James Woonton

Adults & Kids Coach

Brown Belt 3rd Degree

 

James Woonton developed a fascination for combat sports, particularly MMA and Jiu Jitsu, during his formative years. As a teenager, he dabbled in a few trial classes, but due to financial constraints, he was unable to fully commit. Determined to pursue his passion, James began working at the age of 17 to finance his training.

Finally, in 2015, when he was 18, James found the opportunity to embark on his Jiu Jitsu journey. Guided by Pedro Fernandes at Tukaha Jiu Jitsu in New Zealand, he made a dedicated commitment to his training. This marked a significant turning point as he immersed himself in the world of Jiu Jitsu and began honing his skills under Fernandes’ guidance. His dedication and passion for the sport propelled him to achieve his blue belt in 2017. 

In 2018, James relocated to Australia, where he continued his training at Arte Suave. His commitment and rapid skill development led to his promotion to purple belt in late 2019, under the mentorship of Uroš Čulić.

James’s technical prowess and relentless pursuit of excellence have earned him numerous accolades in the competitive Jiu Jitsu scene. Notably, he has emerged victorious in the Grappling Industries Absolute division three times, where competitors of all belt levels and weight classes vie for the title. 

His competition achievements also include being the Blue Belt Submission Only National Champion in 2017 (NZ), a four-time Queensland State Champion (three times at purple belt and once at blue belt in 2018), and a Pan Pacific silver medallist in both Gi and NoGi divisions. 

James’s dedication to his art and relentlessness in his training and competition has consistently moved him quickly up the ranks and in 2020 he was promoted to Brown Belt under the guidance of Uroš Čulić and Nic Barker.

James has also tasted victory in classic super fights and secured the second place in the Trilogy Invitational in 2021. In addition, he clinched the silver medal in the Pan Pacific No Gi division in 2022 and became the New South Wales State Champion in No Gi in 2023. His outstanding performance also earned him the silver medal in the Victorian State Absolute division in 2023.

James also offers private lessons, which he prefers to conduct in small groups of two to four individuals. These personalized sessions allow him to address specific concerns and challenges that his students may be facing in their Jiu-Jitsu practice. With a specialization in No Gi, James brings focused expertise to help his students overcome obstacles and improve their skills in this particular discipline.

While Jiu Jitsu remains James’s primary focus, he also enjoys exploring other interests. One of his passions is fine dining, where he appreciates the artistry and flavours of exquisite cuisine. In addition, James has recently taken up DJing, showcasing his versatility and ability to immerse himself in diverse creative endeavours.

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Highly recommend Arte Suave. Great coaching, training, culture, and community.
Johnny M.
Johnny M.
10:32 09 Apr 24
Joel G.
Joel G.
10:18 09 Apr 24
Love being part of the Arte Suave community - such an amazing place to train! From my first class, Emanuela who owns the academy made me feel super welcome. Emanuela has created an amazing community with excellent Professors who all bring a different perspective and wealth of experience to learn from and they really push you to be your best. Would absolutely recommend to all levels.
Carlyn B.
Carlyn B.
02:01 23 Mar 24
Joined Arte Sauve about 8 months ago and it has been an amazing experience. There are many different classes for different levels and needs. The facility is great. Coaches are helpful and knowledgeable, and everyone is welcoming. Highly recommend Arte Sauve if you are looking for a place to train in the Brisbane.
Randoll C.
Randoll C.
11:35 20 Mar 24
Kids (girl 14, boy 13) and hubby have trained here for many years. Great supportive culture and amazing couches. Highly recommend
Angela H.
Angela H.
11:09 19 Mar 24
Fantastic place to train!!
Eoin B.
Eoin B.
10:49 19 Mar 24
Aye “Boom Foodie” T.
Aye “Boom Foodie” T.
09:41 11 Mar 24
Arte Sauve is a beautiful dojo. So many facilities available for for its members. With two large training floors, as well as private lesson rooms, weights equipment, pro shop and even an indoor rock climbing room, the facilities are second to none.With multiple high level Black Belt Instructors and a history of great tournament success - you know the instruction is at a high level.With over 30 years of experience as an Instructor myself I reccomend checking out Arte Sauve - you won't be disappointed.
Geordie L.
Geordie L.
07:31 02 Mar 24
Paul B.
Paul B.
23:25 01 Mar 24
Visited for 2 days while travelling for work. A great team at Arte Suave. Very friendly and welcoming bunch. Good training was had. Thanks all 🙂
Richard G.
Richard G.
11:54 21 Feb 24
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