Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Coach

Ben Tallini

Coach Tallini has been training since December 2005, teaching since 2012, and earned his Black Belt in July 2017.

He has helped train top level Mixed Martial Arts fighters and several successful amateurs and pros.

Tallini has produced students who have placed at the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship, like Jason Iorio who most recently took second place in his division. Tallini’s student, Dan Dantuono, was ranked number one for a period time in the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF).

He has also trained multiple super fight winners at pro grappling events like Ed Abrasley, Dickie White and Alec Callahan. Tallini has made the podium at every IBJJF tournament he has done at black belt, along with placing at multiple North American Grappling Association tournaments and smaller shows throughout his jiu-jitsu career. Tallini has a 1-0 record in amateur MMA and has competed in combat sports since 2006.

 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Coach

Sarah Barnhardt

Hi, I’m Sarah Barnhardt. I’ve been involved with martial arts since I was 13 years old. I was an avid competitor in Shotokan karate, earning my black belt under Ken and Andy Lincourt. I also have a brown belt in Tai kwon do from S&S martial arts.

In my 20s I was an assistant instructor at Lincourts American Karate till my journey brought me to my current career as a licensed massage therapist.

In college I studied applied science where I enjoyed courses in anatomy and physiology, myology (the studies of muscles) and neurology (nerves). This has given me knowledge, not only in how to treat soft tissue related injuries, but also in how to prevent them. A background that I bring to the mats with me every time I train.
I have continued my study of all things human body movement related and I’m currently working towards my certification in corrective exercise.

My first exposure to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was at a BJJ club at the Oneida YMCA. I was working at the Y when the workouts caught my eye. They were a rough and tumble group of guys, which has given me a firm appreciation for women in Jiu jitsu.

I trained for a short spurt in New York Mills and New Hartford where I incorporate some MMA and Muay Thai training.

I found Ben Tallini in 2012 and felt like I found a missing puzzle piece in my training. My training had been a broken line of training, injuries, career, timing, and then finally consistency. The one thing that I can say from the ups and downs is that when something is deeply important to you, never quit.

 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Coach

Kaitlin Gregory

I began training BJJ in 2012, and have spent time training MMA, boxing and Muay Thai. I’ve spent time competing at white and blue belt level at NAGA, Global Grappling and Grappling Industries, and intend to continue competing. I’ve been passionate about Jiu Jitsu since my first class, and having even trained through pregnancy. I enjoy Jiu Jitsu because it allows smaller individuals an opportunity to train self defense against larger opponents without relying strictly on strength. Over the years I’ve spent training, I’ve trained with people of all different shapes, sizes, and skills, and I’m a big advocate for training with everyone. However, I still firmly believe that as a woman, training with other women is inherently different from training with men for a number of reasons, and it offers different opportunities that all women should experience. Also being a mom that works full time I understand what it's like to train with a crazy schedule. 

I’m currently a road patrol Deputy for 3 years, I have seen the benefits of using BJJ on the job first hand, and it’s multiple applications to the job. Jiu Jitsu was initially my biggest motivation to pursuing Law Enforcement, and has given me the confidence to be more proactive than I probably would have been without it, while also allowing me to gauge my limitations much more accurately.  I think Jiu Jitsu is the number one self defense for Law Enforcement, as well as women who are looking to learn self defense because it can be trained safely, and it can be adjusted to suit everyone’s individuals needs.

Yoga Coach


As a busy mom Christine understands the importance of scheduling time to nurture yourself, so that you can show up and be your best for you and your family. She offers gentle styles of yoga that provide opportunities for quiet and stillness to help you recharge. In her classes you can expect to leave feeling fabulous – light, open, calm, happy, and refreshed!

Christine is a 200-Hour Certified Yoga Teacher with special training in Restorative Yoga. For her yoga is a way of slowing down, reconnecting with herself, and letting go of tension and stress in order to find balance in her life. She earned her Second Degree Black Belt in martial arts when she was twelve. She holds a Bachelors in Math and Math Education and a Masters in Special Education from Syracuse University. She is also a Certified Health Coach and is passionate about intuitive eating and the healing power of traditional foods such as pasture raised animal fats, fermented foods, and bone broths.

When Christine is not teaching or practicing yoga, you can often find her gardening, cooking, and spending time with her daughter Hannah, husband Adam, and their two cats Olive and Sprinkles.

Yoga Coach


It can be intimidating to walk into your first yoga class, but it doesn’t have to be. Adam has a beginner friendly approach to yoga, and truly believes yoga is for everyone! He teaches the basics of yoga in a relaxed atmosphere, so that you can feel confident and safe while practicing. He is excited to share the world of yoga with you!

Adam has been practicing yoga since 2013, and has taught classes at Tai Kai MMA, Zanshin of CNY, and Ja Spa. He has practiced many different styles of yoga, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Kundalini, and Acro. He has experienced its many benefits firsthand, including improved flexibility, strength, and balance.


He is currently a blue belt in Jiu Jitsu under Ben Tallini, and is a member of the Haven Jiu Jitsu competition team. He met his wife Christine while she was teaching yoga at Lotus Life in 2014. They currently reside in East Syracuse with their daughter Hannah.

Wresting Coach


The current coach for the Syracuse Wrestling Club and a Navy veteran, Mike brings with him over a decade of competitive wrestling experience as former section 9 champion.

Mike has also worked as a coach for adult and kids BJJ competitors for both gi and no gi competition at a gym in his hometown. While also training in BJJ, he understands the stark contrast between gi and no gi takedowns and has worked on techniques focused around the offensive and defensive tools the gi offers.

The ABCs of wrestling, always be scoring.