MACE 2015 | Martial Arts Exhibition for Charity

MACE 2015 | Martial Arts Exhibition for Charity



There are many things you can do for charity like fundraising, donating unwanted items or even donating directly which benefits one party, the charity. This is great, but in one way it’s not as productive as it could be. As well as benefiting the charity of your choice you can also help the general public, other people in the same industry as well as yourself.

The Martial Arts and Combat Exhibition (MACE) aim to do just this by hosting an martial arts event for the public, hosted by 44 different instructors and performers with all the proceeds after expenses going to the new self-protection charity ‘Just Give It a Thought’

With instructors and performers such as Russell Jarmesty, The Edmund Sistas, Kevin O'Hagan, Emil MartirossianMarcie Harding, Kelina Cowell and lots more, the event is expected to take the city of Bristol by storm on the weekend of the 20th and 21st June. The event is designed to promote those instructors in smaller areas, who deserve some promotion for whatever reason. The longer term gains from the event are that these instructors will gain new students and hopefully gain some exposure to the public about what they do and how they can help you improve lives. To help with this we, at MACE are going around the country and meeting the instructors to film interviews alongside bits and pieces of their lessons.

 The MACE group consists of a 6-member committee:

  • Matt Roberts: Founder/Chairman of MACE, founder/chief instructor Total Combat Arts UK
  • Paul Wilde: Founder of ‘Just Give It a Thought’ self-awareness charity, supported by MACE
  • Chris Allan: Founder/Chief Instructor of Combat Evolved: Academy of Self Defence
  • Lewis Barnes: Technical Consultant and MACE systems developer
  • Ben Lee: Karate Instructor/Pramek Instructor
  • Dan Holloway: Founder/Lead Blogger of The Martial View


The idea for MACE started on when I floated an idea to get a large group of martial artists together to showcase what we do to each other, No egos, no politics, just a day of learning. Take what you like and discard the rest, maybe learn some valuable skills on the way. The idea caught on massively, I watched a video a few days later about a group of photographers who got together and donated money they raised to charity and that was how the current platform was built. The charity selection came about when Paul Wilde saw the information about MACE on Facebook and contacted me. The Just Give it a Thought charity have campaigns to promote personal safety in schools, universities and night clubs.

I accepted Ben Lee onto the board after his early input and contacts and has been a major part of putting the cast together for the event. Ben was the third member of the board after myself and Dan Holloway. Dan was the first member of the board after he saw my posts on Facebook and decided to take part in MACE as he saw its great potential to put great instructors with no exposure on a pedestal. After a lengthy phone call my friend and fellow self-defence instructor Chris Allan, we had our 4th board member. The others were very happy with the addition of Chris, who brought with him a lot of experience in the martial arts world as a black belt in karate and running his own academy. Between the four members of the board we then decided to try and get into the NEC arena for a venue. However the quote was extremely high and with the budget worked out there was no way it was affordable for the first year so with the addition of Paul Wilde and Tech expert Lewis Barnes we revised ideas and after viewing facilities at the University West of England (UWE) it was decided that it was exactly what we needed.

The idea of a documentary and small mini-series to document the build-up to the event was floated and filming began on Monday January 12th in Lincoln when Dan, Paul and myself shot a day’s worth of filming. From there I drove to Liverpool to film the next day in Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) with Duncan McEvoy. Duncan was fantastic, taught me about 15th century sword use and got me dressed in chain mail armour and I sparred with Gary Clarke, a highly regarded fencer of 25 years and had studied HEMA for 10 years. After gaining all the necessary footage for the day I returned to Bristol to look over the videos and begin work on the editing. The Saturday saw me travel to Wolverhampton to see Darren Langston at the Langston Martial Arts Academy. Darren is a fantastic Kickboxing instructor and his students displayed impressive pad work skills and drills either side of giving interviews. After finishing at the academy we were invited back to Darren’s residence and private dojo for food and a closer more in depth look at his syllabus with students Becki and Paul. The week was capped off when on Monday I visited Graham Butcher and his partner Venetia in Crewkerne, Somerset, to get a close up with Ice and Fire Stav. Stav is a very old Norwegian family based martial art which was passed down through the generations until Ivar Hafskjold brought it here to the UK. Ivar taught Graham directly and this slowly replaced the self-defence class that he was teaching at the time. Another very hospitable trip which like the others, saw myself fed, watered and taught an awful lot about such a historic art. Lots of other interviews are currently scheduled before the end of the year.

MACE has a target to raise £10,000 from this year’s event for the charity after expenses, but will need help with that from all those who want the greater good from the arts whether you’re into self-defence arts, competition arts or spiritual arts. The MACE website is scheduled for launch on February 5th, tickets will go on sale later that month.

Please contact me for more information on 07875639969, email Matt@mace.org.uk

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