Head Coach | Wrestling Coach | Conditioning Coach

John Nicolson

John is a pioneer of Scottish MMA and is one of Dinky Ninjas head coaches and founding members.

Having competed in MMA at Pro level since 2001, John is a former Scottish TKO Champion and is a multi-time gold medallist at grappling competitions. John is currently a Brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Marcos Nardini.

John’s primary focus has now moved towards developing a coaching team with some of Scotland’s premier MMA fighters. With 6 Scottish champions under his belt, John is well known as one of the top MMA coaches in Scotland with the following awards to show:

 • West Dunbartonshire Sports Development Coach of the Year 2013

 • YOUR MMA.TV Scottish MMA Coach of the year 2011

John is a TFW (training for warriors) level 1 strength & conditioning certified coach and has a UKCC level 2 coaching award in Wrestling.

John’s vision for the D-Unit CSH is to be the premier Combat Sports facility in Scotland. With a fantastic team of highly skilled coaches already operating under the D-Unit CSH banner and a first class community behind it, this vision is only a matter of time away from becoming reality. The next step towards this goal is providing an even more comprehensive timetable covering beginners all the way through to professional athletes. These classes will also be extended towards kids, inspiring the future stars on all aspects of combat.

Head Boxing Coach

George Grace

George has been active in the boxing scene for over 15 years. George spent his early years training out of Renton Boxing Club and then moved on to the Osprey Boxing Club in Clydebank, Following this time George moved on to coaching at the D-Unit CSH for the last 2 years providing high level coaching for beginner and advanced boxers alike. George’s boxing classes have become a core part of the D-Unit CSH curriculum.

Head Muay Thai Coach

John Cullen

John has been involved in Martial Arts for the majority of his life. In MMA he is a former Cage Kombat Featherweight Champion and has attained a 17-9-2 (All wins via stoppage) record in his pro MMA career.

In Muay Thai John has attained a 16-6-1 record and has been coaching at the D-Unit CSH for the last 6 years.

John is also a Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Marcos Nardini.

 

Head BJJ Coach

Marcos Nardini

Marcos Nardini is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, who has fought and trained BJJ in Brazil, USA and now in the UK . He received his BJJ black belt in 2006 from Amal Easton of Easton BJJ Boulder in Colorado, USA.

After receiving his black belt, Marcos decided take a year off and travelled to New Zealand, were he met his Scottish wife. In late 2007 they returned to Scotland, where Marcos met and started to train with BJJ & MMA fighter, Paul McVeigh. With Paul’s encouragement, he opened his own BJJ gym, BJJ Scotland, in Kilmarnock. This gym has now moved on to become the official Gracie Barra representative for Ayrshire 

Marcos is a two time British Open no gi champion and a 2014 IBJJF European champion.

Boxing Coach | Conditioning Coach

Graham Connolly

In his fight career he has participated in 10 MMA fights between 2002-2006. Between 2003-2006; Graham participated in 9 Amateur bouts in the Navy and achieved gold at the Navy Cup in 2005. 

In 2008 Graham completed his ABAE (Amateur Boxing Association of England) coaching badge. Graham has been coaching the D-Unit CSH Conditioning Classes since 2007.

Boxing Coach

Martin Nicolson

Martin has been competing in the UK MMA Scene since 2002 at the early age of 17. Beginning with the amateur scene, Martin achieved a 2-0-2 record before transitioning over to the Pro MMA scene. Competing throughout the UK in big name cards such as Sportfight, Strike and Submit and Cage Kombat, Martin amassed a 5-0-3 record in Pro MMA before deciding to switch to a primary focus on boxing.

Martin is now active in the boxing scene with a record currently at 2-0-0, Martin has also been part of the coaching team since 2012 and has completed Boxing Scotland’s I.C.T course.

Boxing Coach

Henry Nicol

Henry Nicol MBE is a former coach at Renton Boxing ABC between 1985-2000 and has been part of the D-Unit CSH boxing coaching staff since 2013

Muay Thai Coach

Mark Gilfillan

Mark has been in the Scottish Muay Thai scene for over 20 years. He started Muay Thai training with Kru John Craig under Master Skens Sitnarong organisation and then under the Scottish Muay Thai Council (SMTC) and has coached fighters from the beginning of their career all the way to professional fights and then onto coaching others themselves.

Mark has been an active member of the D-Unit CSH for over 5 years and is currently assistant Head Thai Coach under John Cullen.

Wrestling Coach | BJJ Coach | Conditioning Coach

Andrew Cairns

Andrew has over 5 years grappling experience and has been actively competing at various grappling competitions in this time. Currently a Purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Marcos Nardini, Andrew has achieved the following awards:

  •         Ground Control Fighter’s Only UK Invitational (No Gi Intermediate) Gold
  •         Scottish Grappling Challenge No Gi Advanced Gold
  •         Ground Control UK Nationals 2009 (Beginners Division) Gold
  •         Scottish BJJ Open 2011 Blue Belt Silver
  •         Ground Control Fighter’s Only UK Invitational Blue Belt Division Silver
  •         Scotia BJJ Cup Blue Belt Silver
  •         Glasgow BJJ Open White Belt Silver
  •         Tryst Open Freestyle Wrestling 2012 Bronze

Andrew is a fully Qualified Gym Instructor through Fitness Scotland.

Andrew is also has a UKCC level 2 coaching award in Wrestling.

Wrestling Coach

Craig McKenna

Craig has been a successful freestyle wrestler for over 10 years. In this time Craig has made several achievements at the highest levels of competition. Competing for both Scotland and GB national teams internationally, Craig has competed 3 times at the Commonwealth Championships, successfully achieving a bronze medal. Craig has also competed for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games. On the local scene Craig is a former national champion and multiple time junior national champion.

Craig has been teaching freestyle wrestling at the D-Unit CSH for several years. This includes the teaching of how freestyle wrestling can be used effectively in an MMA context.

Wrestling Coach

Scott Flynn

Scott is a 5-2 Semi-Pro MMA fighter and has been affiliated with D-Unit CSH for over 6 years.

Scott is a purple belt in BJJ under Marcos Nardini and is working towards a UKCC Level 2 Coaching Award in Wrestling.

Conditioning Coach

Elaine Somerville

Elaine has been an avid runner for over 10 years and has participated in various races during that time. 

Her most recent successes include 3rd female vet in the Corrieyairack Challenge in 2013 which is a 13.5 mile hill run followed by a 38.5 mile cycle and 1st female in the Loch Katrine Half Marathon in 2013.

In the past she has been placed in Eddie’s half marathon (1st female vet) and the Trossachs 10k (1st female).

Elaine took part in her first conditioning class at the old Unit in 2010 when she was injured and unable to run and has been attending ever since. 

After filling in a few times for the former ladies class she progressed onto taking mixed classes on a regular basis. 

Elaine loves training and pushing herself and encourages others to do the same with a view to improving their training and overall well-being.

Conditioning Coach

Dale House

Dale in a former Royal Marines Commando Physical Training Instructor and has trained our elite forces for many years.

In 2010 Dale competed in the UK Mens Utlra Fit Championships and came away with a silver medal.

In 2011 Dale left the Royal Marines and continued his fitness career in the public sector and is now working with many professional institutes in delivering their athletes premier training regimes. Dale has competed in his first amateur MMA tournement this year (SMMART 3), taking first place in his division comfortably . Dale also works as a weight management specialist and personal fitness co coordinator for private companies.

Conditioning Coach

Ryan McFarlane

Ryan is one of the original members of the D-Unit CSH, from back in the days of the Marine Craft Gymnasium. Ryan has competed in 3 MMA bouts since, 1 Amateur and 2 Semi-Pro fights.

Recently Ryan has shifted his focused to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, achieving a Gold medal in his division at the Scotia Cup Spring Leg 2014.

Having participated in the Conditioning classes since they were originally developed, Ryan is now coaching the Conditioning classes.