Learning Centre

Natalie's Martial Arts Story

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Natalie's Martial Arts Story

My name is Natalie Griffiths, and this is how my martial arts journey began:

Many years ago, when I was about 13 my dad introduced me to a friend of his that was a martial arts instructor. After chatting with him for a while I decided to give one of his Karate classes a go. I soon got into the swing of things and began progressing quickly. My first belt came and went as did my second grading, unfortunately not long after this, things began to change for me and being 13 I decided my social life was far more important than training, so I quit martial arts and started down the rocky path of a teenager………. Fast forward to my adult life I settled down, got married and had a child.

With the birth of my son came new challenges I hadn’t come upon before. I had gained a lot of weight during pregnancy and this affected my confidence massively, more than I had realised.

During the next couple of years I had managed to shift some of the weight but nowhere near the amount I wanted. I had joined the local gym and attempted regular exercise, but I found it very easy to not go and stay home to eat biscuits instead.

Whilst having a coffee with my friend shed mentioned a local martial arts gym during a general conversation as a relative of hers trained there. This simple conversation triggered something in me and that spark from childhood twinkled again.

I enquired about classes with the owner and after several attempts I finally found the courage to try a ladies only class.

After about 30 minutes I fell completely in love with martial arts again. Even after such a short period of time the self-accomplishment I felt was unbelievable. Ever since that day I’ve been hooked. I soon noticed a big change in myself, I became more confident, I started losing weight and made lots of new friends. I felt a massive sense of belonging within my club.

Since my return to Karate I have since achieved many things. I am now a Black belt in Karate and a qualified instructor. I’m on the road to black belt in kickboxing and have just started my journey in Jiu jitsu. In Sep 2017 I had my first charity kickboxing event and attended my first Kata & Kumite competition. These will not be my last, I intend on competing more and more taking on new challenges along the way.

I can honestly say having martial arts in my life has been one of the most positive influences I think a person is capable of having.

I would truly be lost without it.


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Gannon's is the best martial arts academy in Leicester, very friendly instructor's. My son has been doing martial arts for nearly 5yrs and he loves it, can't get enough of the training. Well recommended to anyone, give it ago, you won't be disappointed.

Amit Patel

I have recently joined the academy and have been given a very warm welcome. I have no experience in martial arts and have started the beginner classes. I find the classes are exciting, fun and informative. They are a very supportive team and want to help you achieve your goals. Great atmosphere and lovely people to learn with! Whatever your ability or fitness, I highly recommend joining Gannon’s Mixed Martial Arts Academy

Diane Wartnaby

Wow, what a great place this is, we started taking our son as he was getting bullied at school, best move we ever made, he's like a different child! Lewis and Jasmine and Master Gannon are all great teachers and we are always welcome.

Ian Dunkley

I recently enrolled into the beginners program at Gannon's. Although it's early days I have learnt a lot already. The teachers are top quality and there is always a great atmosphere at the academy. I would definitely recommend Gannon's to anyone interested in starting MMA.

Jasper Alyn Stephens

My 7 year old son has just joined. Had a mini lesson on his own yeterday and had his first class tonight. He thoroughly enjoyed it and Lewis took the time to go through moves with him. He was not made to feel like a newby and hes looking forward to his next class. So far so good!

Kelly Richardson

Absolutely amazing! And that is a massive understatement. Everyone is very friendly and the instructors are top quality teachers. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

Liam Crawford

We have been coming to Gannons MMA for 1 year now. Our 2 boys have moved from white to blue belt this year. That's absolutely phenomenal considering they only 8 and 6. Our boys are truly energetic and just want to have fun and its been a challenge to calm them down. But since we joined Gannons MMA Leicester they have matured so much and Hyper Jon has even improved his focus in class. We cannot thank Lewis and Jasmine enough to help with implementing discipline into our two wild cat's. Over and above this, we really enjoy the professional classes that our boys attend with a proper dojo setup of thick mats, mma cage and loads of punching pads including the Bruce Lee punching man. What really sets this mma school apart from other schools is that we have Lewis and Jasmin training the boys each lesson together, along with their professionalism they have a professional setup. So there is more consistency in their lessons. Lewis and Jasmin are also so friendly even while trying to stay focused during classes. Everyone in the class is so friendly. In fact we have met two other couple's thru the mma classes. What is also great is the mma tournaments and socials, but best of all the Summer Camp. If you want a serious investment in your children then I can definitely recommend Gannons MMA. 5 Star rating for sure!!!

Mark Wedge

Today I went for my first kickboxing lesson and I have got to say I enjoyed it very much.. I was quite nervous going on my own but Paul Gannon welcomes you with open arms and make you feel comfortable. I will definitely be coming back... it is amazing experience and you also have fun why training... Thank you master paul Gannon

Matthew Leeson

No matter what you're aim is, either self defence or fitness, then Gannon's Mixed Martial Arts Academy is the best place to achieve your goals. The team are amazing, supporting you no matter what your level and it is more like a family than a dojo. I cannot recommend it highly enough, to say that it is life changing is not an exaggeration.

Paul Reid

A fantastic mixed martial arts school with brilliant, knowledgeable instructors and a great group of people to train with.

Paul Sheldrake

A fun and interesting classes that will keep you coming back for more

Ruth Singleton

The word Awesome is used a lot here. And for good reason. It is. Awesome instructors. Awesome people. And you will have an awesome time. If you are interested in martial arts. Fitness and mental discipline. You won't go wrong here. Two years in and still loving it. Awesome.

Steve Hadley