I began training in Taekwondo in May 2002 and have continued to train ever since. Both my brother (Tom, who also has a black belt in Taekwondo) and I began classes under Mr Paradine at Woodlawns in Brockworth. We started Taekwondo as we were both interested in starting martial arts, and Mr Paradine’s Taekwondo club was the nearest to us.
In November 2007 I gained my black belt in Taekwondo; it was one of the proudest moments of my life. Then following this, in 2010 I went on to gain my 2nd Dan black belt. Whilst training under Mr Paradine in 2006 I began to train in Kickboxing. In December 2008 I gained my black belt in Kickboxing. Whilst doing Taekwondo and Kickboxing I have made a variety of achievements; having competed in all types of sparring: Point stop, continuous and full contact. Also I have competed in individual and team patterns, and have fought on many circuits including WUMA, WAMA, Cimac Super league and Bickma. In May 2008 I took part in the Wuma European championships, winning 1st place in the junior individual patterns and also 2nd place in the junior advanced continuous. A year later I then went on to win the Wuma World Championships in team patterns with Mr Paradine and Mr Seckulic. At the age of 16 in 2008 I had my first full contact fight.
With the help of Mr Paradine in January 2010 I opened my very first kickboxing class. It opened originally ay Abbeydale Community centre and now is the class at Brockworth Primary School on a Friday. In March 2010 I seriously damaged my knee whilst competing at a Cimac Superleague tournament. Since then I have been lightly training, having had an operation earlier this year (2012) I hope to training again once I have fully recovered. In terms of future ambitions I hope to further myself in the Dan grades of both Taekwondo and Kickboxing. Also I would like to continue to compete in Point stop. Martial art has helped me to develop as a person with the knowledge and skills it has offered me over the years. I could not have done this without the help of Mr Paradine.×
My first introduction to martial arts was joining a karate school in Worcester aged 16yrs.I trained for nearly a year and graded twice but had to stop when I moved jobs and home.It was some years later when I started learning self defence at a local club in Tewkesbury.FuSu taught me to break fall and apply locks and throws.This was really interesting and I continued to learn for 2 years until the club closed down.It was not until 2000 that I went to my first tkd lesson with my daughter and loved it! We progressed well and as I worked my way up the grades I began to help teach the juniors.My first tournament was the west midlands open and I was runner up in the final.It was a great experience and one which taught me a great deal.By the time I reached my black tag I was training 5 nights a week in Gloucester and Tewkesbury in preparation for the black belt which I successfully passed on 22nd may 05.It was a proud moment and following this I took time to consolidate my learning's and help my instructor with teaching.After taking my 2nd Dan in late 2007 I looked to broaden my horizons and started to learn jujitsu an basic grappling.I entered some local wuma tournaments and had some success with grappling and continued to learn in my spare time.In 2008 I entered the European championships in the grappling section and lost by a very narrow margin in the final to a 7th degree ex cage fighter so was pleased with the skills I had learnt.On the same day the full contact team were short of a fighter so I volunteered and gloved up with 5 minutes notice to take on a much younger, fitter and prepared fighter.Losing on points was a great result as I was just pleased to survive.
That year I pursued my self defence interests and ran a seminar for over 50 students in Gloucester and continued to give demonstrations in self defence at local clubs.I started kickboxing and fought on a local full contact fight night and won by TKO which was great fun.Later that year my instructor Martin Paradine and I were named self defence world champions after a very hard hitting routine that had the crowd applauding at the WUMA tournament.
Due to other interests I opened my own kickboxing club in 2010 and assisted running a boxing class in Tewkesbury.At the same time MPMA also began teaching in schools and are still the registered instructors for Tewkesbury school having taught it’s own “hands off” self defence syllabus and an after school club.MPMA have also taught special needs groups such as Alderman Knights and Stroud special needs group.I firmly believe in giving something back to the community and held a local charity event breaking 100 half inch pine boards in just over a minute which raised several hundred pounds for charity.
In 2011 I attended a seminar by grandmaster He’ll Cho in Dublin and MPMA were the only non AIMEE members to attend.I hope to grade for my 3rd Dan at some stage but for now I am focused on teaching in schools and passing on the skills and knowledge that I have learnt.×
In 2005 my parents were looking for activities for me to do. Paul Simmonds (who worked with my dad at the time) mentioned Martin Paradine Taekwondo (MPT, now MPMA) to him. Soon I was taking regular classes at Bentham – I just 3 and half years old.As the years went by, I gradually progressed through the belts. In 2006, I entered my first tournament and I ended up coming 2nd in sparring.i was only 4 years old at the time.
In 2009 I entered another one and ended up coming 2nd in team patterns with Joe Babbage and Frank Foxly. I also came 1st in solo patterns. In 2010, I did my black belt grading. I was very nervous. Five years of hard work had come down to this. On the 11th April, I did the grading; on the 10th of May I found out I’d passed. At the time I was only 8 years old and consequently became Mr. Paradines youngest black belt (beating Greg Hay by a few months).I am currently a 1st dan black belt. In the next year I am hoping to go for my 2nd dan. This year in February, I went to a GTI British tournament. I entered into the black belt patterns division. There were over 20 black belts all ranging from 1st to 3rd dans. However thanks to severe training and hard work, I came 1st.
Thank you to everyone at the club. Also a massive thank you to Mr Paradine and Mr. Sekilic.Without them I might not be a black belt. But most of all thank you to my parents. Without them motivating me I might not even be doing Taekwondo. In the future I would like to be like either Mr. Paradine, or grandmaster Hee Il Cho. Both of whom are very humble.×
Rank: Black Belt 1st dan kickboxing
Reason for starting martial arts: bullied in school, saw Bruce lee on tv I was hooked dabbled in various martial arts in my youth then after a 15 year gap took it up again with a vengeance
Current areas of interest: I am currently 1st Dan B-Belt in kickboxing, on my way to black belt in taekwondo, have a good base in boxing and self defense and grappling, recently I have been teaching children and adults with mental and physical impairments martial arts which is an absolute passion for me.
Future interests: currently looking towards setting up OAP real self defense classes, as I feel in this day and age they are very much under threat and deserve the chance to be educated to protect them self.
Achievements: 2nd place in continuous Samurai open, 2nd place European strike and grappling, 2nd place world strike and grappling WUMA and Black Belted in kickboxing aged 42 !×
I started training in September 1995 on a six week self-defence course which was being run in Evesham by Mr Paradine and Mr Matthews. At that time I was working in the hotel industry and wanted to learn basic self-defence skills for my own peace of mind and confidence. At the end of the course we were invited to join the Tae Kwon Do class. It was a little daunting but most of our little group took the plunge. In my first ever lesson I was partnered up with Mr Sekulic, who managed not to scare me off! I enjoyed the lessons and the challenges they brought. I was never any good at sports at school and was very proud to pass my first grading after a few months of training.
I progressed through my colour-belt gradings whilst training at Evesham (which became Sedgeberrow), Bishops Cleeve, Woodmancote, Apperley and Gloucester under Mr Paradine, Mr Matthews, Mr and Mrs Sekulic and Miss Prudden. Some of the gradings were tough, particularly those under Master Kalcutt, but I kept going and achieved my 1st Degree black belt in July 1999. From there I went on to grade for my 2nd Degree black belt under a panel of four 5th Degree black belts in Stroud in November 2001 which I also passed. Since then I have continued to train for my own fitness and enjoyment but decided I’d had enough of gradings!
I count getting my black belt as one of my proudest achievements and I would like to thank all of the instructors who helped me get there, in particular Mr Paradine, who believed in my ability far more than I ever did. I have met some great people, some of whom have since become my closest friends.×