At the Ray Stevens Academy we aim to bring you the highest standard of professional level training and tuition.

Welcome to the Ray Stevens Academy, a professional and friendly teaching academy that caters as much for families looking to keep fit through martial arts and other contemporary classes, as it does for the training needs of world-class athletes. Whether you are looking to lose a few pounds trying Judo or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or are gearing up to compete in top class competitions, the Ray Stevens Academy has both the facilities and the expertise.

Under the guidance of head instructor Ray, a 6th Dan, Olympic Silver Medallist Judoka and Roger Gracie, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt, a team of highly qualified instructors is on hand to teach a range of martial arts to children from four-years -old right through teens to adults. Convenient after-school and weekend classes are all at easy-to- reach locations.

For those who prefer something a little less strenuous but just as effective there are PAYG ballet workout and yoga classes, perfect for meeting new friends while discovering that new body.

Our Instructors

Ray Stevens

Ray Stevens is a 6th Dan, Olympic Silver Medallist Judoka and a Roger Gracie Black Belt. He is the head instructor at Ray Stevens Academy. He is also a senior instructor at the Budokwai, the oldest martial arts club in Europe. He has a special ability to assess the specific individual needs of his pupils within a group class, allowing you to work on exactly what is needed for you to succeed, helping you to improve faster. Ray has a wealth of experience, having competed and trained at the most elite level for nearly 20 years, culminating in him winning a silver medal for Judo in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. What do Brad Pitt, women looking to get fit and aspiring martial artist all have in common? They have all been trained by Ray and will agree that his calm, friendly and extremely knowledgeable approach to training all gave them the results they were looking for.

Ed Semple

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Ed has a PhD in Sport and Exercise Science from Birmingham University. He has been a Judo coach for a number of years and the Team Manager for Epsom and Ewell Borough Judo team for the past 5 years. As well as being a Level 2 British Judo Association instructor, Ed is also a Level 2 Amateur Boxing Association instructor.

Ed runs out After School Club at Radnor House School and is on the board of the newly set up BJJUK

Thomas Buckmaster

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Tom Buckmaster started training in Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 2005 under Ray Stevens and Jude Samuell. He is currently a Black Belt under Roger Gracie and a Black Belt in Judo. He also is a qualified gym instructor and studied Sport and Exercise Science at University.

Thomas runs the beginners and mixed BJJ classes on Mondays and Fridays,  is head Sensei for two of our local After School Clubs at Putney High School and The Priory school and helps with the Kids Judo Academy sessions.

He has a real passion for everything he does, only wanting the very best for his students .

His classes are always diverse and challenging whilst working towards personal and group goals.

Ignacio Portelli


Ignacio Portelli is a 3rd DAN Black Belt and started practicing Judo at the age of 4 under his father, Olympian Jorge Portelli. He holds two National Champion titles & one Central American Champion title in Judo and has also competed in freestyle wrestling on an international level. Ignacio is a level 3 Personal Trainer & Sports Coach as well as a Level 2 Judo Coach. He has been teaching Judo for the last 10 years in Argentina, Guatemala and the UK. As well as practicing Judo, he enjoys competing in half-marathons and is a former rugby player. Ignacio is a strong believer that Judo is more than just a sport and it teaches young athletes a respect and self-discipline that can be extended into daily life.

Roger Gracie

Roger Gracie is a world-famous practitioner of BJJ and MMA. He is the grandson of one of the founders of the art, Carlos Gracie. The Gracie family has been the driving force in the growth of BJJ and the revolution in the martial arts community. Roger has put together a team of instructors from Brazil and other parts of the world, all trained to the highest standards of BJJ instruction. Together, they teach the Gracie family's system of BJJ at the world famous Roger Gracie Academy in London and our associated schools throughout the UK and the rest of the world. The Roger Gracie Academy Wimbledon is well known for the exceptional atmosphere that is fostered there. All of our members are treated as part of a big family and the result is a relaxed and enjoyable place in which to train.

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Vanessa Fenton


Vanessa Fenton danced and choreographed for The Royal Ballet Company for 13 yrs. She has performed worldwide, including theatres such as The Paris Opera, La Scala Milan, The Metropolitan New York, in the far East and many others. She has choreographed many pieces for the Royal Ballet, The Royal Ballet school, The London Children's Ballet, Wayne Sleep, The new English contemporary Ballet company, for film, musical theatre, events, stars such as Dame Shirley Bassey, Ronnie Wood and artists such as Bruce French and Sarah Lucas.

Vanessa danced in the Olympic closing ceremony recently and choreographed a section for the Classic Brit awards at the Royal Albert Hall. Now teaching at many schools all over London, internationally and for private clients Vanessa works and trains all ages and abilities.

Pandora Wightman

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Pandora has studied and practised yoga for over thirty years, training with the British Wheel of Yoga and the British School of Yoga. In more recent years she has informally studied and taught in both India and Sri Lanka. Twenty years of classical ballet training preceded Pandora’s Yoga studies and she is very inspired by Mr B.K.S Iyengar, Vanda Scaravelli and by her own teacher and mentor Kay Jowler.

The classes are rooted in the classical practise of basic Hatha yoga, guided by the eight fold path history and philosophy with all its beauties and practical applications.

Pandora aims to make every practise session a joy and delight for all who attend, so that everyone can experience balancing their own mind,body and spirit within a group of like minded people.