All change at the Academy

Brian Bentham, head instructor, at the newly-relocated Ryu Do Karate & Fitness Academy at Landgate Industrial Estate
Brian Bentham, head instructor, at the newly-relocated Ryu Do Karate & Fitness Academy at Landgate Industrial Estate
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A RENOWNED martial arts training and fitness centre has arrived in Wigan following several years based on the other side of the borough.

Ryu Do Karate and Fitness Academy, run by shotokan karate fifth dan Brian Bentham, recently moved into new premises on the Landgate Industrial Estate in Bryn after nearly three years in Golborne.

The academy offers a large range of karate and other martial arts styles as well as fitness and exercise classes, and owner Brian hopes the new location will enable the academy to grow and attract more Wiganers to the delights of learning ancient Eastern combat traditions.

Brian, 58, said: “I felt the academy wasn’t really moving forward, and we’re in a great location now with a bigger catchment area.

“We’ve already introduced some new things since moving to Bryn, with classes in yoga and tai chi, and there’s been a lot of interest shown.

“We’re right on a busy main road and there’s been passing interest from prospective customers and also from instructors who want to teach here.”

The new academy building has been constructed from two modular classrooms which were formerly used as part of a now-closed university campus in Staffordshire.

Ryu Do is also about to gain more recognition as it is in the process of becoming the official UK centre of excellence for the World Kobukan Federation (WKF), a governing body intended to bring martial artists across the world together.

Although there is a wide range of combat and sport karate styles on offer, together with other martial arts such as aikido and styles of kung fu, Brian stresses there is much more to Ryu Do than just martial arts, with classes being offered for fitness and exercise as well as popular activities such as Zumba.

He is also keen to widen the range of clubs using the academy as a venue even further.

He said: “I want lots of community groups to be coming here and using the space.

“It can be anything at all, from parents’ groups to children’s birthday parties.

“Becoming the hondu dojo for the WKF is also very exciting as it makes us the head training facility for them, and the only other one is in Okinawa where the martial art was invented.”

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