Customer Focus: Evolution Martial Arts

About Sensei James Cockill and Sensei Luke Randell

Sensei James Cockill has been studying Martial Arts for over 28 years, initially in Shukokai Karate. The founder of Shukokai, Master Chojiro Tani, understood the principles of body mechanics and used them to great effect when he was developing Shukokai Karate. Master Tani used the hip twist as the focal point of his style. He believed the hip to be like a coiled spring, where the most power could be produced by effective body kinetics.

This has made Shukokai one of the hardest striking arts today.  Sensei Cockill later cross-trained and studied various other Martial Arts, including: American Freestyle Karate under Sensei Pat Burleson in Texas, USA; Gracie Ju-Jitsu under Pedro Sauer in Utah, USA; Kata No I Aikido under Sensei Jorge Valladeres in Utah, USA; and Kickboxing & Boxing with Johnny Cocca; number one ranked kick boxer in North America from Rochester, New York USA.

Cross training in these styles resulted in Sensei Cockill and Sensei Rendell developing a unique and realistic Self Protection Programme at Evolution Martial Arts Academy. The programme consists of pre-fight strategies, focussing on body posture, conversation and evasive techniques, heightening awareness to avoid and escape dangerous situations.

The programme also includes In-fight techniques, making use of effective striking, joint destruction, and restraints. Combined with the Self Protection skills taught at Evolution Martial Arts Academy, the programme also includes a Children’s Character Education Scheme. This covers stranger awareness, creating positive attitudes, anti-bullying, promoting self-confidence, developing listening skills and many more.

Keeping with the ethos of Evolution Martial Arts Academy, the instructors are constantly trying to improve training methods and instruction.

Both Sensei Cockill and Sensei Rendell train in many different systems, and styles of Martial Arts. They also attend frequent seminars hosted by some of the highest qualified instructors in the world.

In October 2007 Sensei Cockill received his 4th Dan and Sensei Rendell his 3rd Dan from Iain Abernathy under the British Combat Association.  

 James completed the Geoff Thompson Master Class in 2010 and in 2012 received his 5th Dan from Peter Consterdine of the British Combat Association in Combat Kickboxing.

Luke started his training in Shukokai Karate under James at the age of 14, gaining his Shodan (black belt) after 5 years of consistent and focused training.  He is the head instructor of 10th Planet Ju Jitsu (Darlington) and was awarded his Purple belt in February 2012 by Sean Bollinger, one of Eddie Bravo’s top black belts.

About Evolution Martial Arts

At Evolution Martial Arts Academy we teach practical Martial Arts, taking key aspects from various styles and teach individuals how to defend themselves in a realistic environment – the street.

Our teaching methods are always evolving and being updated to achieve the highest level of instruction. They also strongly conform to our core values: Self-control, Respect, Courtesy, Modesty, Integrity, Perseverance and Strong spirit.

We believe quality students come from quality instruction! We focus on excellence in martial arts as well as the ability to motivate, communicate, and encourage students to reach their highest ability in everything they do.

It is our mission to provide the most professional instruction through uncompromising, personal service as well as unconditional patience and understanding.  We continually invest time and effort into furthering ourselves and our students and want to inspire, motivate and guide our students through example. We are dedicated to doing what it takes to ensure the continual physical, mental and Spiritual growth of our students and make a difference to their lives.

We operate out of our full time academy in Darlington as well as teaching in health clubs and leisure centres in Whitby and Scotch Corner.

Our little ninjas programme incorporates learning and listening skills to introduce young children (ages 4-6) to the fun of martial arts and has been specifically designed to enhance motor skills, age-appropriate confidence building games, physical fitness, and introduce martial arts fundamentals.

For the Karate Kids programme (age 7-14) we focus on building self-confidence and self-discipline, while expanding each student’s social awareness and self-respect. Our classes are designed to fun and motivating, helping kids develop valuable life skills and getting them excited about learning.

Over the years Evolution has worked in many schools conducting lessons in fitness, healthy lifestyle, anti-bullying, kickboxing, karate, self-defence and goal setting.

These lessons can be tailored to the schools individual needs and timescale, from a one hour session to week to week training covering a full term. Sessions can be conducted at school or at our main Academy in Darlington.

We also have programmes in place for adults (beginners and advanced), Ladies –only sessions (beginners, fitness and Self Defence) and Luke regularly teaches Ju Jitsu in during regular and semi-private sessions.

We also work with different corporate organisations around the region, focusing on a wide range of topics from self-protection and awareness training to adrenal stress training and team building.


I have been working with NEST for 10 years this year and I have been delighted with the service they have provided me throughout this time.

From the start I was really impressed with how professional NEST was and Gerard really took the time to get to know my business and understand the challenges we faced, as well as answering all of my questions.

The NEST team is great at sorting out all the paperwork (DD Forms) and keeping all my students records up to date. They handle the whole administrative side of the business, which allows me to focus on what I do best.

The statistics that they provide on your school via their admin site are very useful and you get a real insight to how your academy is doing in terms of students attendance, number of new students, cancellations and much more.  This can flag up important issues and highlight the necessary changes you might need to make in the future.

Working closely with NEST has certainly helped us to develop the programmes we run today as well as keeping a low attrition rate in our academy.

NEST has a wealth of knowledge and they are always there to help you get the best out of yourself and the running of your school, whatever your martial arts background is.

It is so reassuring to know that NEST are only ever a phone call away and I can rely on them to support and guide me with any business decisions I need to make.

(Interview from February 2013 )

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