MAC News & Articles


Modern Facilities and a better training environment

Today I am the proud owner of three academies and in this post I’ve tried to think of the places I’ve travelled to over the years and brought back ideas that make for a better training environment and modern facilities.


From Church Halls to Pub Function Rooms!

Thinking back, one of my earliest training venues was an abattoir – it seemed back then everyone was looking for the biggest available room at the cheapest price. This one must have been free because it stunk like a medieval battlefield!
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Starting the BLACKBELT JOURNEY – Did you know…

Have you ever thought about learning Martial Arts? We’ve created this free infographic about starting the Journey to BLACKBELT.

What does starting the journey to BLACKBELT mean to you?

Please post your comments, send to a friend – or simply ask us a question!

A visual story of starting the journey to blackbelt.
A visual story of starting the journey to blackbelt.

7 ways Martial Art has changed in the past 30 years – part 2

Videos and YouTube

In my second review of how Martial Art has changed over past decades I’ve chosen to consider how videos and YouTube changed my view, nowadays it seems YouTube is the de facto “go to’ resource if you want something quick visual and available in an instant… not so back in the day!

When I first started training footage of any type of training was unheard of apart from the stuff that was on TV or at the movies (pictures – if you live where I live) in fact the quest for knowledge was fraught with danger.

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Coach Development Programmes – our instructors of the future…

We thought would share with the community some great pics of our Coaches developing their coaching skills in a dedicated training class, these guy’s have committed to meet the challenge of becoming the instructors of the future; learning the deeper skills and understanding required to be able to fulfil the role of instructor and teacher.

Students in our Assistant Instructor Training (AIT) and Certified (Career) Training programs (CIT) are taught by the Senior Instructors led by our Group Chief Instructor in the more diverse and not so obvious skills a Coach or Instructor needs. This is not a martial art class, it is an opportunity to build a solid base of skills and methods to create a structured approach to coaching. The course is based on a rotating module model and means you can join any time, some of the modules include;

Coaching etiquette and styles

  • Personal development – setting the right goals for yourself to develop your own Coaching style.
  • Coaching techniques – such as “The rule of three”, teaching using Noah’s rule etc.
  • Interpersonal skills for meeting and greeting and developing your personal coaching style.
  • Mat Chats, which was today’s AIT subject, how to share a subject or word of the day at the beginning of the class.
  • Developing your own understanding of the martial art more so you can better understand for yourself and for the student.
Some of our adult instructors practicing a 'mat' chat.
Some of our adult instructors practicing a ‘mat’ chat.

Practicing a mat chat

In this week’s lessons students were taught how to do a ‘mat’ chat; where they learn how to talk to their students before their class starts and after it finishes.

All of the team join in an practice their own mat chats to build confidence as part of the team.

Junior Instructors discuss teaching martial arts.
Junior Instructors discuss teaching martial arts.

Anyone can be a Martial Arts Instructor!

Our programs have already produced many highly respected instructors – some who started as young as 7 years old. The key to their success is dedication to their learning journey, a best in class curriculum developed through years of our own journey in the Martial Arts and the self belief that they can become a great instructor – whilst remaining a great student. Ultimately if you can understand something from another viewpoint other than your own then your understanding and knowledge will grow!

What do you think makes for a great Instructor?

Tell us your thoughts & post your comments.

Meet Mat Tolley – The new Chief Instructor at our Stourbridge Academy

My name is Mat Tolley and I am the newly promoted chief instructor here at the Stourbridge academy – the newest in the MAC group.

Seventeen years a student and counting!

I have been a student of MAC for nearly seventeen years and a black belt instructor in Jeet Kune Do Concepts for the past ten. This means I am qualified to teach Jun Fan Gung Fu, Kick Boxing Boxing, Thai Boxing, Kali and MMA to the highest of standards.

At the Stourbridge academy we have one of the best martial arts centres in the country; there are two fully matted training areas, changing rooms and viewing areas for families to watch the classes – offering a warm welcoming atmosphere and a safe training environment.
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7 Ways Martial Art has changed in the past 30 Years – Part 1

Everything changes – that’s life!

If change didn’t happen how would we progress? If change didn’t happen we wouldn’t evolve and adapt and have developed all the things we love in the world (and the stuff we hate too) of course, not all change is positive, although very often personal perception can affect how you view change, personally, I love the focus on coffee that’s’ given us, Starbucks, Costa, Cafe Nero and even Coffee machines bringing the world of coffee into your home. I’m not always so keen on fast food on every corner but then the corresponding pace of life and all its modern intrusions, smart phones, laptops, tablets, 24 hour this and that, seem to have forced or even offered the opportunity for the fast food culture to develop in tandem with it. Even my Mom uses emoticons when she texts – taught by here grand-daughters to be a modern communicator!

This got me thinking about how I thought martial art had changed over the years of my involvement. So here, in no particular order, is my list of seven changes, the first one today is;
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Martial Art for all

Over years of training and instructing I have seen many different people train in the martial arts. My own motivation was really inspired by my Dad, he was a boxer in his day, growing up in Dublin, in the British Army and back in Birmingham in Ladywood.
His stories and his skill where my inspiration, his lessons kept to the fundamentals but executed as perfectly as possible, the physical lessons he taught sometimes taught with brutal efficiency – I still wince at the stinging slap to the right side of my face whenever I dropped my hand, in fact, I can’t remember how he did it but he seemed to always be able to land that punishing, confidence sapping slap!

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Welcome to the MAC Academies Blog

Welcome to the MAC academies new blog – “we’ve resisted modern technology for long enough” says our Group Chief Instructor Paul Kelly…

“It is my hope that this blog becomes the discussion point and in some part, a knowledge base for our students, families and friends. Martial art pervades my life, I am fortunate enough to live everyday of my life connected in some way to Martial Art, whether I am sharing my knowledge with our Instructor team, teaching a class or discussing the business of martial art with a friend or even continuing my own “quest to be the best” by training with one of my own world class instructors. My wife and children are involved and my best friends are martial artists, that sounds a bit obsessive when I write it down but the truth is it feels as normal as walking for me to be in this position!”
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