Black Belt School of Excellence
Established 1994

Instructors: Rhys Edwards - 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 ).

Training in the Martial Arts
Over 30 years.

Professional Instructor
Over 20 Years.


Rhys has been training with Chief Instructor, Neil Holden, for over 20 years now, and was Holden’s first Professional Champion.

As a Professional fighter, Rhys was highly respected on the circuit, and shared the ring with several leading fighters in a career that saw him win eight of his first ten contests by knockout!

Edwards held four Championship titles :

Regional Welterweight Title ( S.I.M.T.A. ).
English Welterweight Title ( I.K.B.O. ).
English Welterweight Title ( W.A.K.O. Pro.).
British Welterweight Title ( W.A.K.O. Pro.).



Rhys was part of a three man team trained by Neil Holden that regularly represented Warrington on the U.K. Muaythai circuit, that included Mark Matthews, and Darren Collins.

Between them, Edwards-Matthews-Collins captured no less than 12 Professional Championships ( I.S.K.A. / W.A.K.O.-Pro / W.P.K.L. ).


In Championship bouts Rhys defeated the highly respected fighters, Simon Chu, Keiren Keddle, Colin Armstrong and Lee Cox.

He competed under both
Muaythai ( Thai-Kickboxing ) and
K-1 ( Japanese Kickboxing ) rules.

is now part of our leading team of Instructors at the Okami-Dojo helping to produce the next generation of black belts and champions.

When a Student becomes an Instructor, this is shown by the Instructor Insignia – the
RED BAND’. Further ‘Red Bands’ are added to the Kickboxing Black Belt, as an Instructors experience increases over the years.

received his 'Red Band' Instructor Insignia from Neil Holden - ( 6th Dan & Trainer of two World Champions ) and was promoted to a Level one ( 1st Dan ) qualified Kickboxing Instructor in April 1998.

Notes on Instructor Grades:

'Dan' is a Japanese term that simply means 'Level'.

A 1st Dan is next promoted to 2nd Dan, after a minimum 2 Years teaching.
2nd Dan's total experience then as an Instructor is over three years.

A 2nd Dan is next promoted to 3rd Dan, after a minimum 3 Years teaching.
The 3rd Dan's total experience then as an Instructor is over six years.

A 3rd Dan is next promoted to 4th Dan, after a minimum 4 Years teaching.
The 4th Dan's total experience then as an Instructor is over ten years.

A 4th Dan is next promoted to 5th Dan, after a minimum 5 Years teaching.
5th Dan's total experience then as an Instructor is over fifteen years.

In total it takes 15 years to get to become a Level 5 ( 5th Dan ) Instructor. One year as an apprentice Instructor and then fourteen years as a certified Instructor.

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

This is the same as a person getting a 'Degree' in a particular subject, and at a later stage advancing onto a 'Masters Degree' ( eg. a person may have a Degree in Economics or a Masters Degree in Economics ).

Click here - Kickboxing Instructor Black Belt Ranks