Hereford Kickboxing Academy is fortunate to have four warm, friendly and very accomplished instructors who all have a vast array of martial arts experience, not only in kickboxing. Leigh, Matt, Jay, Ellie and Ryan have over 70 years of martial arts experience between them and are supported by a team of skilled assistant instructors. All have guided many students through from their first time on the mats to black belt & competition level. This section will help you get to know a bit about them and their backgrounds.
Hello and welcome to Hereford Kickboxing! My name is Leigh, I am a 3rd degree black belt and chief instructor at HKA. I started kickboxing in 2003 and it has been a large part of my life ever since. I’m extremely dedicated to the sport and the club, as I teach or take part in three sessions a week and never miss a session if I can help it.
These days as well as concentrating on my kickboxing, I am the chief instructor, and teach adult and kids classes alongside a strong team of instructors. I enjoy watching our student's progress, from the kids to the adults, I find it very rewarding to see student's confidence grow, along with the skills they have learnt. We have students who have started from a very young age and are now very competent kickboxers!
I have also studied lots of other martial arts, including boxing, Tai Kwon Do, Jujitsu, Grappling and weapons. These diverse martial art skills have enabled me to enhance my knowledge and understand different elements of kickboxing in greater detail.
I've loved and practised various Martial Arts since I was a young boy growing up in Manchester. I was bullied at school and the ability to defend yourself and run fast were both necessary skills to have on the streets of Salford but unfortunately neither were part of the school curriculum! I wanted to toughen up and fight back - my martial arts training taught me the skills to do it but also the self-control and discipline not to...
I've been training for 36 years across various styles including Karate, Muay Thai, Krav Maga, Ninjitsu, BJJ, Wing Chun and Kickboxing receiving several Black Belts. I've learnt technical and life skills from the instructors I've been honored to train under and with that have not only improved me as a martial artist student and instructor but also as a man. Giving respect, humility, focus, showing courtesy, setting and achieving goals and personal development are some of the most important life skills you will get to learn in the training of martial arts and I thank everyone I've trained with for their patience, knowledge and encouragement.
I've had the pleasure of training with Mr Preece for several years now at Hereford Kickboxing Academy and his guidance, knowledge, support and genuine love for kickboxing is a constant source of inspiration. His passion is infectious and you can feel that energy and warmth spread through the entire club. We're a family at HKA. We train hard and we succeed together. As Bruce Lee said, "Do not pray for an easy life. Pray for the strength to endure a difficult one."
I began my journey as a martial artist at the age of 6 participating within karate. I did this for a couple of years and decided to move onto something new.
In 2006 at the age of 10 years old I began my kickboxing journey, progressing through the junior belts at the grading over the years. When I reached a senior belt level of purple I had made the transition to the adult classes, which was a huge step for me when I was just a teenager. When making this transition to the adult classes I started to compete for the club in various competitions whilst moving up the belts.
In 2013 I obtained my 1st Degree Black belt. Since passing my black belt I have taken more roles and responsibilities within the club such as organising teams to compete in upcoming competitions, assisting in grading’s, teaching and assisting in adult classes and being a role model for other students. I'm currently training hard to continue perfecting my skill set.
Kickboxing has been my passion over the years and it has taught me many skills of which help me in everyday life; giving me confidence, motivation and organisation skills. My goal is to pass on my passion and help our students to achieve their goals within kickboxing.
My story like many, started at about 7 years old with Karate. I moved up to my 3rd belt, but due to family circumstances and a location move, did not pursue this further. Fast forward 24 years, now a Father and husband, I discovered my passion for martial arts when my son, aged 6, commenced his own journey with Hereford Kickboxing Academy and our love for kickboxing was ignited.
I watched as a proud parent on the side lines as he gained confidence, respect for others, self-control and the drive to never give up. It was infectious, the passion and knowledge of the instructors was enough to make me want to be part of this supportive family. I started out mostly to get fit and be of further support to my son Danny. Naturally, I started to achieve belts as I got more addicted and also the draw of proudly representing Hereford Kickboxing Academy competing in competitions further fuelled my enthusiasm. I won a few, lost a few then became the over 40’s British Champion for Points and Continuous sparring in 2019. I also successfully gained my Black belt a few month later and was promoted to Assistant Instructor within the club.