Black Belt School of Excellence
Established 1994

Instructors: Mark Matthews.

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Kids Classes :
( Age 6 - 11 )
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( Age 11 - 16 )
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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 35 years.

Professional Instructor
Over 25 Years.


Mark Matthews
( Ring name : The Diamond )

Pictured with his




Championship Belts.

Welterweight, 66kgs,
( I.S.K.A. Muaythai Rules )


is a very experienced Instructor. He started training when he was just 11 years old under Phil Nurse and Master Sken, and has been involved with the sport for over 17 years.

Mark excelled at competition, and first began competing at amateur level on the junior circuit.

He had over fourty bouts as a junior and had several championship contests, defeating Chris Macdonald for the area title, and James Mobbs for the British title.



Pict : Matthews ---vs-- Lee Cox.
Right High-Kick!


In 1993 Mark passed his Instructor grade under Master Sken, and began coaching with Neil Holden.

In 1995 he challenged for the British Featherweight championship ( B.M.T.A. ) against Damien Gregory.

At that time Gregeory was struggling to find opponents as he was unbeaten and was also competing in Amateur boxing.

This was a considerable step up in class for Mark, but he rose to the challenge. The contest went to the scorecards and with the judges awarding a draw.

Pict above : Matthews ---vs-- Warren Brown.


Phil Nurse, Marks trainer, then relocated to the United States and Mark continued his training with Neil Holden.

As a professional Mark competed in two Grandprix's ( 8 man elimination tournaments K-1 style ) as well building an impressive record at International level.

In 2000 Mark won the Area and the English Light-Welterweight title ( WAKO-Pro.).

Pict above : Matthews ---vs-- Keiren Keddle.
Left High-Kick!


At the time the domestic scene was really exciting with many claiming the king at Welterweight to be Keiren Keddle. the Britsh Champion ( W.K.A. ).

Keddle was from the South of England, and there has always been (friendly) rivalry between the South and the North.

Pict above : Matthews ---vs-- Keiren Keddle.
Overhand Right!

Keddle to his credit agreed to face the all of the Northern fighters that were being touted, Warren Brown ( Altrincham, Pele's Gym - World Champion Wako-Pro.), Mark Matthews ( Warrington, English Champion Wako-Pro.) and Lee Chesters, ( Sheffield, Mick Mullaney, World Champion WMC )

In January 2001 Keddle defeated World Light-Welterweight Champion, and Britsh ranked # 1 Light-Welterweight, Warren Brown under Muaythai rules ( A-Class 5x3, inc. Elbows ) further asserting himself as the U.K.'s number #1 Welterweight.

Pict above : Matthews ---vs-- Keiren Keddle.


Matthews, who at the time was British ranked #3 at Light-Welterweight challenged , Keddle for his number one ranking on a North vs South super show, and on the 29th October 2001 the two champions met for the
British & Commonwealth
Muaythai Welterweight Title
( A-Class 5x3, inc. Elbows ).

Pict : Matthews ---receiving his winning
Cheque for £ 1'000.00.

Far Left, Peter Crooke - (European Super-Welterweight Champion.)
Right - Kirkwood Walker - ( World Heavyweight Champion) .
Paul Hennessey - International Promoter.

The contest was a great match and very techical with Matthews winning the Championship.

bounced back from this with a tremendous win, when in his next contest he fought for the World Title ( WAKO-Pro ) against the World Champion ( WMC ) Lee Chesters.

Pict above : Matthews ---vs-- Vincent Swaans.
Circular Elbow!

This further reflects how great an achievement Mark's win was. Keddle had taken beaten three of the countries biggest names at this time, Warren Brown ( WAKO-Pro World Champion ) and Lee Chesters ( WMC World Champion ), yet it was only Mark that could defeat him.


Some people were calling for Mark to challenge for a World title, however
Matthews career however then went in a different direction.

After capturing the #1 Welterweight ranking, and all the Championships available at national level ( Area, English, British, Commonwealth ) Mark began to compete at International level, which saw him represent his country on several occasions.

At International level Mark switched to competing under K-1 rules, and moved up yet another weight division to
" Super" -Welterweight
, (69 Kg's).

The increased strength at the higher weight and the K-1 style rules really suited Mark, with his last three International contests all being won by knockout.

Pict : Matthews ---Making his ring entrance.


In November 2004 Matthews was part of an England team that took on an Italian team.

compatriots were Altrinchams Johnny Roye ( Pele's Gym ) against Fabrizio Cavani, and Leed's Andy Howsen ( Bad Company gym ) against Simone Granzian.

Matthews faced Italian Champion Calgero Palmeri and the two contested the

Inter-Continental Championship
( W.P.K.L. ). Mark won this bout by 2nd round knockout.


Mark is now head trainer in charge of preparing the Champions at Warrington Kickboxing for title defences.

His vast experience in the ring is a great asset to the Studio, as his qualifications speak for themselves.

Pict : Matthews ---vs-- Rucci.
Body Kick!

Some of the leading domestic opponents Mark has shared the ring with..

Wayne McCoy ( English Champion )

David Parkinson ( British Champion )

Lee Cox ( British Champion )

Tony Basnett ( European Champion )

Pict : Matthews ---vs-- Rucci.
Head Kick!

Morris Reilly ( World Champion ) -
twice, one win each.

Warren Brown ( World Champion ) -
twice, one win each.

Keiren Keddle ( World Champion ) -
twice, two wins.

Basha Valon
( Belgium )

Vincent Zwaans ( Holland )

Youcef Attrach ( France )

Bruno Rucci ( Belgium )

Calgero Palmeri ( Italy )

Pict : Matthews ---vs-- Rucci.
Right Punch!


Mark Matthews
( Ring name : The Diamond )

Pictured with his

Championship Belt.

Super-Welterweight, 69kgs,

( W.P.K.L. )

Regarded by many as one of Englands most exciting fighters.

( Click for more pics )


Martial Arts Resume:

Amateur Championship Titles Held:

Junior Counties ( Area ) Champion.

Junior British ( Area ) Champion.

Professional Championship Titles Held :

Counties Super-Lightweight Champion

Counties Light-Welterweight Champion

English Light-Welterweight Champion

British Welterweight Champion

Commonwealth Welterweight Champion

Inter-Continental Super-Welterweight Champion

Instructor Qualified in Kickboxing to '6th' Dan.

Mark Matthews - 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 June 1993

- 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.

2013 - Instructor Level 6 - ( 6th Dan ) = 6 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 further 2 Years teaching.

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

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

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

A 5th Dan is next promoted to 6th Dan after a further 6 years teaching.

In total it takes 20 years to get to become a Level 6 ( 6th Dan ) Instructor.

6th Dans, in Japan, are giving the title of SHIHAN, which means Master Level / Expert Level Instructor.

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!

pictured ( far right )


Grand Master Azuma,

Neil Holden and
Lee Hasdell.


In addition to his Muaythai Kickboxing skills, Mark also posseses excellent ground fighting skills.

holds a Black belt in KUDO, a mixed-martial-arts ( M.M.A. ) system
from Japan that includes striking techniques from Kickboxing as well as takedown and submission techniques from Judo.

Mark pictured ( far right ) with Grand Master Azuma, Neil Holden and Lee Hasdell.

To see details of the M.M.A. system KUDO click the following link - KUDO

Mark Matthews

pictured with

Ernesto Hooste
K-1 Kickboxing
World Grandprix Champion!


Sparring Partners!

Mark Matthews


Eval Denton
World Kickboxing Champion!



Mark Matthews


Warren Brown
Following their Super-Lightweight
Championship bout, April 2000.


Mark Matthews

with his trainer for his Pro. fight career,
Neil Holden, and corner man, Craig Booth.



Neil Holden,


Mark's Muaythai teacher
Phil Nurse.

Mark's first Pro. Championship Title, Area Super-Lightweight Title ( 63.5kgs ).