IBJJA Instructors


James Clingerman
Head Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Coach, 4th Degree BJJ Black Belt

Meet Professor James Clingerman, the Head Instructor of IBJJA and founder of the internationally recognized "Team James Clingerman." With over 30 years of Martial Arts experience, Coach James is an expert in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Kickboxing, and Mixed Martial Arts.

Coach James's love for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu began in 1997, and since then, he has dedicated himself fully to the art. He holds a 4th Degree Black Belt in BJJ under the guidance of Master Anibal Braga (8th Degree) and a Brown Belt in Judo under the late Virgil Bowles (8th Degree).

Early in his Martial Arts journey, Coach Clingerman was an ambitious competitor. However, shortly after winning Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Nationals and America Judo Cup in 1999, Coach James was the victim of an unprovoked shooting. He was shot in the head sitting at a stoplight. This life-altering incident change the trajectory of Coach James’s future as a competitor and a person. Sitting on the mat at the Grand Opening of IBJJA only 2 weeks after being shot in the head, he realized that although he still had a competitive drive, his role would eventually shift to that of an Instructor. His dedication to continuous learning has helped him develop new techniques and improve his skills, which he shares with his students at Indiana Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy and Endurance BJJ (which he also owns).

Coach James’s expertise extends beyond the walls of his Academies. He is also the mind behind BJJ Foundation, the World's Most Comprehensive System of BJJ Fundamentals, and The Fight Hub, where he produces instructional videos and custom training gear for academies across the United States. James is also the author of several best-selling online and DVD instructionals, including Mastering the Von Flue Choke, Peruvian Dozen 2.0, High Collar Passing, The BJJ Modified Overhook, and Loop Choke Obsession.

But Coach James' credentials are not the only reason to train with him. His warm personality and dedication to his students make him a beloved figure in the BJJ community. He has hundreds of competitive matches in BJJ, Judo, Submission Grappling, and Mixed Martial Arts, and he continues to add to his impressive list of tournament wins. He believes in providing the most advanced and practical techniques to his students while creating a fun and welcoming environment for all.

Join Coach James and his team today and experience the benefits of his expert techniques and teaching style.

Professor James' Tips for Beginners:

"When starting a martial arts program for the first time, a few things to look for are a clean, safe, and friendly atmosphere. Medals and awards are great, but make sure the coach or coaches at your chosen Academy are good instructors and good people. You want to select a place where the coaches are fun and engaging and able to convey their message. I personally recommend training with coaches with a high moral standard. I expect my students to be virtuous and therefore I hold myself to an even higher standard."


Joel Blanton
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor, 2nd Degree BJJ Black Belt

Meet Coach Joel Blanton, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor at the Indiana Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy with over 20 years of martial arts experience. Since starting his training in November of 2001, Joel is a second-degree black belt under Professor James Clingerman and has been teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since 2006.

Joel's teaching philosophy emphasizes the importance of both technical and conceptual teaching, believing that both are essential for success in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. His individualistic approach to teaching allows him to cater to the specific needs of each of his students.

As an accomplished competitor, Joel's IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation) credentials include:

  • No-Gi World Champion (x5)
  • Masters World Champion
  • No-Gi Pans Champion (x7)

He was also a competitive MMA fighter with over 30 fights, holding an amateur heavyweight title, winning the Danger Zone tournament twice, the Cage Rage Light Heavyweight Tournament, and the Excalibur Extreme Fighting Championship Welterweight Title. He was also the first two-division champion for Coloseum Combat at 155 and 145.

Professor Blanton’s wealth of knowledge and experience is a benefit to both new students and seasoned competitors. His presence at Indiana Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy only strengthens its commitment to providing top-tier instruction to its students.

When he's not on the mats, Joel enjoys strength training, hiking, and reading. His dedication to physical fitness is a top priority for him, ensuring that he can continue to teach and compete for years to come.

Coach Joel's Tips for Beginners:

"For somebody starting out, I would recommend having a positive mindset in your training approach. Training can be hard & sometimes unforgivable. But, that should not be a driver for losing the joy of the journey. I also believe being active in the bjj community is important."


Darrell Smith
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Coach, 1st Degree BJJ Black Belt

Darrell "Bulldog" Smith, like so many others, comes from a wrestling background. After 9 years experience in wrestling, Darrell joined the Army National Guard because they would make him "get up and run in the morning". Darrell began his MMA career in 2000 fighting in an event in Indiana. He has since fought all over the US, in many different events, including Bodog (Costa Rica), Hook'N'Shoot, AFC, Cage Rage, King of the Cage and many others.

"Bulldog", a name given to him by a fight promoter who couldn't remember his name, began training in Kickboxing in 2003. This is about the same time that he was introduced to the Indiana Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy and began training Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts with James Clingerman.

Darrell has over 40 MMA fights with wins of notable fighters such as UFC's Brian Geraghty, IFL's Bart Palazweski, and WEC's Sherron "Rob Roy" Leggett. Darrell has also created a DVD that features his Unorthodox fighting style, Bulldog's Unorthodox MMA!

Darrell Smith earned his Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in March 2018. While Coach Darrell does pop in every so often, he mostly spends his time training and teaching at Endurance BJJ in Zionsville, IN.


Korey Carrier
Kickboxing Coach, BJJ Brown Belt

Korey Carrier is the Kickboxing Coach at Indiana Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy (IBJJA). With 13 years of experience in kickboxing and 17 years in Jiu-Jitsu, Korey brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his classes. Coach Korey arrived at our academy as a purple belt under the Carlos Machado Affiliation.

His teaching philosophy is to keep it simple and make sure his students understand the "why" before showing the proper techniques. Korey's classes focus on defense, proper footwork, and the fundamentals of striking. He creates a fun learning environment by keeping things light, cracking jokes, playing music, and being an open book for his students.

In his personal life, Korey enjoys gaming, golfing, and BBQing. He says receiving his brown Belt from Coach James Clingerman is one of his most notable Martial Arts accomplishments.

Coach Korey's Tips for Beginners:

"Search for a good school! And that goes from how the owner/instructor greets you, how his students greet and interact with you! Take it slow and ask questions. No one expects you to know it all in one class. Make sure you get the techniques that are being taught correctly! No Pressure! Go into class relaxed and ready to learn and have fun! I've seen many people who put unnecessary pressure on themselves to keep up that they end up quitting! Don't do that! And lastly and most importantly have FUN!"


Shane Bui
Kickboxing Coach, BJJ Brown Belt

Coach Shane Bui began his training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu/Kickboxing/MMA at the age of twelve, when he joined IBJJA. He was one of our very first students! Coach Shane teaches kickboxing classes, BJJ classes, and currently holds a Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Professor James Clingerman.

Shane's teaching philosophy is basic and technical, emphasizing the importance of keeping an open mind and learning as much as possible. In class, he uses analogies and humor to keep students engaged. He tries to stick to a curriculum but is always willing to listen to his student's preferences or difficulties. Shane likes to slow things way down, breaking down techniques into smaller segments.

One of his most memorial tournament moments was competing at the EXTREME GRAPPLING OPEN (EGO), after suffering a severe foot injury, only days before the competition. Shane went on to win Both Gi and No-Gi divisions! Immediately following, he was presented with his Purple Belt, from Coach James.

Outside of the Academy, Shane is a closet nerd. You can catch him playing games on his PS5 or PC, watching favorite tv shows and anime, designing something arts and craft related, working on his cars and motorcycles. You’ll also find him cooking and spending time with his wife and two dogs.

Coach Shane's Tips for Beginners:

"At first, take small steps. You gotta crawl before you can walk. Classes will throw so much at you, so take it in small chunks. Pick a few techniques and keep practicing them while keeping everything else you learn in the back pocket. As you progress, you can keep adding to the arsenal you're already good at and eventually you'll have an encyclopedia of techniques. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns—be very vocal, have things to tell us or ask of us. We as instructors are there for you."


Emanuel Carey
Kids' Coach, BJJ Brown Belt

Coach Emanuel Carey (often referred to as "Coach Manny"), is our kids' coach at Indiana Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy. Though he specializes in coaching kids, he is happy to coach anyone who asks.

Emanuel began his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Journey in 2013, as part of a New Years Resolution. He came to IBJJA as a blue belt, and was awarded his Brown Belt from Professor Clingerman in 2022.

Emanuel's teaching philosophy is to teach the basics—focusing on the concepts of a move, not just the move itself. He approaches teaching his students with a learning mindset, always trying to improve the way he explains things, especially since he teaches children and the moves often have a lot of moving parts.

Outside of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, he enjoys collecting watches, riding his long board and bikes. He is excited to share these hobbies with his daughter as she grows older.

Coach Manny's Tips for Beginners:

" It’s okay to be nervous, Jiu-Jitsu can be intimidating. But it’s worth it."


Ryan Sellick
Beginner Jiu-Jitsu Coach, BJJ Purple Belt

Coach Ryan leads our Beginner BJJ class, runs our Women's Only Class, and teaches introductory lessons to new students. You may also spot him teaching private lessons or covering the evening Adult BJJ class from time to time. Ryan's teaching approach is fundamentals-first, with an emphasis on precise and fluid technique. He is encouraging, enthusiastic, and a patient guide for new students!

Aside from his BJJ training, Ryan is a professional Graphic Designer, Web Designer, Social Media Marketer, and Video Producer. He even built the IBJJA website and helps manage our social media accounts. Ryan is also a published musician, and enjoys studying Philosophy, Psychology, and Marketing.

Coach Ryan's Tips for Beginners:

"Just go for it! We understand how overwhelming and intimidating it can be to start this martial art, so we make every effort to help new students in any way we can.

Jiu-Jitsu is difficult, but it's very simple to improve—just show up! Keep showing up and learning each technique, one at a time. I promise, if you do that, you WILL improve at Jiu-Jitsu (or kickboxing if that's your thing). Not to mention, you'll make dozens of new friends along the way. "


Lionel Pichereau
Judo Coach, 5th Dan Judo Black Belt

Lionel Pichereau, born in France in 1958, is a highly experienced judo instructor with over 40 years of training and teaching. Pichereau earned his black belt in Judo in 1976 and has since achieved the rank of 5th dan in 2003. He is a member of the USJA and has taught hundreds of students throughout his career.

After coming to the United States in 1977, Pichereau met his sensei Virgil Bowles, with whom he would later work when Bowles opened his judo club in 1987. Pichereau became Bowles' first instructor and worked with him until Bowles' death in 2009.

Pichereau's teaching philosophy emphasizes the importance of drills, repetitions, and hard work to achieve mastery of techniques. He believes that the precision of body movements and decision-making skills developed through sparring and strategy are important skills for both on and off the mat. Additionally, Pichereau places a strong emphasis on character development, teaching humility, ethics, and spirituality through the practice of judo. He is dedicated to coaching, teaching, and building people and teams, in both the world of martial arts and beyond.

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