On Sunday 29th January the EPIC team took to the road again for the 2nd national level competition of the year. The Watford Open Nationals (WON) is a prestigious tournament and there were fighters from 10 nations present at the tournament. 19 EPIC warriors fought on the day.

Filled with budding enthusiasm and armed with tactics from their coaches the fighters (aged 6 up to late 20s) took to their task of taking home as much silverware as possible. The younger categories got underway with Harvey Pollard taking a bronze, Sean MacDonald taking a silver and a bronze and also golds for Katie Williams and Robyn Humphreys.

Harvey Pollard on the podium

Harvey Pollard on the podium

Tyrese Redgers took two bronze medals to add to his steadily growing collection.

Sean MacDonald, aged 7, overcame a tough semi final opponent where he was losing by 3 points at one stage before a rallying last 30 seconds saw him win by 9-6. He then came from 5-0 down to 5-4 in the final but the time ran out before he could level things up. His silver was more than merited.

Robyn took her first opponent apart with skilled kicking followed by quick hand techniques that allowed her to comfortably progress. The final was tough against a girl from Fighting Falcons, she twice fell behind on points before registering a win by a margin of three points.

Ashleigh Nelson (left) and Robyn Humphreys (right) show off their gold

Ashleigh Nelson (left) and Robyn Humphreys (right) show off their gold

Ashleigh Nelson met Katie Williams in an all-EPIC final and took gold with a late come back to win 3-2 from 2-0 down. This also meant that Katie added a silver to her gold. Daisy Humphreys narrowly missed out on gold by stepping out of the area, which gets you deducted a point, to lose by 1 point. She fought well and has sharpened up massively since the turn of the year.

Katie Williams then went on to take another gold with effective use of reverse punch countering, then following up with a bronze. She ended the day with 2 golds, 1 silver and one bronze! Ashleigh Nelson held her own to take a silver to add to her gold.

Alex Fellender-Evans and Harvey Tyler battled through their Light Continuous division to reach the final together. Tyler pulled out a stunning head kick to make sure of the points at the end and take gold, with Fellender-Evans having the silver. Harvey went on to add a 2nd and a 3rd too!

Alex Fellender-Evans (left) and Harvey Tyler (middle) on the WON podium

Alex Fellender-Evans (left) and Harvey Tyler (middle) on the WON podium

In the adults sections Molly Hershaw narrowly missed out 10-9 in her fight and in the dying seconds too, which was undeserved. Sarah West took on a highly skilled fighter in her continuous category and took a bronze despite the result being very close. Senior coach won 4-2 to reach the semi finals but fell on one technique and made one mistake at the end to lose 5-4 to a skilled fighter from Michael Page’s (MVP) Hands Down academy and take a bronze. Rakan Sabbah took home gold in the very last category to run of the competition. Three tasty fights which entertained the gathering crowds for the finale. Sabbah’s fitness told as he continued to push forward and attack.

Bronze for Matt

Bronze for Matt

Full results:
Gold Medals- Katie Williams (2), Harvey Tyler, Robyn Humphreys, Ashleigh Nelson, Rakan Sabbah,

Silver Medals- Alex Fellender-Evans, Daisy Humphreys, Katie Williams, Sean MacDonald, Harvey Tyler.

Bronze Medals- Tyrese Redgers (2), Finlay Cozens, Matt Roberts, Sarah West, Katie Williams, Sean MacDonald, Harvey Tyler, Harvey Pollard.

Those who came Close- Molly Hershaw, Jack Pollard, Dylan Hunt, Finlay Haynes, Harry Rhodes. Oliver Hiscutt.

EPIC ranked second in the U.K. in this tournament. Next up: EPIC Open and British Championships.

Also a big mention and massive well done to all 70 competitors for Saturday’s beginner interclub competition!

Member Weekly Update WC Mon 16th Jan 2017

*** Attention WEEKLY UPDATE ***


Afternoon lovelies, it’s Monday and the team are fired up for more progress! We have started the year as we mean to go on with two amazing competition performances and with so much to look forward to it’s important that we remind you about all of the exciting things ahead for you and your children.


Just before I do I wanted to inform you of a few things that have happened already in Jan:


  • Sat 14th saw the start of a new intake at our weekly sparring academy in Filton. This is an invite only session run by senior coach Andy Gill and team every Saturday from 11am-12noon. After lots of students successfully graduated in Dec 16 we are very excited about the new comers starting our development program. The session is designed to help members from all our locations that are interested in learning the fundamentals of sparring in a view to progress into club and then national competitions. The session also acts as a selection process for considering new members for our national competition squad Team EPIC. If you are interested in your child being considered for the program please discuss with your instructor.


  • Sat 14th also saw the start of our weekly advanced sparring class taking place every Saturday in Filton. This is for Team EPIC members only and gives our competition team a chance to meet up once a week on top of our additional Squad trainings. If you have graduated from the academy and are a member of the team please do your best to attend the weekly session starting at midday.


  • Weekly advanced sparring that was taking place in Filton every Thursday is no longer running. This has allowed Senior Coach Gio Marchese more time to concentrate on development of our competition team and attend more competitions. His increased focus will surround ring combat and mat continuous and we are busy compiling a number of seminars and sessions to help student’s progress in these areas. We want our competition team to be cable of multi disciplines and be well versed in all the stand up combat arts. Gio’s increase involvement will also see him welcoming beginners again very soon as he starts new weekly sessions on a Friday in Brislington. More details of the new class options will follow shortly. In the meantime for those adults and children that are missing the Thursday advance sparring class please remember that Bristol Central with Matt Roberts and Team Captain Kam Doyle is available to all Gold members every Thursday from 6.45-8pm.


  • Yesterday we had a superb outing at the KWON Grand Slam Series. I am sure all of you have seen lots of updates surrounding our success however look out for the comprehensive report that will be posted on our website news page later this evening. In summary our army of 36 competitors cam away from one of the UKs largest competition series securing 12x Gold, 16x Silver and 15x Bronze medals! Various press releases have gone out today so please also look out for the results in your local newspaper.


  • On Sat 14th we also helped our young student Toby Parker from EPIC Nailsea celebrate his 5th birthday EPIC style. Please remember that we run EPIC Birthday parties at both our Chepstow and Portishead locations so feel free to email jane@epicmartialarts.co.uk if you are interested in making your child’s birthday party a little different this year.


So lets talk about all the diary dates we have to look forward too in Jan and Feb:


  • Our next EPIC Lil Dragon & Beginner Kids Interclub takes place Sat 28th Jan @ the hub gym in Portishead. Full details including how to register can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/1346995162019084/. It’s been great to see all of the registrations rolling in but we still have lots of students who would benefit from taking part that are yet to register. If you are unsure about the suitability of your child to take part then please ask your instructor. An updated list of registrations will be posted in the coming days.


  • Our next National Competition for Team EPIC members only will be The Watford Open National Championships taking place Sun 29th Andy Gill will be posting registration details and travel arrangements in the next few days but in the meantime if you would like to consider divisions, timings and costs more event information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/358658801141600/


  • Our next Team EPIC Squad Training Session will run Sat 4th Feb @ the hub gym Portishead from 1.30-4.30pm. This is invite only and a MUST attend for all team members.


  • We will be running two half term courses in the Feb Half Term:

Tues 14th Feb @ hub Portishead from 10-3pm

Thurs 16th Feb @ hub Chepstow from 10-3pm

More details will be uploaded to our website and Facebook events created very shortly.


  • Our next club competition the EPIC Open will take place Saturday 11th This will be one of two EPIC Open’s that will be held in 2017 as part of the new South West Series. The 5 event comp series will take place as follows:


EPIC Open Feb Portished | BBBA Open Apr Cornwall | Urban Open Gloucester June | BBBA Open Sept Exeter | EPIC Open Dec Chepstow


Fighters will be able to win points at each event that will contribute to additional awards fro overall winners at the end of the series.


  • Our next evening show and club social Total Valour 4 will take place Sat 24th Feb 2017 @ Gordano School in Portishead. The fight card is fully underway and if anyone is interested in being matched then please inbox me. Tickets will be available very soon for those interested in joining us for night of competitive bouts and entertainment.


  • Other dates in Jan and Feb to remember:


BKFA Brown Sash Course Sun 29th Jan

WAKO British Championships Sat 18th and Sun 19th Feb

Fund Raising – Bag Packing at Tesco Golden Hill Sun 26th Feb


Finally remember all diary dates will be uploaded to our website and Facebook events created to provide as much comprehensive information about each offering as possible however if you have any questions please talk to you instructor or feel free to contact us direct.


If you are yet do so please write us a 5 Star review on or Facebook Page at: https://www.facebook.com/pg/TeamEpicMA/reviews


We would also love a Google review, which can be done by searching “EPIC Martial Arts” in the Google search bar and then simply clicking the “Write a review” box on the right hand side of the web page.


That’s it for now but if you need any further information on any of the above please do not hesitate to get in touch.


Thanks peeps






Coaches Corner Issue 7

With Christmas well and truly over we’re back to business with coaches Corner. Issue 7 is time to investigate into one of our senior coaches.

A hard working, tidy and witty person who prides himself on many things that are hard earned. He looks afye
Q: What car do you drive? Do you like it?

Andy: A Gildo mk4 turbo ( AKA the JAAAAAAGGGGG) and yes love it, always liked cars as my Dad was a chauffeur and drove lots of VIP’s including the royal family so been into cars since I can remember.I love cleaning and looking after my cars to the extent that I am a bit obsessive with the cleaning etc ?
Q: Apart from kickboxing what other sports are you into?

Andy training with fellow coach Matt Roberts

Andy training with fellow coach Matt Roberts

Andy: I played Cricket to a high level, was quite a quick bowler best bowling figures 8 – 15 runs which was pretty good ? I played for Shirehampton for many years before my knee injury, for those who don’t know I’ve had 9 ops on my left knee which sometimes effects my Martial Arts although with Andy C’s help I’ve made it a lot stronger than it was.

Q: What’s your role within EPiC?
Andy: Senior Coach and also Head Coach of the Sparring Academy, absolutely love my roles within Epic as so rewarding to see the progress of the students

Andy with wife Theresa

Andy with wife Theresa

Q: Who has the best sense of humour in EPiC, besides yourself?

Andy: has to be Steve Cruse, he’s a legend, although the Banter between the Senior coaches always has me in stitches especially on the road trips

Q: What’s the best thing about teaching, the one very best thing?
Andy: Can only be the students progress and seeing them achieve their goals, I’ve coached most of the Epic Squad in some capacity and some of our senior fighters started in my classes all those years ago ? there is still no better reward than seeing them achieve great things.
Q: What is your single most proudest moment as a coach?
Andy: Gradings and competitions, handing the belts and score to the students, gets me a little emotional if I’m honest

Q: What styles of martial art do you teach and train in?
Andy: Lau Gar Kung Fu and also did Wado Ryu Karate during my teens.

Andy coaching at Total Valour

Andy coaching at Total Valour

Q: What size feet do you have and what’s your preferred footwear: Slippers/Shoes/sandals/trainers/bare foot?

Andy: Unlike one senior coach I have big feet, lol I’m size 10, love wearing slippers, Im lucky enough to work from home a lot so can wear slippers all day long if I like, I love bath bombs also ?

Stretch Armstrong! Andy showing his flex

Stretch Armstrong! Andy showing his flex

Q: What are your goals for the next 12 months?

Andy: a good question and the answer is to fight once more in the old buggers categories if at all possible, as I mentioned I stoped fighting on the circuit after my last big knee op, it knocked a huge amount of confidence from me to have the trust to push it to the limits needed to fight on the circuit,as a result I rarely push myself to my ability when sparring as scared of another injury, plus I’ve lost a little of my ability to use my left leg re kicking although Im working on that,a lot of it is mind set so with Any C;s help thats my goal for 2017 if possible

Q: Who’s got the worst haircut in EPIC?
Andy: Me although there are others I could mention but that just starts a war

Andy with a flying front kick

Andy with a flying front kick

Q: Final Question, If you were to be dropped into the middle of the Sahara desert with just ONE item (other than clothes) what would it be?
Andy: ah easy one sun tan lotion, Gildo loves a sun tan

All in Aid of Daz Ellis

The 2017 competition season began yesterday with a trip up the M5 to north Solihull for the Daz Ellis championships.

Daz Ellis is the head coach of NSKA (national sport karate association) club and was a fantastic competitor back in his fighting days. The championship was to help raise money towards pioneering treatment to cure a condition Daz has called Motor Neuron Disease (MND/ALS)

Daz Ellis

Daz Ellis

Team EPIC took a small group up a day after our opening squad training of the season and 6 people competed.

Coaches: Andy Cleeves, Matt Roberts, Kam Doyle

Competitors: Kam Doyle, Ellie Doyle, Teia Doyle, Harrison Doyle, Katie Williams, Alex Fellender-Evans.

Kam Doyle opened his campaign with 2 golds, a straight final win in Light continuous without getting out of 2nd gear. The current world champion had a busy opening fight to his points category, beating a tough opponent 7-1 and dropping his with a trademark jump spinning back-kick. He won 6-0 in the semi finals before going to to dismantle another sharp opponent 4-1 in the final.

Teia Doyle fought well in her new categories. She had to step up from the under 8 categories and is now fighting bigger opponents. Her coaches pulled her out of her last fight before it started due to at least a whole foot difference in height and the boy had dropped an even smaller girl than Teia with a front kick to the head in the previous fight.

Ellie Doyle came back to win a bronze on a day where she could have won more. A disappointing semi final defeat left her with a third place fight off which duly returned a better performance. Ellie showed glimpses of sharpness and movement throughout her performances, scoring some good techniques but was undone with simple errors. She will be back with a bang at the KWON.

Harrison Doyle took a gold in his continuous category, beating his opponent in a close match. He slipped punches nicely at times and made his opponent move for the first half of the fight picking him off with combinations followed by roundhouse kicks. Harrison lost by a point conceded in the final few seconds of his points category.

Katie Williams took 2 golds and a silver from her 3 categories which is a strong start to 2017. She took on the advanced category which was impressive after such a short time in the sport and went against a vastly experienced competitor and gained some valuable experience before dismantling her other two categories!

Alex Fellender-Evans took a silver in points narrowly losing out 4-3 in a nail biting final! In what was easily the biggest category of the day, the young warrior dismantled most of his opponents on the way to the final before a high paced fight was decided by a single technique. Alex lost his bronze medal fight in his other category but fought well and is looking sharp at the start of 2017!

Next up is the KWON on Sunday!

Coaches corner: Week 5

Welcome to week 5 of coaches corner, the exclusive weekly release feature of EPIC Martial Arts. This feature will cover all of our coaches, junior coaching team, admin and those who make the club tick.

We’ve so far heard from Ben Gill, current WAKO world champion Kam Doyle, Matt Roberts and the lovely Jane Lewis in the opening 4 weeks. Now it’s time for someone else to be under the spotlight.

Who is it? Well it’s none other than our lovely junior coach Olivia Davies. Liv is one of the coaching team at Portishead on a Tuesday and trains on a Monday night, Tuesday night and when she can after recovering from a bad injury and operation.

Want to know more about ‘the Major’?

Q: What do you think the most important aspect of martial arts training is?
Liv: I think discipline has to be the most important for me. For many children it can help them with behaviour in school and at home and also respect for people like teachers and parents and even friends.

Liv 'The Major' Davies

Liv ‘The Major’ Davies

Q: How long have you trained in martial arts for and what styles do you do?
Liv: I have been training for nearly 9 years in which I have done point and continuous, definitely favour points. Although I have to take a year out due to my knee injury.

Q: If you had to have a dance off with one member of epic who would it be and why?
Liv: Steve Cruse would definitely have to be my choice, he’s got the moves!!

Liv (left) with her mum Helen (right)

Liv (left) with her mum Helen (right)

Q: Would you win that dance off?
Liv: definitely not me haha

Q: How many times do you train in a week?
Liv: I try to train twice a week because with work, driving lessons and homework I have to squeeze everything in however I would prefer to train at least 3 times a week

Q: Of the letters in EPiC’s name which stand for Energy, Positivity, Inspiration and Confidence, which one resonates with you most? Why?
Liv: um, it’s got to be inspiration for me. The role models that our senior coaches set inspire me along with many of the students who look up to all of our EPiC coaches including junior and assistants.

Q: Who do you least like sparring and why?
Liv: I think I’d have to say Kam, he’s so good and reads people so easily but he makes you really think about what you’re doing which is so good!

Q: What is your standout EPiC moment of 2016?
Liv: my standout moment has to be quite recently at Ed Byrne’s interclub when I returned to fighting, after nearly 2 years out, and fought a challenging round robin drawing in 1st place and then getting second overall.

A young Liv, ready for action!

A young Liv, ready for action!

Q: If you were to take 3 members of EPIC on holiday who would it be and why?
Liv: I would definitely have to say Molly, Carmen and Lady G- Grainne that would be so fun!!

Q: Which is a better martial art: kickboxing or Kung fu?
Liv: this is difficult as I believe both give different skills. Kickboxing is good for sparring skills and techniques and Kung fu gives a more traditional approach to martial arts. For me, I will always feel most comfortable with Kung fu syllabus as that’s what I’ve graded in.

Q: What are your aspirations and goals for 2017?
Liv: Next year I want to be back competing on the circuit and would like to go to an international competition too.

Liv with fellow coach Matt Roberts in 2015

Liv with fellow coach Matt Roberts in 2015

Q: Finally: if you could win one tournament outside of the worlds or euros which would it be?
Liv: this would definitely have to be the Irish open, winning the biggest competition would be a huge achievement for me and a dream I want to one day come true.

Liv is looking forward to 2017 and the challenges it will bring. All the coaches are looking forward to her getting back to sharpness and what she will do on the circuit next year. Along with the fighting she is a budding young coach who revels in the challenge of leading the younger children to success not only in martial arts but also setting an example to follow as they grow into successful and bountiful adults.

Coaches corner: Week 4

This week we visit our lovely PA Jane Lewis whom most of you will have had contact with at some point over the duration of your journey with us so far.

With the patience of a saint and the drive of a Ferrari this productivity machine makes the clogs turn with communications and our introductory process. We thought about what to ask her and came up with this:

Jane with Hub-goer husband Simon

Jane with Hub-goer husband Simon

Q: How long have you been with EPiC?

Jane: 14/15 months.

Q: How many phone calls a day do you usually get?
Jane: Depends on time of year and what events are happening…. if the phone isn’t ringing – guaranteed I am ringing to build relationships and work on events.

Q: If you had one wish granted by a genie, what would it be?
Jane: If I had one wish – it would be to have endless wishes. However, I am a little cynical – ‘careful what you wish for – you’ll always get it but it may be in a format you weren’t expecting’!

Q: Who is the hardest instructor to get information across to and from?
Jane: Matt Roberts when he isn’t on facebook…. grrrr. Everyone has their moments.

Q: What else do you do for work other than EPiC admin?
Jane: The Hub gym, Crossfit Portishead and very occasionally I help out my travel trade buddies when they desperate for support.

Q: Have you ever participated in Martial arts, why or why not?
Jane: Growing up in Glasgow surburbs in the 70’s – choices were generally limited (gosh I sound old), so Scottish dancing was prob. the nearest choice I had. I keep a list of things I want to try… just waiting for the phone to stop ringing!!

Jane with her beautiful daughter and EPIC student Alanna

Jane with her beautiful daughter and EPIC student Alanna

Q: Who scares you the most? Why?
Jane: In what context? In the kickboxing arena – all of them! However, would they challenge me on the nagging front!

Q: If you could have one celebrity’s job for a day, who would it be?
Jane: I am more interested in ‘moments in time’ .. I would love to see the thoughts of peoples when massive world changes happen… Obama’s real thoughts when Trump won the election. Peoples feelings when they reach the tip of mount Everest.

Q: Who does the household chores in your house… you, Simon or Alana?
Jane: Alanna creates the chores, Simon moans about them and I do them (eventually)! When I clean… everything gets cleaned out.. I am not a fan of clutter but equally – a perfect house is a life not lived!

Q: If you had to do karaoke with ONE instructor at EPIC who would t be and why?
Jane: Andy Gill… his array of fancy dress photos tells me he is always game .. so I could fade into the background as I can’t sing.

Jane Lewis relaxing with a cocktail

Jane Lewis relaxing with a cocktail

Q: What’s been your best moment in the last 12 months?
Jane: No one event stands out as the ‘best’. If your not enjoying the adventure.. why do it? Favourite moments are the ones that have me in belly aching laughter….But with Epic you feel valued no matter what part you play in the production.

Q: Final Question, what’s your goals for the next 12 months?
Jane: Is this my appraisal or my new years resolutions? Enjoy the journey….and always be learning.

Join us next week where we will have week 5 of coaches corner and another member of the EPIC family reveal some of their roles, aspirations and revelations about those around them!

Coaches Corner: Week 3

Matt Roberts: Coaches corner

Matt joined EPiC martial arts in August 2015 and has worked hard in building his clubs in Yate, Bristol and Chepstow (with Andy Cleeves). He sheds light on his personal likes and about his story so far.

Matt with fellow coach Ben Gill

Matt with fellow coach Ben Gill

Q: What’s your favourite food?
Matt: (laughs) well this will be banter for me, I like food in general. Although like most kids I’m siding with pizza on this one, in particular American Hot. I love jalapeños!

Q: What’s your favourite TV programme/series?
Matt: If I’m honest I don’t get much time for watching TV as there is also so much going on with EPIC and Total Combat, but the only series I’ve ever completed and absolutely love to this day is Prison Break.

Matt won the CIMAC Superleague in 2016

Matt won the CIMAC Superleague in 2016

Q: How old were you when you first started martial arts?
Matt: I was 5 years old, I have been training on and off now for over 21 years and that makes me feel old!

Q: What styles do you train and teach?
Matt: I’ve dabbled in a lot of styles, Tang Soo Do, Judo, Brazilian Jiu jitsu, Tae Kwon Do but my main styles are Kickboxing, Krav Maga and Eskrima. I also trained ‘self defence’ with independent teachers and ex-military guys who have shown me some very useful tips and tricks.

Q: What are your goals for the next 12 months?
Matt: Trophies. I am aiming towards getting higher grades in all my styles and to build Yate, Central and Chepstow to be recognised classes across the counties as THE place to train. We are moving in the right direction but I want to step up momentum. I want my daughter to start training too!

Q: What’s your best achievement to date within martial arts?
Matt: Well surviving my week of training in Israel back in 2013 was an achievement! That was brutal but I’m most proud of my Bronze medal at the Irish open in 2016. Hopefully I can better that next year!

Q: What’s training with EPiC like compared to training in Krav Maga?
Matt: completely different, fitness levels are much higher in kickboxing compared to what is needed in Krav Maga. They have to be.. Competition fighting requires you to give your energy over 2 or 2x 2 minute rounds whereas Krav Maga is designed to, if needed, use all your energy over 4 seconds or so. Your adrenaline takes care of the rest as you run for your life. I love both types of training, I won’t lie though there is a feeling you get from points fighting that self defence training can’t give you. EPiC is full of great positively minded people and the training gives you a good insight into how to be better people rather than just a skilled martial arts practitioner.

Matt with EPIC head coach Andy Cleeves

Matt with EPIC head coach Andy Cleeves

Q: If you could go into the Imacelebrity jungle with 5 others from EPIC who would it be?
Matt: What a terrible show. If I had to? Hmm well i guess it would have to Andy C, Andy G, Kam, Gio and Crusey.. I would win on pure entertainment alone. The public would love a show with us characters on it!

Q: Who would win in a fight between a high level kickboxer and a high level Krav Maga practitioner?
Matt: (laughs) the million pound question! If I had a pound for everytime I’ve been asked this then I could retire, there is no right or wrong answer. There are different types of training and a ‘high level’ in one club might only be at the same level as an ‘intermediate level’ at another better club. Ultimately this is only an opinion based question so my answer will be, whoever gets the first decent shot in!

Q: Who are your martial arts idols?
Matt: Bruce Lee is undoubtedly one of the best all time. There are legends like Tony Ja, Chuck Norris, Scott Adkins, Jean Claude Van Damme, Jackie Chan etc. If I’m honest those I look up to those who train me personally as I get more inspiration from them than anyone. The likes of Andy Cleeves (EPiC martial arts) Darren Langston (Langston Martial Arts Academy), Gio Marchese (EPiC), Kameron Doyle (EPiC) Clint Badlam (West Country Krav Maga), Ken Garriques (Krav Maga Worldwide, Bristol) and Jeff Mount (KMW Maryland)

Q: If you could fight one person in the world who would it be and why?
Matt: That’s a tough one because I would want to fight so many people. All the loudmouth arm-chair know-it-alls who claim that this martial art is this and that martial art is that who have never practiced one kick. But of course if I could fight one person then Conor McGregor.. I would take a decent 7 figure sum to get beaten up ?? although I have 50lbs on Conor!!

Matt with 6 year old student Harvey

Matt with 6 year old student Harvey

Q: What other jobs have you done except for teaching for EPiC?
Matt: I was a building labourer, apprentice stone mason and qualified as a plasterer over a 5-year span from 2009-2014 before going on to run Total Combat- my self defence academy- for 8 months before joining EPIC in August 2016. Before being a builder I worked for Marks&Spencer in 2009 and before that believe it or not I had a broken ankle which was really bad when I was at college. So to fill the time around studying I was sponsored to play on my Xbox360 by a German ‘clan’. The original Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was the game I played back then. I got rid of my Xbox in 2010 and haven’t had one since.

Q: What music are you into?
Matt: I like a lot of different types of music but I can’t stand opera. I’m also not a massive fan of dubstep- it sounds like someone has broken the track and makes silly sounds over the top of it.. I used to go and watch live music a lot but nowadays I don’t have time for it.

Q: What are your roles in EPiC?
Matt: I am in control of making sure the website content is updated, I am our official ‘reporter’ as writing runs in my blood. My dads an author, a blooming good one too. Obviously I am a coach and I compete too on my quest to get a GB squad place and compete at the euros or worlds in years to come. I also liaise a lot with the other senior coaches to make improvements to what we do, we believe that we should evolve always.

Q: Final question, what is your favourite part of your job?
Matt: looking back and seeing how far everyone has come in that time. There is no job satisfaction like it.

Matt has set pretty bold goals over the next few years, fingers crossed he gets there and keeps himself injury free.

Join us next week for the next round of Coaches Corner

Totally Epic Valour Appearances

Team EPIC Continued a November to remember as several of our members stepped inside the Total Valour (TV) ring in front of 250+ people.

The Total Valour 3 crowd were noisy even though the numbers weren’t as high as the previous ‘TV2’ audience which was believed to be in the region of 300-400. The home fighters filled most of the ring-side tables and the support behind them was deafening at times.

Saturday night's full fight card

Saturday night’s full fight card

The fighting opened up with several back to back fights with EPIC students. First of all Harrison Doyle stepped into the ring against experienced Storm fighter Igor Krygier. The fight opened up well from the start with neither fighter scoring any decisive techniques in the early exchanges. A lovely two-punch and roundhouse kick combination landed for the home fighter which got the crowd going. However with slick movement and stronger landing combinations Krygier was up at the interval. The second round Doyle started better and set up an interesting first 30 seconds before the intensity wore off and the Storm fighter did enough to claim the win.

Next up was Jess Andrews who took on the Nemesis club fighter Lailah Hanif. The bout started with the usual pleasantries but with a stare of intent from the taller Hanif. After final words from the coaches either side referee Lloyd Allen started the fight. Hanif was on Andrews in a flash with an array of kicking ability on show but Andrews covered up well early on. She found herself a few points down due to head kicks and a couple of combinations in the first minute of the fight before Andrews settled and fought back. Three times Andrews had Hanif pinned in the corner of the ring while she rained punches down on her. The round ended narrowly with Hanif up. The second round was more of the same, with the points talley going to the away fighter by a unanimous 1-point margin. What a close fight! There could have been another swing to this one as much of the home crowd and coaches felt that the 5-times that Hanif’s gum shield came out was excessive and should have carried a penalty but referee Lloyd Allen took no action.

Jess Andrews fights back

Jess Andrews fights back

The third fight saw Dylan Hunt fight JBS fighter Cjay Jackson. The action in this fight was fairly one sided with plenty of strikes landing from Hunt as he racked up the points with further kicks to the head to be comfortably ahead after the first round. The second round was more of the same as Hunt continued to dominate his opponent. He moved well and threw crisp combinations in front of the cheering crowd, with a roar every time a head kick landed. Lloyd Allen lifted the home fighters hand and one final roar of approval from the home fans greeted the lifting of the trophy.

Teia Doyle at TV3

Teia Doyle at TV3

imageThe beautiful young Teia Doyle stepped into the ring next against JBS fighter Chelsie Bates after Bates’ opponent pulled out at the last minute. This was a great fight and one that the crowd was in awe off for more than one reason. Not only did both girls put their heart and soul into the fight but they are both small, cute and only 7 or 8 years of age. With both fighters throwing lots of combinations the straight punches were what were landing more and Doyle was throwing more straights compared to Bates’ preference to kick first. This was what gave her a slender lead at the interval. The second round was Teia’s comfortably as she showed little sign of fatigue and the pace didn’t drop at all. The referee lifted her hands up to the delight of the home crowd.

For the fifth straight fight EPIC were present in the ring. The home fighter represented everything that was good about martial arts and the youngest ever fighter to step in the total valour ring to date. 6 1/2 year old Harvey Pollard stepped up to the plate and did his very best despite only beginning continuous training 6 weeks before. Both fighters threw lots of punches, a lot didn’t land but those that did brought roars of approval from the crowd as both fighters poured everything they had into this bout. Pollard’s opponent was JBS fighter Fred Stokes, who brought with him a talent for kicking and slightly slicker combinations that his younger opponent. The first round was Stokes’ but not by much. The second round was a close affair with the judges scoring the victory to the older boy, but a great effort and entertaining fight from both fighters.

Harvey Pollard with his coaches

Harvey Pollard with his coaches

Fight 6 saw EPIC’s Dean Andrews win by the first TKO of the night. He rained slick combinations and high kicks down on his opponent, which during round 2 was just too much. Storm fighter Adam Devet was unable to carry on and referee Lloyd Allen called a halt to the action with over a minute to go. The perfect combination of Jab, cross, Jab, round kick landed time and time again, scoring points at every attack. The points difference at the break was healthy in Andrews’ favour and would have taken a serious turn around in round 2 to have not resulted in a home victory.

A couple of fights went by before the co-main event which was none other than world champion Kameron Doyle against Welsh champion Liam Cross from Storm. The fighters both came out to great songs, pumping the crowd up for the spectacle that was about to unfold. Both fighters were up for the fight as the gloves touched in respect before the bell went to signify the start of the action. Doyle was first to go, striking his opponent with a solid 3 strike combo before ending it with a round kick that thudded into Cross’ guard as a sign on intent. Cross threw a few combinations before Doyle landed a sickening head kick that downed his opponent for a 7-count. Doyle dominated the fight totally from there on, almost KO-ing his opponent with a spinning hook kick and landing so many punches that he was easily up at the break. The second round started much the same as the first round ended. Doyle landing more shooting techniques as the fight grew more into the Kam Doyle show second by second. After a jumping back kick landed into Cross’ guard and a sweep took the Welshman to the ground, Doyle was looking to wow the home crowd by ending the fight before the final bell. After a slick punching combination landed, Cross threw the towel in to avoid further punishment and the winner by TKO celebrated in front of the home crowd and a pulsating atmosphere was across the venue.

Kam Doyle drops his opponent with class head kick

Kam Doyle drops his opponent with class head kick

After the interval it was the ladies turn as Grainne Quinn took on Body Focus’ Emma Sheppard in a 2×2 minute boxing bout. The match was met with a ground-shaking noise from the TV3 crowd. Both fighters put everything into round one with two and three punch combinations landing from both sides. Quinn was moving better than Sheppard but Sheppard was hitting harder in round one where the score was so close at the interval that you cut the tension with a knife. The second round saw the fighters tire and a lot of the round was littered with the ladies coming together and hitting each other equally with shots, with the odd sickening strike to the face from both fighters. The final score was a split decision win in Quinn’s favour.

Quinn vs Sheppard at TV3

Quinn vs Sheppard at TV3

Next up for EPIC was Lloyd Brown against Simon Harrison from the highly regarded Jamie Woodlands Black Belt Academy. The first round was all Harrison as he littered his smaller opponent with combinations left, right and centre as the experience counted. Brown had a late flurry in the first round as he took the fight back to Harrison. The round was up in the away fighters favour. The second round was an identical version of the first round. The final decision was in the JWBBA fighters favour but now Brown has the experience in the ring he has vowed to come back stronger next time and is going to hunt for victory in the ring.

Luke Coombes was next up to fight, in his first ring bout as he left the home crowd buzzing with an opening exchange with opponent Paul Smith from Fighting Fit gym. The fight night atmosphere was electric as the two fighters shared slick-strike combinations and a mutual level of contact. The fight went on to be one of the more entertaining on the night and the two fighters had a lot of skill on show. The first round was very close in the FF fighters favour. The second round was just as entertaining, with the action running strong right up until the buzzer. Both of the fighters landed shots and both were taking hits in their stride. The final result was unanimously but only just in the favour of Smith.

The final fighter to represent EPIC on the night was fan favourite Rakan Sabbah. Sabbah, who won at Total Valour 2 back in May stepped into the ring for the second time in 6 months and opened up his account for the night by flying at his opponent. The early part of the first round was an even affair but Sabbah soon showed his attacking prowess as wave after wave of ‘Palestinian power’ combos landed from the Jordanian fighter. Sabbah won the first round and dominated the second round by hitting his opponent Guy Trotman all around the ring, scoring a lot of points. The crowd went wild as his hand was lifted in a unanimous decision to claim his second win in two ring bouts. A great victory for the warrior who always believes.

Rakan Sabbah in action at TV3

Rakan Sabbah in action at TV3

The night had one fight remaining which was the main event. The heavyweights battled out a skilled and heavy hitting bout which ultimately unanimously went in the favour of fighting fit warrior Reece Phillips over Adam Drescher of JWBBA.

A great nights action, Total Valour 4 will take place on February 25th 2017.

Coaches Corner: Week 2

Welcome to the second weekly instalment of coaches corner, last week senior coach Ben Gill shared some of his hobbies and goals with us and we’re sticking with the youth for week 2.

This time we’ve picked on junior coach and recently crowned world champion Kameron Doyle. The 16-year old has had a phenomenal season on the mats winning more than 25 gold medals, trophies and will crown his season off tomorrow night in the ring at TOTAL VALOUR 3.

Kam with Bellator MMA star MVP (Michael Page)

Kam with Bellator star MVP

The oldest competing Doyle sibling also teaches at Epic Bristol Central and talks to us about his year on the mats and who he would take on holiday from epic…

Kam Doyle: Coaches Corner interview:

Q: You’re a world champion now, congratulations- is that (in your opinion) the best achievement you’ve had to date?
Kam: Yes, being a WAKO world champion was a big dream for me when I was younger. When you compete out there obviously your fighting everyone from across the world and many different countries. For me it’s another goal which sets me up for my future and motivates me to carry on achieving!

Q: Who is your all time biggest inspiration and why?
Kam: Well I have TWO. My first one is one from a long time ago and unfortunately passed away this year and that is Muhammad Ali, this is because for my opinion he was a great person and did a lot for boxing. Not only that but he also had a great character and was a brilliant fighter. The second one is Conor McGregor, he’s my inspiration because he shows the value of working hard to make it to the TOP, also again he has a great character and he’s an entertainer for sure. Finally, McGregor really shows how self-belief and a strong mindset can help you succeed in challenges!

World Champ shows off his funny side

World Champ shows off his funny side

Q: Who can take the banter the best in EPiC and who is the worst at taking banter?
Kam: Haha, good question… okay so the person who takes the banter the best has to be Matt Roberts, he is always getting abuse for not getting a two week haircut and just other things, he takes the banter like a pro and he knows it’s all a joke and we mean nothing by it. The person who is worst at taking banter is Ben Gill.

Q: What’s your favourite all time TV programme?
Kam: I don’t really watch TV often but when I do the best TV programme of all time has to be ‘The Walking Dead’, the series is brilliant and many people will agree with me.

Q: What’s been the worst moment in your martial arts journey so far and how did you rebuild/get over that?
Kam: The worst part in my martial art journey.. Well there has been a few things but they’ve only made me come back stronger and succeed more! One major thing is pain. I usually struggle with pain in the tendons in my thumb and when I over extend it or something it creates the worst pain possible for me. Andy C knows that feet and hands are the worst for injuries. But this is no excuse not to train. When I get injuries I carry on as that is the mindset I have always been given by Andy C and getting older I really start to see how that way of coaching helps students become successful. This is because it teaches them the message of resilience. Things are hard in life and coming back from tough things does make you stronger that is why I take no excuses for injury unless it’s very bad.

Kameron Doyle of EPIC MA

Kameron Doyle of EPIC MA

Q: What are your plans/goals for the next 12 months?
Kam: I have all my goals written up and not only that but how to achieve them one thing I’ve learnt this year is that if you write down a goal without stating what to do then there is no point because it won’t be completed. But my plans/Goals for next year is to carry on doing well for myself.

Q: If you had to go on holiday with only 3 members of the EPIC team who would it be?
Kam: Only 3 let’s make that 5, one starting off being the most important….
1. Andy Cleeves
2. Gio Marchese
3. Matt Roberts
4. Andy Gill
5. Pearce Cruse

Q: What is your future aspirations in terms of martial arts, what do you want to do next in your journey?
Kam: Next in my journey I want to stay in kickboxing and on the circuit, but I want to experience different combat, different styles and more! Im hoping in the future that I will have a range of different skills.

Q: If you could face any fighter in the world in any discipline of martial art, who would it be and why?
Kam: At the moment, I would like to face an incredibly amazing fighter Demetrious Johnson in the UFC combat because as I’m his weight and roughly height I feel it would be a good matchup. Also it would be a good shot to try that type of combat sport.

Kam sparring with friend Rakan Sabbah

Kam training in late 2016

Q: What is your least favourite meal to eat?
Kam: I don’t have one I LOVE FOOD ❤️ food is LIFE!!

Q: If you could have any of these as a pet which one would you choose?
Snake, baby Crocodile, Lizard, Lion or Tarantula..
Kam:Lion- fierce and it’s always looking for prey!

Q: Who’s the funniest person at EPiC?
Kam: That has to be Steve Cruse, at the age of 64 he is one of the funniest people and gives it his best shot but is a distraction when training as he loves to talk about beauty shows and Matt Roberts’ awful haircut.

Doyle wins Gold!.. Again

Doyle wins Gold!.. Again

imageQ: Final Question, what’s been your favourite moment of the year apart from the world championships?
Kam: When I was in Milan, in Italy. I was entered into three category’s and managed to win all three… these included -57 (13-15), -63 (13-15) and -57 (16-18) Luckily head coach Andy C could make it to that competition and I really wanted to show him my capabilities. I did also beat someone in the 16-18 cat who came over to England and taught me a seminar… I managed to beat him then went into my last final after winning two category’s and won that one too. This was good for me because not only did I win but I created an image in my head that if you believe you can do it then you can.

Superleague Roundup

On a day that had several long speeches, 10 challenge matches, 73 divisions, an awards ceremony and a final round-up of goodbyes for the year on the fight circuit, team EPiC continued their success on the tatami.

November has seen the two final tatami competitions of the year and leaves only total valour 3 remaining this coming Saturday. Tickets are still available for that event too, so to see team EPiC’s captain and world champion Kameron Doyle in action then make sure you get one.

The team took 12 competitiors and 2 coaches to Maidenhead for the conclusion of the CIMAC SUPERLEAGUE 2016. Between them they took 5 golds, 4 silvers and 5 bronze medals on the day which means 14 medals which adds to our 65 medals won at the BBBA competition last weekend. Meaning the team has taken 79 medals between 47 competitors in a week!

Our CIMAC squad: Harvey Tyler, George Sherlock, Teia Doyle, Ellie Doyle, Harrison Doyle, Sadie ‘warlord junior’ Worland, Dylan Hunt, Amy Kingscott, Ben Davies, Justin ‘warlord’ Worland, Jordan ‘Snake Leg’ Sambells, Michael ‘supercooper’ Cooper.

Team EPIC in Maidenhead

Team EPIC in Maidenhead

5 of our team came away as ‘grand champions’ of their divisions this year and they are Harvey Tyler (x2), Ellie Doyle, Teia Doyle and Matt Roberts.

Here is a breakdown of our 12 warriors on the day:

Harvey Tyler took a silver and two bronzes on a day where he claimed two superleague grand champion plaques. He fought well and was unlucky not to have come away from more in his points divisions. He lost out in continuous to the talented Brandon Swaby in light con but claimed a bronze by beating team mate George Sherlock in the playoff fight for 3rd.

George Sherlock had a frustrating day being drawn against teammate Harvey Tyler twice and had tough draws in his other categories however he did win himself a well-earned bronze medal to make the trip home a little sweeter. He showed a maturity on the mats and took defeats, when they came, gracefully.

Ellie Doyle had a successful day on the mats. She opened her account for the day by winning a gold in her first points category before suffering defeat to Wolfpack rival Poppy Giles. However she bounced back to beat tough SAS fighter Ellie Harvey 2-0 over two 1.5 minute rounds to win her challenge match and subsequently took a plaque in her first points category as grand champion 2016.

Sambells is number 1

Sambells is number 1

Jordan Sambells powered his way through two very tough opponents to win his points category. He took apart his first opponent with fierce and precise kicking to score two headkicks on the way to a 7-4 victory. He then backed this up in the final by beating talented SAS fighter Sam Leggett in the final using his fast-becoming trademark style of snake-leg. The chamber rose time and time again to push his opponent onto the back foot and using his long reach to take single points in abundance.

Sadie Worland recovered from a slow start against her first opponent to claim gold in her category. A fantastic performance in her final saw a 9-2 scoreline which lead to her trophy. A good return to action after illness and a great platform to build on for 2017!

Gold for Sadie!

Gold for Sadie!

Justin Worland showed perhaps his most skilful display yet as he used a push and pull movement to draw in his opponents before mixing his techniques up between blitz and side kicks to pave his way into the final. He dispatched SAS’s Sam Leggetts in style in the semi finals before meeting an awkward fighter in the final whom he narrowly lost out to, but a silver medal for his gallant efforts on the day.

Ben Davies opened his account at the CIMAC against selected GB fighter Nathan Armstrong. Ben recovered from 4-1 down to take the fight to an extra 30 seconds at 5-5. The extra 30 seconds started off with Nathan nicking a point off Ben with a quick counter and then Ben pulled out of a technique which was punished with 8 seconds remaining. Davies pulled a point back with a quick blitz off the mark but was unable to draw the last point to force sudden death. He beat his opponent in the 3rd place fight off to claim a bronze.

The Warlord on podium!

The Warlord on podium!

Dylan Hunt ended his 2016 competition engagements with a silver medal from his continuous category in which he was required to fight back to back in the semi final and final. A difficult feat for any fighter, Dylan didn’t quite have the energy required in the final 30 seconds in which his opponent scored enough points and ultimately went on to win in a split decision.

Teia Doyle, our youngest fighter on the day at the tender age of 7, won her category after coming through 3 tough rounds. Pick of the fights was against wolfpacks Nyla Roberts which was close. She took her trophy and ultimately this meant she was the grand champion 2016 so she too took a plaque home.

Amy Kingscott has made a return to fighting after a long break with two competitions in 4 weeks. She backed up fighting at Bristol with a performance in the CIMAC. In a division with Ishana Moores and Nesta Baxter competing in, this was going always going to be tough. Amy stepped up and did her best but ultimately her first round opponent progressed to the next round.

Harrison Doyle took a silver and bronze to complete his tournament schedule for 2016. It’s been a mixed year on the mats for the younger male Doyle brother but he ended it strongly with two medals. He showed better control on the mats and kept the pressure up for the most part in his performances but ultimately fell just short of gold.

Mike ‘Super’ Cooper was deducted 9 points from his continuous fight before he even started for being late onto the tatami and ‘unprepared’. Despite both Matt Roberts and Andy Cleeves protesting this the decision stood. Cooper dominated his opponent throughout the fight and must have pulled it back to within one or two points but ultimately he didn’t do quite enough. He landed powerful combinations, solid body kicks and moved around the tatami’s well after a gap in competitions since the summer.

The club would like to thank all the families that have travelled with us and supported this years events and ask for one more rally of support behind Total Valour 3 on Saturday night, tickets are only £20 for a whole night of entertainment, with a bar and a friendly-fun atmosphere to accompany each and every bout that happens inside the ring.

For more information speak to Andy Cleeves or Matt Roberts.