Masters Academy Plymouth Team

As a member of Masters Academy Plymouth you have the opportunity to train with some truly world class instructors.

All our instructors pride themselves on teaching fun, exciting, energetic, and educational classes.

Our instructors also understand the importance of continual education and improving their martial arts skills. You will regularly see them training in classes or at any opportunity they get.

Anton St’James aka ‘Chief’

Head Instructor

Chief is the founder & co-owner of Masters Academy Plymouth. He has taught many of the UK’s top martial arts instructors, and is currently head of Cacoy Doce Pares Europe.

He now mainly focuses on teaching the Filipino Martial Arts and Muay Thai Kickboxing classes and teaches seminars around the world.
Anton’s Achievements:

Began training in 1971
Started teaching in 1977
9th Degree Black Belt in Filipino Martial Arts
6th Degree Black Belt in Karate
Founder KTX Kickboxing System
National Coach in Muay Thai Kickboxing awarded by Grand Master Toddy
3rd Degree Black Belt Okinawan Kobudo
4 x Martial Arts Hall of Fame Inductee
Head of Cacoy Doce Pares Eskrima UK/Europe
Head of San Miguel Eskrima UK/Europe
Executive Board Member British Council Kali, Eskrima, Arnis Instructors
Training Director Street Safe UK Personal Protection Programme & EWAP
CDPUK Stickfighting Team Coach
Founder Blade Warriors International
2 x British Karate Champion
European Karate Champion
International Martial Artist of the Year 2015
Continuously traveled around the world to train with martial arts masters since 1981 


Anton’s Message:

Believe in yourself and set the goal to achieve the best you are capable of in life.

The martial arts journey has some challenging moments, stick to the path and you will gain some amazing life changing experiences.

The journey is different for each and everyone of us but we all share the same goal…Excellence in everything we do!

Tom Barlow


Tom is a co-owner & senior instructor at Masters Academy. He teaches our Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Muay Thai Kickboxing clases. He also teaches our instructor training programme.

Tom is considered one of the UK’s best Jiu Jitsu practitioners and regularly competes and teaches around the world.
Tom’s Achievements:

Began training in 1993
Started teaching in 2002
5th degree Black Belt in Kickboxing
1st Degree Black Belt in Cacoy Doce Pares Eskrima
1st Degree Black Belt in Barong Kalasag Kali
1st Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu awarded by Braulio Estima
CSW Coach Level 1 awarded by Erik Paulson
3 x BJJ Black Belt World Champion
European Champion
6 x British BJJ Champion
ADCC Finalist
Ghost Instructor
Competed in MMA, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, & Judo since 2004
Continuously traveled around the world to train with martial arts masters since 2004

Tom’s Message:

I believe martial arts is a vehicle for developing your full potential. Few things in life will put you as close to reality. It’s easy to distort our perception to make things more comfortable, in order to accept what we are.

When you train martial arts, it’s impossible to deceive yourself because reality comes at you in the purest form. A life and death struggle, using determination, your focus, your mind, and your training over and over again.

Andy Wu

Head Instructor

Andy’s Martial Arts journey began with Taekwondo when he was a child. He has competed in various martial arts styles but his passion really lies in tricking style of martial arts.

Andy coaches many of the children’s classes at Masters Academy and works heavily with our children’s competition team.

Andy’s Achievements:

3rd Degree Black Belt in WTF Taekwondo
3rd Degree Black Belt in KTX Kickboxing
Ba (Hons) Finance and Accounting
British Open Champion 2011 – Extreme Weapons
British Open Champion 2015 – Light Continuous Kickboxing
Competition experience in Kickboxing, Taekwondo, and Forms

Andy’s Message:

Nothing is impossible.

There is always the possibility for you to achieve whatever you want. However, achieving great things requires hard work so be prepared to put in the effort.

Never say impossible.

Sandra Benwell

Sandra has been working at Masters Academy for over 10 years as the Academy manager.

Both her husband and son have been involved in the Academy since it first opened.

Sandra’s Achievements:

Management Level 3
Manage Business Environment
Manage Bespoke IT Software
Customer Service
Develop Management Systems
CPF Child Protection

Sandra’s Message:

Nothing is impossible.

It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in everyday life always give yourself praise, even if no-one else does.

Always remember to end your day on a positive note, you will feel so much happier.

Michael Grandpierre

Mike has been training martial arts for over ten years and became a Masters Academy level 3 coach in 2015.

He is the lead instructor for the Junior programme and actively attends many of the classes at the academy.

Mike’s Achievements:

Began training in 2004
Head of Masters Academy Plymouth Junior Programme
Black Belt in Kickboxing
Level 2 in Cacoy Doce Pares Eskrima
MAP Level 3 Certified Instructor
Ba (Hons) Digital Art

MIke’s Message:

Nothing is impossible.

Martial Arts builds character traits such as discipline, respect, and modesty. These develop naturally over time through training. Most importantly it allows us to know ourselves mentally and physically

However, the many benefits of Martial Arts can only be gained through dedication, courtesy, consistency, and focus

Riccardo Catindig-Stagg

Rik has been training martial arts since he was a child and has competed in many different styles of martial arts including Karate, and Eskrima.

Along with Anton St’James he is the instructor for the Filipino Martial Arts programme and also helps with the Childrens classes.

Rik’s Achievements:

2nd Degree Black Belt in San Miguel Eskrima
2nd Degree Black Belt in Kickboxing
1st Degree Black Belt in Cacoy Doce Pares Eskrima
1st Degree Black Belt in Jun Fan Kickboxing
1st Degree Black Belt in Multi-System Eskrima
1st Degree Black Belt in Pangamot
2 x Gold Medalist Bali International Stickfighting Challenge
RAT (Rapid Assult Tactics) Apprentice Instructor
No Lie Blades Apprentice Instructor
MAP Level 3 Certified Instructor
Represented the UK at the CDP World Championships in Cebu, Philippines

Rik’s Message:

Martial Arts are for everyone. There is no way you can’t achieve what you want to do if its what you really want to be doing.

The best way to be happy is to test yourself daily both physically and mentally. I believe martial arts are the best way to do this.

The best martial artists are always smiling and always eating!

Gary Fields

Gary has been training many years in various martial arts and has gained extensive competition experience in that time.

As a Kickboxing coach he is passionate about the art and helping others achieve their best.

Gary’s Achievements:

1st Degree Black Belt in American Kickboxing
2nd Degree Black Belt in KTX Kickboxing
Ghost Elusive Combat Instructor
No Lie Blades Apprentice Instructor
Competition experience in Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, and K-1
MAP Level 2 Certified Instructor
Trained in Holland and Thailand

Gary’s Message:

My Martial Arts journey has helped me achieve many things not just within the world of Kickboxing but lessons I have been able to take away and help improve the quality of my life and the life of my family.

Martial arts can help anyone in many different ways. It’s not all just kicking and punching it helps you learn how to cope with challenges and stresses of everyday life and become a better person for it.

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