Allan Manganello is the founder and head instructor of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Louisville. He has over 40 years of martial arts experience (30 years training directly with the Gracie family) and is a retired LMPD police officer with 21 years of service.
Professor Manganello received his Jiu-Jitsu training from Masters Rickson Gracie and Pedro Sauer. He was awarded his Black Belt from Master Sauer in 2006 and currently holds the rank of 4th Degree Black Belt.
With training and teaching as his passion, he frequently travels and teaches seminars all over the world. Today, he continues to study and polish his Jiu-Jitsu skills, focusing on the most recent Gracie University curriculum with Ryron and Rener Gracie.
Carey Pilo is a Gracie University Certified Instructor. In highschool he was a multisport athlete. His love for sports, fitness and maintaining a healthy lifestyle has continued throughout his adult life. He enjoys recreational running, swimming, skiing and of course Jiu-Jitsu. But before discovering Jiu-Jitsu, he dabbled in other martial arts occasionally. In 2009 Carey discovered Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, and hasn’t looked back since. His dedication, persistence and many hours spent training, he has earned his Brown Belt under Professor Allan Manganello. Carey has also enjoyed the sport of competing in tournaments, however he is most interested in lifelong learning, and training in a sustainable way that makes ongoing learning possible. Off the mat, Carey is a Board-Certified Osteopathic Physician and Cardiac Anesthesiologist with more than 15 years of clinical and teaching experience. He loves using his teaching abilities to share the art and benefits of Jiu-Jitsu with his students, so they can learn how to defend themselves in real life situations, boost their confidence and also enhance their physical fitness and mental health.
Will Stites is a Gracie University Certified Instructor. He has over 10 years of martial arts experience holding the rank of 1st Degree Black Belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate. He started his Jiu-Jitsu training in 2015 under Professor Allan Manganello and currently holds the rank of Purple Belt. Will loves all the technical aspects of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and enjoys teaching all classes from Bullyproof to Master Cycle to Women Empowered. Most of all, he loves to be on the mat with his Jiu-Jitsu family, training and teaching. After attending one class with Will, you will see that his passion is more than evident.
Bernie Minnis is a Gracie University Certified Instructor. He has been training since 2006 and is a Purple Belt under Professor Allan Manganello. Bernie enjoys teaching both children and adults. He excels in creating an environment where everyone can improve their Jiu-Jitsu skills as well as be encouraged in life. Off the mat, Bernie is a full time Children & Family Pastor and is very devoted to his wife and four children.
David Katz is a Gracie University Certified Instructor. He has been training since 2016 and is currently a Blue Belt under Professor Allan Manganello. David loves teaching both children and adults of all ages. He is able to meet students at their level to help them improve their Jiu-Jitsu. His wife, Anna (Pink Belt in the Women Empowered program) and all 3 children train in our Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Bullyproof program. Off the mat, David is a full time Engineer, and a highly credentialed Firearms Instructor.
“I became a Gracie University Certified Instructor after having spent many years as a Defensive Firearms Instructor. Knowing Jiu-Jitsu and how to control an opponent without excessive force reduces the need to use a weapon and creates a safer environment for all parties involved. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu has been one of the greatest gifts I have ever received and I am passionate about sharing it with others!” ~ David
A.J. McClure is a Gracie University Certified Instructor. He began his Jiu-Jitsu journey in 2019 and is currently a blue belt under Professor Allan Manganello.
AJ is very passionate about Jiu-Jitsu and all the benefits it has to offer. He enjoys helping his students understand the details of the various techniques and connecting them to practical situations in a street scenario.
“Jiu-Jitsu is for everyone.” ~ AJ
Bio Coming soon…
Mike O’Coffey is a Gracie University Certified Instructor.
Mike is a retired police officer from Oakland, CA where he proudly served and protected his community for 13 years. In 2005 he suffered a neck and spine injury. This made him doubtful that his body would allow him to fully participate in a physical sport that could accommodate his injuries.
In 2018 he was introduced to Jiu-Jitsu at 52 years old and is currently a blue belt under Professor Allan Manganello. Mike was impressed by the methodically safe approach of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, which allowed him to strengthen his body in ways that other physical therapy could not.
Mike is passionate to share his experience with supportive partners looking for a fun way to get in shape, that doesn’t even feel like exercise.
“Gracie Jiu-Jitsu has given me pain relief in my neck and a new lease on life! I recommend it to people of all ages and abilities.”
Leeann Manganello is a Gracie University Certified Women Empowered Instructor. Being a survivor of domestic violence, she became passionate about learning practical self-defense and empowering other women. She began training under her husband, Professor Allan Manganello, in 2014 and now teaches alongside him in the Women Empowered program. Her technical ability and outgoing personality make her an amazing instructor.
Anne Gregory is a Gracie University Certified Women Empowered Instructor.
Anne is a proud mom of three boys, one with autism. Anne spent over a decade as a leader in the Autism community prior to beginning her Jiu-Jitsu journey. She was no stranger to the University, however, as she spent the same number of years driving her son David to his Shaolin Kempo karate classes.
After sitting in the waiting area all those years, Anne enrolled the first day Professor Allan Manganello began the Women Empowered program in August 2016. Initially enrolled to fill a void after her oldest son, Matthew, left for college, she realized almost immediately how emotionally rewarding the program would be. With rising confidence and technical ability, Anne earned her Pink Belt and shortly after completed the Women Empowered Instructor Certification Program. Since then, several of her family members have enrolled in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. As an instructor, she truly enjoys working with students of all ages and most importantly, ensuring they feel a strong welcome into our Jiu-Jitsu family.
Andrea Stites is a Gracie University Certified Women Empowered Instructor.
After many years of watching her two sons grow up and participate in martial arts, she decided to stop being a spectator and step onto the mats for herself. In 2016 she began her Gracie Jiu-Jitsu journey in the Women Empowered program. Andrea earned her Pink Belt in 2017, but her journey did not stop there. She decided to further share her love of the Women Empowered program and received her Women Empowered Instructor Certification.
As an assistant instructor, she enjoys working with students and loves how their confidence increases with each class. Jiu-Jitsu is a rewarding activity for her entire family, who all participate in classes at Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Louisville.
Laurelee started her Jiu-Jitsu journey in 2018. Once she earned her pink belt, she decided to become a Gracie University Certified Women Empowered Instructor. As a housecall veterinarian, she wanted to be sure she knew how to protect herself if necessary. Laurelee loves helping students understand the “how” and the “why” of the techniques. She also enjoys training with her sister, Kristilee (who is also a Certified Women Empowered Instructor). As Laurelee shares her knowledge and compassion as a Women Empowered instructor, she is also continuing her personal Jiu-Jitsu journey in the Gracie Combatives program.
“Being able to set boundaries with both strangers and non-strangers, having the confidence to back up those boundaries and get away safely, is truly life changing.” ~ Laurelee
Kristilee is a Gracie University Certified Women Empowered Instructor. She enrolled in the academy in 2018, after attending a seminar and becoming fascinated by the principles of Jiu-jitsu. Once she earned her pink belt, she wanted to further her education and help other women by becoming an instructor. She is so happy to be sharing this experience with her sister, Laurelee, who is also a Women Empowered instructor. Kristilee loves seeing the students’ excitement and confidence grow, once they realize how effective the curriculum is.
“The ability to physically protect yourself is an invaluable gift. I now walk through my life differently, knowing that I am strong and capable. It is a privilege to share this with so many amazing women.” ~ Kristilee
Lena Mannarelli is a Gracie University Certified Women Empowered Instructor. In January 2019 at age 14, Lena attended our academy’s WE Seminar to start her Jiu-Jitsu journey along with her mom and sister. In 2021, all three women earned their Pink Belt. At age16, Lena’s passion to continue her journey has led her to become our youngest WE instructor. As a petite teenager, she was empowered knowing that she could defend herself against someone bigger and stronger than her. As an instructor, Lena is excited to reach more young women and help support them through their Jiu-Jitsu journey.
“When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”
Heidi Elston is a Gracie University Certified Women Empowered Instructor.
She was introduced to Jiu-Jitsu in 2020 when her husband, Jared, signed her up for a Women Empowered seminar. Now she’s training side by side with him in the Combatives program. Their daughter, Genevieve, is also a student in the Bullyproof program, which you can find them helping as assistant instructors. Heidi’s love of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu has continued to grow as she learned more techniques and realized as a runner, the protection and confidence Gracie Jiu-Jitsu offered her.
“Family is everything, so getting to share this journey together has been so rewarding.”
Sabrina Corbin is a Gracie University Certified Women Empowered Instructor.
She started her Martial Arts journey in 2010 and earned her 2nd Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. In 2012 she attended a Women Empowered seminar at the encouragement of her husband, Ken (who is also a Certified Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Instructor) and became hooked. Sabrina is Blue Belt and also earned her Pink Belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu under Professor Allan Manganello. As an assistant instructor, Sabrina instills self-confidence in all her students, providing the utmost supportive training and coaching desired to be successful.
“Come out and join the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Louisville family! Women Empowered is truly a sisterhood.”
Bio Coming soon…
Ken Corbin is a Gracie University Certified Instructor. He was first introduced to Jiu-Jitsu by his brother in Jacksonville, FL in 2010, and has followed his passion ever since. He is a Brown Belt under Professor Allan Manganello. Prior to being introduced to the Gracie Combatives System through the Gracie University, he was a Level 1 Certified Instructor through the Pedro Sauer Association. Finding Gracie Jiu-Jitsu later in life has taught Ken that it’s never too late to start your journey.
“My journey was only possible through the support of my family – my incredible wife, Sabrina (who is a Women Empowered Certified Instructor) and my two wonderful children (Colin and Mya), who also train. I invite you to come in and let us show you ONE technique of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. It will change your life.”