Customer Focus: The Wing Chun Academy

Terry & The Wing Chun Academy (Essex)

I have been involved in the Martial arts for over 32 years from way back when I first started training in Karate. I have been training in Wing Chun Kung Fu now for almost 30 years since the day I walked in to an old dusty church hall in Barking in Essex and began training and have never looked back since then.  Like most people of my generation I was hooked by the Bruce Lee films and the Kung Fu series that was on TV when I was a kid and couldn’t wait to have a go myself.

During my years of training I have also trained in other martial arts and I hold a Black Belt in Japanese Ju Jitsu which I learned from a fantastic Instructor.  I have also trained in Thai Boxing and in Kali. However my first and real passion remains Wing Chun Kung Fu which I teach throughout the Essex area in various schools.

Having trained for many years and encouraged by my own Sifu I began teaching to pass on what I have learned to my own students.  I did this as I believe that the benefits of the martial arts are so far reaching and we can positively impact on people’s lives with martial arts.

I have been fortunate enough to have been taught by and trained with some great Wing Chun instructors and have travelled the world meeting and training with some great Masters to improve my knowledge. I now try to pass this knowledge onto my students to help them.

In my schools we teach all ages, we have a very successful Little Dragons class for the youngest children and our very popular Kids Kung Fu classes for older children along with these we have our great adult classes that have been running since before I joined NEST.

I am very pleased with the progress that all my students have made over the years with numerous Black Belts being a credit to the school.  We have confident, focused and persistent children with a great attitude in our schools and many of these have progressed through out children’s classes into our adult classes.  Also a number of these children have developed further and are now on our Instructor Training Programme and act as great role models and mentors to all the other students.

I also have an excellent team of Instructors who are a real credit to the school in the way they teach and inspire the students and in the way they conduct themselves.  They are great ambassadors for the school and give all the students something to aspire to.  In particular I should mention Che McDermott, Daren Alger and Ian Gleed as part of my great team.

In our schools we really believe that if you can inspire students to have confidence in themselves that they can achieve extraordinary things and we actively encourage this in all our students and in all our classes.

If you believe you can you can! 

This has never been more clearly demonstrated than by Ryan Trott, one of my students who joined me many years ago when he was only 14 years of age.  Ryan was diagnosed with leukemia almost 4 years ago now and was so ill he almost died.  He has openly said that his training in the martial arts and learning over all these years of training to focus on his goals and to never give up was a major factor in him overcoming his dreadful illness.  He says he put to the test these great lessons learnt from training in the martial arts and proved that they work and he firmly believes everyone should be given the opportunity to learn and benefit from these lessons that the martial arts have to offer.

I believe that there is a great deal to learn and benefit from training in the martial arts because it’s not just about kicking and punching, it’s so much more!


I had been teaching for many years before I decided that I should take it more seriously and run my school in a more professional manner rather than just as a hobby.  I was hesitant at first to do this because I really wanted to focus on teaching my students the very best that I could and wanted to teach people the complete Wing Chun system.  I suppose I didn’t want to water down what I taught.

I began to research a number of martial arts consulting businesses to see what they had to offer in terms of advice but wasn’t really impressed with them.  Their values appeared to be more about business than martial arts so I wasn’t to keen to progress with them.

Then one day I contacted NEST and spoke to Gerard Turvey and I immediately felt that this was different to my previous experiences.  We spoke the same language and had the same values its all about teaching great martial arts classes and the rest will follow.  I followed up this initial conversation with Gerard and he came down and met me and we discussed my schools, how I operated and my concerns that I wanted to teach the best martial arts classes that I could.

He understood where I was coming from immediately and I joined NEST from that day way back in 2001. I have never looked back and since then I have grown my schools from a part time hobby to one where I quit my job as Human Resources Director for the UK and Ireland arm of a large American Company to running a fulltime martial arts organization which has grown and grown with the help and advice of all those at NEST.

All of my original concerns about using an outside Company to run my student billing evaporated as NEST are so professional in the way they deal with me and my students and they are far more than just a billing Company.   I have never looked back since I joined NEST.

I prefer to think of NEST as part of my team, I can talk to them about all aspects of my business and get excellent advice whenever I need it.  All the people who work at NEST are a real credit to both Gerard and Joy, it’s easy to say but when you work with nice people who you like and can trust you get things done and achieve so much more.

NEST have an amazing skill set and resources that you can take advantage of to improve your business.  They invest in themselves and therefore me.  For example, the technology that they offer helps me easily track my student numbers and payments without my ever having to worry about buying expensive software packages or the time consuming data entry that this would bring were I to do this myself.

Also the advice on marketing has been invaluable in helping me grow my schools along with Gerard’s business advice on all sorts of issues that surround running any type of business.

I would recommend anyone who is teaching martial arts regardless of style to talk to NEST, from a new school owner to large already established schools because they really have so much to offer.

I have never regretted the day I joined NEST they are an important part of my business and the success of my schools.

(Interview from August 2011 )

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