It all began at a nightclub when Mark was in his early 20’s.
Mark was not always the heavily built guy he is now, however, he did always have the cheekiness we all know & love him for! (Lets call it assertiveness!) But unfortunately, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was beaten up outside Pawlett Manor Nightclub by a thug on a night out.
The aftermath of this incident was pivotal for Mark as it had come after many years of being mentally and physically bullied at school; he had always been one of the smallest during his school years so had been an easy target. This incident was the final straw and it was the thing that forced him to make the crucial decision to learn self-defence. Consequently, in 1991, Mark attended his first Tae-Kwon-Do (TKD) class to see if martial arts could help him.
He quickly took to the art and was soon training avidly. He threw himself into the sport, frequented competition events and started ranking up through the belts to become a TAGB (TKD Association for Great Britain) Assistant Instructor. During this time his confidence rocketed and he started to see the real benefits of martial arts, far beyond the fitness. It was like the missing piece of the jigsaw; his mental health strengthened and he felt better than ever before.
Becoming an Assistant Instructor gave Mark the opportunity to start passing his knowledge on to others and help them achieve the benefits he had received himself; gaining mental resolve, building confidence, and maintaining a strong sense of self-worth and self-esteem. It was this that helped Mark build himself up after years of being bullied. He knew all too well how bullying could affect a person’s mental health so this inspiration, along with a drive to help others, drove him onwards to achieve his 1st degree black belt in 1996.
Some years later, Mark decided he wanted a change from TKD so he attended a local kick-boxing class to see how it differed. He discovered it had all the aspects that he loved from TKD but none of the bits that bored him, such as patterns. Soon he was hooked, and after training in kick-boxing and working as an Assistant Instructor for several years, he decided that it was time to spread his wings and set up his own club to offer the quality teaching and affordable, community-driven classes he believed in.
So, in 2002, Mark Pengelly’s Schools of Kick-Boxing Ltd was founded and Mark set out on the road to running his own club with his first ever class. Since then he has taught 1000’s of children & adults, many of whom have gone on to achieve black belt, and he is still driven by the same desire to help others gain confidence and inner strength on their personal journeys.
Every student who walks through the door has a life potentially full of challenges and difficulties that led them to try martial arts and if Mark can help them overcome their battles and strive to aim higher, both physically and mentally, then it is worth the countless hours of work he puts in. This is why he strives to be more than just a coach, to offer his time, support, mentorship and guidance. He wants to make a difference to the lives of his students, and more importantly, see them succeed both in martial arts and in life outside the classroom.