My martial arts journey started with formal boxing classes in 1977, the local vicar Michael Insley taught two classes a week, one was fencing, and the other was boxing. From the early eighties, I also trained in Combatives as I was joining the army. While in the military, I continued to study boxing, fighting at an amateur level and obtaining a coaching certificate, I also continued to study Combatives.
In 1983 I began to study Muay Thai. We had a loose group who used to train together in the gym. The group was a mixture of boxers, Muay Thai and judo guys and it was an early form of MMA. When I left the military in 1985, I continued to study Muay Thai. I worked freelance then, so I was training all the time and doing five or six classes per week. During this period, I also had the opportunity to begin my study of Pukulan Sera.
In 1987 I started training with Bob Breen. At that time, he was teaching a mixture of Kali and kickboxing, and I was also lucky enough to train under Gary Derrick, in Muay Thai, who taught at the Academy.
I got a group of people together locally to compete, and by default, I became the lead coach as I have coached in the military. We would train and fight in western boxing and Muay Thai. During this period, I renewed my interest in close range pistol shooting, Combatives and Savate.
The group became a formal class of around twenty people, just by word of mouth alone. Marcus Trower, the author of the book The Last Wrestlers, was a founder member of the group and training partner.
In 1989 I started to hear about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a guy called Rickson Gracie and by chance got to take a couple of private lessons in that from a Brown Belt under Carlos Gracie. I started to develop an interest in Vale Tudo fights, grappling and martial arts challenge matches. I was training privately and in regular classes until 2005.
In 1993 I started to train privately with Sifu Dave Carnell in the arts of Jeet Kune Do, Kali and Pentjak Silat. Sifu Dave was a fantastic instructor, but in 1997 I had to change my carrier path and take a new job. The change of career meant I was unable to get up to Stoke on Trent to train regularly. During this period, I also got to train with Sifu Marc Mcfann and his UFA guys here in the UK.
In 1997, I met Doug Tucker, who used to come to train at an informal sick fighting group I hosted with Richard Hay, my training partner. Doug and I hit it off straight away, and he would coach us all in his Arnis system.
In 1998 I went to LA to train with the Dog Brothers and fight at the September gathering with Eric Knaus AKA Top Dog. While in LA, I got to train with Eric Paulson in Shooto and the Machado Brothers in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Again, by chance, I got to take a one-off workshop in Vale Tudo.
In 2000 I had changed my class to a Vale Tudo class by blending our stand up, clinch and ground grappling. I kept the informal full contact stick fighting class going for another two years. Vale Tudo changed its name to cage fighting and then became MMA. In 2005 I closed my public class.
I have produced great boxing, Muay Thai, full contact stick and MMA fighters and coaches over my years of teaching. Our group has had some excellent results in competition, real self-defence situations, and probably more importantly we have help people turn their lives around.
I now teach mostly on a closed-door basis to my KORA group or private lessons and continue my martial arts research. The arts we study under the KORA banner are Bare Knuckle Boxing, MMA, Grappling, Sword and dagger, Stick and Savate with a Basque flavour. I teach Pukulan Sera separately from the other arts.
Ranks achieved or held
Assistant boxing coach.
Muay Thai coach.
Vale Tudo/MMA coach.
I am certified to teach Jeet Kune Do, Kali and Pentjak Silat.
I am Head Instructor and founder of Killick Off Road Arts.