who we are & how we got here

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The academy of grounding burst into being in 2016, but has been a concept in development for many years. With very humble ambitions on arrival in Australia, Antonio Lauro began by opening his garage door and teaching students and white belts traditional Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, just as he had learned it from the Gracie family in his homeland.

In a very short time the team (called 'chåo' meaning 'the ground' in Portuguese) outgrew the tiny dojo and it was time to build the space he and his partner and yoga teacher Kory had been dreaming of creating together.  A space where everyone was welcome; a refreshing & inspired place to escape the bustle of life, to find friends, to connect and feel at home. At their dojo all are welcome.

It is Antonio Lauro and Kory's dream to continue to bring many inspiring teachers, retreats and workshops to help the community to grow, learn and live balanced happy lives. If you have teachings connected to our way of life that you would like to share with us please contact us.

We are all students.
We grow, we learn and we seek to find our way towards a balanced life.
— Antonio Lauro Rodrigues
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When you grow up in Quebra-Mar, Rio De Janeiro, self defence isn’t a pastime. It’s a necessity. Luckily for Antonio Lauro, he had connections with the Gracies – the founding family of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Under the guidance of Carlson Gracie’s protégé, Cassio Cardoso, he quickly learnt their pure form before training under legends Rolker and Royler Gracie, sons of the Grand Master and founder, Helio Gracie.

Antonio Lauro is one of a very small group to receive their black belt directly from the Gracie family.

As a 48-year-old father of three, he draws on a lifetime of healthy living and strong family values to teach others the purest form of the gentle art. His calm, disarming manner helps Antonio Lauro connect with students of all ages and abilities in a gentle and human way.

His unique style both challenges and respects students – and encourages growth in all aspects of their lives.


kory mcavoy

Kory is a mother, a designer, a creative collaborator and a very passionate student and teacher of Yoga. 

Her teachings are in the tradition taught to her through her teacher Master Mark Whitwell and his lineage of Sri Krishnamacharya, T.K.V. Desikachar and U.G. Krishnamurti with whom Mark studied with for 20 years as their student. As well as a passionate and dedicated student of Heart of Yoga, over her years Kory has received mentoring and training under the guidance of many great and generous teachers including Hamid Eubadi, Peter Clifford, Simon Borg-Olivier, and West End’s most favourite and famous yogi Dan Alder. It is her dream for everyone, no matter who they are to understand the real heart of Yoga and have it infused effortlessly into their life.

“My practice has taught me to love my body and hear its wisdom, it teaches me to relax and  enjoy life, lighten up and be courageous. It is through my yoga studies I have learnt an application of real balance in every aspect of life. I am passionate about helping as many people to discover their own practice and come home to their own state of contentment and balance in their bodies and in life.” - Kory