The WON Tournament sees EPIC students continue their medal haul.

‘The Won’ tournament, hosted by Dave and Rebecca Ryan has been growing rapidly in size and prestige over recent years and is now an eagerly anticipated staple of the competitive scene, reflected in the fact that carefully laid plans for an early finish were sabotaged by the sheer number of competitors taking part (a good problem to have). This included competitors from Ireland, Hungry, Germany, Czech Republic, Italy and Holland, emphasising the growth and importance of the tournament and more importantly the quality of the competitors, something Dave Ryan was quick to point out- “What can I say, the standard of fighting was off the hook, right from the kids, all the way up to our adults and a special thanks goes out to the International Teams that came over to support us.”


As with the recent Kwon competition EPIC students continued to travel to gain experience and medals and posted some excellent results, not least Team Bristol’s kids, who won the team event, beating some high-class opposition to secure the victory. It was a win that had Gio Marchese enthusing-“Such a proud day for Team Bristol UK ! Our kids won the team event at today’s Nationals beating the cream of the crop from around Great Britain. Big Respects to our young Warriors who were awesome, a credit to Viera Martial Arts, Andy Cleeves , Sharon Gill and everyone involved!”

The youngsters were on a roll once more, with Harvey Tyler aged 8, who trains with Coaches Andy Cleeves at Portishead and Andy Gill at Bradley Stoke winning the Boys under 9 division, a great result after his to 3rd place at the Kwon tournament earlier in the month. Hayden Challenger was also on fine form once again, getting a third in the -122 point advanced, narrowly missing out on a place in the final. He also took a massive step-up in height, going to the 4th round of the -130 points advanced section and the -130 continuous category against a lot bigger and older lads. He acquitted himself well there too and 12 year old Brooklyn Meachin who trains in Brislington also joined the medal-winners getting bronze in the continuous -150cm., ensuring that it was a great learning curve and experience that will stand them in good stead for the future.

Kam Doyle once again showed good form, taking silver in the -170 points and continuous, losing by a single point in the latter. Special mention must go to 7 year old Alex Fellender-Evans who also gained great experience from what was his first big competition. He didn’t medal but he did win 5 out of his 7 fights in the novice under 9 category and under 122 cm category and with such an impressive debut it won’t be long before this young man is amongst the medals.

In the adult divisions Matthew Jones proved solid and consistent, taking 3rd place continuous men’s coloured belt -85kg and 3rd place points men’s coloured belt +75kg for a productive tournament whilst Gio Marchese had to settle for silver after injury struck at the most inappropriate moment (although there’s never a good time!). Gio he reached the final of his category -65kg men’s advanced continuous, and was cruising to victory, only to suffer an injury when ahead on points. With a big K-1 fight on the horizon Gio felt that conceding to protect the injury was the right decision but it was still frustrating to be denied so close to the 1st place on the podium. Everyone that knows Gio will be wishing him a speedy recovery and a big win when he steps into the cage again at the Troxy in London next month.

Overall this has proved a fruitful start to 2015 for the EPIC students and bodes well for a medal-filled year!


WON 1 WON 2 WON 3 won 4 won 5

EPIC Danny Butler seminar

Danny Butler Seminar-2   EPIC students recently seized the opportunity to learn from Bristol’s very own professional boxer Danny Butler as he passed on the skills and knowledge that has made him the English Middleweight champion and a force to be reckoned with in British boxing. Danny, who has won his last five bouts by way of stoppage, proved an instant hit with both those training and watching and was praised as being as nice a guy out of the ring as he is effective in it. When taking seminars Danny likes to focus on the basics, something he firmly believes retains importance even at his advanced level, so he likes to go over what he considers “the simple stuff”, punching, and defence and head movement. Glenn Haynes, who took his son Finlay, was impressed with the way Danny put these concepts across. “A very good seminar with Danny, me and my son Finlay enjoyed it very much. He was a great instructor and especially good with the kids. My son came to me after to say he learned how to move his head and how to slip and slide and then to return counter punches. For a ten year old to say this to me he must have hung on Danny’s every word!” This was an important factor in the seminar, Danny’s ability to communicate with and relate to everyone, especially the youngsters who were present. This is because Danny is passionate about boxing’s ability to help develop life-skills alongside technique. “It’s great to see kids enjoy sport, which I believe helps them learn important skills In life-like discipline, respect and being focused but at the same time it’s about making it enjoyable for them.” Danny Butler Seminar-4   It certainly proved enjoyable for seven year old Hayden Challenger as his Father David explains-“it was a very informative and inspiring session. Everybody was soaking up as much info as possible and Hayden came out of it having been inspired by what he learned that day. It was very well run and just a very professional seminar for children and adults. Thank you to Andy and his team for putting on such a great event and such a high standard as you would expect.” For his part Danny was equally impressed with the EPIC students stating “what a great bunch! All listened and made me feel very welcome. I was impressed with how quickly they took the new skills on board and I will hopefully be back to do another seminar with the epic students soon.” This feeling was most definitely mutual and the EPIC students would love to see Danny return, the mood of the seminar summed up by Simon Tyler, whose son Harvey, aged eight, attended. “Danny was very enthusiastic in showing the children new techniques leaving Harvey full of positive motivation and keen on using his new techniques in his next fight.” A big thank-you to Danny and well done to all who attended. Danny Butler Seminar-3 Danny Butler Seminar-7

Golden Double for Kam in Italy!

Golden Glove 2015, Europe Cup Conegliano, Italy  January 16th-17th 

EPIC student Kam Doyle, 14, came back from the Golden Glove Europe Cup in Italy with two gold medals and a bronze to do his club and country proud. It was a huge tournament with just under 1,000 competitors representing 13 Countries taking part and his golden success made up for losing his second fight in the World Championships last September by a single point. There was no such disappointment this time around despite an average of 15 competitors in each of his -52k categories meaning that Kam had to have 5 fights to win but he beat an Italian in the points final (it went all the way to first to score) and a Czech fighter in the Light Continuous to do the double. He then won a hard –fought bronze in the -57k division, losing by a single point to the overall winner to cap a memorable weekend for the EPIC fighter.

Brown sash Kam (he goes for his black in May) began training at the tender age of 3 in Birmingham but moved to Bristol with his family at the age of 7 and began training with the renowned Instructors Sean Viera and Phil Allen. Since then Kam has trained alongside his younger brothers with Andy Cleeves and now, having turned 14, has been training for over 7 years stating that “I enjoy kickboxing as it has taught me so much-physical discipline, self- respect and control, self- awareness, but mostly how to respect others.”  

With his favoured techniques of jumping spinning kick and a reverse punch Kam has always showed an aptitude for the competitive side of his art, saying that although he used to prefer points, he now enjoys points and continuous equally. At the age of 11 he went to Athens and fought in 10/12 group, only his second comp abroad but he won 3 first places including the open weight and 200 euros-“I remember feeling nervous but now I don’t get nervous at all as the more I compete the better it becomes.”  


Kam enjoys a great relationship with his coaches and believes that this really helps him as he knows they want to help him achieve his best. “This gives me a lot of confidence and I respect them a lot for getting me where I am today and I want to thank them a lot “ Kam has helped teach the younger children for around 3 years now and enjoys warching them progress especially as 3 of them are his younger siblings, so it’s nice to be able to help them and see them also achieve good results. Kam sees himself building on this in the future, stating that he definitely sees himself becoming a Coach, ensuring that EPIC will be a force to be reckoned with for many years to come.

Well done Kam!


Epic has golden start to 2015 at the Kwon Grand Slam Series!

Sunday January 11th saw the first opportunity for EPIC Martial Arts students to test themselves in 2015 as the team travelled to North Solihull Sport Centre in Birmingham for the first event in the Kwon Grand Slam Series, the UK’s fastest growing Sport Martial Art circuit. Such is the growth in popularity of this event that pre-registration deadlines had to be extended due to the amount of entries. Given this level of entry, medals would have to be hard earned but Founder Andy Cleeves was more focussed on the students participating showing progress in their performance. “We are going to start the year as we mean to go on by showing heart, tactics, skill and desire. My focus is performance and progress and results will follow.”

On a day of fierce competition the EPIC Students did their Coaches proud and not only showed that desired improvement but brought back a solid haul of medals to set the standard for a busy year of competition.  Seven year old Hayden Challenger, who trains at Portishead and Henleaze with Andy Cleeves started the New Year with his first ever win in a major competition, 1st in the -125 continuous advanced Division. He followed this up with 2nd in the -125 novice continuous and 3rd in points -125 advanced, to cap an excellent day of competition.

Similarly another seven year old, Kairon Rowlands who trains at Bradley Stoke, Henleaze and Filton came 1st in his first major competition and his cat was -135 novice points (aged 8 and under). Showing that EPIC is developing real strength in depth amongst its youngest competitors eight year old Harry Rhodes, who also trains at Henleaze with Andy Cleeves took double gold with 1st place in the Boys 8 yrs and under -135 advanced points and 1st place in boys 8 yrs and under +20 kgs.

Zach Dallio, who trains at Henleaze was another golden eight year old as he came 1st in advanced -125cm and followed that up with a 2nd in advanced -135cm.  It also proved a very fruitful day for the Doyles who train in Henleaze and Redlands as Kam Doyle took double gold with wins in _51kg points advanced and  _51kg continuous, whilst Harrison Doyle took _30kg points advanced bronze and  _30kg continuous silver and young Teia Doyle took  _115cm 5/6 years bronze. Not a bad haul for a day out in Birmingham!

Also of note amongst the Juniors were the performances of Amy Kingscott, fourteen, who trains at Portishead, Henleaze and Filton as she came 2nd (Silver) in Girls age 9-15 -44kg Advance (Black Belt+) Points and Rio Williams who took -30kg advanced (silver).

In the adult divisions Gio Marchese continued his winning ways across a variety of disciplines by taking Gold in the Continuous , whilst Mathiue Jones took the same colour medal in the points with Imogen Proctor picking up silver And Carmen Jones bronze, also in the points divisions.

After a great day’s competition Coach Andy Gill had this to say about the performances of all involved- “there is no greater feeling of pride as a coach, than seeing students who train for weeks and years achieve their first win or first medal in a competition; for Kairon Rowlands, this was such an occasion, his smile lasted days and mine is still there, a truly well deserved 1st place. Harvey Tyler continues to go from strength to strength, his commitment and hard work is definitely paying off and he is a credit to his parents and a great asset to Epic Martial Arts. For Finlay Hayes, knowone deserves success as much as him, he trains and tries so hard and whilst on the weekend the medals just escaped him, but I have no doubt he will win major events in 2015.  As a coach, I couldn’t be prouder of all of the students from Epic Martial Arts”



Kwon (1) Kwon 2 Kwon 3 Kwon 4 kwon 6 Kwon