Head Coach Coles (5th Dan Black Belt)
Head Coach Gary Coles is the founding member and driving force behind GPC MMA.
Gary took the decision to set up GPC MMA to build on the foundations of a lifetime commitment to Martial Arts.
His passion for MMA started when he took up Tang Soo Do at 8 years of age. His coaches
quickly identified his natural skills as a striker and he was encouraged to broaden his skills, this led to him taking up boxing in his teenage years.
By the age of 18 Gary had already accrued a broad skillset and sought further knowledge by joining his local Choi Kwan Do school. He committed all of his spare time around work commitments to hone his skills – training 6-7 days per week. Within 2.5 years he had achieved 1st Dan Black Belt status and by the age of 22 was an instructor.
As an instructor Gary found his true calling and decided to take up Martial Arts as his primary career. Between 2004 and the current time Gary taught Qi Kwan Do building up a number of successful schools in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. In parallel with this he added a further skillset by learning Brazilian Jui Jitsu (BJJ) with multiple World Champion Professor Tom Barlow.
In 2014 Gary was awarded “Master” status at the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame. This led to him being invited to attend numerous seminars and training camps around the world, learning and practicing Krav Maga, Pressure Points, Tae Kwan Do, Kickboxing, Karate and Ju Jitsu.
Gary’s passion for martial arts and his knowledge of striking, close range, ground techniques and defence have allowed him to create an elite MMA syllabus for developing high performing students.”
Coach Beattie (3rd Dan Black Belt)
Coach Steve Beattie’s martial arts journey began when he was around 10 years old and joined his local Tang Soo Do club. He trained for 2 years and his interest in martial arts began to grow. Fast forward 15 years and he started training with Head Coach Coles.
Coach Beattie considers that his training with Head Coach Coles has changed his life by improving his fitness, lifestyle and self-confidence.
During the time training with Head Coach Coles, Steve achieved his third Dan Black Belt and has assisted in developing and growing the Huntingdon, St.Neots and Cambridge clubs to their current levels of success.
Coach Beattie’s technical knowledge, precision and power have inspired all those training with him.
Coach Beattie has now been training with Head Coach Coles for over 12 years and has been
instrumental in developing the GPC MMA Black Belt syllabus and advanced techniques.
Coach Pilcher (1st Dan Black Belt)
Coach Luke Pilcher has over 30 years’ martial arts experience in a variety of disciplines. He first took up Shotokan Karate when he was 4 years old. By the age of 7 Luke had reached purple belt. A change of circumstances led to Luke looking elsewhere to satisfy his martial arts hunger.
His next stop was five years learning Kenpo, reaching brown belt double white stripe.
During his time learning Kenpo Luke’s competitive side also flourished. He was not only able to compete in national tournaments but also achieved great success, achieving three medals including one gold medal.
Luke possesses dynamic striking abilities and huge power, he was advised that he would benefit most from studying boxing and kickboxing. He trained at both of these disciplines during his teens before finding Tang Soo Do at the age of 17. Luke, once again, made quick progress by achieving the rank of green belt within four years.
At 21 Luke had already amassed a range of skills from five different disciplines. Life then took over and Luke’s ability to attend regular classes reduced, although his passion for the martial arts didn’t disappear. Luke trained alone and studied Dim Mak pressure point skills and Kung Fu.
Luke’s journey to become an instructor began when he became a father. His first son showed a keen interest in learning martial arts. Luke found a local club in Cambridge and attended the class with his son, thereby meeting Head Coach Coles for the first time. Luke was inspired by Head Coach Coles passion and dedication to the martial arts. Luke attained black belt status within 18 months after an intensive training program, and was asked to become an assistant instructor within the first six belts. Once he had obtained his Black Belt he was awarded full instructor status and was given his own class in Cambridge to teach.
Still wishing to learn more, Luke also started learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to improve his ground techniques and wrestling abilities as well as attending seminars on Krav Maga.
Luke’s interest in all things martial arts has meant that he has searched for the best system to suit his style and physique. Having studied ten different styles and never quite found the perfect fit he saw the development of the GPC MMA Syllabus as an opportunity to develop a competitive and well rounded system drawing upon his vast experience.
Working alongside Head Coach Coles and Coach Thomas, Luke has shared invaluable knowledge and learnings to develop the combinations which form a core part of the syllabus.
Coach Thomas (1st Dan Black Belt)
Coach Dan Thomas was born in Hong Kong and his love of Martial Arts began at an early age. His Grandfather was a boxer in the military and encouraged him to take up Kickboxing in his early teens.
Dan began training with Head Coach Gary Coles in 2016. Within a matter of months Dan
was training 4-5 days per week and attending 5-6 hours of classes per week. Within 18 months Dan had achieved Black Belt status and been awarded a “Senior Student Award” at the 2018 International Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
Dan worked closely with Head Coach Coles and tapped into his immense knowledge of the Martial Arts.
Head Coach Coles repaid his commitment by making him an Assistant Instructor in 2018 and a full Instructor in 2019. Along with Coach Pilcher the three collaborated on the diverse and rewarding GPC MMA syllabus.
Alongside the Martial Arts, Dan is a driven athlete as well as competing in 50+ half marathons and marathons he trains daily and has acquired skills in HIIT Training, flexibility drills and stamina work which have fed into the warm-up techniques and drills which bolster the GPC MMA syllabus.
Coach Best (1st Dan Black Belt)
Coach Brian Best started training with Head Coach Coles in 2011. Coach Best was a regular gym goer and felt that martial arts would bolster his training by providing good cardio fitness.
Coach Best also found that the martial arts provided him with a real confidence boost.
Head Coach Coles identified Coach Best as the ideal candidate to be a coach given his excellent
communication skills, focus and technical ability. Coach Best possesses superb striking ability and raw strength. As part of GPC MMA he is able to impart his striking knowledge to develop student’s techniques to hit harder and more effectively. He also makes a formidable sparring opponent to test even the most hardened martial artists skills.
Coach Best achieved Black Belt status in 2014 and through concentrated application and dedication achieved his first Dan black belt in 2018. Coach Best describes his black belt achievements as “easily the two most physically demanding but rewarding events in my life to date”.
Coach Best is the walking embodiment of hard work and dedication!
Coach Farina (1st Dan Black Belt)
Bio to follow