Black Belt School of Excellence
Established 1994

Instructors: Craig Booth - 5th Dan.

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Neil Holden


Telephone / Text:

School Director:
Neil Holden

Trainer of Several National,
two European and two
World Amateur Champions.

Certified Muaythai
( Thai-Kickboxing )
by Grand Master Sken
( Thailand ).

Certified 6th Dan Black Belt
Japanese Kickboxing
( Shihan - Master Grade ).

Certified 2nd Dan Black belt
( Japanese M.M.A. System )
by Grand Master Azuma
( Japan ).

Certified 6th Dan Black Belt
Kakuto ( Combat ) Karate
( Shihan - Master Grade ).

Training in the Martial Arts
Over 30 years.

Professional Instructor
Over 20 Years.


Craig Booth

Senior Instructor - Shihan.

Level 5 ( 5th Dan ) Instructor.

'World Class' Referee & Judge.

Shihan = Master Level Coach, which is awarded once a trainer gains Level 5 Instructor rank ( 5th Dan Black Belt ). A grade only awarded after more than 14 years experience as a certified martial arts teacher.


began teaching as an ‘Assistant Instructor’ in 1996, and
has competed in both the Amateur and the Professional divisions as a Lightweight.


He was certified as a Muaythai Instructor by Grand Master Sken ( Thailand ) receiving his 'Instructor Insignia' ( RED BAND ) in March 1997.

Craig is also a highly experienced 'World Class' Referee and Chief-Judge, and has officiated well over 1000 contests in the ring.

In this photo, Craig awards the prestigious I.K.F. World Title belt to Sam Bainbridge following his succesfull bout.


Craig Booth - Grade / Promotions

- Started teaching as an Apprentice Instructor for 1 year at the Wolf-Gym.

- Instructor Level 1 - Red Band Instructor certification from Master Sken.
..........Date of promotion : 15th March 1997

- Instructor Level 2 - ( 2nd Dan ) = 2 Red Bands on the Black Belt.

- Instructor Level 3 - ( 3rd Dan )
= 3 Red Bands on the Black Belt.

- Instructor Level 4 - ( 4th Dan )
= 4 Red Bands on the Black Belt.

- Instructor Level 5 - ( 5th Dan )
= 5 Red Bands on the Black Belt.

Notes on Instructor Grades:

'Dan' simply means 'Level'.

A 1st Dan is next promoted to 2nd Dan, after a minimum 2 Years teaching.

A 2nd Dan is next promoted to 3rd Dan, after a minimum 3 years teaching.

A 3rd Dan is next promoted to 4th Dan after a minimum
4 years teaching.

A 4th Dan is next promoted to 5th Dan after a minimum
5 years teaching.

In total it takes 15 years to get to become a Level 5 ( 5th Dan ) Instructor.
One year as an Assistant Instructor and Fourteen years as a Certified Instructor.

5th Dans, in Japan, are giving the title of SHIHAN, which means Master Level / Expert Level Instructor.

Craig is due his next promotion, to Instructor Level 6 - ( 6th Dan ) which will be 6 Red Bands on his Black Belt in March 2017.

This will mean his experience as certified Certiified Instructor will be more than
20 years! An outstanding achievement for any trainer.

The relevance of the DAN GRADE, is that it shows a potential student the level of experience an Instructor has built up over his career. Of course people only want to learn from the best teachers they can find.

Imagine having an operation. If you could choose between a surgeon with only 2 years experience or another one with 20 years experience, then you would be inclined to go with the one with greater experience. Likewise, you should do the same when seeking a Martial Arts Instructor.

Checking an Instructors TRUE certification and TRUE experience is something that is now more important than ever within the martial arts industry as increasingly people claim to be 'qualified' and 'experienced' coaches after merely completing Personal Trainer courses lasting just several weeks!