponent.

Gary’s classes are based on self-defence and real fight scenarios rather than sports Jiu-Jitsu. However, he does teach this element too. Gary’s favourite thing about BJJ is the fact it shows you your true self. To get “good” all you have to do is love Jiu-Jitsu and it will love you back on the mat.

“My favourite thing coaching is when I might say a little detail and then the lightbulbs click then I see you hitting it. I also love spreading all the knowledge that was given to me by someone who might have trained for 10 years for 1 little detail then they can show me in one minute then I can show other people.”

Gary’s classes are based on self-defence and real fight scenarios rather than sports Jiu-Jitsu. However, he does teach this element too. Garys proudest achievements in martial arts are as follows: Irish open gold medalist 2015, Belfast open gold medalist 2016, Junior Europen Champion 2016, NAGA Ireland champion 2016, NAGA Germany silver medalist 2017, Cavan Wrestling Championship Gold medal 2017,
3 years and coaching kids under Owen Roddy

“My philosophy in coaching is to pass on the techniques and mindset that have helped me to succeed in life and competition and yet always be open to learning from anyone.”


Andy White: BJJ coach

Andy from Tallaght is one of our BJJ coaches in SBG Dublin24. Andy got into martial arts because he was inspired by martial arts icons like Bruce Lee. He was interested in many different martial arts and did kickboxing when he was a kid. However, when he saw the UFC, he decided to join SBG. Andy has been training BJJ for over 10 years. He started in the kids and teens classes and received his blue belt from John Kavanagh in 2012. As well as coaching, Andy actively competes on the local Irish BJJ scene.

Andy likes coaching because it gives him a different perspective on jiu-jitsu because he needs to look into techniques more in order to fully understand techniques.

“I train jiu-jitsu because it’s a great way to challenge yourself and meet new people from all walks of life”.


Tommy Martin: Wrestling coach

Tommy Martin from Tallaght is our wrestling coach in SBG Dublin24 and has been training for over ten years. Tommy took his first class in 2007 after hearing a motivational speech from his SPHE teacher in school. As a kid, he was into pro wrestling. Boxing and Tae Kwon Do were popular but he wanted to do something different so when he saw submission wrestling in Firhouse, which is essentially nogi Jiu-Jitsu, he gave it a go and never looked back.

All fighters acknowledge that having a good foundation in wrestling is extremely important. Tommy fights in MMA as well as other martial arts, because of this, he understands how to best utilize the art of wrestling at all levels of MMA. When you look at all 3 ranges of combat, striking clinch and ground, Wrestling is the middleman. If you’re a grappler how do you get the fight to the ground? If you’re a striker how do you keep the fight on the feet and avoid been taken down? It’s all wrestling. It gives you confidence that you can dictate where the fight takes place, gives you that extra edge in winning scrambles, and helps build mental toughness. Wrestling is essential for anyone looking to go far in MMA.

“My favourite thing about coaching is making a difference to someone’s game. In a class, a student is not going to remember every single technique and detail the coach shows, and they’re not expected to. But if they walk away learning one little thing that makes them 1% better, then it’s all worth it.”

Tommy fights regularly and has an impressive record including:

  • MMA record 12-5
  • 2x Lightweight Champion
  • IMMAF Bronze Medalist
  • Irish Nogi Gold Medalist
  • BJJ Purple belt



Sam Doran: Jiu Jitsu coach

Sam Doran is one of our Jiu Jitsu coaches at SBG Dublin24. Sam trains under Paddy Holohan and Joey Breslin. He started competing in Jiu Jitsu in late 2015. He has been a member of SBG for 4 years. In those years, Sam has had the honour to train and learn from some of the best Jiu Jitsu players in Ireland and also in Europe.

“I joined SBG 4 years ago when I was in the worst physical and mental condition I have ever been in my life. I joined on the basis of purely gaining some fitness. Shortly after several months, I found myself shredding excess weight while also regaining my confidence in the meantime. In this short time, I managed to fall in love with the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Its principles, its morales, everything about the sport had me obsessed and I decided this is the sport I want to invest my time and hard work into.”

Matin Zolfaghari: Striking Coach

Matin a highly regarded member of our striking coach team in SBG Dublin24. Matin fought and trained in Phuket in Thailand is now a part of the SBG Dublin24 striking coaches team.

Matin started martial arts training when he was 12 years old. He got into martial arts because “it’s a family thing”. Matino’s Uncle is a very famous Grandmaster of Martial Arts ‘Massan Ghorbani’. The best thing about Matinos class is that you are being trained by a technician, who is constantly competing, improving and using a traditional style of Muay Thai/K1. Matino likes to coach because you learn something new every day, not only yourself but from your students. Matino aspires to be one of the countries top striking coaches.

Matin fights regularly with the following fight record:

  • 66kg iska k1 champion
  • 8_1 k1 record
  • 6_2 thai record


Dean Donnelly: Kids Coach

Dean Donnely is the head kids coach here in SBG Dublin24. Dean is highly qualified as a coach with years of coaching experience in martial arts and also being qualified as a personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach under the ISI. Dean competed and placed often from Dublin halls and the European stage.

“I got into BJJ with my dad, he had started this new thing and said that I should come up and give it a go! That was over 10 years ago now and we’re still at it loving it more and more every time.”

One of Dean’s favourite things about BJJ and martial arts is that everyone is equal when we’re on the mats. Your belt may show your rank but no matter who you are, everyone is equal. We all want to learn and express ourselves and have fun doing it.

Dean likes to break things down in his classes with different analogies to paint a picture for everyone taking part in the class. A big belief of Dean’s is that competition proves who’s the best but training prepares you for the best”.

“Coaching gives me something that resonates deep inside me and it’s something I have always wanted to do. I feel that if you are here to learn I will teach and guide you in every way I can. Coaching is such a great responsibility”