Educators. Pioneers. Groundbreakers. Olympians. Athletes.



Professor Franco, often called “The Godfather of Canadian MMA” has a lifetime of experience as a teacher and practitioner of martial arts. Holding an impressive record as a competitor, Professor Franco now focuses his attention on his role as Program Director of Innercity Martial Arts, where he is developing well rounded martial artists and a vibrant, thriving MMA Community.

• North American Kumite Champion • Multiple time Canadian National champion • World Games Athlete • Professional MMA coach since 1997 • Trained and cornered numerous athletes and coaches, including UFC fighters Antonio Carvalho, Rob MacDonald, Sean Pierson, Richard “Monkey” Nancoo and Justin Bruckman • 4th degree BJJ, 8th dan Shotokan Karate, Kru Muay Thai • Highest ranked Canadian BJJ coach • Canadian MMA and BJJ pioneer • Over 38 years of experience teaching both children and adults • International Karate World Title, Los Angeles,1985 • National Captain of Canadian Karate Team• Second Canadian to receive Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black belt • Author of “Arte Suave Jiu Jitsu” - a self defense instructional book • Founder of Toronto Police College Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Self Defense Program • Creator of “Twelve Form” for essential Jiu Jitsu

David Shemilt

David Shemilt

Instructor David Shemilt is a highly accomplished individual in every aspect of his life. He specializes in studying and teaching Helio Gracie self-defense. Dad of three

• 3rd degree Black Belt in Japanese Jiu Jitsu •Black Belt in Shotokan Karate • Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu • Held a 20 year Canadian swim record for 800m freestyle • Represented Canada in the 1984 Olympics • Olympic lifter

Matthew Stein

Matthew Stein

  • Training under Prof Shah Franco since he was 8 years old • One of the first kids in Canada to do jiu jitsu • Started the McGill BJJ club • Cross trained in Wrestling

Robert Apap

•Started training with Prof Shah Franco in 2004 •Black Belt in BJJ •Wrestled in high school •Firearms enthusiast •Dad of 3