Our Instructors


Chris Lovato

(Head Instructor San Luis Obispo and Templeton)

Bio / About

Chris Lovato is a Paragon black belt under Franjinha Miller (bio here) and holds numerous competition titles in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.   His grappling experience began with more than 15 years of wrestling at the high school and collegiate level and has state titles in freestyle and Greco roman wrestling.  From 1989 to 1994 he coached high school and junior high school wrestling with a number of his students placing the California State Championships.

In 1995 Chris began training both Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Judo.  He spent 5 years training and competing in Judo and earned his Judo Black Belt in 1997 from Mario Rubio of Five Cities Judo in Arroyo Grande.

Chris has been training and competing in BJJ and submission wrestling for more than 18 years. Chris’ classes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu incorporate both wrestling and judo into the BJJ curriculum.


  • BJJ black Belt under Ricardo “Franjinha” Miller of Paragon
  • Judo Black Belt under Mario Rubio of Five Cities Judo in Arroyo Grande.
  • 15 yrs high school, collegiate freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling
  • Level 2 Combatives Instructor in the Modern Army Combatives Program
  • Post Certified Arrest and Control Instructor at Allen Hancock Police Academy
  • 2014 Black Belt Pan Am Champion
  • 2013 Black Belt No Gi Worlds, 2nd place
  • 2012 Black Belt No Gi Worlds Champion
  • 2011 Black Belt
    • US Open 1st place. 3rd place Absolute
    • American Nationals 1st place Gi, 1st place No Gi
    • No Gi worlds, 2nd place
    • Pan AM 3rd place
    • Abu Dahbi Trials Las Vegas 2nd place Absolute
  • 2010 Black Belt
    • No Gi worlds, 1st  place absolute, 3rd place
    • US open, 1st place middleweight and absolute
    • American Nationals, 2nd place
  • Titles at both Purple and Brown Belt include Pan Ams, US Open, and No Gi Worlds

Kru Albert Malatamban

Bio / About

Kru Albert Malatamban's journey in Muay Thai began in 1972, starting his martial arts training in Shotokan Karate, with Sensei Abe Belardo through the Way of Japan orginization. Sensei Abe has since awarded him his Ni Dan, second degree Black Belt. Sensei Abe is also a popular Muay Thai, Pro Boxing and UFC judge.

From 1978 to 1990 Albert served in the U.S. Marines. He developed his unique teaching and leadership style while serving 3 years as a Marine Drill Instructor and Senior Drill Instructor at The Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, Ca. He ended his Marine Corps career as a Staff Sergeant.

While serving overseas in the Marines, he was exposed to the art of Muay Thai. He immediately fell in love with the art, training and learning from who ever he could.

Kru Albert’s focus now is on The Elite Muay Thai Academy. Teaching classes out of Paragon Brazilian Jiu Jitsu San Luis Obispo.  With the knowledge gained in more than 38 years of martial arts, over 12 years of training fighters and teaching Muay Thai.

Josh Ivey


Inspired by his father and older brother, both accomplished martial artists, Monitor (instructor) Macaco (Joshua Ivey) began studying martial arts at the age of 13. Following his older brother’s footsteps, in 2003 Macaco went to his first Capoeira class and was immediately hooked. He was drawn in by the percussive and powerful music of Capoeira, as well as the expressive, fast, and playful movements. He has trained under multiple teachers and styles of capoeira,He says he knew he was now truly dedicated to the art especially because the nearest capoeira schools in his hometown were an hour plus distance and he faithfully would make his way to classes. In 2007, Macaco joined Cordão de Ouro, and is now under the supervision of Mestre (Master) Chicote from Paris, France. Interested in exploring the practical fighting aspect martial arts, Macaco started participating in amateur MMA (mixed martial arts) from 2008 to 2009 with great success. Confident in his abilities and in the functionality of Capoeira, he decided to return to training and teaching Capoeira. In 2014, he was promoted to the rank of Monitor (an instructor of Capoeira). He has helped run several successful branches of CDO in California, has taught workshops all over California and in Las Vegas, Nevada, and has trained with Mestres all over the world. Moving to the Central Coast of California June 2017, he is excited to begin a new adventure as the head instructor of Cordão de Ouro Central Coast, and invites you come to your first class to learn about the art of Capoeira.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Instructors

John Appleby (Black Belt) Wrestling Coach with over 25 years of wrestling/grappling including U.S. Army(7th inf div) wrestling team from 1988-1991.  John has extensive competition experience in shootwrestling and mixed martial arts and he earned a black belt in shootwrestling and submissions in 2004 and was undefeated in shootwrestling and submission competition.

Jon Green (Black Belt) Conditioning coach

Raymond Norte (Black Belt) 2010 Pan Am Champion

Dan Perry (Brown Belt) United States Army Level 4 Combatives Instructor.  United States Marine Corps Okinawa Island freestyle wrestling Champion. Currently runs the State Combatives program for the California National Guard.

Shawn Sherman (Brown Belt)


Assistant Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Instructors

Aaron Abernathy (Brown Belt)

Joe Stanley (Brown Belt)

Larry Nash (Brown Belt)

Shoop Avina (Brown Belt)

Ty Lewis (Brown Belt)

Mallory Kraft (Purple Belt)