Black belt mid term grading at Karate World Cheltenham

Head Instructor Mat Thornhill and the"instructor's" instructor Dave Kovar

Head Instructor Mat Thornhill

Having a varied career including head chef, journalist, British army  and telecom engineer, head instructor Mat Thornhill started martial arts training on moving to Cheltenham in 2008 (although he trained in Judo up to the age of 10, and krav maga while in the army) training at Karate World (now Cheltenham Martial Arts) in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA/MAARLISK) and Wado Ryu Karate. In 2010 Mat started martial arts instructor training with Master Instructor Stephen Thompson and Master Instructor Everton Smith (both 7th dan world martial arts champions). In 2011 Mat passed his first Dan black belt and started assistant instructing and occasionally taking martial arts classes. In the same year he also started training at W.J. Freestyle Kickboxing (now Warriors Kickboxing) in Churchdown near Gloucester. In 2012 Mat passed his second dan black belt and completed an instructor's mastery course. In 2013 Mat started Festival Martial Arts at Cheltenham Racecourse (the club is named after the Cheltenham festival of horse racing) running classes in mixed martial arts and cardio kickboxing where he was working as Head of Night Security. In 2014 he moved to the Hereford area and currently works for Octaga Security, as well as working on the family livestock farm and running Festival Martial Arts at Clehonger. In 2018 Mat was awarded his 2nd dan black belt in Freestyle Martial Arts with the World United Martial Arts Federation (W.U.M.A.) and is also a W.U.M.A 2nd dan black belt examiner.

Along the way in addition to his 2nd dan black belts in MMA and Freestyle Martial Arts Mat occasionally trains in kickboxing, Ju Jitsu, Wing Chung Kung Fu, Krav Maga, Escrima, Wado Ryu Karate and Tai Chi Chen, as well as having trained with various martial artists such as Dave Kovar.

Assistant Instructor Tyler Millward

Tyler has previously trained in boxing and  is currently training at Festival Martial Arts  in mixed martial arts and freestyle kickboxing as well as being on the trainee instructor course training for the WUMA Assistant Coach qualification. He is hoping to compete in the WUMA English Open Kickboxing Championships in September. Tyler is on his final GCSEs at high school and is looking to follow a career in the building trade, going on to study the appropriate courses at college.

In addition, Tyler's favourite colour is green, if he could be an animal he would be an eagle and he trains at Festival Martial Arts because he likes the instructor (thank you 😁), he finds the classes fun, he is making new friends and learning new skills.

Assistant Instructor James Cashmore

James has previously trained in boxing and is currently training at Festival Martial Arts in mixed martial arts and freestyle kickboxing as well as being on the trainee instructor course training for the WUMA Assistant Coach qualification. He is hoping to compete in the WUMA English Open Kickboxing Championships in September. James is on his final GCSEs at high school and is looking to pursue a career in music, going on to study the appropriate courses at college. 

In addition James's favourite colour is red, if he could be an animal he would be a polar bear (!) and he trains at Festival Martial Arts as he wants to become skilled in martial arts and learn self discipline. 

Assistant Instructor

Assistant instructor details to be added soonWild