Our Martial Art Instructors

Our professional instructors are highly trained in several martial arts disciplines.

All Head Instructors have 15 – 35 years of experience in the Martial Arts and are dedicated to bringing out the best in each and every student.  Defensive Edge is a proud member of Blackbelt Schools International, MAIA (Martial Arts Industry Association), NAPMA (National Association of Professional Martial Artist).  But more important than our blackbelt rankings and Championships is our students achievements!  That is why our instructors continue to be students themselves.  Our instructors continuously train, attend seminars, and research to improve our ability to help our students reach their goals.

adult martial arts classes

Master Rick Alford – Founder of Defensive Edge

  • Founded Defensive Edge Martial Arts 1999
  • Black Belt Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Master Andre “Dedeco” Almeida
  • 5th Degree Black Belt Lysak’s Sento Method under Walt Lysak Jr.
  • 6th Degree Black Belt Castoldi’s Street Jujitsu under Professor David Castoldi
  • 4th Degree iCAT Reality Martial Arts Under Richard Ryan and Walt Lysak Jr.
  • 3rd Degree Black Belt Small Circle Jujitsu under Soke Ed Melaugh
  • 2nd Degree Black Belt Joe Lewis Fighting Systems under Grand Master Joe Lewis
  • Muay Thai Level III under Ciano Delucia
  • Tribal Leader Level II under Guru Michael Williams
  • Studied White Crane & Long Fist  Kung Fu under Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming (1990-1994)
  • 1st Degree Black Belt Chung Moo Quan
  • Training Judo Privately with Olympian Rick Hawn
  • iCAT RMA National Director
  • iCAT RMA Certified Level V Pro-Coach
  • iCAT Team Elite & Masters Alliance Member
  • Certified in F.I.G.H.T. (Fierce Israeli Guerrilla Hand-to-Hand Tactics)
  • NRA Certified Basic Pistol Instructor
  • NRA Certified Home Safety Instructor
  • NRA Refuse to Be a Victim Instructor
  • Mass State Police Licensed LTC Firearm Safety Course Instructor
  • NRA Certified Chief Range Safety Officer
  • Team Captain Wrestling CRLS (1986)
  • MVP Wrestling CRLS (1986)
  • Licensed MMA Trainer – Massachusetts, RI, NH, ME, CT, AL, FL,
  • Former E.M.T. (15 Years)
  • Former Emergency Communications Operator City of Cambridge, MA  (Police, Fire, EMS)
  • Featured Martial Arts Instructor on Lifetime TV’s “Teen Trouble” Hosted by Josh Shipp (January, 2013)
  • Featured on Radio Disney (click here to listen to his interview about bullying) (November, 2012)

Sensei Josh Johnson – Owner and Head Instructor

  • Coaches BJJ. MMA, and Muay Thai
  • 4th Degree Blackbelt Under Rick Alford
  • Black Belt BJJ Under Andre “Dedeco” Almeida
  • 2nd Degree Blackbelt Small Circle Jujitsu Under Rick Alford
  • Muay Thai Level V Certified (Kru) under Ciano Delucia
  • Former Pro MMA Fighter


Connor “Bare Knuckle” Barry – MMA, BJJ, Grappling Coach

  • Professional MMA Fighter
  • Black Belt Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Professor Chris Piscione
  • MMA and BJJ Coach
  • Certified NASM Personal Trainer
  • Bachelors in Psychology UMass
  • Silver Mitts Champion Boxer

Dave Lyons – Muay Thai Head Coach

  • Blackbelt 3rd Degree Defensive Edge RMA/SCJ under Shihan Rick Alford
  • Muay Thai Level V under Kru Ciano Delucia
  • Amateur Muay Thai Fighter

Brandon Montella – Boxing Head Coach

  • After leaving the Marine Corps in 2003 Brandon Montella worked in various fields before realizing he
    still wanted to serve others. In 2010 he left the construction industry to become an ACE certified trainer.
    His goal was to become a boxer in order to teach fitness boxing programs from a place of real life
    knowledge. At the age of 31 he got a trainer and within nine months won three tournaments in New
    England. He would go on to win the New England Golden Gloves that same year. At the age of 34 and
    twenty-one amateur fights Brandon would turn to the professional stage nine times. He retired from
    boxing in 2017 with a 9-0 record. Boxing had captured his heart from the beginning. It continued on the
    challenge of self-development he came to love from his time in the Marines. Now retired Brandon was
    able to turn his professional attention to truly hone in on the desire to help others find the same
    “confidence in self” as he calls it. “I find that when we are confident in our ability to defend ourselves
    we can be our most authentic selves without the fear of what another may think. I know this to be true
    from my personal journey. When I see the change begin in another it always makes me smile because I
    relive it in a way through them.”
    Despite not making competition the ultimate goal for his students he has been a certified coach for over
    10 years. Brandon has helped develop boxers that have gone on to be Golden Glove Champions, as well
    as coached others for fundraiser events like The Haymakers For Hope and Punch For Parkinson’s. He also
    coaches two professional fighters having helped developed their careers with one currently undefeated
    and the other who holds two professional titles.
    When he is not training people in boxing; Brandon turns attention to his 501c3 Mission Ready that
    supports at-risk youth and veterans to find strength through fitness programs. In 2022 he ran a 100 mile
    ultra to raise money for his own organization. Brandon’s dedication to the community he serves got him
    inducted into the Marquis Who’s Who in 2021.
    As a father, husband and coach Brandon goes above and beyond to be the best version of himself each
    day and looks to dive deeper into teaching boxing to all those seeking more confidence, championships
    and health for themselves and their families.

Fernanda Araujo –  Women’s Classes/ MMA Fight Camps

  • Black Belt 2nd Degree Judo and Pro Athlete (4x Regional National Champion, 7x Brazilian National Medalist, Quebec Open Champion)
  • Black Belt Defensive Edge Under Shihan Rick Alford
  • Black Belt Shotokan Karate (3rd at World Championships, 4x National Champion)
  • Brown Belt BJJ (2x Pan-Am Gi Champion, 2nd place No-Gi Pan-Am, 3x 2nd place Gi World Championship, 2x 2nd place No-Gi World Championship, 3rd place open class No-Gi World Championship)
  • Pro MMA Fighter (12 Amateur Fights and U.S. National Champion, 6 Professional Fights)
  • Pro Boxer (7 Amateur Fights, 2 Professional Fights)

Michelle Marques –  Women’s BJJ Classes

  • Black belt BJJ (2x Gi World Champion, No-Gi World Champion, Pan-Am Gi Champion, Pan-Am No-Gi Champion, Brazilian National Champion, South America Champion)
  • Black Belt Judo/ Pro Athlete
  • Bachelor Degree in Physical Education
  • 22 years Grappling Experience
  • MMA Fighter (2-1)

Sensei Larry Ruisi – Head Instructor Small Circle Jujitsu

  • 5th Degree Blackbelt Castoldi’s Street Jujitsu under Professor Dave Castoldi
  • 4th Degree Blackbelt Small Circle Jujitsu under Soke Ed Melaugh
  • Studied White Crane & Long Fist  Kung Fu Under Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming (5 Years)
  • 1st Degree Blackbelt in Chung Moo Quan
  • Tribal Leader Level II under Guru Michael Williams

Mikey Titus – Head Youth Instructor

  • Brown Belt Defensive Edge RMA/SCJ under Shihan Rick Alford
  • Blue Belt BJJ Under Josh Johnson
  • Jiu Jitsu World League Champion

Jake Stats – Head Youth Instructor

  • 3rd Black Belt (Dan) in Kempo Karate
  • Blue Belt BJJ Under Josh Johnson
  • Multiple tournament wins and medals in Karate and BJJ

Elias Diaz – Youth Instructor

  • Level III Muay Thai
  • 3-Time Grappling Industries Champion
  • Blue Belt BJJ Under Josh Johnson

George Demers – Youth Instructor

  • Kickboxer
  • Professional MMA Fighter
  • Trained in Kenpo Karate and Kickboxing since age 10
  • 5-time NAGA Champion
  • 5-time Hybrid Fighting Alliance Champion
  • Fastest knockout in Ammo Fight League history (30 seconds/ Welterweight)

Ciano DeLucia – Muay Thai Head Coach

  • Over 30 Years Muay Thai Experience 33 in Martial Arts
  • Trained at Fairtex, Revere MA
  • Trained under Jongsanan Fairtex
  • Trained Under Master Toddy
  • Trained Under Ajarn Apidae (Fairtex)
  • Professional Record of 6-2
  • 4th Degree Blackbelt in Shotokan Karate

Jaden Alford – Youth Instructor

  • MMA Fighter
  • High School Wrestler
  • Muay Thai Level III

Calvin Dalton – Wrestling Coach (summer)

  • MMA Fighter
  • 2-Time MIAA Wrestling State Champion
  • Former Division 1 Wrestler at Bucknell

Artur Minev – Guest MMA Instructor

  • Professional MMA Fighter (undefeated)
  • 3rd Place World Championship
  • Ukraine National Champion

Max Casa – Muay Thai  Guest Coach

  • Blackbelt 2nd Degree Defensive Edge RMA/SCJ under Shihan Rick Alford
  • Blackbelt 1st Degree Joe Lewis Fighting Systems
  • Brown Belt iCAT RMA Under Walt Lysak & Richard Ryan & Rick Alford
  • Level I iCAT Instructor Certified
  • Muay Thai Level V Certified Kru Under Kru Ciano Delucia
  • Blue Belt BJJ Under Josh Johnson

Kevin Donle – BJJ Guest Instructor

  • 2nd Degree Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt under Andre “Dedeco” Almeida
  • Police Officer