Senior Coaches

Instructors

SENIOR COACHES

Andy Cleeves

Andy Cleeves

Founder & Head Coach of all EPIC clubs

“I want to make sure that we never stand still and or get in the way of any of our students developing.”

EPIC’S founder, Andy comes from a large working class family (Dad’s a builder) of 4 sisters two brothers and has been married for the last 3 years to wife Claire. They have two young children called Ava (Just 2yrs) and Presley (Just 1yrs) and any downtime he gets is reserved for family time. Incredibly motivated Andy’s work ethic is not only reflected in his business degree but the fact that he has, as he puts it, “never had a proper job” but always worked for himself. Having always loved all things fitness, Andy has trained from a young age in Kung Fu and Kickboxing gaining a Black Belt in Lau Gar Kickboxing and a 2nd Degree Black Sash in Lau Gar Kung Fu.

The energy he puts into everything he does has rewarded him with notable success, his list of martial achievements impressive by anyone’s standards. These include World IAKSA Kickboxing Champion, WAKO Pro European Team Champion, WSKA European Full Contact Champion, Irish Open Champion, CIMAC World Cup Champion, WAKO British Champion, IAKSA British Champion, WSKA Full Contact British Champion, BKFA National Champion, Scottish National Champion and numerous other International and National 1st, 2nd & 3rd Places. He also appeared on and won BBC2 hit TV show ‘Masters of Combat’ and ITV’s ‘Simply the Best’.

An instructor for over 15 years, Andy has trained World champions and raised over £40K for local charities in recent years. With success as both a competitor and coach, Andy wanted to package all of the great elements from his 25year journey into a single training experience and to give people the opportunity to feel the same rewards that he received through all the years of training and competing.

After teaching Martial Arts for many years Andy was determined to create an organisation that caters for all levels, ages and abilities, passing on all his positive experiences by helping to get people fit and motivated whilst learning a new skill and developing their mental capacity. He believes EPIC is now unique due to the blend of skills and characters of both the coaching team and support staff. Even though EPIC are a big club the systems and processes allow us to focus on improving each individual. The team at EPIC consider standing still as going backwards and always aim to be innovative and ahead.

Andy’s role is to lead the teams and constantly challenge and develop our overall offering. “I take a creative approach to planning events and club activites with my team and make sure they are slickly delivered. I take huge reward week to week from bringing on students at all levels in terms of fitness, technique and mental strength. I want membership with our club to carve our students motivated approach to all aspects of life.”

For Andy, the hardest part of the role is not being able to be everywhere! He loves teaching but now his focus is more on developing his teaching team so the programmes can be taken to a wider reach and impact more people. This frustration is compensated by the joy at watching the programmes affect such positive change on students and being around such a focused and inspired team. With this in mind, Andy wants EPIC “to have depth in its student base as well as a strong high end with an accomplished competition team. I want to make sure that we never stand still and or get in the way of any of our students developing.”

Gio Marchese

Gio Marchese

Senior Coach - EPIC Brislington & Filton

“I think Epic is a fun family orientated club where the name really speaks for itself.”

When you look at his competitive achievements it’s easy to see why Gio Marchese is such a valued member of the Epic team. With over 20 years of (successful) competition on the national and international circuit across TaeKwon-Do, Boxing, Kickboxing and K1, Gio has become a multiple English and British Champion across multiple associations and also achieved the WKA World title in Orlando in 2012. Gio is an easy-going character and known as a bit of a cheeky chap. “I like to train hard, work hard and then every now and then party hard (but only when I’ve earned it)” but when it comes to sport, coaching, training and competing, however, there is a totally different side to Gio, a side that sees him one hundred percent focused, dedicated and passionate and thriving on positive energy.

Gio brings to his role a vast knowledge of what it takes to be successful in a competitive situations as he has lived and breathed fight and tournament preparation first-hand from the training to the diet and then to the fight/competition itself but is quick to stress that the Epic framework caters for so much more than fight training- “People should join Epic if they are looking for a skilled delivery of a martial arts syllabus whilst learning through fun and hard work. Whether you are looking to compete, grade through the belts, gain confidence or train as a social hobby Epic covers all angles.”

As a veteran competitor and valued Instructor Gio has gained the respect of his peers in the martial arts world, so his words carry weight when he says of Epic-“I think Epic is a fun family orientated club where the name really speaks for itself, each instructor and class is full of Energy, Positivity and Inspiration which will give the students Confidence.”

Andy Gill

Andy Gill

Senior Coach - EPIC Bradley Stoke, Filton & Head of Sparring Academy

“Our fantastic team of instructors and support personnel will ensure the future of all our students and offers only the best facilities and methods.”

Andy Gill may be known as a friendly and approachable instructor with a happy disposition and a ready sense of humour but his likeable nature is combined with a determination to succeed that is reflected in his working life. After leaving school Andy started at the very bottom with an IT firm, replacing mice and keyboards but he moved up the ladder to computer engineer, then support engineer to the point that he is now as a worldwide support manager for very large IT Company. In his spare time Andy also worked as a door supervisor and has taken many security courses and qualifications.

That same dedication and determination has also forged his martial arts career, training since the age of 7, Andy now has over 30 years training in various disciplines, namely Lau Gar Kung Fu, Karate and Kickboxing. Within this arena Andy became the Bristol / South West Grand Champion in 2008 and recently showed the same fighting spirit to start training again after major knee surgery in 2014.

Now Andy brings all that experience and maturity to his role as an Instructor, ensuring that everyone in his classes are happy and their success is, for him, the ultimate reward for all his efforts. This dedication he sees simply as part of the wonderful team spirit Epic fosters as he says “our fantastic team of instructors and support personnel will ensure the future of all our students and offers only the best facilities and methods.”

With that in mind, Andy is convinced that for anyone thinking or just starting martial arts, EPIC offers only the very best; it’s something that he cannot recommend highly enough to anyone, for confidence, discipline, fitness and wellbeing.

Matt Roberts

Matt Roberts

Senior Coach - EPIC Yate, Bristol Central, Chepstow & Bradley Stoke
Ben Gill

Ben Gill

Coach - EPIC Filton & Bradley Stoke

“I think Epic is a great place to train for martial arts for ages as it is run by World Champion instructors who can share their knowledge so you can become the best at what you do.”

Ben’s family have always had a positive association with the martial arts and Ben, for his part, has trained for many years, gaining his black sash in Lau Gar Kung –fu. Outside of training and sparring, Ben likes to relax with a spot of fishing, a hobby in tune with a man known as easy-going and honest but also noted for his good sense of humour. His nature is reflected in his selfless attitude as Ben enjoys seeing his students achieve their grades as much he did achieving his own 1st Degree Black Sash.
This feeling of pride in his students ties in with Ben’s enjoyment of his role as Instructor as he thrives on helping his students to achieve better fitness and discipline but most of all, he gets an extra buzz each time they become more successful in their Kung-Fu by achieving their next sash. He facilitates this journey through his in-depth knowledge in Kung- Fu and ensuring that students get all the help they need in achieving their sashes, all the way up to Black Sash.

His views on the Epic set-up are equally positive-“I think Epic is a great place to train for martial arts for ages as it is run by World Champion instructors who can share their knowledge so you can become the best at what you do.” With this in mind, Ben is no doubt that training with Epic gives students the opportunity to train in a family friendly environment and to achieve their full potential whilst gaining lots of energy, positivity, inspiration and confidence.

Sophie Vallender

Sophie Vallender

Coach - EPIC Nailsea
Mike Kingscott

Mike Kingscott

Coach - EPIC Portishead

“I’m patient and hard working but also a perfectionist, this gives me the drive to make sure the students get things right however many times it may take.”

An easy going family man with 2 teenage girls, Mike is always happy to help a friend when they need it and has worked as an aircraft engineer for the last 26 years. He has always taken part in some kind of exercise whether it be Football, Cycling or Swimming and when he left school became involved with Scouting where he helped run a Sports club for people with Disabilities, a club he still supports as Treasurer for over 10 years.

Mike started martial arts in 2008 when it was agreed that a few parents would give it a go as a way of supporting their children. He progressed up to Green Sash in Lau Gar Kung Fu over the next 3 years but then had motorbike accident in 2011, which put a stop to his training but not his desire to remain active and involved so he took the WAKO referees course. Over the following years Mike was invited to help teach the Little Dragons and Beginner Kids and now an integral part of the time his main concern, as he puts it, is “battling with age and keeping up with the kids!

The rewards of this battle are seeing the smiles on the kids faces when the collect their belts / sashes after a grading event, or a thank you from the parents for recognition of the work / time he’s spent with their child. To achieve this result Mike brings patience, a hard-work ethic and a desire for perfection to his role which gives him the drive to make sure the students get things right however many times it may take. He believes that Epic is the perfect environment for his students to flourish because –“Epic is a well-organised martial arts club that will help you reach your goals, whether it’s having a target to aim for or just trying to improve your fitness there is a class that will suit you. It’s all in the name EPIC, Energy, Positivity, Inspiration & Confidence.”
This belief in Epic stems from long-term personal experience as Mike’s eldest daughter started to train with Andy Cleeves 7 years ago and is now planning to take her Black Belt in the coming months. When she started she was shy and had very low confidence but that has changed dramatically. She’s been followed by our other daughter who is also flying through her grading’s and working hard towards her brown sash.

“This has been the best thing we have ever done and I would recommend it to anyone.”

Greg Langson

Greg Langson

Senior Coach - EPIC Nailsea

“There is 100 percent certainty that all students are made to feel part of something big and are taught life’s values.”

Greg is the type of man who likes to stay busy, whether it is running the family business with his dad or attending fitness classes with friends and family, he enjoys spending time with his family and wife as much as he can and simply doesn’t like to sit still. As a result Greg is seen as an uplifting and positive person and tries to bring out the positives in every situation. This attitude is reflected in Greg’s desire to make other people’s quality of life easier and if there are things that people need help with, Greg is usually there first.

Dedicating his time to students who want to learn is a rewarding process for Greg and it is in his nature to strive to challenge himself. He likes the thrill of taking risks and taking big bites out of challenging situations, sometimes more than he can chew but if he’s told he can’t do something then he simply has to give it a try. Greg started training as a young lad of 10 and karate was his sole style. Over the next five years he improved and found himself in the England squad and as a result travelled the World taking many 1st 2nd and 3rd place trophies away. I was always competing around England, sometimes 12 times yearly and have countless medals and trophies from this.

It was shortly after this success that Greg was taken under Mr Cleeves wing as an instructor and he has been fully committed to all such events ever since. After starting his own fitness business/classes his lessons were quickly known and recommended and classes were always full. Greg thrives on seasonal challenges with team mates, such as: tough mudder events, charity marathons and pretty much anything demanding. As a result of this determination Greg finds the toughest part of his role is when students underachieve or they feel they are not capable of something, “I have to be able to make them achieve their targets in grading and defeat their fears in completion or I soon become frustrated and lose my sense of purpose to them.”

In contrast Greg loves seeing students understand, learn quickly and most of all enjoy what he teaches and it is especially rewarding when they pass gradings or win fights/competitions. To this end Greg brings the ability to make students enthusiastic and turn their training into enjoyable and fun activities. He can bring out confidence and the best in a quite student and is talented in my martial arts, finding it easy to show demonstrations and act role-play scenarios.
Greg is in no doubt that EPIC is the best place to utilise his talents because he feels that EPIC is without a doubt going to be one of the fastest growing martial arts collaborations of some of Britain‘s most talented students with new ones to come. There is 100 percent certainty that all students are made to feel part of something big and are taught life’s values such as respect and striving to make the best of yourself. “Epic is a positive attribute in all participants’ lives including the family that surround the participant.”

Claire Cleeves

Claire Cleeves

Strength & Conditioning & CrossFit Coach for all EPIC clubs

“The coaches are only concerned with helping the members achieve their goals.”

Claire Cleeves is the sort of person you know is going to get back in shape even after having two babies, Ava 2, and Presley 1, because she is one of those driven people who always likes to stay healthy and active. Having graduated with a degree in marketing and drama in 2007 Claire worked as a sales manager, then met Andy (Cleeves) in 2008 and started boxfit classes and kickboxing for fitness. In 2011 they started the now extremely successful hub in Portishead, which Claire runs. A personal trainer and level 1 crossfit instructor, Claire created a high intensity class called ‘rock hard’, teaches padfit and weighted classes and quite simply loves running the gym and .helping others get fit. If this hectic schedule were not enough, Claire also enjoys shopping when she has any spare time.

After working hard to get all her fitness qualifications Claire is proud to be a working mum and believes that the best aspect of her job is helping people get stronger and leaner. Her own personal experience of going from a very base level of fitness to the strongest she has ever been gives her the insight to help her clients from a position of genuine knowledge. With her experience in marketing Claire is confident when she says “It‘s an excellent club which is key in promoting fitness and fun in kids, teens and adults.” She expands by saying that Epic has an experienced and friendly team and the coaches are only concerned with helping the members achieve their goals. They don’t just focus on the fighting team but ensure that every member gains confidence and reaches their own individual goals.