Head Instructor Professor Raymond Morrow
BJJ RANK: Black Belt
Posted by Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Boise on Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Prof. Ray is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt under Prof. Otavio Sousa and Prof. Scott Carr. Born in Southern California but later moved to Idaho, where he was introduced to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu back in 1999. In 2008, he decided it was time to move back to Southern California to take his training to the next level. This is where he started training at Gracie Barra. Since then, he has dedicated his time in improving the lives of others through The gentle art of Jiu Jitsu. Working at Gracie Barra Headquarters in Irvine, California, Ray taught all age groups and levels the values of Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
While having numerous success in competitions around the world, Prof. Ray has had the opportunity to learn under some of the best Black Belts in the world including, Master Carlos Gracie Jr., Marcio Feitosa, Flavio Almeida, Vinicius “Draculino” Magalhaes, Braulio Estima, and of course his Professors, Otavio Sousa and Scott Carr.
While competition is still in his future, he uses the tools he has developed over the years and focuses his attention on teaching the art and philosophy of Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to others.
A.M. Instructor – Professor
BJJ Rank: Black Belt
Phil Lott was first introduced to the martial arts in 1992 while serving an LDS mission in Seoul South Korea. During this time he often spent a portion of his preparation day training Kyuk Too Ki (a form of kickboxing) with a local gym owner An Hyun Wan. Phil became quit good friends with Professor An and many of the students at his gym.
Following his return home, Phil’s life became centered on education and family. He attended BYU where he earned a Mechanical Engineering degree, married his high school sweetheart Jeralyn and had their first child. Later Phil would go on to attend graduate school at BSU where he earned an MBA. He and Jeralyn now have 5 children and enjoy spending time watching them play sports, skiing, and just hanging out.
It wasn’t until a job change in 2006 brought Phil to HP that his interest in Martial Arts was rekindled. Phil began attending an MMA class taught by coach Brian Wieber on Fridays at HP. It was during these classes where Phil first realized that grappling was the Achilles heel to any pure striker and decided that he needed to supplement boxing/kickboxing with grappling. He first began training no-gi Brazilian Jiujitsu under coach Brian Wieber during these classes. However, he soon realized that he loved BJJ and wanted to learn more. Phil enrolled in a local BJJ class and began attending regularly. Over the next 12 years Phil was an active participant in local competitions, winning multiple medals as he climbed through the belt ranks. Phil was awarded his BJJ black belt in February of 2019 by Gracie Barra Boise head instructor, Professor Ray Morrow.
Coach Brian Wieber
BJJ Rank: Brown Belt
Brian Wieber began his wrestling career at the age of 12 in Spokane, Washington. It was during a ski trip after high school graduation that Brian hit a tree and broke his back, crushing his spine in two different places. During his rehabilitation, he was determined to recover and return to competition and so entered an open wrestling match only 6 months after the accident. Fortunately for Brian, the BSU coaching staff attended the tournament with the intention of recruiting and offered him an athletic scholarship to wrestle for BSU. He met his future wife the very first day of college. Realizing he was stuck with her, Brian decided to stay in Idaho where he and Jen were married in 1997. At the end of his college career, he happened upon a jiu jitsu class in 1999 and was immediately hooked, helping pave the way for the beginnings of a growing martial arts community here in Boise. This is when he met Professor Ray Morrow, one of his earliest jiu jitsu friends, over 19 years ago.
In 2000, as a result of an ongoing battle with Ulcerative Colitis and test results which showed pre-cancerous cells, Brian underwent a total colectomy at the young age of 26, armed with these parting words from his doctor: “You will be able to live somewhat of a normal life.”
Deciding that “normal” was boring, he went on to compete in several triathlons, while simultaneously honing in his martial arts skills, becoming a professional fighter in 2000. He fought under the name “The Semi-Colon”, a tongue-in-cheek reference to the battle he had overcome to get into the cage. He competed in some of the very first MMA matches to be held in Boise and became a student of boxing and Muay Thai, learning from many local mainstays including Olympian Jerry Armstrong. In 2017, Brian was awarded his purple belt by Professor Toby Clary.
In addition to competing, he has also trained and cornered for other local athletes. He started a kickboxing class at the place he works, affectionately called “Fight Club”, where he trains other computer geeks to kickbox and take their work stresses out on the bag, and has been instrumental in helping many of them enter into their own martial arts journeys. But his most proud moments include welcoming his daughters into the world in 2003, 2005 and 2009 and the day they all stepped onto the jiu jitsu mat at Gracie Barra Boise.
Brian was the 1982 Second Grade Spelling Bee Champion at West View Elementary, makes a mean guacamole that would surely have changed the entire course of history if put in the right mouth at the right time and in his spare time, can be found making sawdust in his wood shop.
Muay Thai Coach Laurel Holloway
BJJ Rank: Blue Belt
Watching Laurel Holloway deliver a flawless superman punch to the head of her opponent, you’d be surprised to find out that her love for athletics didn’t even begin until a fateful day in 2008 when she decided it would be fun to try a Muay Thai kickboxing class.
Within 6 months, her world shifted gears from music to head kicks when her coach persuaded her to jump into the ring and fight in a local tournament. Though she wasn’t sure it would be “her thing”, she decided to cater to her competitive side anyway and give it a try. She was hooked immediately and went on to fight 18 more times over the next 6 years. Traveling throughout the east coast and around the country, Laurel represented the USA in Edinburgh, Scotland for the WKA World Championships, earning three local, one world and three national title belts.
At this time, Laurel began her transition from fighting to coaching. In 2010, after Laurel obtained her personal training certification and began training clients, she started a Muay Thai Boot Camp in New York City. During this time, she encouraged others to live a healthy lifestyle, actively helping her students realize their potential in Muay Thai.
Four years later, Laurel and her husband decided to leave bustling New York City for the great outdoors of Fruitland, Idaho in order to run a local health food store together. It wasn’t long before Laurel needed to again scratch that competitive itch and began to train and compete in jiu-jitsu on a regular basis.
Her fitness philosophy is simple, yet effective: Find a form of exercise you really enjoy—one that constantly challenges you so that it doesn’t feel like work. It will keep you coming back for more. Laurel’s involvement in combat sports constantly inspires her and fuels her passionate pursuit of good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. This passion runs over into the gym, making her an exceptional instructor to both beginner and advanced students.