Born in Esquel, Patagonia, Argentina Nico Otero moved to New Zealand in 2005 and in 2006 decided to call Waiheke his home.
Head coach of Tukaha Waiheke Jiujitsu Academy, Nico has been training consistently since 2011.
Nico has taken 2 national titles( at blue and brown belts), is a silver medalist in the Oceania championships, and a gold medalist at the Abu Dhabi Pro Championship trials amongst other golds at regional championships.
He has seen jiujitsu change so many people’s lives and his mission is to spread the art as far and wide as he possibly can.
Tibor (Tiby) Matus
Former Skittles player, turned Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, after he moved to New Zealand in 2007. Tibor Matus was born and bred in Hungary, but became fully accomplished professionally on Waiheke Island. He has been training with Tukaha Waiheke since 2011 , and has immersed himself and others into the No Gi form of grappling. Tibor strongly believes that combining a regular practise and learning the philosophy behind 'the gentle art' can help people to become better human beings.
Deb is originally from Canada and has been living in New Zealand since 2016, and since 2018 on Waiheke Island. Formally a skier and avid rock climber, she was exposed to the gentle art by head coach Nico Otero and is now thoroughly addicted to Jiu-jitsu. While often seen in the dojo working on her game and perfecting the flying armbar, her primary goal in our club is empowering other women to take part in this (often) male dominated sport. We now have two women's only classes: for women, taught by women.
Father of four - scuba diver - sailor- landscaper. Born in Aotearoa, David has lived 24 years on Waiheke Island having returned from living overseas for 12 years, 5 of those travelling extensively throughout Africa. Originally a boxer - 2x Auckland Jnr Middleweight champ- New Zealand Jnr middleweight champ, and part of the New Zealand junior boxing team - David stumbled upon Jiu Jitsu when teaching a boxing lesson to a friend. From the first introduction to the gentle art of jiu jitsu, he co-founded TuKaha Waiheke and has competed in three Pan Pacific Jiu Jitsu championships held in Melbourne, New Zealand Nationals, and Wellington Open. Jiu Jitsu for me has enabled David to maintain a level of flexibility and fitness, whilst having fun. His fundamentals class focuses on cardio, flexibility, perfecting techniques through correct drilling, and street self defence.
Johnny Hedley left England in 2006 and landed on Waiheke Island early 2007. Little did he know the island would become home and that he would meet his future wife here with two boys soon to follow. His great passions have always been in sports having played Football for most of his life and trained in kickboxing before finding Jiu jitsu later in life. Johnny has been training since 2015 and believes that the resilience jiu-jitsu instills is of profound significance in this modern 'comfort' focused world. The best thing about jiujitsu is that he gets to share this journey with the next generation including his two sons.