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The Over Norton and Salford classes are run by Barry Holland.

In his own words, here is what makes Barry well qualified to instruct this new class.

From Military Service to Life Coach

“After serving 10 years in the military both at home in Europe and northern Ireland, I became a qualified Life Coach and NLP Practitioner. I have always taken an holistic approach to self-improvement and to helping increase the performance of others. We must always focus on developing our minds as well as our bodies in order to maximise everything we do and connect with the world around us.

Shotokan Karate

I started my martial arts career with Shotokan Karate and worked my way up to 2nd Dan Black Belt, winning several tournaments and trophies along the way. Karate was a great vehicle for discipline, fitness and sport and virtually took over my life for 8 years.

I guess I was looking for the next stage and assessing which martial art would take me in a different direction. I wanted something that was reality based and having dabbled with the very effective Krav Maga, I decided I wanted something that would be more intense – after all they can teach krav maga to soldiers in 12 weeks. Whilst I loved the sport of Karate and the efficiency of Krav Maga I felt that they both required constant practice to retain any modicum of skill. As the originator of modern Karate Sensei Funakoshi was reputed to have said, “Karate is like hot water, if you do not give it heat constantly it will again become cold.”

What I wanted was something that might be challenging and extremely difficult to master, but that wasn’t based on memorising patterns. I wanted something that was like riding a bike. Once you are able to do it, you can return to it after a prolonged absence and still ride adequately. Of course I wanted to continue to master this new skill but I didn’t want to be a slave to it.

Discovering Wing Chun

I found that very vehicle in Wing Chun and once I fully grasped the power of this scientifically proven, mathematically-based, and lethal martial art, I realised that everything else had just been a stepping stone to this point.

The biggest challenge I faced was unlearning what was already embedded and starting again from scratch basing my defence and counter attack upon the sense of touch rather than the sense of vision as with most martial arts.

That was three years ago commencing with my first few months studying remotely under Master Wong’s ‘colourful’ tuition, then a brief stint with WCI until finally meeting Sifu Nikolaos Gourgounidis who showed me that even within the Wing Chun fraternity there are very different levels of effectiveness.

Sifu Nik is an immensely skillful and effective fighter and when I was given the opportunity to set up a joint venture with him, I jumped at the chance. Thus Wing Chun Street Defence was born with the first club starting back in September 2013 in Banbury. Since then the club has gone from strength to strength, opening a new venue in Stowmarket. Sifu Nik has since returned to Greece and I now run the club myself. I continued training under the guidance of Sifu Wang Meng in China.

I would recommend Wing Chun to everyone so why not come and experience it first hand and start your own journey?