Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

Confidence – We strongly believe that there is nothing in the world that can give a person more confidence than the martial arts. Many sports may boost a persons confidence, but they often do so at the detriment of others, in the form of winning and losing. Martial arts don’t work in this way (with the exception of optional competition fixtures) so, during training time you are focussed on developing yourself and exceeding your own potential. Gradings prove how much you have achieved and how much further you have grown with each belt you earn, which boosts confidence enormously. Additional to this, knowing that you can protect yourself should a self-defence situation ever arise, boosts your sense of ‘self’, which has subtle ripple effects into your posture, the way you speak, and can even tackle fears such as public speaking. Confidence is something that is boosted over time with dedicated commitment, but it is arguably the best benefit of practising martial arts.

Discipline – It takes discipline to study hard at something for a long period of time. Even the best of us look out at the dark, cold winter’s night and don’t want to go training. But the discipline that is developed when you choose this commitment is something that expands into the rest of your life – it can remind you not to eat that third cream cake, give you the control to not snap at your colleague or, with children, it can teach them the discipline to not lash out at siblings and classmates. The self-control that is honed during class practice swims into other areas of your life, seemingly without awareness. And this, is what develops success over failure, the determination and discipline to persevere and keep going, even when things gets hard. These lifelong habits that are nurtured within the system of martial arts are what promotes the biggest successes and achievements in life, and what encourages the biggest rewards.

Fitness – It may seem obvious, but yes, one of the top benefits of kick-boxing is fitness. The difference you may find with our classes compared to a standard fitness class however, is that we can keep you motivated. Unlike gym membership, we are always there to keep coaching you to push yourself. And unlike some fitness classes, kick-boxing has the added benefit of system rotation so that classes never get boring. Without system rotation, bodies adapt to the workout and stop producing the same results as when you first start. But with an effective system rotation like with kick-boxing, you will find that some days you work on core, some days legs, other days arms. Some days will have a heavy CV basis, and others will focus on strength, so your body isn’t allowed the opportunity to become accustomed, and you keep benefiting from great results!

Delayed gratification – Things that come easy in life are no challenge, and therefore, unrewarding. It is the challenge and the chase that stretches us to reach beyond our potential. In a world where we are encouraged to have everything now, to have the latest cars on loan, the latest gadgets, to get into debt, we have forgotten that the benefits of delaying gratification can be immensely rewarding. For children, just like saving up for something special helps grant them with a bigger sense of achievement and joy, training for their belt grades is no different. When you have struggled and pushed yourself, been patient, worked hard and put your sweat and tears into your training, the achievement of earning a prestigious black belt is second to none.

Good physical and mental health – Exercise is scientifically proven to encourage good mental health. It picks you up after a difficult day in the office, it boosts endorphins and serotonin levels, and it can have a profound impact upon anxiety, depression and stress. It really does just make you feel GREAT! Like with every new form of exercise, the hardest part is the first few classes, as it takes a while to adjust to this new strain that you are putting onto your body, but we encourage you to push past this and you will find that soon enough you are keeping up with the regular students and reaching your personal goals. Above all, we recommend stepping outside the comfort zone, as the greatest achievements are on the other side of fear, and that is where we have to go to grow and develop good mental and physical health.

No! You wouldn’t learn French before going to your first French lesson, so don’t feel you have to get fit before attending an exercise class! The classes will get you feeling fitter but you do not have to do any work before coming. We take students of all fitness levels and abilities and we only ask that you try your best. If you need to take breaks, that’s fine, just be sure to never compare yourself against someone who has been training in the club for years, it takes time to build up that strength and stamina, but put the effort in and you will achieve those fitness levels too.

There is a risk of injury in any sport, and although we are a contact sport, our classes have a much lower injury rate than that of football for example. The reason for this is because we take safety very, very seriously. In our classes you will be taught how to warm up/cool down properly, how to safely hold pads and equipment, you will be advised on which protective gear to wear for sparring, and you will be supervised very carefully. 

All our students are aware that we only ever practise semi-contact and touch-contact only sparring in the class and everyone is taught to respect lower belt grades to themselves. We are very proud of our reputation as respectful, technical, quality fighters and we won’t allow thugs to enter the club to damage that reputation, so you can rest assured that you are in safe hands when you train with BLAZE.

No, this is a common misconception. We have been teaching for over 17 years, since 2002, and it is a question we come across a lot, but everyone we speak to changes their minds once they see the classes running. None of our students have ever become violent while training with us and we have a big focus on respect and self-defence. If you have a child who struggles with communicating themselves and gets aggressive easily then kick-boxing can actually help them vent their frustrations and let off steam. We don’t allow thugs in our club, so you don’t need to worry about being beaten up during sparring, and we have very strict guidelines on contact levels and supervision. We pride ourselves on our family-friendly club atmosphere, with trained, insured and DBS checked Instructors. There is a high focus on anti-bullying and supporting each other and most students grow in confidence and self-belief during their time with us, this in turn helps move them away from frustrations in other aspects of their lives and remain calmer when outside the dojo.

Ok, so this is a two part question! Essentially kick-boxing is one of THE best forms of exercise with the Harvard Health Publications claiming the average adult can burn between 600 and 888 calories during a 60-minute kick-boxing class, so in that respect yes, it can help when incorporated alongside a healthy diet and lifestyle.

However, more importantly kick-boxing is good for feeling STRONG! Everyone starts on the fitness journey because they want to lose weight, but it’s only when you start to train properly that you truly realise how good it is to feel fit and strong! At Blaze Martial Arts & Personal Safety we encourage you to never exercise as a punishment for what you ate, but as a celebration of what your body can achieve!

With this mindset you will find exercise far more enjoyable, you will find it easier to stay focussed and persevere and you will get better results as you will have a healthier and more positive perspective. There is no quick fix to losing weight (other than unhealthy fad diets which quickly regress). The best thing you can do for your health is to eat more whole-foods, eat less processed foods and move more. It really is very simple, it just takes commitment. But if you provide the dedication, we can provide the motivation!

Thanks for booking your first free session with us, we can’t wait to meet you in class!

You won’t need any equipment to start out, just come along in comfy training clothes (shorts, tracksuit bottoms or leggings and a t-shirt are ideal) and bring a bottle of water with you.

We recommend arriving a few minutes early to settle in, meet the instructor and fill in a quick form before the class starts.

If you have any questions or you’d like to speak to an instructor before you attend please feel free to call us on 07769 803357.

We run separate classes for children and adults. In our juniors & family class we teach ages 5-11 years and in our teens & adults class we teach ages 12 years +.

We are often asked if we take children under 5 years old but unfortunately there are several reasons why we don’t.

Firstly, children of this age often (but not always) need one-to-one supervision which we can’t provide in a classroom environment.

Secondly, children of this age are accustomed to playgroups and free-play activities and are exploring their independence by being able to run round freely. This is great and exactly what they should be doing at this age! However, a good martial arts class structure require higher levels of discipline than this so, we recommend they adjust to the expectations of school-life before trying a martial arts class.

Lastly, we aim to offer excellent quality tuition for all our students. We want to see everyone progress and achieve great results from their training. We do not agree with taking money from parents unless their child is gaining benefits from the classes and we do not believe that very young children have the mental capacity to train effectively in martial arts and sparring. Some profit-led clubs will take your money for what is, essentially, a glorified crèche. This is not our ethos.

For these reasons we recommend you wait a while and come back to us when your child is a bit older. However, please bare in mind some of our classes are exceptionally popular with waiting lists so we recommend being added to the list before your child turns 5 to guarantee a space as soon as possible.

Many thanks for your understanding and we look forward to seeing you in the class in the future!

We are not specifically trained in SEN but we do have many years experience of working with various learning abilities in our classes.

As we do not have the capacity for one-to-one teaching, as with all students, we will assess each attendee on an individual basis during their free trial and discuss their needs with you during this time. We would never simply exclude someone on a SEN basis however, due to the nature of the class being high contact we must maintain our staff supervision ratios and health & safety policy for the welfare of everyone. Occasionally this may mean we recommend a child wait until they are older before attending, other times we may request the student have a parent or carer participating too so that they can work on a one-to-one basis and support the student with their training.

If you’d like to discuss this with us please feel free to call on 07769 803357, we are happy to help wherever we can as we know how martial arts can help with concentration, focus and self-esteem.

Martial arts and self-defence are two entirely different subjects. Yes, many who become proficient in martial arts can then properly defend themselves in self-defence situations and their years of training will enable it to become a muscle memory reaction however, training to achieve a black belt takes years of practice. A huge myth that surrounds self-defence is that you need to have a black belt to know how to properly protect yourself, this is simply not true and we can teach you simple and effective techniques in a one-day self-defence workshop that will enable you to know how to stay safe in today’s world. Most martial arts are developed and taught with competitions in mind, and with perfection in every move and bodily position. 

Self-defence situations aren’t clean and controlled and respectful, and they must be dealt with in the appropriate manner. In our self-defence courses you will learn attack prevention techniques, personal safety tips, what you can reasonably and legally do to protect yourself, and the practical skills to defend against bigger and stronger attackers. 

With commitment, BLAZE kick-boxing classes will give you the speed, muscle memory and technique to develop into a strong and proficient athlete where self-defence comes additionally.

Firstly, try not to worry, we have so many enquiries like this, you are definitely not the only one who feels like this as a new student! Secondly, kick-boxing is excellent for good mental health, it can boost endorphins, boost confidence and be a great stress reliever, so hopefully after a few classes you’ll start to see the positive effects on your anxiety. However, the best thing we can suggest when feeling like this is to get started as soon as you can. There’s no time like the present, and it’s very easy to over think things and put it off, but once you bite the bullet and get stuck into your first class you’ll enjoy yourself.

There is no such thing as a ‘typical class’ at BLAZE as we like to keep it fresh by alternating the sessions however, as a general rule of thumb, we always start with a joint warm-up, followed with a CV warm-up to get the heart going (this can range from circuit training to pad work, basketball and shuttle running to HIIT!), this is then followed by technical skills and syllabus grade training. Contact sparring is only introduced after you have become a member and have your licence in place and it isn’t part of the grading syllabus until you reach red belt. Classes then always finish with a gentle cool down.

If you have any other worries then we are more than happy to chat things through on the phone, sometimes speaking to an actual person can take the uncertainty of the unknown out of the experience. We value every single one of our students but we especially value those who have personal battles as we know how valuable martial arts can be and have witnessed first-hand how the club can positively effect a person’s life. This is what drives us to teach.

It’s difficult to quote prices as they vary due to which class you train in and how many times a week you attend, so we usually explain the various training options at the end of your first free trial lesson. However, we believe in full transparency when it comes to fees, as there are some clubs who will sign you up and then charge extortionate amounts of ‘hidden fees’, for gradings for example.

So, to give you an idea, your first 14-days are completely free as a trial. If, after your trial, you decide it’s not for you then that’s fine and there’s nothing to pay. However, if you enjoy it and decide to stay on then there is a membership joining fee (£50 juniors/£60 adults) which includes your welcome pack, your licence and your full kit consisting of a printed & embroidered t-shirt, trousers, belt and hand wraps (hand wraps are included in the adults membership only). We then give you your next 14 days training free of charge! After this, monthly fees vary depending on how often you train, but start at £32.50 per month for adult class students and £27.50 for juniors.

It is worth noting that our teens & adults classes are 90mins long, so that’s an extra 50% more training, per class, than most other clubs. We aim to remain competitively priced without compromising quality which is why we offer a free trial, so you can see for yourself how much you can gain from training with BLAZE. But don’t take our word for it, we are convinced you’ll agree so get in touch to book your free trial now to see for yourself!

We don’t agree with ladies-only kick-boxing classes for various reasons, but mainly it is because we believe that for women to become proficient in their training they need to train against men. That’s not to say that women are weaker or that training with women won’t test you (some of our strongest sparring students have been women), but simply that fighting against men will develop the self-defence and survival skills in a different way to fighting against women.
That’s also not to say that you will always be pitted against men during our classes, we often have a 50:50 ratio of men & women and we try and match people equally so that they can learn well from each other, sometimes that means building confidence through working with same sex groups, and other times it means pushing you outside your boundaries and comfort zones so you can push past your limitations. 

Experience has taught us that often, when starting out in martial arts, women are nervous about hurting other students and so when they are developing their sparring skills they take the gently, gently approach and are apologetic with every punch. Training against men helps women become more realistic with their sparring and develops their self-defence awareness, something that is often lacking with ladies-only classes.

We are a kick-boxing class and have been teaching kick-boxing in Somerset since 2002. Our head coaches have trained in other arts and Chief Instructor, Mark Pengelly, gained his first Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do so we have experience in other arts but we love the high intensity, dynamic and diverse range of training drills that Kick-Boxing provides which is why we have spent the majority of our careers in this art. We welcome you to come along and see what benefits you can gain from kick-boxing yourself with our free trial.

The reason we love kick-boxing is because it incorporates the best bits of all the other martial arts we have trained in. We know that commitment to fitness & exercise regimes can be hard, and to counter that it must be really FUN! We also are huge fans of kick-boxing as it is more relaxed than some more traditional forms of martial arts (in fact, BLAZE’s chief coach, Mark, refuses to be called ‘Sir’, and believes respect to a black belt or Instructor should be earned, not obligatory). We love the combination of line work, pad work and sparring, and most of all we love the high-intensity fitness aspect.

Martial arts vary massively, and some have a much more realistic view of self-defence than others. We believe there is a martial art for everyone and to find your style we suggest trying out as many as you can to discover your preference. Everyone’s reason for trying martial arts is different and we don’t believe there is one art better than any other, each has it’s own merits, but after training in various arts over the years we believe kick-boxing to be a great all-round art for fitness, mental health and realistic self-defence.

Martial arts and self-defence are two entirely different subjects. Yes, many who become proficient in martial arts can then properly defend themselves in self-defence situations and their years of training will enable it to become a muscle memory reaction however, training to achieve a black belt takes years of practice. A huge myth that surrounds self-defence is that you need to have a black belt to know how to properly protect yourself, this is simply not true and we can teach you simple and effective techniques in a one-day self-defence workshop that will enable you to know how to stay safe in today’s world. Most martial arts are developed and taught with competitions in mind, and with perfection in every move and bodily position. 

Self-defence situations aren’t clean and controlled and respectful, and they must be dealt with in the appropriate manner. In our self-defence courses you will learn attack prevention techniques, personal safety tips, what you can reasonably and legally do to protect yourself, and the practical skills to defend against bigger and stronger attackers.

With commitment, BLAZE kick-boxing classes will give you the speed, muscle memory and technique to develop into a strong and proficient athlete where self-defence comes additionally.

Agreed, it is harder to start an additional style than to start afresh, as to a degree you will have to unlearn what you have already been taught. You will have a better understanding than a complete novice, but if you have trained for years in a different art then your body will have memorised those techniques and you will have to work hard to fight that ingrained instinct. However, during our classes we will explain every element of each move so you can understand why we do it our way. We don’t agree with Instructors saying ‘I do it this way because it was the way I was taught’, as it demonstrates a lack of understanding. We will go into depth with techniques, as understanding functionality is the key to learning the basic framework of what we do.

Cross training is particularly difficult if the two arts are very similar however, if you train in a ground fighting art then kick-boxing will be easier to adapt to. We welcome martial artists from other styles and have students who have achieved black belts elsewhere before successfully switching to BLAZE kick-boxing. If you have experience in another art and wish to grade in kick-boxing then the chief instructor will assess your level of training and will discuss gradings with you individually.

Transform your Life with the Black Belt Mindset