I joined Wilkes Academy in 2013 after realising that 25 years of trying every fad diet available had left me a middle aged very overweight man susceptible to diabetes and a shortened life expectancy. My wife and daughter had already joined and I had been along to watch a few times, never even daring to think I could do what they were doing. I was asked a few times by Mr Mitchell if I'd like to join in, but I managed to find an excuse every time. Eventually I plucked up the courage to have a crack at it, fully expecting to feel humiliated. What I discovered was a family of instructors and students who are absolutely dedicated to helping people set a goal and realise it, to get fit and have a laugh at the same time, and to learn a skill that both gives you focus away from life's worries and in the unfortunate event that you need to rely on it, would give you a good chance of defending and protecting yourself in a controlled way.
Eighteen months later, I am 16kg lighter, fitter, happier, healthier and the proud wearer of a blue belt.
I had no confidence that I would last a month when I signed up, but now I can't imagine not having this aim, and these friends, in my life.
My ten year old daughter has her education and attitude assessed prior to every grading and this has proved to be very effective in making her want to 'do the right thing' as well as giving her the ability to defend herself also.
We pay a very reasonable weekly membership fee and can attend as many classes as we wish. This is not only martial arts classes, but also general fitness classes.
Wilkes Academy has changed lots of things about me, but most importantly it has given me a life that I previously thought was out of my reach.
Needless to say, I would recommend them to not only the serious athletes, of which there are many in the Academy, but also to the people like me that need the guidance to change their lifestyle and lose weight and get fit.