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Welcome to Swanage Self Defence & Martial Arts (SMA)! I hope you enjoy your training and are looking forward to learning with us. Please take a few minutes to read ALL of the following important information about your classes and training with us.

Your class(es)

Your weekly class(es) will be at the same time and place as your first session each week except for scheduled holidays (see further below) that you will be notified of, or unexpected closures. If you ever need to change class, cancel your membership, or want to train in more sessions, please contact (Sensei) Ian vial email to start your 1 month notice period.

Here is our class timetable for reference:


If there is ever anyone you know who would like to try this or any of our classes, please pass on our details to them and, if they mention you introduced them on their online booking form and they join, you will get your choice of a FREE T-SHIRT or £10 CASH!

You are also welcome to book private classes anytime throughout your membership with us, just message me to request this.

Future monthly payments

Thank you for setting up your GoCardless account. If you have sighned up for monthly membership , your future payments will be debited from your account at the end of each month unless you let us know of a more suitable date. If you joined mid-month your next payment will be in 4 weeks and will also cover the remainder of next month followed by future monthly payments at the end of each month.

Please note, renewal payment for all student's licences and insurance will be automatically debited 1 week before it expires, so it can be processed and renewed without a break in membership. Unfortunately, we do not have a facility to send reminders of this so far in advance so please make your own note of it to ensure your funds will be available. If payments do fail, students will not be able to return to training until payment has been received, cleared and their insurance has been confirmed as renewed.

Dates for your diary


Please note, other than a few weeks of closure in the year and at Christmas for instructors' annual leave or any closures beyond our control, our classes run throughout the whole year and your fees are calculated over this period which means students do not need to adjust or pause their monthly payments on the few occasions we are closed.

  • Christmas break

    • The last After School Club class of the year will be on Thursday 14th of December 2023 (1 day earlier than our normal Friday class time) and the first class back will be on Friday 5th of January 2024

    • The last Swanage Main Club class of the year will be on Saturday 16th of December 2023 and the first class back will be on Saturday 6th of January 2024


  • There are currently no remaining events this year, look out for future events next year such as our annual Swanage Carnival and Basingstoke Thai Festival Kick-Boxing demonstrations.

Gradings, your first uniform and belts

What are belt gradings and why are they needed?

Gradings are a way of marking your progress in martial arts, they are also an indication of your skill level and the colour of your belt tells the instructor what skills you should know and what you are ready to learn next. All new beginners are classed as white belts, not everyone wants to progress through belt levels and some wish to train for other aspects such as fitness or health which is fine, but it should be understood that in all martial arts white belts will only ever practice the skills of their belt level and other skills can only be learnt when you have reached the next belt and further grades.

What do you need to grade?

Most clubs expect students to order a uniform and sparring gear straight away when they join, but we are happy to let you stagger payments for these essential items throughout the first year of your membership if you want to. Therefore, you don't need to order a club uniform until you are ready to take your first belt gradings with us (which will be approximately 1 to 2 months after joining and every 3 to 4 months thereafter), although you are welcome to order it earlier if you wish. Please note, you will need a uniform at least 1 month before taking your first grading. To do so, we will need some measurements from you (see below).

When you order your uniform, please email us with the following measurements

Details and prices are currently as follows:

  • The karate uniform consists of a jacket, trousers and your first white belt and the price is currently, subject to change by our suppliers, £45 (for students over 150 cm in height) or £40 (under 150 cm) - karate students please email us your required height to the nearest 10 cm. 

Students can also wear club t-shirts instead of their jackets in hot weather, or club hoodies in cold weather. The details, subject to change by our suppliers, are as follows:

  • Club t-shirts cost £20 for a cotton t-shirt, £25 for a cooling/sweat-wicking t-shirt, or £25 for a vest - all students who are interested, please email us your required t-shirt size (XS, S, M, L or XL). 

  • Club hoodies are available for colder weather. They are very warm and have 1 kangaroo pocket with 2 interior vertical pockets (perfect for your mobile phone etc). The prices are currently £40 for children's sizes (by age) or £45 for adult sizes (S, M, L, XL, etc).

Please message me with your size requirements if you would like any of the above items.

So, you want to take belt gradings and work towards being a Black Belt?

No problem! This is a great way to measure your progress in martial arts and learn more grade-related skills. Your instructor is a qualified grading examiner with the British Combat Association and can assess you for this in class. Our belt gradings are structured to gradually grow your skills in an achievable way as you progress. In order to take gradings, you will need a uniform at least 1 month before taking your first grading (order details in previous paragraph).

Attached below is the first grading syllabus, students under 9 (or anyone with special educational needs) can do it in 3 parts, which will be marked by tags on their belt called 'Mons'; 3 Mons equal the next belt. Here is the link to YOUR FIRST GRADING SYLLABUS

Please note all syllabuses can be, and sometimes are, amended so please always go via the link above to get the most updated one, not via a hard copy.

Students who wish to take belt gradings will get their first (white) belt with their uniform (see above for ordering details). We regularly practice the skills required for gradings in class and hold regular gradings througout the year which need to be booked by the deadline you will be notified of (please see Dates For Your Diary above for the next one. When you have reached the required standard and number of attended classes to progress to the next belt you will be invited to grade for it. You will then need to book it and order the safety equipment required by the booking deadline which will allow enough time for us to order your items and for you to practice with them. The required safety items consists of sparring gloves and a gum-shield (which are the minimum requirement for taking your first grading following white belt), shin guards (for your second grading) and a head-guard (for your third grading). If you would like to order any of these items in advance you are welcome to do so, please let me know.

Please ask if you are at all unsure or wish to also order - or get more details about - any other items, such as groin guards or chest guards - both items are highly recommended for your protection.

We also have a club clothing range, so if you want t-shirts, club hoodies, baseball or beanie hats, as mentioned above please contact (Sensei) Ian. You may also want a sports bag for carrying your kit in, and for practising what you learn at home there are strike pads, kick bags, Kali sticks, training knives (adults only), and more available to order from us, so if there is anything you want to know more about don't hesitate to contact (Sensei) Ian. 

They also make great gifts for you or the budding martial artist in your life. ! I am more than happy to get your items to you without the recipient knowing, if you want to surprise them for gifts and special occasions.

Staying in contact with us

To stay updated on all the latest club news and events:

  1. You will be invited to join our members-only WhatsApp group where I post updates and club news.

  2. If you enjoyed your first class and are on Facebook, please visit, like and drop us a quick review at Swanage Martial Arts & Self Defence | Swanage | Facebook and it would also be much appreciated if you can please copy your review to Google here Many thanks.

  3. You can also follow us on Instagram at @hampshireanddorset_martialarts or Twitter at

If you ever have any questions or are considering changing or cancelling your membership, please message me with details via the link below and I will get back to you as soon as possible:

  1. You can email us at any time on

  2. Or give us a call/text in daytime hours on 07888 660225 

A Final Thought - your first and most important lesson

The most important thing in self-defence is being aware and prepared for dangers or problems that you may face before they occur, rather than having to deal with them when you least expect them - this is your first and most important lesson!

What to do when you feel like quitting

At the start of your martial arts journey, everything is fresh and exciting, but there will be days when it doesn't always feel that way and that is when you need to remind yourself why you or your children started, what you wanted to achieve and then JUST GO TRAINING.

When the weather is miserable, the nights are dark and the house is cosy and warm, if you have a small injury or feeling a little bit under the weather, it is easy and understandable to want to give in to yourself and allow yourself a day off (we all feel it), but then when the next class comes and you feel the same way, most people think: 'oh well, it won't matter if I miss just 1 more class, it's only 2 classes and I'll be back next week'. You may feel the same the next week, and the week after, and the week after... Continually giving in to your or your children's wishes to 'take it easy' and miss a class or two will eventually mean you or they will quit!

“Remember that life’s greatest lessons are usually learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes.” Anonymous

That is why I ask this one thing of you if you or your child ever start to think about quitting, please speak to me straight away before making a potentially life-changing decision.


Parents, please remember children often have low attention spans and get bored easily, so as they progress training may start to seem less exciting, requiring more concentration and commitment to progress. When they reach this point in their martial arts journey, they may say they don't enjoy training anymore and want to quit.

Please work with us on encouraging them to work through this. In the same way, children have to go to school whether they want to or not.

On that note, parents and carers often tell us they want their children to be taught in a structured and disciplined way, in order to do that we occasionally have to tell them off and give them a time out. When this happens at their school, the children often don't want to go back but they have to by law, but when it happens at martial arts, the child will sometimes say they want to quit (they may even say it is for other reasons or make something up that is not the real reason). If you let them quit without talking to us first, they learn that they can always have and do whatever they like in life without any consequences and can walk away from their actions. THAT IS NOT THE WAY OF A MARTIAL ARTIST or good citizen generally, and may well eventually lead them into trouble throughout their lives. Please help us to help you and your children by just sending them to training, even when they don't want to come, and remember our adage, that THERE IS NO GROWTH IN COMFORT!

The strength to commit to martial arts promotes a way of life in which you persevere, the day you or your children quit is the day I guarantee that at some point in the future, you or they will regret doing so!

By persevering you/they will reap so many benefits throughout your/their life, such as improved self-confidence, self-respect, a healthy body and a strong determined mind, super-fast reactions, and improved lifetime safety in many more ways than you could ever imagine. If you are ever in doubt JUST GO TRAINING and speak to me, I promise I will always help you and will never quit on you, as I have been where you/they are now and can help with all of the pitfalls, setbacks, lows and highs of becoming and being the true martial artist you and your children deserve to be!


“There is no growth in comfort" - Geoff Thompson, British Combat Association Chief Instructor

Introduce a friend or family member prize incentive

As mentioned earlier, if you know of anyone who would be interested in trying a class with us, please help us by passing on our details to them (if you need any cards or a poster to display at work/school etc please let me know). If you tell them to mention you introduced them and they join, you will get your choice of A FREE T-SHIRT, £10 CASH or YOU BOTH GET A FREE PRIVATE CLASS where we can help you with anything you like.

You are also welcome to book private classes with me anytime throughout your membership with us, just message me to request this!

Lastly, if you enjoyed the classes, please can you do me a big favour and help us grow and keep going by dropping us a quick review? 

Facebook Reviews and Google Reviews

Many thanks!


Please let us know what you want to gain from your training over the next 12 months by completing this short feedback form.  

Student Feedback (

Don't worry, only I get to see your answers and can use them to make sure you get the very best training experience with us to meet your needs.


Many thanks for completing the review and feedback links, it really does help me and your club.


If you ever have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to message me!



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