Martial Arts training in Gloucester

Karate and Kickboxing

Why train in the martial arts?

Life Changing, Character Building Childrens Martial Arts Programme

Ninja kicx gloucester

How Can Martial Arts Help My Child

If you are looking for your kids to get better grades at school, have unshakable self-respect or maybe increase their strength and fitness, then I know I can help.

Your child’s first and biggest challenge comes not from “fighting for his rights on the street,” or “beating up the neighbourhood bully.” It comes, instead, from battling more sinister forces. Your child’s own fears and self doubts”

They think things like

“I’m not as smart as John.”
“I don’t get what my teacher is saying.”
“I wish I was as [strong, pretty, tall] as sally.”
“Why does Jim keep giving me a bad time?”
“Why can’t I be as popular as Jill?”

Question is,

How do you get your child to fight these demons? They have a tough time telling you about them. Never mind how she might conquer them.

My name is Stephen Thompson, father of four children myself.  I am the owner of KiCX martial arts, that is a full-time martial arts super centre located in Churchdown, Gloucester.

For over 30 years, I’ve been teaching children like yours with character building tools found only in karate.  No other sport can match them.

I started training when I was 10 years old, back in 1979.  I have not stopped since then, traveled the world competing and teaching.  My biggest achievement in the martial arts as a sport, is winning four World Championships.  These were held in Argintina, Italy, Canada and the USA.  But, if you were to ask me what my biggest achievement has been overall in the martial arts, I would have to say the development of my teaching style, called MAPD.  This is an acronym for Martial Arts & Personal Development. 

It has been my passion since 1999 to develop a style of martial arts that was more about developing the individual, than teaching a child the best way to do a jump spinning back kick!

Now by the way, the child still wants to learn the jump spinning back kick, that is why they love train, that is why it is fun for them.  But my outcome, is to get the child to realise, if they keep raising their standard, they can become the best versions of themselves. 

If you are looking for your kids to get better grades at school, have unshakable self-respect or maybe increase their strength and fitness, then I know I can help.

To reiterate, martial arts is less about your child learning to fight others, and more about fighting… themselves. There innermost fears. Conquer them, and your child unleashes within themselves a powerful, unstoppable force.

A force that gives him the strength to kick down the doors of his own self doubts. A force that opens your child to the wonderful power of values.

In other words, when your child uses the discipline, that they will learn in Karate, they will have the power to transfer that discipline to all other areas of his life. I know of no other sport that does this better than MAPD.

Remember, the clue is in the name Martial Arts & Personal Development.


£ 0 VIP Membership
  • Martial Arts Group Class
  • Parents Guide On Martial Arts
  • School Timetable
karate for kids in gloucester kicx

Above all, he learns that to succeed, he can’t fool anyone, especially himself.  This results in a keener focus.  He learns to make eye contact with his teacher, and pays greater attention to what each teacher says.  He knows and accepts where he stands.

These are just some of the powerful, energizing values your child will get from the “MAPD” programme.  In short, you can look forward to your child developing…

Powerful self-control

She’ll refuse to give in to negative peer pressure.  She’ll have a deeper respect for rules.

 Improved focus

She’ll learn what’s needed, along with the skill to “zero in” on critical tasks at hand.  Normal, yet time-wasting, childhood distractions won’t get in her way.

Fearless self-confidence. 

Watch as your child finds the courage to open any door life has to offer. 

I know what you’re thinking: “How can I know for sure the ‘MAPD’ programme will work for my child?  Will learning to ‘kick, block and punch’ really work for her?” 

I’ve made it very easy for you to find out…

Teenagers in Karate Gloucester Kicx

I’m offering you a FREE lesson.  See for yourself if, in fact, I can give your child the powerful benefits I have promised.

Watch with your own eyes as your child gets coached by a me and see for yourself how I work on helping your child become the best they can be.

Your child begins by learning the profound influence of the martial arts “bow.”  Then watch as he, warms to the idea of emotional respect, for both himself and others.  Gains power from the six points of body balance and connects with the three skills of listening.

 You will hear him recite the first principle of the Student Creed: 

 “I intend, to develop myself in a positive manner, and avoid anything that could reduce my mental growth or physical health.”

She will gain super confidence with the three self-defence techniques every child should know.

Listen as your child learns another Student Creed

“I intend to develop self-discipline in order to bring out the best in myself and others.”

Believe me.  Just with this short lesson, your child will come away with her self-confidence greatly improved.  Not just in how she feels.  She’ll actually end up with real “life skills.”  Skills that she can put to powerful use straight away.  All while enjoying the fun and excitement of an upbeat martial arts programme.  And it’s all FREE! 

You have absolutely no risk.  If you are ready to have a chat and see if we have any spaces in our award winning school, click on the link below. 



£ 0 VIP Membership
  • Martial Arts Group Class
  • Parents Guide On Martial Arts
  • School Timetable
karate girl gloucester kicx

The 5 Secrets To Raising Better Behaved Children, Who Get Great Grades, Are Physically Fit, Have Super Confidence & Become The Most Popular In Their Class!"

You may have already thought that I am going to check out this school, but hold on, just a little more info.

I guess we should begin with the key motivation or reason why you are reading this right now. In my many years of dealing with parents I have uncovered one simple need or desire in all of them… to somehow change the everyday behavior of their child.

Of course parents love their children with all their heart and soul-however, the child they have isn’t necessarily the type of child they dreamed of when they were planning their family.  That’s not to suggest in any way, that you don’t love your child but is to suggest this simple idea:

Children do not always behave in the correct fashion!

Reading this information, you are obviously looking for something…a change maybe?  Even if it is just for them to do something that is fun, the benefits that they will learn from the school go way beyond just having a good time.

For me though, as a parent myself.  If anyone can support me in making sure my kids grow up with principles like respect and courtesy, this is a great thing.  Have you taken a bus lately?  The amount of disrespect that is shown by some children is unbelievable.  (even some adults).  I want to make sure, if my kids happen to be around something like that, they are not thinking, maybe that is the correct way to act.  They are two things that influence us more than anything else, our own self communication, what we say to ourselves.  And, who we surround ourselves with!

What about school grades?  Can training help with that?

Parents often confess to me that their child is not as smart as they wished and know that he or she could be smarter. They know that it has nothing to do with their child’s intelligence…but rather their lack of focus and concentration.

Does a rustling tree outside your son’s window take his mind off his homework the minute he sits down to start work?

After 2 minutes of homework does he drift off into a daydream?

Grab a drink, get some food or use the bathroom every 5 or 10 minutes?

Can she not sit still long enough to finish a single task?

Is she being punished for talking too much in class?

These are all indications that your child is having a problem concentrating and focusing which can make his grades suffer, cause his self-confidence to waiver and his moral character to crack.

You may have even been told he has a learning problem.

Later, I will show you a way you can help your child overcome focus and concentration problems and help them improve their grades, confidence and behaviour as a result.

Girls in karate gloucester kicx

What about their health?

Do you sometimes feel like you are raising a couch potato?

What I am about to tell you may be tough to handle, especially if you have an inactive or unfit child.

Research reveals that in the last 30 years the amount of overweight children ages 6 to 11 has doubled. More terrifying is that the amount of overweight children in the 12 to 17 year age group has tripled over the same period.

What used to only be adult diseases are now showing up in our innocent children. Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, which are not normally diseases children face, are now becoming more commonplace.

You may be worried about your child’s health because you can’t get them off the sofa?

Would your child rather play video games than run around outside?

Maybe they only want to drink coke, crisps and sweets

This is a classic, they walk for 5 minutes, “my feet hurt”

Being inactive and unhealthy puts your child at risk for major health problems like cardiac, kidney and eyesight complications.

Many experts believe if our current child health issues are left to sort themselves out we could be facing an epidemic that for the first time in our history creates a generation of children who live shorter lives than their parents.

This is a terrible and serious problem.

In the short term there are many challenges your children will have to go through as well.

An unhealthy and overweight child is more likely to get teased and ridiculed at school.

Many of them find it hard to keep up with friends on the playground which leads to them quitting physical activity all together and causes poor self-esteem.

Being overweight also can make them feel embarrassed, sad, or even angry. And when they feel bad, they may eat more because they turn to food for comfort.

This creates a vicious cycle, which can lead to mental, and eating disorders that can continue for life.

Later, I will show you a way you can help your child become healthy and physically fit in a way that doesn’t take up a lot of time and at the same time makes them super-confident…something they’ll love to do.  Or just get our VIP membership below right now

Girls in karate gloucester kicx


£ 0 VIP Membership
  • Martial Arts Group Class
  • Parents Guide On Martial Arts
  • School Timetable

Here’s a question, are they in the wrong crowd?

Here’s a question, are they in the wrong crowd?

Should you be trying to influence-or even control-your child’s choice of friends?

The answer to that question is NO-well not directly anyway. Follow me on this… If you try to control your child’s behaviour your child will feel like you are trying to run their life and rebel. What you need to do is subtly steer them in the right direction.

Young children need to learn social skills, negotiation and diplomacy and if you block this from happening it could affect their ability to relate to people later on.

The classic here is moving a child out of a school because they are being bullied.  Of course, if a child is being bullied then as parents, we want to do everything to protect them.  Moving them schools may be the only way.  I totally understand that.  BUT.  Generally, a bullied child will get bullied even in another school. 

Please, do not get offended here, but the problem is not with the bully, it is with the bullied child.  But, that is the great news.  The bullied child need to learn skills that will stop them being bullied.  I schools, there is always an order of things.  Now we may think this is wrong and think this is not fair.  But that does not help the bullied child.  What does help them, is getting them to believe in themselves. How do they get that?  The same way that a child confidently learns to walk!  The same way they are able to write, to add up or to play with a dog.  They need to have confidence in themselves.

The key to successfully steering them to make positive choices you agree with is to help her develop a high level of self-confidence and esteem. For many children, confidence and esteem problems are common and can cause unpredictable and destructive behaviour.

Here is some of the problems confidence and esteem issues can cause:

Picking the wrong crowd to partner up with

Hanging out with friends who are a bad influence

Being persuaded by negative peer pressure

Experimenting with drugs, sex and gangs

Lashing out

Trying to fit in by doing things she wouldn’t normally do

Inability to say no and make smart choices

Plummeting grades


Confidence and esteem problems must be addressed and curbed immediately to avoid the negative behaviors that can pop up because of it.

Later, I will show you how to give your child “bullet-proof” self-esteem.

With this newfound level of personal confidence your child will be armed with all the tools necessary to ward off bad decisions and troublemakers.

Maybe you don’t think your child will be affected by anything like this. You are saying to yourself, “It can’t happen to my child.”  I understand, you’ve raised a good child. You are an upstanding person and you made it through alright-right?

Here’s what you are not taking into consideration, today, life for a child is completely different then what we experienced growing up…there’s more social pressure, more distractions and less time for good instruction.

Maybe this hasn’t happened to your child yet but being prepared is always better than a cure.

Maybe you’ve seen it happen to a neighbor’s child or a friend’s child or a family member?

Maybe your son just met a new friend who is starting to influence him in a negative way and you are worried about the possibilities of what is to come?

Hopefully, you just want to keep your child from having to go through any of this at all?

If that is the case, I am going to show you how you can shield your child and give them all the tools necessary to help them make better decisions.

I am going to reveal to you the 5 secrets to raising better behaved children who get great grades, are physically fit, have super confidence & become the most popular in their class!

There is a reason why bad grades, lack of focus, poor esteem and confidence, being unhealthy, bad peer group choices, experimentation with drugs, alcohol and many other problems happen to good kids.

Granted, sometimes it’s a chemical or mental disorder that needs professional treatment.

But in many cases it’s not a pre-existing medical condition that causes these problems in a child. The real reason is quite simple-they haven’t seen a good example they can copy.

Karate girl smiling at kicx gloucester


£ 0 VIP Membership
  • Martial Arts Group Class
  • Parents Guide On Martial Arts
  • School Timetable

One of the most powerful ways that children learn is through imitation

A recent study suggested that children who report having role models get higher grades and have greater self-esteem than their peers. But here’s the kicker

Only about half of the children surveyed reported that they had role models-people they wanted to be like.

Does it matter who they choose? Role models are most powerful if they are someone that the child knows and spends time with.

Parents and other relatives were named as role models more often than anyone else, but almost as many identified media figures, actors, musicians, athletes or politicians, even cartoon characters as their role models.

This of course, is a red flag!

One of the simple things that the MAPD curriculum is able to give a child is an example of how to be courteous. Like how to properly say hello and goodbye, how to say simple words like “thank you” or “yes or no” with an added “Sir or Miss.”

I believe one of the biggest impacts that MAPD has on any child is simply this…the opportunity to see a model example and to be rewarded for copying that set example.

We heard it when we were children right? “Birds of a feather flock together.” “Like attracts like.” But in our society how often are we able to control or orchestrate our child’s interaction with other people.

You know what frustrates me most about what I see in our society today?

It’s this… the kind of people who are actually influencing our children and changing their behaviour. Think about who your child is imitating, trying to be like?


Chris Brown

Do you realise that many children copy the example represented by Rihanna, Britney Spears and Justin Bieber as the type of men and women they aspire to become? And why is that? Well, one simple notion is the fact that by copying that particular lifestyle they’ll be more readily accepted.

In other words, it comes down to this simple idea, “Children will behave and act in accordance to what support they receive from their family, friends, classmates, teachers etc.”

However. in order to help someone’s behaviour, to modify it, they have to see an example that’s divorced from everything else, away from TV and celebrities.

Even though we only see a student maybe two hours out of a total of a 168 hour week, those two hours are so impact full, so insightful, they’re able to carry that good example into their everyday life.

Good behaviour is something simple to talk about, however, to impact a youngster, to modify their behaviour and to be committed to changing it, we have to remind them that this is how you act and this is how you are rewarded for acting that way.

In our martial arts school, we only support good behaviour.  That’s it.

But if you think about most organisations, structured schools and educators your child interacts with you realise that they only correct bad behaviour. And as you know, whatever you focus on is in fact what’s going to show up in your life. You focus on the bad behaviour… bad behaviour is guaranteed to show up.

So to change a child’s behaviour what we have to do is be the example. Allow them to copy the example, support their copy regardless of how good it is at the moment.

And that support is how we change and modify a child’s behaviour in our school, by constant positive support of them copying the desired example.

But here’s the point I want you to listen closely to…That doesn’t happen just because the school teaches Martial Arts.

That happens because the core benefit of our MAPD programme is teaching someone how to act!

Onto the first secret

Secret 1 = It's Not What You Get To Do... It's What You Get To Become

children training in karate gloucester

Forget about the fact that your child will get to break boards, do kicks and punches and learn self-defence. What really matters is what will happen to them as a result of their involvement. What matters is what they will silently, unknowingly, without obvious influence from you, become.

As a student your child becomes a role model. They become a self-confident, up-standing young person with respect for his leaders, parents, and elders. A physically fit, health conscious child who exudes an air of power and self-respect. Someone who is trained in MAPD learns to focus and concentrate and understands how to use them to achieve her desired goals. They become self-disciplined, who can handle themselves ethically and morally in any situation and can avoid confrontation, unhealthy situations and peer groups.

All this comes from the support that they gain from the instructor and the protocol and etiquette that we have in our professional martial art school. We help our education system, and make a triad between, Great Parents, Great Schools and now, a martial arts school that focuses on helping children to achieve.

Do these behavioral improvements happen at all martial art academies?

Unfortunately, it’s not as common as I would like to see. And the reason is most instructors focus and concentrate on the athleticism of Martial Arts.

A great example would be a professional athlete. Unfortunately, their lifestyle, attitude and behaviour doesn’t always mirror the image you would like for your child to emulate.

What I’m putting out here to you is this… if an instructor focuses on things like competition or a youngster’s ability to perform Martial Arts then they’re overlooking the most essential ingredients of what makes a good person.

And that is how they feel about themselves, and how they interact with other people.

Said differently, how they behave

But in my school, what we focus on is not your child’s ability to perform Martial Arts but the accomplishments they personally gain, how they treat one another and how they gain self-respect for themselves. 

As a result of this, everything becomes better.  Home life, school life, and of course their ability to do sports, like martial arts.  Listen, some of my students still do martial art competition’s.  And, they still win!  They are still great at the martial arts.  What I am saying to you though, this is “outside” things.  I concentrate on the “inside”.  I use the inside out approach, not the approach of working on the outside, and hopefully the students values will be ok.  No.  To me, Character is FIRST!

boys at kicx having fun gloucester

How many activities is your child involved in that are actually positive? The truth, some, but very few!

Think about it for a moment. If they are into sports and are not the best then there are sometimes considered losers. If it’s an academic activity… then the smart children. are at the front of the class. Do you understand what I mean?

At our academy I control the environment to allow every child an experience where they recognise how to gain the support of the instructor and I reward them for everything they do and accomplish. What happens as a result is that you get a high degree of compliance and participation. And here’s what we know:

When a student participates, and they are rewarded for their good compliance it creates a habit.  And that habit grows!

Here’s another little secret…children want to be recognised. And unfortunately, if we’re not able to recognise them for good they’ll certainly gain your attention with bad.

The way the class is orchestrated in our academy is this…we give them an example, we give them a safe forum, a safe activity, a safe class structure where they can do no wrong if they simply follow our example.

In a moment, I’m going to tell you how your child can experience this-without paying a penny, but first, check out secret #2


£ 0 VIP Membership
  • Martial Arts Group Class
  • Parents Guide On Martial Arts
  • School Timetable

Secret 2 = It’s not just about improving a child’s behaviour, you must improve their performance

Girl kicx gloucester

I want to talk a little bit about how MAPD can impact a child academically. It is a common question among many parents. I believe when a parent brings their child in to investigate Martial Arts one of the motivational reasons behind it is not just to improve his behaviour but to improve his performance. And there is a close correlation there.

Let me answer the question you’re asking in your mind directly.

How can my child get better grades?

It’s simple. Number one, she needs to become a better listener and in order to do that it’s necessary to have a higher degree of what?

Focus and concentration is the key ingredient for success.

When you learn how to focus and concentrate on whatever task is at hand, regardless of what it is, creating a model airplane, learning a math formula or taking Martial Arts, when you learn how to actually learn, that carries over into every area of your life.

But in order to be a better student academically there has to be a higher degree of cooperation with the learning experience, which requires discipline. Discipline is focused effort with increased concentration.

Studying Martial Arts improves your child’s academic achievement as their focus is increased, as their concentration is improved and as their degree of self-worth shifts. By participating in our MAPD programme she is much more willing to put forth her best effort in all areas of her life and in many cases that’s the key.

Here’s what I want you to realise

Children don’t go to school to bring home bad grades. Students go to school to do their best but unfortunately sometimes they don’t have the skill sets necessary to bring home good grades.

If a child doesn’t have the natural inclination to do well in a particular area we don’t throw them in sink or swim. You would be setting them up for failure. So, what we do instead is encourage him through one simple idea:

Any degree of improvement is rewarded!

And academically here’s how we help parents. We request to know how the students are doing at school.

By the student knowing this, it’s a very simple way of doing what? – encouraging a higher degree of motivation for the student to do well.

And listen, regardless of what is happening, I’m going to find something good. And that good might be one thing.  Maybe he only missed three days of school. The key is rewarding any degree of good behaviour.

Guess what will happen?

They will in fact try a little harder. Not just in that area but it can’t help but affect other areas. Any level of improvement is rewarded. And as a result of that we actually form an alliance. Almost like a triangle with the you, me and the teacher at school.  My martial arts school is first an educational facility, that uses the fun of martial arts to help kids become the best they can be.

Your child then realises that all three of these important people in his life-the teacher, you the parent and me the instructor are there to assist him and celebrate and reward any degree of accomplishment or victory he has.

By encouraging any degree of improvement we’ve increased your youngster’s ability to focus at the task at hand and actually perform at their absolute best.

This is how together we help your child get great grades, the incredible power of repetition.

Many people are resistant to the idea of repetition in education but I learned years ago that repetition is the mother of skill. To explain this further, let’s use a math example.

If you want to get good at adding you’ve got to add, if you want to get good at subtracting you’ve got to practice subtracting. Now, the repetition of developing any new skill is kind of awkward at first and most children are a little uneasy with this because they simply haven’t learned that repetition actually is fun once you get a better result.

In our MAPD programme we use repetition as a means of training. By doing the same thing over and over again we teach the students how to enjoy the learning curve of doing what? Doing the same thing time and time again and getting better at it


They’re able to take that experience and realise, “Oh, just like Martial Arts…if I want to be good at side kicking… I have to practice my side kick. Well if I want to get good at adding… I have to practice adding.”

And that is just one simple element in the class experience that a child is able to bring to school and use to improve their performance.


How can you tell that other martial art schools are not interested in helping children get better grades?

It is actually very easy to tell. You just need to find out what desired outcome the school’s instructor has for his or her students?

Some of the warning signs that you’re in the wrong academy are if the instructor is focused on building champions or winning trophies or allowing one child to advance to a higher degree based on physical athleticism.  Now, let me be clear about this, there is so much misunderstanding about Martial Arts.  As a child progresses through the ranks it does not mean that they’ll ever gain the capacity to be able to walk through walls and jump over tall buildings.

It’s not about athleticism

Because if you focus on athleticism, the moment a child is physically injured or ill you’ve discounted whatever they’ve accomplished up to that point in their training

Girl karate gloucester kicx


£ 0 VIP Membership
  • Martial Arts Group Class
  • Parents Guide On Martial Arts
  • School Timetable


If a high degree of focus is put on the physical nature of Martial Arts in the class we’re not helping children develop at an intellectual and emotional level.

Not all schools are equal and what makes our school different is simply this…that a child doesn’t have to be the best, he just has to do his best at that time.

Let me give you a parallel for the adult world. If you want to maintain a high degree of physical fitness you have to work out. But it doesn’t mean that you have to kill yourself each and every time you go to the gym. You simply have to do your best while you’re at the gym. And we do the same thing at our academy, that’s how a student is rewarded.

If schools ran like most martial art academies, I’d still be in year 11!

To help you realise how our academy is different I want you to understand this. You did not need an ‘A’ in all your subjects to go from first to second year. However, that’s what most Martial Arts Schools do with their rank system. Unless you’re a perfect orange belt (which is a degree of rank in a Martial Arts system) you don’t get promoted to the next level.

Let me explain it another way. Unless your child does things exactly right in a certain and specific way they don’t move up to the next belt level, they fail!

That is ridiculous

If I needed to get straight ‘A’s to go from first year to second year, I’d still be in the first year and so would you most likely. At our academy it’s not about being a perfect student but a student who is performing at their best.

And isn’t that perfection for a child?

In my personal opinion I think perfection is way over rated. I think it gets in the way of progress. So most schools place such a high degree of emphasis on the physical ability of student and they overlook the fact that is only one part of it.

I’m going to explain how you can check all of this out for free, but first lets move onto secret #3…

Secret 3 = Physical fitness is the result of creating good habits

I know that some parents are looking for a way to increase their child’s level of physical fitness and overall health.

The question is…when we talk about physical fitness, what in fact are we talking about?

What is the true benefit of physical fitness? Well the answer in my mind, my experience and what I’ve accomplished in my life is not whether or not you look like a “Baywatch beauty” when you go poolside. But the real key benefit of physical fitness is a higher degree of health.

It’s all about health

Physical fitness is a component of good health and good health is a result of great habits. And by influencing a youngster across the board in all areas of life to have better habits you in turn create a healthier and more physically fit child.

But let me go back to the original question. We now know that a parent who is looking for the physical benefits is in fact looking for the health benefits. And what health benefits are we talking about?

How about the way a child looks?

karate kid gloucester kicx boy

As we discussed earlier obesity is getting out of hand. Obesity is defined as being 20% or more above your optimum weight for their size and age group.

Based on the way an average household conducts itself as far as diet, nutrition and exercise, it’s no wonder why we have such a weight problem in children and adults.

But what I’ve found is this… if you encourage a child’s interest in being more physically active then in most cases that will help them pursue a healthier lifestyle.

Children continue to do things they are rewarded for. But what rewards work best? Maybe a star on their report, a pat on the back or perhaps a special gift would? The real answer is none of those. Everything I just listed is “a thing” but the power behind why this concept works are feelings. As humans we do things for the feelings we get as a result of something we do. It’s all about better feelings.

Why are children so engrossed by video games? It’s because they get a great feeling of accomplishment when they play them. I know a little boy who always comes up to me and tells me what level he is on a certain video game. He says, “Hey I’m a level 99 now!” He is proud of his accomplishment.

What if we were able create that same type of experience not by being sedentary and physically inactive with a video game but physically active with a Martial Arts experience?

If a child gets a feeling of accomplishment doing anything, if they sense they’re getting better and they’re being rewarded for that improvement they will certainly become more ambitious and enthusiastic.

That’s how you can actually encourage them to maintain a higher degree of physical activity which will lend itself to being more physically fit and healthier overall.

And that’s the goal isn’t it?

What is the most overlooked element of health and physical fitness?

Whenever I ask a group of children, “Who here loves going to bed on time?” Not a single hand goes up. But then ask, “Why do your parents want you to go to bed on time?” Not surprisingly they give you answers like:

They don’t want me to watch TV

Mum wants quiet time with Dad

I’m not old enough

The real reason why children need to go to bed on time is because when they are sleeping that’s when their body gets bigger and stronger.

What is every child new that?

And what if every parent was able to instill that appreciation about sleep? Make them truly understand that sleep isn’t a punishment. Sleep is actually the reward of good behaviour, good diet, good nutrition, good exercise and good Martial Arts.

Do you think that if a child was convinced that when they sleep their bones are growing, their muscles are getting stronger & they’re becoming healthier that they would feel differently about it?

Here’s the bad news… if a youngster walks into a Martial Arts Academy and is physically capable of Martial Arts from day one, the instructor had nothing to do with it, that’s genetics.

Some people have the physical predisposition of maintaining a high degree of flexibility, good hand-eye coordination and overall agility. Listen, God gifted you with that. The bad news for us average Joes is most of us weren’t blessed like that. We simply weren’t.

But here’s the silver lining. I want you to realise that although this may sound like bad news the great news is this…Time fixes all.

As you become involved in a physical-minded activity such as the Martial Arts that we teach, time is the great equaliser. Although you might not walk in the class in the first experience and do physically well, through a degree of repetition and showing up to class you will start to catch on.

You can’t help but enhance your degree of physical athleticism and your ability to perform Martial Arts. So the key is not to place emphasis on one’s ability but to place the emphasis on our understanding of progress.

Do I have to be good at karate to get the benefits out of martial arts?

3 and 4 year olds doing karate kicx gloucester

Absoluteley Not

And perhaps what’s most upsetting to me is that so many people believe they do because of bad Martial Arts instructors and academies.

In the grand scheme of things 10% of an academy’s student body is physically gifted. 20% have some challenges. And the remaining 70% are average, everyday children and adults.

Most Martial Arts academies only focus on the 10%. They only want to claim the students who are good. It’s almost as though the instructor allows his ego to get in the way and only wants to teach the really physical children. This is very unfortunate for our industry because it misrepresents what martial arts is all about, to help people overcome their challenges.

Whether your child is athletically gifted or not, it makes no difference and should not make a difference. What I want you to realise is that my job, my goal as a professional Martial Arts instructor is to simply provide a forum where, regardless of one’s physical abilities, they are granted the opportunity to excel and do well and everyone is treated the same.

There are no first places in a well-run academy. ‘First Place’ means that you are splitting your attention as an instructor between those who can and those who can’t. And our obligation is to serve both needs.

Coming up, I will show you how to take a “test drive” for yourself without spending any money. But in the meantime, read about how to improve your child’s confidence in secret #4,

Secret 4 = Confidence Cannot Be Taught

I know you were hoping it could be. But it can’t be taught.

Confidence must be learned

Just because you understand what confidence is doesn’t mean you have it. It’s not enough to just learn what it is, you actually have to experience it to become it.  You can’t teach it but you can provide a class experience where the child can experience a feeling of confidence.

Using the same logic, I cannot just explain to you how to swim, eventually you have got to get in the pool and start kicking!  

Listen to this real life encounter I had with a mum who was unsure of her child’s ability to succeed.  I once had a conversation with a mum and she said, “I don’t think that my child is ready for this next level. I don’t think he’s ready to get the next belt.”  (In our academy it’s called a graduation where a child goes from one belt colour to the next.) I said  “Why is that?”

“Well he just doesn’t look as though he’s doing as well as the other children,” she said.

Mistake number 1

Stop passing judgment on your child compared to another child and start placing all your attention on your child’s improvement and see what happens. 

But let me get back to my story. I said,

“Well, what is your biggest concern about your child going to the next rank?” 

She said these words,

“Well, I don’t want him to have a false sense of confidence.” 

I said,

“Oh, don’t take offence but allow me to correct you – oh yes you do!  What other kind is there?”

You see, if confidence is only needed when you need it, and the only time confidence needs to be used is when you “think” you can do something, Isn’t that a false sense of confidence.

So, bring it on. Give me all the false confidence I need to progress from one level of accomplishment to the next and let me provide your child with this idea where all they have to do is act and feel confident.

That’s what confidence is.

Here’s what confidence is not

Confidence doesn’t mean the lack of nervousness, apprehension or tension.

Confidence means you do something or don’t do something in spite of nervousness or apprehension.

Karate Kids in Gloucester Churchdown

So the way you enhance a youngster’s confidence is this, you encourage them to do something they feel a little awkward doing.

You know, in most settings you hear talk about going outside your comfort zone. That’s really what they’re talking about isn’t it-doing something that you normally would not feel comfortable doing?

But to do that all you have to do is think you can. And that thinking “you can” is in fact a degree of self-confidence. But it’s all imaginary. It’s false confidence.

What we do is allow a child to have the experience of doing this in a safe environment where there’s no jeopardy. No one is going to get hurt. No one is going to be physically or emotionally harmed or embarrassed. And as your child is challenged to exercise this idea of self-confidence, they become more confident.

Word lessons vs. World Lessons

There is “knowing” something because you read about it, saw it on TV, heard about it and can envision it and understand it.  Then there is “knowing” something because you experienced it firsthand.

This is the difference between word lessons, the idea of what something is and the world lessons, the experience of that thing which makes the everlasting impression of what it is. 

Here’s an example

As a child, I lived opposite the school that I attended, really easy for me get there.  I have the road, and basically I was there.  Only trouble was, the school crossing was down the othere end of the road.  I would have to walk down there to get across.

My parents told me, “Listen, you need to always go down to the school crossing, it is dangerous to cross anywhere else”

My parents were trying to intellectually get me, a child to understand what the consequence would be. I said, “Okay, I will”

But that type of lesson didn’t last very long?

What happened?

I did not want to walk all the way down, so I crossed outside my house.  Of course I got away with it for a while, but one day I was nearly hit by a car, wow! 

Not only this, the car that nearly hit me was the head of the year at school.  When I got to school, what was waiting for me, a wooden ruler across the hand! Oach!

Now, that is a world lesson.

Gloucester karate kids

Now, we can’t put our children in danger, so what we do is we afford the child the experience of learning the world lesson of self-confidence by putting them in a safe environment and having these world lessons actually take place.

Giving them the experience of doing something that required a little confidence, plants the seeds for greater confidence and that is how a well-structured Martial Arts programme serves a parent.  We role play situations when a bully may approach and start something.  What is the best way to deal with that.  So, if that does happen, they are ready and prepared!

In order to think you can do something, what you have to do is have the experience of going from where you thought you couldn’t to where now you can.

When we help a child have that experience in Martial Arts, it carries over to every area of their life.

Here’s what happens when your child walks into a social setting regardless of what it is…the playground. a new classroom, the cafeteria or perhaps even your neighbourhood.

The moment he walks into the setting he begins to identify what he thinks he can and can’t do within the peer group and based on that he will shuffle himself.

What I mean by shuffle is this… whether we like to think of it or not it’s pretty simple: children create a pecking order within a matter of moments.

And here’s the important part… when a child walks into a new environment they will gravitate in the direction of children who they perceive are equal to and lesser than them.

Most problems in our society will disappear if parents get this, ready?

Children make decisions about everything based on two things

How they feel at that moment and how they feel about themselves


£ 0 VIP Membership
  • Martial Arts Group Class
  • Parents Guide On Martial Arts
  • School Timetable
Gloucester kickboxing KICX Karate

As a child gains a higher degree of confidence through our MAPD programme, they begin to filter things differently and they even begin to gravitate in the direction of a healthier peer group based on the fact they feel better about themselves.

Let me share something with you… I know there are several great fears that a parent has for their children such as the danger of violence, drug experimentation. alcohol. etc.

I mean, you know the woes, right? And how does a child decide to yield to negative and harmful peer pressure? How do they decide? Well, let me point out it’s not a rational decision, it’s not logical, they don’t measure it and they don’t say: “well ‘Mum said this, Dad said that, the teacher said…'”A child will make their decision in a matter of moments based on one simple idea, how they feel about themselves at that exact moment.

No child tomorrow is going to wake up and say, today I’m going to try drugs or I’m going to get drunk or try smoking. That’s not how they make decisions.

Based on the opportunity, based on the present peer pressure they either say yes or no!

All decisions are based on how they feel about themselves. 

The way we encourage them to make better decisions is to change how they feel differently about whom and what they are. Just telling them to say yes or no isn’t enough.

As a child begins to feel differently about who they are and the degree of self-confidence and esteem they have for themselves they begin to make better decisions. And based on how they feel about themselves, they connect with a group that will accept them.

Very seldom will a child have a high enough degree of self-worth, esteem and confidence to walk up to a peer group that they believe is more superior whether that’s academic, their physical presence, their social status or perhaps their degree of athleticism or proficiency in sports.

What we’re able to do through Martial Arts training is to continuously improve their self-concept and they begin to make a better selection in all areas of their life. And that’s how we achieve that through the Martial Arts programme that we provide in our academy.

Does every martial arts academy build this kind of confidence into their student body

Not if it’s a pass or fail scenario. And in nine out of ten Martial Arts schools that’s exactly what they do. Pass or fail…Susan did well, John did badly.

Yes, no. Right, wrong. Left, right. Up. down. Pass or Fail.

Life will naturally serve up success/failure lessons to our children, but in my school we have to constantly encourage and give our children the ability to deal with these life lessons. Our job is to encourage and never discourage.

A child is not going to show up for the next class if they’re discouraged. Most schools have this pass or fail mentality and discount the children that need help the most. Our academy focus is for every child to succeed.

Of course, you want your child to succeed, but perhaps you’re worried about risking a lot of money in the process. Not to worry, in a few seconds I will tell you exactly how you can experience this yourself at no charge.

First, check out my last secret #5.

Secret 5 = How you interact with others determines the quality of your life!

Karate for anti bullying glouceser kicx

If you want your child to be more popular and better rounded socially then we need to discuss acceptance. Many people think of acceptance as how someone is looked upon or taken in by a group. But acceptance isn’t just weather you are invited into a group but how YOU graciously accept those around you.

If you take it a step further, I think another word we need to use to help us understand how this is accomplished is the word prejudice-which is to prejudge.


What the martial experience does in a good Martial Arts academy is allow the student to realise that they have to check those prejudices at the door.

We have to be more accepting of the people around us and we have to be more accepting in terms of what we’re able and capable of doing at the time.

Every child has a predisposition of how they think the world works. And in many cases, it doesn’t work as well as the parent would like. Children, depending on how they feel about themselves will automatically categorise who to bring into to their lives. As a result of this, they begin to make different choices about who to become friends with.

Who you decide to be friends with is quiet simple. You decide to become friends with people who are like you.

However, if we measure how alike they are to us, in many cases we will discount a large number of people who could perhaps improve the quality of our lives. So the martial experience in our academy is this: We’re all in this together.

And regardless of who your child is in class with or who they’re asked to interact with, no judgment is passed. Our job is to find the good and overlook the bad. Children are taught everything and what we do in our academy is teach them to feel differently about themselves by not only accepting what they do but accepting the differences of others.

Now, that’s not to suggest that it’s okay to be made to feel bad by the actions of others or to be the target of a bully. But it is to suggest as you feel better about yourself through our Martial Arts class experience you begin to behave differently in the real world. And that changes your experience.

You see, as a child’s behaviour improves, as the grades improve, as his physical fitness and overall health improve. as his self-confidence and self-esteem improve that allows the child to interact with a better group of children.

How to beat the bully

karate boy gloucester kicx

Bullies don’t happen to randomly pick a child; they select one and the selection process for a bully deciding to choose a youngster, your child, as a victim is simple. Based on how they behave, they act, they interact and based on how they look to a bully determines whether another child is an easy target or not.

So how a person interacts with others determines the quality of thier life. A child is never not communicating to others how to treat you. It is a known fact that 60 percent of all communication is nonverbal. And that only 7 percent of communication is the words we choose. The rest is our tone and body language.

The real way you communicate with the world around you is through your body language. Body language represents roughly 60% of the communication experience. Just how a student is taught to handle themselves physically sends off an entirely different message to everyone.

I can walk into a classroom and in a matter of moments I can tell you who is and who isn’t a bully. I can tell you who does well in school and who doesn’t. Understand that our bodies speak so loudly people can’t hear a word we’re saying.

By improving your child’s handle on his physical body and changing their body language it allows a child to become a more powerful communicator by being not just more disciplined but perhaps demonstrative in how they express themselves physically. This makes their life easier, them stronger and more powerful in all areas of their life.

Do you know how most children learn a language? Most children simply emulate and follow examples that are given to them through the media and television, movies, how the neighbours talk, what their mum says and unfortunately in many cases that’s not going to serve a youngster in every social situation.

So for example, if a child thinks that the words he uses have to be ‘hip’ that’s going to make a different impression than the child who realises that the words they use are designed to communicate specific ideas.

Today there are so many non-words used. I’m sure you’ve heard children today use words like “dude”, “cool”, and ” what’s up”, all of which mean nothing.

3 AND 4 YEAR OLD doing karate at kicx gloucester

In our Martial Arts experience we actually use a discipline regiment of verbal etiquette for how we interact with each other that gives our students a great model to copy in terms of words, language and communication.

Teaching voice emulation is important. For example, when a child sees in a class experience how I am commanding the attention of the class by how and what I say to the students, they’ll want to copy that. Why is this so important you ask? Because the danger is that most children don’t see a great example and are copying the likes of actors and rap stars. Children are acting, sounding even imitating pop stars, or actors, and that’s not good.

As a child emulates my example as far as how I physically position myself, how I interact, how I maintain eye contact, how I graciously shake hands they copy that. And as a result, they are in fact perceived differently in all areas of their own life.

Proper Martial Arts training changes everything in terms of how a youngster is perceived.

Think about this

You know, we talk about the idea of you wanting your child to be more self-assured and more confident in having gained the ability to make better decisions. We all want to have children who are more health-minded, more safety-minded and able to make sound decisions.

Well, how do you accomplish that with your child?

Just by enrolling a child in my martial arts and life skills programme you actually solidify the idea within that child’s mind’s eye that the parent-you- actually believes they can do this.

By enrolling the child in a Martial Arts programme you are telling the child, “John, you’re going to do well at this.”

There is a catch…in order to use Martial Arts as a vehicle to improve all areas of your child’s life you have to recognise that the programme only works as well as that programme is supported.

See, as I mentioned earlier, there are 168 hours in a week. My job is to train your child for one or two of those hours. Your job is to complement our training the other 166 hours by encouraging your youngster, by reminding him of the lessons that they learned in class, by reiterating to them that a future black belt isn’t someone who waits until the last minute to do what they are told. A future black belt is somebody that says yes miss, yes sir the first time they’re asked to do something.

Martial Arts experience

So by providing a Martial Arts experience for your child you’re able to compliment what the instructor has done on the academies practice floor during the rest of the week will actually help increase the impact that the programme.

Not all Martial Arts academies are equal. The difference between one Martial Arts academy and another is not what they teach. They all teach Martial Arts. The difference is how they teach it.

Whatever an instructor decides to teach is what they teach, I call that the content. And all Martial Arts content is similar.

Now we know there are many different systems of Martial Arts out there. However, it all boils down to one thing: how you teach what you teach, the context. I want you to realise that although all schools may be equal as far as their knowledge and their ability to appreciate what content they would like to deliver, they are unequal in their ability to actually teach the material.

Unfortunately, most Martial Arts instructors worldwide are engrossed with themselves and copy the latest craze or fad in the Martial Arts industry, which has nothing to do with the real world.

For example, if you walk into a Martial Arts academy and the instructor is wearing a colourful uniform and a fad haircut and three or four earrings in their left ear like a professional football player, he’s not a leader, he’s a follower.  He’s emulating someone.

If I walk into my academy with a shaved head, within a week four or five children also will have shaved their head.

Why? I am a leader. The children are going to copy my example. That’s why I make sure that my example is one that a parent is impressed by.

The instructor’s job is not to be the student’s friend. My job is to train students in the Martial Arts, not entertain them with silly games and a casual atmosphere. The instructor’s job is not to be personal with the student and their parents. The instructor’s job is to be friendly but not their friend. It is the obligation of a professional instructor to provide an example to emulate. In order to do that you have to project a level of accomplishment above and beyond what the average person has accomplished in their life.

So, to provide a good Martial Arts experience that anyone, a child, an adult, can use to gain a higher degree of accomplishment, the first thing that you have to look for is how professional does this academy and the instructor look.


Here’s what you can do next

Sometimes we spend so much time doing our best to research before we make a decision, in fear of making the wrong decision; we never make the right decision.

The next step is simply this.

Use the link to get more info on the free class at Kicx.  

We know that when a parent first walks into the academy sometimes they are a little nervous and apprehensive. Why? Well it’s a new experience. But I assure you it will be unlike any experience you have had before, completely positive.

What we are talking about you experiencing is my MAPD programme. It is a systematic means of improving children…physically, emotionally & intellectually.

On your first visit you will get a chance to see how I will create a connection, a relationship with you-the parent and the most important person in your life, your child. But a relationship doesn’t start by phone or email.

It starts by you walking in, meeting me, and explaining what your concerns are and what you’d like me to help you with.

Once you have sampled the lesson, you will have a pack with all the information you need, and my recommendation on what course I think is best.

Don’t delay. Give me a chance to personally help you and your child overcome the challenges that are keeping him or her from true success in all areas of their life.


£ 0 VIP Membership
  • Martial Arts Group Class
  • Parents Guide On Martial Arts
  • School Timetable

Character 1st

Kicking and punching is easy.  To be able to teach kids the real core values of Karate is a whole different thing.  Karate for kids is a journey into a world of principles.  Things like manners, positive attitude, self belief and focus are just some of the topics that are covered in the Character 1st life skill programme.  The kids have FUN, while learning self defence skills, getting fit and Life Skills.

Our Core Values

We are using martial arts as the vehicle to teach Life Skills. Even though I want the students to turn into wonderful martial artist, this is NOT my outcome.  My goal is to introduce the wonderful world of Personal Development to kids, no matter what age.  I do this by teaching the kids to punch, block and kick, and throwing in character education as I do it.  

The Kicx Family

Stephen Thompson Gloucester

Stephen Thompson is the chief instructor at Kicx.  He started training back in 1979 at 10 years old.  He has travelled the world competing, winning 4 World Championships, Argintina 1992′, Italy 1994′, Canada 1996 and America 1998.  When he retired from competing back in 1998, he concentrated on his own Personal Development, and has been trained by world-renowned Life coaches including Tony Robbins and Stephen Covey.   He has taught around the World and in his home town Gloucester.  

Now he is a 7th Dan Black Belt (Kyoshi), has a Personal Training studio where he can train his students his own personal philosophies that he has gained from training in Karate for over 40 years.

Karen Thompson

Karen has been fundamental in the growth of Kicx and NBBS.  She started training in martial arts back in 1995 and in 1999 she started in a relationship with Stephen and they were married back in 2003.  She earned her Black belt in not just Kickboxing, but also Wado-Ryu Karate. She helped develop the children’s programmes for our under six’s with her knowledge of early years teaching practices, as she owned a child care facility.  If you need any information on the special course’s, parents night out etc, she is the one to see. 

She puts together events for families to have fun, and makes Kicx not just a martial arts school, but a martial arts family.


£ 0 VIP Membership
  • Martial Arts Group Class
  • Parents Guide On Martial Arts
  • School Timetable