Learning Centre

Martial Arts Camp Spain 2018

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Martial Arts Camp Spain 2018

We all met up at East Midlands airport early Friday morning it was a surprisingly warm day for April in Leicester. Remarkably everyone was on time no one forgot their pass port and we all got through security. This one guy at security had a tube of tooth paste but instead of just giving it in, he proceeded to eat it, yes very weird but good banter. Read more

Steve Astley's Martial Arts Story

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Steve Astley's Martial Arts Story

How I started in martial arts…
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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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Charlotte's Martial Arts Story

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Charlotte's Martial Arts Story

My name is Charlotte Porter and this is my story about my journey with martial arts. I was walking down the street and looked in the window of a shop in my village it was a flyer for a martial arts club, my fist thoughts was I must try this out, not only because I loved keeping fit I thought to myself I needed to learn self-defence and try something new. I was eleven years old and was a very active child playing football, cross country running, gymnastics and trampolining club.


I went home and told my mum that there is this club in the village for Karate and could I go my mum said I would have to wait till my dad got home, so all excited I watched the driveway waiting for my dad to get home and when he arrived I asked him he said yes, I could go.


On the day of Karate I walked down to club in joggers and t-shirt all excited. As soon as I walked through the door and saw everyone in white uniforms I knew I would fall in love with it. My first session was not easy learning front kick, round kick and side kick but the thought in my head was yes this is the right thing for me and just kept copying what I was shown.


I then got to practice punches remembering being told thumbs on the outside and fingers in the inside. We did snap punch reverse punch and oh yes it was the most amazing feeling learning to punch. When the class had finished I knew that this was for me and wanted to continue it. I went home overjoyed that something like this could boost my confidence and bring it out of me.


I told my parents I wanted to go again and that was it really I have never stopped going or training. A couple of weeks later I had bought my uniform and then was put in for my red belt, well I passed as nervous as I was and I am always very nervous for grading as I want to do well. Then I bought my sparring kit well it was so good to spar I loved every minute of it.


I remember once we had a sparring tournament in our club and you could win medals I tried so hard to win my sparring match and at the end my master said I had won, I couldn’t believe it I had actually won a medal.


I think when I was learning katas this was probably the hardest thing that I had to achieve remembering all those moves in one go. Each belt had a new kata to learn and once at a certain belt you had to then learn the katas mirror and perform the opposite way round. Very confusing but I managed this.


Now my journey had really started working hard in classes with self-defence moves, katas, combinations and basic techniques. My most memorable times with martial arts are my grading’s as I was always so nervous and wanted to try my best and to get good grades in the marks.


I have started a new club now and it great to see the new changes in training techniques. Gannon’s martial arts have such a different way of teaching I am seriously enjoying it.


Furthermore, the club seems friendly and serious at the same time. The classes don’t have children in like my previous classes which was adult and children and found it harder to train with children in the same class. I used to train two hours three times a week but now it is a little less the sparring is much more controlled and the use of head guards has made martial arts even more enjoyable and serious for me.


Hard work but enjoyable and will continue to train for as long as my body allows me to.

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A True Story: The 80's, Cider Drinking and Flying Side Kicks

Sunday, August 06, 2017

A True Story: The 80's, Cider Drinking and Flying Side Kicks

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My first mixed martial arts class by Phil Davis

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

My first mixed martial arts class by Phil Davis

On my first day training at Gannon’s Mixed Martial Arts Academy, like anyone else who has started a completely new activity I would say I was full to the brim with nerves about what I was about to undertake. I had done martial arts previously in my life but not like this, not so hands on and practical so I had no idea what to expect.

Luckily for me I was starting with a friend which helped ease my nerves as, at least I wouldn’t be the only person that sucked! When approaching the desk, I was met by master instructor Paul Gannon, who was very friendly and clear about explaining what the course entailed and made sure I was ready and rearing to start my first step to awesomeness!

The last five years up until this point I had done literally no exercise or training of any kind so I was expecting to be unfit and very out of shape, I also smoked (which I would later give up for the martial arts.) but I had no idea just how unhealthy I was until the warm up happened. After what I can only describe as a full-frontal assault on my entire muscular system I was about ready to give up and crawl into the hole I came from, but I pressed on and continued because I wanted to learn some awesome stuff which is why I came here.

The first part of the lesson following the warm up was my very first striking combination, a straight up jab, cross, hook and uppercut combination. It’s safe to say that I was terrible at it, and with the pads, being from a very kata based hand in pocket background, I kept getting too close to the pads and within striking distance (this would continue for about a year) but I did learn not to drop my hand when striking, THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON.

After this we moved on to some grappling and Jiu Jitsu work, we did mount escapes including high swim, low swim and trap and roll escapes with tips on how to defend against them.

It was at this point I felt like I was going to die, I was so exhausted, and I thought it was over! But Master Gannon had “other ideas” and we finished off the session with some high intensity cardio, doing mount strikes on the pads for 3 1 minute rounds.

At the end of the session I felt dazed and confused but determined to do better so I signed up on the spot (after catching my breath at the speed of an asthmatic) determined to better myself and get fit, this is something I am still currently trying to achieve as it takes a lifetime to reach greatness. I ended up attending 4 sessions a week at least until I started teaching in April the following year and, as I mentioned before I gave up smoking in September 2015 as part of my commitment to the academy.

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My martial arts journey by Yvette Adams

Monday, July 10, 2017

My martial arts journey by Yvette Adams

Ever since I can remember, starting way back in childhood, I had recurring nightmares about being chased by a 'bad man' and although never caught, I could never escape either. As a consequence, in waking life, I was always frightened that if I actually got attacked in the street, or anywhere else, I would freeze and not be able to defend myself or shout out. 

Having thought about doing self-defence for years, at the ripe old age of 49 I finally stopped prevaricating and made an on the spot decision to do something about it.

On 'Googling' Martial Arts I came across Gannon's Mixed Martial Arts Academy on High Street, Leicester. There was an offer for 3 trial lessons for a small charge so I called up and left a message. I was surprised and impressed to receive a call back almost immediately and the rest, as they say, is history! I spoke to Master Instructor Paul Gannon and within minutes was booked in for my first trial lesson the next day. I was launched into punching and kicking techniques and then ‘trap and roll’ grappling and by the end of the session I was buzzing! I didn’t really need the 2nd & 3rd trial lessons to convince me that I should have done these years ago!

I started attending class on a regular basis – 2-3 times a week and really quickly grew in confidence. I felt a million dollars when I got my red belt about three months later and with regular training have worked through the belts so that, all being well, I’ll get my black belt later this year. I know that none of my friends or family really believed that I’d stick at it for so long but having proved them wrong I know that they are really proud of me.

Seriously Gannon’s is a great academy. Not just because of its excellent instructors – Master Gannon is a brilliant and motivational instructor and has taught Lewis and Jasmine well, they have natural talent, intuitive teaching skills and are great people and instructors – but also because of the added value. The ethos at Gannon’s is that of respect and making the very best of your ability. It doesn’t matter if you or your child are not the greatest athletes – what matters is that you strive to achieve the best that you can – and when you know that you have done that it’s great for your self-esteem and confidence. No one can take that achievement way from you. If you are keen, there is the opportunity to be taught to become an instructor yourself. I have been teaching music to children and adults on a one to one basis and in large groups for 35 years but the buzz of taking my first MMA class of young children was amazing!

Seriously, to anyone out there thinking about building confidence, gaining self-defence skills, building self-esteem, bringing discipline or focus into your life or your children’s lives, getting fit or just meeting some great new friends, get yourself and your kids down to Gannon's. I was amazed that after just a few classes my fear of the 'bad man' catching me had disappeared never to return. I feel equipped to handle myself in a conflict situation in a way I wouldn't have believed possible. In addition I'm proud of myself for achieving belt after belt. It has been and continues to be an awesome journey. My one and only regret? Yep, that's right....that I didn't do it years earlier!

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My first martial arts class by Paul Sheldrake

Monday, July 10, 2017

My first martial arts class by Paul Sheldrake

My friend Phil had mentioned to me a few times about coming down and training with him at Gannon’s Mixed Martial Arts. I thought about it and finally decided I would give it a go, however I had little knowledge of what it actually was, I had heard of UFC fighters like Conor Mcgregor and Ronda Rousey, but had never actually seen them in action.

I did my research, found a few UFC fights on YouTube, watched some jujitsu techniques and then I watched the film ‘Warrior’ with Tom Hardy and after that I was full of excitement, I couldn’t wait to get started, I text Phil and told him I was coming down for a lesson the next day.

When the next day came, I couldn’t stop thinking about what the class would be like, what I would learn, what the people would be like. I was slightly nervous, I had never done anything like this and didn’t want to be there making a fool of myself, but I wasn’t discouraged I was too excited and full of energy.

Work dragged and time went slowly and I wasn’t putting a lot of focus into the job I was on. People must have been sick of me that day because all I was talking about was what I would be doing after work, my first ever lesson in martial arts.

Work was finally over and it was time to get home and get ready, I got home, got showered, changed and had a coffee, to try and wake myself up a bit after the long, slow day at work.

Once I got to Gannon’s I was greeted by Jasmine, one of the instructors, and soon after it was time to get started.

Instructor Lewis took the class and after the warm up I was paired up with someone named Quin, this was also his first lesson at Gannon’s, I was slightly relieved that I wasn’t the only new face there. Once we got started we did some boxing combos, some kicks then clinch work that involved one of you getting both under hooks then the other person getting them. My brain and my body had no idea what it was doing, but it was a start. Before I got the hang of the striking and clinch work, it was time for some grappling, another entirely new experience for me. Lewis demonstrated for the class a trap and roll, and then it was my turn to do it on Quin. It was a basic technique, but I felt like Bruce Lee.

The 40-minute lesson felt more like 5, once it was over I had already decided that this was for me and I couldn’t wait to be the back the next day. That day had been my first step in a long journey of Martial Arts.

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One of my best days in Martial Arts by Jasmine Gannon

Monday, July 10, 2017

One of my best days in Martial Arts by Jasmine Gannon

I had never felt nerves like it before, my brain couldn't comprehend the fear pulsing through my veins; all of my body was telling me to run away and go home, my heart was beating, I felt sick, I was sweating and every muscle was tensed and alert. Nothing that I had experienced had ever close to how terrified I was when I was waiting for my name to get called. We had been in the sports halls for around two hours warming up and waiting for my weigh in and I had been perfectly calm and relaxed up until my group was called. Looking around at the other women in my group, I was the youngest by perhaps ten years and in my head I was tiny compared to everyone else, with my heart still beating, I tried to calm down and go through my game plan and remember what my dad (and instructor) had told me; arms in, knees in, keep breathing.

The women next to me was looking around in her bag for her drink but couldn’t find it, I immediately thought that there's no way that I can beat this giant woman but I can ‘kill her with kindness’ and psych her out so I gave her my water bottle and had a chat with her whilst trying to be my most friendly self. Finally my name was called and the feeling of absolute terror kicked in again; I looked over at my dad and brother, tried to smile and walked to the middle of the mat. I bowed at referee and then at my opponent, tried to relax and empty by mind, the referee said start and my opponent and I touched hands, from the minute the clock started my jiu jitsu brain kicked in and everything else was second nature, I jumped guard, and then swept her to top control.

Suddenly there was blood all over my hands, her shoulder and the matts and the fight was stopped, I was often having nose bleeds at training due to the heat so I knew I wasn’t hurt, but I was terrified of them disqualifying me when I knew I was up on points! My first thought was to convince the referee and the medic that I wasn’t injured and I was fine to carry on, all whilst blood was pouring out of my nose and onto my new light pink rashguard. I was taken over to the medical room to be assessed to whether or not I was injured and if I can carry on, I was telling everyone I can see that I was fine, I was not injured and I could definitely carry on! To my delight I was allowed to continue. My mindset was very different to how I had started out, I was no longer a bag of nerves, this time I was hungry for the win and focused. The match restarted and I fought the whole match to keep top control and what felt like after 3 hours, the 5 minute match was finished and I won.

The tiredness hit me like a brick wall, my limbs felt like jelly, my head was banging and I couldn’t catch my breath, the worst thing was I knew I only had a few minute break until I had to fight another girl for the Gold. I was less nervous this time when my name got called and my adrenaline was racing through. The referee said start and I went to shake hands with my opponent, instead of the sportsmanship hand bump I was used to, she grabbed my hand and tried to arm drag me, I defended quickly and smiled at her and knew in that moment that I could beat her. I jumped guard and within a few seconds had the kimura submission and was inches away from getting the win, I could hear my dad and brother screaming from the sidelines ‘finish her, finish her!’ and a second later I felt the familiar two tapps and knew that I had won gold. I was elated and couldn’t contain my joy, I took thousands of selfies with my new medal and was whisked away to McDonald's for my victory meal. In reality, the competition probably went very differently to how I remembered it but my memory is of me battling giant women fighting to the death to get the win.

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Paul’s Martial Arts Journey – Part 1

Friday, June 16, 2017

Paul’s Martial Arts Journey – Part 1

It was November 1982 I was 13 years old, I was rubbish at sport, not doing great academically, like many teenagers I was perpetually confused by life. It was a Tuesday night I was making myself some food in the kitchen when two of my brothers Mick and John told had a chat with me. They told me I was going to their Tae Kwon Do class the next day, I tried to protest, they were both clearly passionate about the training and they were not taking no for an answer. John was four years older than me and had already been training about three years and was a brown belt, Mick was seven years older than me and was already a black belt. Read more

What our clients say

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