Adelaide : Adelaide

Matt Jones

Position: Head Coach, ISOHEALTH® (based in Adelaide, South Australia)
Modalities: Teaches & coaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), Self Defence, Stand-up

Coaching Highlights:
- Founded ISOHEALTH® from scratch and has trained the ISOHEALTH® BJJ team to be the only team to have twice been crowned as South Australia’s State Champion BJJ Team
- Has coached his students to over 50 Gold, over 40 Silver and over 30 Bronze Medals in State Championship BJJ competition
- Has coached his students to win numerous Gold, Silver & Bronze medals in BJJ at the Pan-Pacific and Australian Championship level
- In 2011 coached one of his ISOHEALTH’ers to their first “Fighter of the Night” win in a full-contact kickboxing (San-Shou) event
- Contributor for Blitz Magazine and Inside MMA magazine on self-defence, martial arts and fitness

Wow, pinch me! If you had told me 5 years ago that my bio would be on an Ambassador page for lululemon I would never have believed you! If you had told me when I was 15 that I would be in the position I am now I would have barely dared to believe you!

Growing up I was always into martial arts, motorbikes and BMX. These preferences were no doubt shaped by the fact that I was terrible at the usual school sports and you could pretty much guarantee I would be picked last for any ball sport right up until late in high school when I finally gained some talent for those things. I loved my bikes and martial arts but things took a bit of a detour at the age of fifteen when I broke my neck at the Australian BMX Titles in Cairns. I sustained a host of other injuries but the broken neck and damage to my head were the scariest concerns (my helmet protected me well but could only do so much). I was extremely lucky as my spinal cord was still in tact despite all the damage to multiple vertebrae. It was a little while before we knew whether I would sustain any brain damage and then a couple more months before we knew what my functional outcome would be. I still remember clear as crystal when the Doctor came to me 24 hrs after the accident and said "Hi, I'm Doctor Blah Blah, you've broken your neck and we're not yet sure of the outcome, if you're lucky you'll be totally mobile or die, if you're unlucky you'll be a quadriplegic, we won't know for a while. I've gotta run" and with that news off he went. I appreciated the Doctor's honesty and candour but my Mum who flew up from Adelaide to be by my bedside was understandably freaked out!

Anyhow, after some time in Cairns I was flown back to Adelaide and thanks to the amazing people in the Royal Adelaide Hospital I ended up getting put back together. With the incredible care and talent of those at the Royal Adelaide (plus some great bits of metal that joined my neck back together) I ended up being put back together and eventually walked out of the hospital without so much as a walking frame! There were many more months of rehab to get healthy but this was great as it motivated me to change career paths from being working to become an accountant to becoming a gym instructor (personal training was a phrase that didn't really exist back then). These experiences would later shape the direction I would take in my “safety first approach” to teaching martial arts. Anyhow, I went on to study lots and train hard and learned a lot along the way. I was healthy enough to start playing sport and went on to represent South Australia in Volleyball and Archery and also gained a place in the Australian Archery Team. At the age of 21 I had another little set back when a car accident stirred things up to the point of not even being able walk my dog or get a carton of milk out of the fridge. Physiotherapists and specialists understandably gave up as it seemed I had just been banged up too many times so after having spent a number of years in the fitness field I went back to studying (this time Naturopathy and Massage Therapy) to figure out how I could fix myself up. I trained/studied all over both here and abroad and eventually learned enough to fix myself up very well. My recovery actually impressed some physio’s enough that they had me develop a course out of what I had done to rehab myself and I started presenting my back care courses to health professionals. By now I was healthy enough to get back into martial arts and man was I excited!

Fast forward to today and now I teach martial arts full-time (how that came to be is a whole other story) and I am extremely proud of my ISOHEALTH® team. At ISOHEALTH® we have the self defence side of our training and the sports side of our training. We have achieved some great results in competition but the thing I am most proud of is the attitude of our ISOHEALTH® community and how we treat each other. Our hobbyists train alongside our top competitors, our girls can train with our guys, and our people trying to gain a little confidence have a great time being on the mat with our champions because everyone respects and helps each other, I love it!