Customer Focus: Crawley Black Belt Academy

About Crawley Black Belt Academy

Crawley Black Belt Academy was started in 1999. We initially managed to get 2 hours a week at a local sports centre with 30 students. We only had a one hour slot on a Monday and a Thursday, so whenever another slot became available we jumped at the chance to take it. By doing this on an ongoing basis we eventually progressed from two hours a week to now teaching six days a week with both morning and evening classes. As our classes grew so did our school and we were able to introduce different classes like Little Ninja’s and Super Ninja’s. By taking on children from below the age of six we really were able to take our school to the next level. Fast forward a few years and we were able to introduce weapons classes and XMA. Now at CBBA we teach a combination of Wado Ryu and Sport Karate as well as our Little Ninja and Super Ninja programmes, Karate Kids, Weapons classes, XMA, Karate fitness classes. This year we moved into a full time location within the K2, a state of the art leisure centre located in Pease Pottage Hill, Crawley, West Sussex. This has allowed us to start teaching morning classes and we have also been able to add our first Karate fitness classes. They have proved to be extremely successful and in less than a year we are getting close to reaching our first 100 students in this class. Our ambition is to cater for adults at all levels of fitness and help them improve their endurance, strength, power and core. The classes are short and they offer a full workout but also fit within busy schedules. Whilst our Karate fitness classes have been extremely successful, we also introduced Ladies Only Karate to our schedule. This class uses Karate to improve student’s self-confidence, fitness and well-being and is a great class for stress relief! We’ve seen some amazing transformations from our Ladies and this is the motivation we need to continue changing people’s lives. We are also working on some exciting new projects at the Crawley Black Belt Academy and further details of these will follow shortly. We are really looking forward to continuing this fantastic journey into the New Year and can’t wait to see what the future brings… 2015 BRING IT ON!!
About Wayne and Sue
I have been involved in Martial Arts for over twenty years and it has been the most exciting and rewarding journey. I have trained in many different Martial Arts styles but now I specialise in Wado Ryu, a discipline of Karate. I have been lucky and with hard training and dedication I was selected to fight for my country at the 1994 World Championship in Argentina, where I was awarded the bronze medal. I fought for ten years and got to compete in many other countries such as Canada, Bermuda, Jamaica, Germany, Italy, Ireland and many more. In 1999 we founded Crawley Black Belt Academy to promote Wado Ryu karate in the community. This was also the year that I became a full time instructor and put all of my time into turning my dream of running my own school into a reality. We now teach 6 days a week and reached 400 students this year. After coming from teaching in a church hall we now have our full time location in Crawley’s biggest leisure centre. Our mission is to make our students more successful in life through their practice of karate and kickboxing at our school. We do this by teaching our Karate and Kickboxing as a complete discipline (mind, body, spirit) which in addition to developing physical defence encourages the formation of high personal standards and respect for their fellow men and women. Through our practice and teaching we strive to produce individuals who are positive, respected and contributing members of society. In addition to teaching our classes, we have a popular demo team (Karate and Weapons), a running team and will soon be launching an exciting new initiative.
I have participated in Martial Arts for more than 17 years. This has taught me many valuable life skills: leadership, team work, perseverance, confidence and so much more. In 1996 I was selected to represent England in Canada and won, to become the ladies gold medal World Open Karate champion at McMaster’s University on 25th May 1996. I run the Crawley Black Belt Academy with my husband Wayne.


We attended the SENI exhibition many years ago and were introduced to NEST, where we met Gerard.  At the time we were with another billing company, but it we were still impressed with what they had to say and the services they offered.  A few years later disaster struck in the form of our billing company going bust. We were in the position where we had 100 students who were no longer contracted to the school and we had no way of collecting fees.  We needed help and needed it fast and I am delighted to say that NEST came to the rescue. We called them up and asked for help and they dealt with the matter straight away. They put together a letter and sent it to all of our students letting them know what had happened and helped re-sign most of our students.  Without NEST we might not be here today. That was almost 5 years ago and with the help of NEST we have progressed from almost losing our school of 100 students to now hitting the 400 student mark for the first time earlier this year. The benefits from using NEST are huge and make the everyday running of the school much easier. The NEST student attendance system is brilliant and we are easily able to track who is training and can communicate with all the students via email or free text messages with the touch of a button. The other thing we really like about dealing with NEST is always having someone on the other end of the phone who can help us to sort out any problems that we run into.
(Interview from October 2014 )

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