Letters received from students in the adult classes.
Before I joined The Martin Ace Black Belt Academy I had trained in many different Martial Art Schools learning many different styles but stopping training for one reason or the other mostly because I did not find the teaching styles interesting enough besides being very busy at work. Then I joined the Martin Ace Black Belt Academy. This is a very friendly environment with a clear and concise teaching syllabus. What struck me most was the willingness of everyone to help you achieve your goals. Mostly Martin’s patience in making sure you get it right no matter how long it takes. I liked his teaching style so much I decided to take private lessons 3 times a week in addition to the regular classes. I have my first degree black belt all thanks to Martin and his wonderful school.
Since I was young, it had always been a dream of mine to become a black belt in martial arts. Through the Martin Ace Black Belt Academy, that dream became a reality in July 2009!
The Academy is professionally run adopting a clear syllabus, where it is possible to become a 1st degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo within 2 years. The classes are fun, diverse & dynamic offering students of all ages & backgrounds access to combat drills, high intensity workouts, self defence techniques, semi & full contact sparring and focuses on technique (i.e. stances, blocks, kicks) through the various patterns. A friendly environment is maintained within the Academy, where students, irrespective of belt grade, are encouraged to mix, and are able to learn from each other’s strengths & weaknesses.
Master Ace is a passionate, enthusiastic and flexibly-minded martial arts instructor who leads by example, promoting safety at all times in his classes & demonstrates clearly characteristics/ personality traits such as Confidence, Charisma & Courage outlined within the Leadership Programme. He has been a very good friend as well, offering sound advice when called upon, and always been very supportive of his students.
Raymond “Rayzor” Ramsaran
I joined the Martin Ace Black Belt Academy in April 2002 and trained there for over 3 years and can honestly say that in my experience of training at various martial art clubs, Martin Ace is by far the best instructor I have been fortunate enough to have been taught by.
I not only learned taekwondo, but also self-defence techniques which I have to admit I did not fully appreciate at the time, mainly through frustration of practising various wrist locks over and over again, all for my opponent/s to say that they couldn’t feel anything and that it wasn’t working! I could never understand the point of learning “self-defence” techniques such as locks, which in my opinion were too tricky to master and use in a real-life situation, especially as taekwondo is an effective and efficient form of self-defence.
During a holiday to Rome in June 2007, my friend and I were strolling around the city taking photos, and as we were admiring the Colosseum from a distance, a female beggar approached me, and without saying anything, tightly grabbed my right wrist and opened the palm of her other hand to show that she wanted me to give her money. Without thinking, I instinctively did the Z-bend wrist lock and she immediately lost her grip and jumped back letting out a yelp. The thing that amazed me was not only did I remember it and made the lock work, but the fact I could do it some 2 years after I had last practised it!
I would just like to thank Martin Ace for having taught me this particular self-defence technique because had I punched and/or kicked her, I am quite certain it would have been witnessed by the large number of tourists, not to mention a dozen police which were patrolling the area at the time.
I read somewhere “A friend is a gift you give yourself”. I can’t help but agreeing with it. A few years ago I met a young man that under different circumstance our paths would never cross and if they did would have been brief. He was athletic, I was fat, he was English I was Arab, I was a smoker, he was not, I was married, he was single, he was a devoted Christian, I was a Muslim. So really there was NOTHING in common except for the passion for motorcycling.
The group in which we met was huge, all bikers. Yet Martin stood out as a well balanced individual, someone I instantly took a liking to and had no qualms about inviting him home to meet my family.
We kept in touch after the group dispersed over the years. We enjoy many a long conversation on the phone and the odd visit when we can fit it in.
I mentioned I was overweight. I was 150kgs, more than double the size of Martin now. One day I decided to loose weight and asked Martin to help me as he was a healthy martial arts instructor. When I asked my doctor about loosing weight, he said “Don’t aim to loose more than 10-25 kg, it’s very hard”. Martin on the other hand was not only supportive, but also inspirational and more help than I could ever hopped for. When I called him with a question, he did not just give me the answer, he took the time to explain it to me, told me why the answer is the way it is, what the pitfalls are, what to look out for and what things could go wrong if certain rules not followed. Martin gave me tips on nutrition, on fitness, on exercise and when I was down, he metaphorically kicked me up the back side back onto track. He gave a shoulder when I needed it and shared my joy at every ounce I lost.
Martin is so honest, it once annoyed me. I wanted him to sign a photograph for my wife’s passport. He declined because he knew her some 2 months short of the minimum 3 years requirement. I was not happy at the time, but it goes to show how meticulous he is with everything he does.
We would meet and discuss the training programme he designed for me. He took great care in adapting the training programme and always gave detailed reasoning behind it. I never realised there were so many way that sit ups could be done and the benefits to each type. My weight went down to 76 kg in the course of 2-3 years. I won’t say that I could not have done it without Martin, but it would have been a lot harder. He is far more than a martial arts instructor – he is a mentor and a life-coach.
When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.
The glory of friendship is not only the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, it’s also the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him with his friendship.
A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and will sing it back to you when you forget the words. It not only gives me joy being friends with Martin, it gives me pride to be considered as a friend by him.
Aceman, for as long as you call me friend, I will walk tall (and slim) knowing you are my friend.
Walid El Taki.
Although I only joined The Academy in August, I can already see improvements in my skill and overall fitness. I really enjoy the physical and mental challenge of the classes, and find Martin to be an excellent instructor.
I have been training with Master Ace for over a year now and can thoroughly recommend him. Each session is different and this really helps to keep up my interest, that and Master Ace’s enthusiasm for a sport he obviously loves.
I just wish I had joined The Academy years ago as it is one of the best things I have ever done.
Peter “The Klob” Klobikowski
A little about me and my opinion about the club:
I hold a BSc (Hons) in Sports and Exercise Science, and have worked for two years as a personal trainer as well as a fitness instructor before joining The Martin Ace Black Belt Academy in 2003 as a white belt student. From my experience in the fitness industry I know how hard it is to manage a class safely, keep the students motivated, and still provide a quality service. Master Ace not only excels in all these areas, he also makes learning taekwondo fun and enjoyable to his students. The academy is a friendly place to train, and there is a wonderful mix of races, ages as well as abilities in the students.
Belts don’t come by easily. Progression through the ranks require the passing of gradings, where the knowledge of the student is thoroughly tested. Not everyone passes at their first attempt, so gradings can be re-taken and with the friendly atmosphere, there is plenty of support from other students and the Master himself.
I have not yet come across another martial art club where discipline doesn’t equal rigidity, and fun isn’t foolish, and the safety and welfare of the student are so important.
Come and see for yourself what makes this little academy so great.
In May 2003, as a motorcyclist of many years about to embark on my first season of racing competitively, I joined the Academy primarily as a means to promoting my personal fitness levels. As my fitness improved, my fatigue and recovery levels between races also improved. I also found that spatial awareness increased.
To be able to ride a motorcycle on the roads and stay safe requires a basic amount of skill and a good level of awareness. Anything that can help to improve these will improve a rider’s ability to read a situation before or during its occurrence and react accordingly.
My first 2 seasons racing I raced sprint races in the Yamaha Past Masters series on a 1989 TZR250, with a degree of success. My highest race finish was a 4th at Brands Hatch. In 2005 I switched to endurance racing (6-8 hour) on a GSXR600 and then 2006 onboard a GSXR750. The 2006 season was very successful with podium finishes at every round, to finish 3rd overall in the 750cc championship.
I continued my training with the Academy throughout these race seasons and achieved my Black Belt in November 2006. I honestly feel that training at the Academy has had a positive impact on my riding skills and I would not hesitate to recommend anyone wishing to improve their own riding skills, be it on track or on road, to train with The Martin Ace Black Belt Academy.
Rider – Ultimate Finish Racing
Received by text, from Tom Mosely
“Hi Martin. Been doing a ‘life coaching’ course recently & it wasn’t producing results until I remembered your training advice about habit being your best friend or worst enemy. Thanks, your training is still useful after all these years.”
Tom trained with me before I started teaching professionally. He stopped training for 3 years to go to university and did a degree, well done Tom. He then returned to The Academy and trained with me up to 1st grade (one grade before black belt) before moving down to Cornwall.
This is document he was talking about:
Your best friend and greatest enemy
I am your greatest companion. I am your greatest helper or your heaviest burden. I will push you onwards or drag you down to failure. I am completely at your command.
Half the things you do, you might as well turn over to me and I’ll do them quickly and correctly. I’m easily managed, but you must be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done and, after a few lessons, I’ll do it automatically.
I’m the servant of all great men and, alas, of all failures as well. Those who are great, I have made great. Those who are failures, I have made failures. I work with the precision of a scientist and the passion of a patriot. You may run me for profit or run me for ruin; it makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me and I will put the world at your feet.
But be easy with me and I’ll destroy you.
Who am I? I am habit!
Letters received from parents.
15th July 2003
To: Martin Ace Black Belt Academy.
Our daughter has gained so much since joining The Academy. The Martin Ace Black Belt Academy has given her self-confidence, where as before was rather shy, and now feels part of a team. Her confidence has flowed over in her school work, joining in class discussions and coming up with valuable contributions and innovative ideas where as before was a rather introvert child. The Academy expects the same Black Belt Attitude that is taught at The Academy, to be maintained at home i.e. finished homework regularly and on time, treat their families with love and courtesy and respect, these are just a few.
The teaching of Tae Kwon Do at The Academy I strongly recommend and to develop a grasp of the main techniques of Tae Kwon Do all in all I cannot recommend The Academy high enough than I have already done. Yourself and Louise are doing a great job with the children, the patience you both shown and the dedication to the children.
Mr & Mrs Robinson
24th June 2003
Dear Martin Ace,
This is just to say thank you for the change that you have made to my son’s confidence and self-esteem since he started training with your school in May.
My husband and I decided to pay for him to join because of the damage that had been done to his self-esteem due to persistent bullying by his peers at his secondary school. It was a lot of money for us. It has been completely justified.
The Tae Kwon Do lessons have had a remarkable change upon my son’s posture and physical fitness. More than this, the lessons have done much to heal the damage that has been inflicted by school bullies. My husband and I hope that our son will continue to study with the school until he is a black belt. Thank you.
10th February 2003
To Whom It May Concern:
Our son has been a member of The Martin Ace Black Belt Academy, for three weeks.
We are extremely impressed by the way in which both Martin & Louise, teach their subject. I am a lecturer in Childcare and Education, I teach the adults now, but I have twenty years experience of teaching under 8’s. The strategies used in these martial art classes are flexible and tailored to each individual need.
They have given our son, something which school could not give him, and that was a feeling of self worth. Our son had been bullied, physically & verbally, unbeknown to us; this had been going on for over a year. It was brought to our attention when he started getting into trouble for his actions; he was fighting back. Sadly he was starting to become a bully himself, pre-empting onto others before he was picked on again.
Within 3 days of attending The Martin Ace Black Belt Academy, his teacher asked me what we were doing, or had done, as the change in our son was remarkable. He had not only calmed down, but he was also applying himself to his academic work, which he had lost all interest in. This was due to ridicule for being a ‘bright spark’.
Martin & Louise have made him realise HE is responsible for his own actions. They have helped him realise that you get nothing for nothing, you work hard & you WILL reap the reward. The conditions they have set have reinforced our own teaching.
Our son now tidies his room himself, folds & puts away his clean clothes, trains for more than 15 minutes a day, that is HIS choice. He can’t wait for Monday & Tuesday.
As in his words ‘I am seeing my new friends today Mum & you know, none of them pick on me or call me names!’ Our son is 6 years old!
From a parental point of view, The Martin Ace Black Belt Academy is a lifeline; it provides a place for our son to focus his energies, constructively. He is rewarded for his efforts during the grading period, not with a ‘Hard worker’ sticker which falls off in the wash, but by something he can see permanently, on the end of his belt. He is verbally encouraged, praised & corrected on a weekly, daily basis, as appropriate.
We are able to buy props direct from The Academy, to aid his training, and continue with the positive re-enforcement & encouragement every child needs & deserves.
Our son now has his own aims & targets, both at The Academy & at school. He is much more studious & has progressed to regain his ‘top of the class’ status.
As regards to the bullying. he has no time for it, he would sooner ignore a situation as he knows if push came to shove his confidence & new self defence skills will see him through.
Martin & Louise THANK YOU. Not just from us, but from “Mighty Mouse” too!
Kind Regards as Always,
Belinda Lane & Arthur Turner.