All of our instructors have well over a decades worth of experience, are First Aid certified, have completed a Working with Children Check and hold various nationally and internationally recognised coaching accreditations


Ernest Lapornik

Gracie Jiu Jitsu Brown Belt

Head Instructor - Hunter Valley Jiu Jitsu

Ernest is the head instructor at Hunter Valley Jiu Jitsu. He commenced training under Luke Beston in early 2007 and was promoted to Brown Belt in March 2015.

Ernest had a successful competitive career winning medals at both State a National competitions before retiring from competition in 2016 

Prior to training Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Ernest was already a highly proficient martial artist with ranks in Kendo and Hapkido and he is one of a very small number of internationally recognised coaches in the Russian grappling art of SAMBO by the international SAMBO Federation (FIAS) in Australia

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Luke Beston

Gracie Jiu JItsu Black Belt 2nd Degree

Head Instructor - Beston Gracie Jiu Jitsu Network

Chief Representative - Royce Gracie Network Australia

Luke Beston has been a student of the martial arts for over 20 years, and holds the following ranks and teaching certifications:

Luke was first introduced to Gracie Jiu Jitsu when Prof. Carlos Gracie Jr visited Australia in 1995. Over the next 10 years Luke travelled countless times to train at many of the best academies throughout Australia, Brasil and the U.S.A.

During this time Luke has won a number of Grappling titles as well as being crowned the 2001 NSW Pankration Champion.

In December 2005, Luke was awarded his Black Belt by Gracie Academy head instructors Prof. Royler Gracie & Prof. Rolker Gracie and Gracie Sydney head instructor Prof. Bruno Panno. This achievement made luke the first ever person from New South Wales to receive a Black Belt from the Gracie family.

As a grappling coach Luke has produced many champions at the state and national level, as well as winning the overall 2005 & 2008 NSW BJJ Federation team championship.

Luke is a regular contributor to BLITZ martial arts magazine. 

  • 2nd Degree Black Belt – Gracie Jiu Jitsu under Prof. Royce Gracie
  • Certified Instructor – Nobre Arte under founder Meste Claudio Coelho
  • Certified Instructor – Floro Fighting Systems under founder Ray Floro
  • Level 4 – Kali Ilustrisimo under Guro Ray Floro
  • Black Belt – Modern Arnis
  • Battlefield Kali Knife - Level 4 under Guro Burton Richardson
  • Battlefield Kali Stick - Level 3 under Guro Burton Richardson
  • Certified Instructor - Ginastica Natural Level 1 under Master Alvaro Romano
  • Certified Instructor - Knife Defence FTS under Guro Burton Richardson
  • Certified Instructor - Red Zone Knife Defence
  • Certified Instructor – RBPP under founder Jim Wagner
  • Certified Instructor – ISR Matrix PM
  • Certified Instructor – MMAXFIT (MMA Fitness) under founder Ian Schaffa
  • Level 3 Kinetic Fighting under Paul Cale
  • Level 2 NCAS Government Accredited Coach – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
  • Certificate III in Sport (Coaching) SRS30303 – Sport specialization: Martial Arts
  • Certificate III in Security (Guarding)
  • Senior First Aid (St John Ambulance)
  • Member of Royce Gracie Network
  • Member of Gracie Sydney Association / Prof. Bruno Panno Team
  • Member of N.S.W. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (NSWBJJF)
  • Member of Australian Ju Jitsu Federation (AJJF)
  • Member of Australian Federation of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (AFBJJ)
  • Member of International Martial Arts Alliance (I.M.A. – Industry Peak Body)
  • Qualified Punchfit Trainer