Kick-starting a new business

Scot Tudhope has set up The Martial Arts Academy in South Shore. He is pictured practising a throw with coach Paul Rice.
Scot Tudhope has set up The Martial Arts Academy in South Shore. He is pictured practising a throw with coach Paul Rice.
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A MATURE student has shown his fighting business spirit – by opening a dedicated mixed martial arts venue – complete with the Fylde coast’s only cage fighting set-up.

And Scot Tudhope has built The Martial Arts Academy with more than a little help from online auction sites.

Mr Tudhope started his business, based just off Waterloo Road in Cleveleys, by using the power of the internet.

He said: “I’ve invested every penny of my savings and what was left of my student loans into this business.

“And we have the first full fighting cage in Blackpool.

“It’s as though the centre has been built by ebay. I got some excellent equipment by shopping around.”

The centre now boast 180sq metres of judo mats, a cage, and various pieces of exercise equipment.

The centre offers a variety of martial arts, including kick boxing, Jiu Jutsu and Atemi Jutsu – described as the art of striking vital points - ably taught by Scott and instructors including pro boxer, kickboxing champion and cage fighter Jon Tomkinson. and Jiu Jutsu coach Paul Rice. All hold top belts and qualifications.

The centre has just celebrated after training its first student to black belt standard in Atemi Jutsu.

The business has proved so successful that entrepreneur Scot is hoping to further expand his business in the next 12 months.

He added: “There’s a good chance we can double in size. We’ll look at gaining more accreditation.

“I’m looking at doing a full strength and conditioning studio in here as well.

“I’ll be going for personal training qualifications as well.”

Scot handed in his final dissertation last week and used his martial arts skills to supplement his income while studying.

He said: “I’d been teaching in private schools, including Stoneyhurst, Windsor and York, since 2001.

“I’ve also trained people on the doors in Blackpool about how to deal with troublemakers using non-striking techniques.

“I’ve scraped together every bit of money I could to put this all together, and my in-laws bought the cage.

“It’s been a long road but we are here for the long term and hopefully will be twice as big very soon.”

The Martial Arts Centre can be found behind J W Signs on Waterloo Road and lessons are held for people of all ages.