MARTIAL ARTS, NORWICH
The Black Belt Academy (BBA) is one of the longest established Martial Arts Groups operating in Norfolk and the City of Norwich. It was founded by Grandmaster Richard Vince (currently 8th Degree Black Belt) back in 1980 when he started teaching classes at the Crome Recreation Centre on Telegraph Land, Thorpe End and Diss Youth Centre.
Within a year, he had expanded and was also teaching classes in Harleston and the Duke Street Recreation Centre, Norwich.
Initially, the BBA taught only Korean Karate based on Taekwondo, this has now evolved into 'Zen Budo Karate' which is a hybrid of several styles, taking the best from each to form a 'superstyle' which is both practical and modern yet maintains its traditional roots.
Following Richard's success as a competitive Amateur Boxer and Professional Kickboxer however, he created a Kickboxing syllabus (which is still widely in use around the world) and began teaching this art in 1990.
Classes were popular and very busy back then and it was common to see 30 - 50 students in both Karate and Kickboxing classes.
These days however, Grandmaster Vince is far more concerned with the QUALITY rather than the quantity of his students and, today, classes are more usually around the 20 student mark.
When they are busy, there are usually 2 or more instructors to ensure that the instructor/student ratio stays at 20:1 or less.
Master Vince also coaches a limited number of students in Karate and/or Kickboxing on a one to one basis and these are usually people who find it difficult to make group classes or who would like to progress at a more rapid rate. There are also other instructors available at BBA to coach 121 sessions.
Most students at the Black Belt Academy take between 3 and 5 years to achieve Black Belt, depending on their natural ability and their level of commitment. One to one students however, can significantly shorten this time frame due to the more intense nature of the learning.
The Academy has a very simple philosophy on success;
"If you are one of our members you will become a Black Belt and continue to achieve Black Belt Excellence in your life for as long as you remain a member."
It's a simple and reassuring philosophy that has helped over 25 students achieve Black Belt staus within the last 12 months.