Meet our Instructors

Meet the Team!

Ray Butcher Ray Butcher – Joint Owner of Balance Ireland

Head Instructor of Henshin Aikido & Head Coach of Balance Jiu Jitsu Ireland and Women’s Self Defence Instructor.

Ray has 40 years experience in Martial Arts (Aikido, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Karate and Judo) with international experience training in Switzerland, Japan, Australia, France, Germany, United States and the UK. Ray is a 4th Dan Black Belt in Aikido and a 1st degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, he is a full time Instructor and also an Ashtanga Yoga teacher.


Maeve D’Arcy – Joint Owner of Balance Ireland.  

Aikido, BJJ Gracie Basics and Women’s Self Defence Instructor

Maeve has 20 years experience in Martial Arts (Aikido and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) with international experience training in the US, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the UK and the Czech Republic.  Maeve is a 1st Dan Black Belt in Aikido and a BJJ Blue belt. She is a full time Instructor and she is also certified as a Cutman for MMA.


Colin MeagleColin Meagle – Aikido Instructor
Colin has over 20 years of experience in martial arts and has studied Ninjutsu, Kempo Karate and Aikido. He currently holds the Aikido rank of 2nd Dan black belt.




Mauro SulcisMauro Sulcis – MMA Coach
Mauro is from the Italian island of Sardinia, he began Boxing with ex professional boxing champ Silvio Loi who taught him an unconventional Russian style of fighting. He also has experience in a wide range of disciplines including Tae Kwando, Thai Boxing, Capoeira, Judo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Wing Chung as well as acrobatics and break dancing. He excelled at Kickboxing, in 2003 won the Italian National Title in professional full-contact Kickboxing while training with Team Zanotti in Bologna.


Andrew HigginsAndrew Higgins – BJJ Coach
Andy has trained for more than ten years in Pai Lum, Long Fist & White Crane Kung Fu. Taking particular interest in Chin Na (Seize & Control) techniques as taught by Dr Yang Jwing-Ming.He is currently a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and started his training in BJJ in 2007 with Balance Jiu Jitsu. He has international training experience in England, Poland, Hungary and the USA.


Darren LewinsDarren Lewins – BJJ Coach
Darren is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, he is a BJJ coach and also teaches our Gracie Basics program.




Aikido in Dublin www.tbi.ieJames Byrne – Aikido Instructor
James teaches our Kids Aikido Class, he hold the Aikido rank of 1st Dan Black belt.





Tony Meehan

Tony Meehan – BJJ Coach

Tony is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, he coaches the beginners in our Gracie Basics program.




Phelim O HalloranPhelim O Halloran
Phelim is a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, he coaches the beginners in our Gracie Basics program.




Paul BulmanPaul Bulman
Paul is a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, he coaches the beginners in our Gracie Basics program.




Marie Feirtear


Marie Feirtear – Yoga Teacher
From an Ghaeltacht in west Kerry, she first discovered yoga in the 1990’s and started attending Hatha & Ashtanga classes in the Noughties to see if she could ease chronic running injuries and gradually left the running behind!

She  completed the Introductory Level 2 Iyengar teaching certificate with Aisling Guirke in Dublin in 2006 and has taught both Iyengar & sports yoga classes. She has travelled extensively and has completed teacher training with Paul Dallaghan in Thailand in 2009. Marie’s practice continues to evolve and she can see how a commitment to a regular sustained practice of yoga can change one’s life. The ashtanga system with its emphasis on the tristhana of ujjayi breath, drishti & bandhas can create such a transformation with regular practice. Her work as a chartered physiotherapist compliments the teaching of yoga it has given her a deep understanding of the human body and an awareness of injury prevention. Marie also lectures in anatomy and physiology for yoga teachers.


tanja thomas yoga teacherTanja Thomas – Yoga Teacher
Tanja is originally from Germany, completed the specialised children’s yoga training at the Elbowroom, Dublin. She has also trained with YogaTherapyIreland and is currently training with the Yogaroom, Dublin.
Tanja has been teaching yoga for kids, special needs kids, teens and families in Montessori preschools, primary schools, secondary schools, yoga for kids camps, and independent classes nationally & internationally.
A qualified Reiki Master, and trained in Three in One Concepts, Kinesiology, Tanja has a special interest in meditation & visualisation practices, healing sounds, mindfulness, Chi Kung  and Yin Yoga.
When her daughter was born in 2005 with Congenital Heart Disease, Holistic Practices & Yoga became integral to both herself and her daughter as a way of life. What she would love most is to pass on these tools to children to help empower them to be healthy, happy and balanced little people.