OUR TEAM

Staff

Gabe and Taylor Azua

Gym Owners

Lillian

Gym Sheriff

Lillian is our Gym Sheriff/Operations Manager. She is a Texan girl, born and raised in Austin and Dripping Springs. After spending time in the brewery and coffee scene, she is making her mark in the fitness management industry. As Gym Sheriff she keeps the peace and cracks down on gym lawbreakers. She wears many hats, including those of social media guru, mid-set counselor and event organizer. Lillian is currently a Criminal Justice student and hopes to continue helping and advocating for people on a larger scale as she expands her knowledge as well as her experience in the service and self-development industry

Martial Arts | Coaches | Trainers | Human Body and Brain Performance

Andrew Shipman

Head Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor

Andrew is an IBJJF Certified Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and began training in Los Angeles in 1994. He favors a movement based approach to instruction, with an emphasis on skills acquisition and has a deep knowledge of exercise methodology. His 25 years of Jiu-Jitsu experience have included instructing adults and children in fundamentals through advanced and competition-focused classes and he has developed and implemented important self-defense and anti-bully programs. Andrew also teaches private Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu lessons with individualized goals and assessments and has implemented strength and conditioning programs for athletes across multiple disciplines. Andrew has experience as a Program Director. He has a strong competition record himself and also as a team coach for children and adult students he has trained over the years.

Andrew shared with us that he is “honored and grateful for the opportunity to share my insights with others hoping to pursue the path of jiu-jitsu.” We are excited to be adding him to the ranks here with our Hero Way family and know he will help move in the right direction with our dream of expanding and sharing the art and practice that is Hero Way Jiu-Jitsu.

Josh Sarot

Assistant Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor

Josh moved here to the Austin area from Oregon and has previously trained in the 10th Planet system. He is a Jiu-Jitsu purple belt and has a long history in competing and wrestling since he was a child. As an adult, Josh has had great success with BJJ competitions, with his focus and specialty being no gi. His competition record has taken place mainly in California, Oregon, and Washington, which includes Gracie tournaments, NAGA, sub league, etc.- medaling much of the time in 1st place. Since starting BJJ in a competitive direction, he has been known for being well advanced beyond his belt grade.

Gloria Johnson

Personal Trainer

I am a mom to three awesome boys who keep me on my toes at all times! I have always been active whether it was with running, weight training, yoga or jiu jitsu. Every day I make the effort to help someone start their journey to a healthier lifestyle. I am certified through NASM and also hold a youth exercise specialization. I love creating training programs and helping others get comfortable in the gym. I was once that girl that felt awkward at the gym and wondered which machine to go to. I really enjoy training women who believe they cannot get back in shape after having babies. Watching them gain their confidence back is so rewarding!

Erik Mayfield

Tactical Hippie / Krav Maga Instructor

15 years Krav Maga Training
10 years Krav Maga Instructor
Certified Krav Maga Instructor through two separate organizations
Knife, Handgun, Long gun, Blunt Weapons defense
Active Killer Defense training
Student of Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu
Active outdoors man, hunter, fisherman
Married with two children

Michael Conner

Personal Trainer

Mike is a retired Army Officer and fitness enthusiast. He is currently a board certified Physician Assistant and maintains a private practice in the Central Texas area. He enjoys performance medicine and health optimization and combines these passions with his fitness program services. He is an avid runner, mountain climber and weightlifter and can be found outside running, climbing or picking heavy things up and putting them down. He has held former certifications in CrossFit, CrossFit Endurance and cycling instruction. After 25 years of military service, he has semi-retired and focuses his attention on his passions- family and fitness.

Amber Ivie

Registered Dietician

Amber received her Bachelor's Degree in Molecular & Experimental Nutrition from Texas A&M University in 2001. She completed her Dietetic Internship through Iowa State University in 2016 and has provided medical nutrition therapy to diverse clientele from premature infants through older adults. She currently works as a renal dietition reviewing physician-ordered blood results and coaching patients toward optimal health. Amber's mission is wellness promotion and disease prevention focusing on optimal performance, weight imbalance, gastrointestinal disorders, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, malnutrition, and mental health. Her coaching style is centered on meeting people where they are in life and working through obstacles to move toward individual goals.

Tactical

Team 1

Mark Locricchio

Firearms Instructor

Mark Locricchio has a combination of 28 years of experience in law enforcement and military. He has worked various assignments in law enforcement as road patrol officer, Special Response Team member, narcotics investigator, field training officer and as instructor. Mark’s military experience was primarily in the Infantry. He has discovered that he really enjoys working with those that have little or no experience with firearms. He understands that getting into the shooting sports or learning self-defense can be intimidating and wants to anyone from the beginner to the more seasoned shooter to have fun, be safe, and improve their confidence and marksmanship abilities.

Stephen Day

Firearms Instructor

Stephen Day, U.S. Navy Chief retired, brings over 25 years of instructional experience. He currently works for the Department of Homeland Security as a Firearms Instructor and law enforcement specialist. Steve has been providing civilian basic firearms and license to carry instruction for the last year. He excels at teaching marksmanship fundamentals and diagnosing common shooting errors to help the new and the advance shooters. Steve enjoys seeing others succeed and building assurance they can protect themselves and their loved ones.

Team 2

Joe Swann

Firearms Instructor

16 years with a large metropolitan police department in Central Texas, currently a full-time firearms and tactics instructor
Texas State University Institute for Criminal Justice Studies (ICJS) instructor
CSAT Tac Rifle/Tac Pistol Instructor, Shoot House Instructor
US Army Infantryman, Team Leader, Squad Leader
Relevant Skills and Accomplishments
Teaches Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Pistol and Rifle Courses, Building Search, Active Shooter, and Less than Lethal Options
Owns and operates a successful firearms and tactics company focusing on civilian and law enforcement training in various platforms
Plain clothes, narcotics, and dynamic entry experience
Street Crimes and Career Criminal Units (Repeat Offender Unit)
Competitive Shooter for his agency, Gold Medal two years in a row for Tac Pistol in the Texas Police Games
Education
Spartanburg Community College
IACP Leadership Academy-120 hours

Jeff Woodward

Firearms Instructor

Jeff is a combat veteran and currently works as a police officer assigned as a full-time firearms and tactics instructor for a police department of approximately 1,800 officers. His previous assignments as a police officer include patrol and SWAT. As part of Jeff’s regular duties as a police instructor, he is responsible for teaching the following classes:
• Beginner, Intermediate, and advanced skills with pistol, rifle, and shotgun
• Response to Active Shooter
• Building Search
• High-Risk Traffic Stop
• Ballistic Shield for Patrol

• Concealed Carry for Law Enforcement
During Jeff’s seven years in the Army, he served as military intelligence for 5th Special Forces Group. His overseas deployments consisted of two tours in Afghanistan and one tour in Iraq. In addition to the hundreds of hours of formal firearms and tactics classes Jeff has attended, he has also studied numerous martial arts to supplement his tactical training.

Team 3

Anthony Balesteri

Anthony Balesteri

20-year army veteran with 16 years in Special Forces

Special Forces Qualification Course

Operational Preparation of the Environment Course

Tactical Special Operations Advanced Course

Modern Army Combatives Level 2

Operational Emergency Medical Services Course

Special Forces Instructor Course

Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat Course

Special Forces Target Interdiction Course

Website/Social Media/Technology Specialists

Dustin Vaughn Warncke

Website Ninja / Media Advisor

Dustin was born in raised in Central Texas and is the Associate Publisher of Texas Fish & Game magazine, the largest hunting and fishing magazine in the state of Texas. Dustin also owns a website and marketing business and hosts The Best of the Outdoors podcast for Texas Fish & Game. Dustin has helped get the Hero Way Strength 360 podcast up a running and managing the Hero Way S&C website.

Intern Rocko

Social Media/Marketing Specialist

Raised in Houston Texas, Intern Rocko has recently moved to the city of Leander with his little brother Rex to live with his oldest brother Christian, and his wife, Liberty. Intern Rocko is currently a Junior at Tom Glenn High school taking several AP/Pre-AP classes and grinding out his year the best he can. Intern Rocko enjoys playing music, rugby, and basketball (specifically The Rockets!)! You’ll see him around all over the social media pages and if you see him in the gym, go ahead and say hello! Let’s go Plunkytown!