Customer Focus: Masters Academy of Martial Arts


We chose NEST Management because we realised we needed to focus on teaching high quality classes, rather than chasing people for owed money etc. It’s great to know that we can focus on teaching and training, whilst the money side of things is being dealt with professionally. The NEST staff are always very efficient and happy to help sort out any problems that we run into.

Their online system is also very useful as it gives you real time statistics on how your school is performing. It’s very easy to track new students, cancelled students, missed payments, birthdays etc using the NEST myMA online portal. This makes managing your school easier as all the information you need is available online at any time. Having tried a few other billing companies, I believe NEST is the best, not only technologically but also with their superior customer service. Highly recommended.

About you and your school

Masters Academy was set up 12 years ago, initially because its founders Matthew Chapman and James Evans-Nicolle didn’t want real jobs. Classes started in David Lloyd Chigwell and gradually grew to a point where a full time academy seemed the most logical next step. We have been in a full time location for the past 9 years teaching over 360 students kickboxing, MMA, BJJ, & Ghost.

We focus on teaching local families high quality Martial Arts in a very professional yet friendly environment. Our classes are very relaxed and everyone treats each other with respect but without the formality found in traditional Martial Arts schools. Everyone at Masters Academy is on first name terms, bowing is kept to a minimum and no one has a special title. We want to treat our clients as equals and this builds a strong family atmosphere. The culture of the academy is to provide a safe, relaxed environment where people can work toward their personal goals with other like-minded individuals. The Academy has a relaxed family vibe with lots of joking, laughing and fun had by everyone.

About Matthew Chapman and James Evans-Nicolle

I met James almost 30 years ago while training Ninjutsu in Plymouth. After spending nearly a decade training Ninjutsu we started broadening our Martial Arts experience and investigated Filipino Martial Arts and Jeet Kune Do. The only instructor in the South West at that time was Grand Master Anton St James who welcomed us into his life and taught us for free for over a decade. He taught us all our fundamental skills in Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Kali and JKD. He is a fantastic martial artist with nearly four decades of experience and runs a very successful school in Plymouth.

Part of his training ethos is to be open minded to other Martial Arts styles, so he actively encouraged us to train with other instructors and to gain as much experience as possible. So James and I moved to London in our mid-twenties to continue our Martial Arts education at Bob Breen’s academy in Hoxton. We had an amazing time training at Bob’s school. It was full of elite martial artists and we refined our skills under Bob’s expert eye. We also started training BJJ at the first BJJ School in the UK run by Master Chen Morares. Learning BJJ was very different from learning striking, but we muddled through and eventually fell in love with grappling.

It was at this time that Bob invited Erik Paulson over from LA to teach a Seminar. Well, Eric blew our minds. We have never seen anyone who could integrate striking and grappling as fluidly as Erik. He was and is an amazing martial artist. At the end of the seminar James and I decided we were going to train with Erik in LA and over the next 5 years took several trips to the US to train at Erik’s CSW headquarters in California.

After a few years MMA training with Erik, we both felt that we’d better test our skills in the cage to see if we could really apply everything we had learnt over the past decade. Over the next four years we both fought professionally and retired as British and World MMA Champions. Thankfully we now focus on creating a future generation of champions and running our online training academies.


The part of training I really enjoy is using the focus mitts. I love holding and hitting pads and over the years I designed a complete pad training system (named Mittmaster) to help my student’s improve their pad holding skills. As we all know a bad pad holder can ruin a training session and even cause injuries in extreme situations. The Mittmaster system is designed to build a solid foundation of pad skills upon which advanced techniques can be added. The entire system includes drills for Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, MMA, Clinch, Trapping, Shoot Boxing and more.

It is an invaluable tool for instructors looking to add variety to their classes. There isn’t any other pad training system in my experience that blends as many Martial Arts as effectively as the Mittmaster system. It allows instructors to create their own custom pad training lessons to challenge and motivate their students. And as all instructors know disguised repetition is the key to keeping students coming back long term.

For this reason the drills in the Mittmaster system are built strategically to incorporate lots of disguised repetition so students improve their fundamentals whilst enjoying lots of cool variations. You can check out some of the drills that are taught in the Mittmaster system at

One main advantages of the Mittmaster system, is that instructors can choose which drills they wish to view. So, if you want to learn pad drills that focus on boxing or knee and elbow drills, can choose to download only those specific videos which makes it a very affordable retention tool for instructors to use.

If any NEST clients are interested in the Mittmaster Technical Pad Training system, please email me: and I will email you straight back with a 30% off discount code. |

(Interview from June 2015 )

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