Martial Arts – Hope and Glory.

Welcome to our testimonials page.  The reviews you will find have been written by people who have enjoyed their experience with us and wanted to share it with you.

We hope you enjoy them and if you have trained with us and have the time, then give us a review.

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  Posted by Kyle on Wed, 19 Aug 2009. Kickboxing Testimonials: Hope and Glory Martial Arts in Leicester have an outstanding reputation, producing a World Champion amongst a host of excellent students.  We interview Derek Smith, sensei.

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Interview – Derek Smith – Sensei of Hope & Glory Martial Arts.

Q: What first got you interested in starting Martial Arts? A: Bruce Lee and my cousin did Kung Fu, so it was a family influence.  Initially I went for other martial arts instead of Kung Fu, started Lau Gar which became my main Kung Fu Style and eventually I began learning Dimmak, which uses pressure points to both heal and hurt, to be a master you need to learn both. Q: What do you believe the benefits are in taking martial arts? A: Longevity, better health, more self-confidence, fitness, helps focus practitioners and keeps them humble.

Q: What do you say to the rumors that Martial Arts only promotes violence and what would you say to those people? A: Martial Arts doesn’t promote violence.  It releases energy and testosterone through exercise, making them a lot less aggressive leaving the gym than when they entered it. Q: Do you believe more people should be involved with Martial Arts, and why? A: More people, women especially should be involved for safety reasons due to people being attacked on the streets and in their own homes. Q: What kind of aspects do you believe Martial Arts school should teach? A: A good school should teach respect.  To fellow students and the general public, outside the school.  This will teach them discipline and enable them to live a normal life which is peaceful and respectful, as a martial artist’s should be.

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Q: Finally, what does your Martial Arts School offer to prospective students? A: True belief in Martial Arts, teaching you to be respectful and fair to other people, making sure that students are taught to the highest standard. Everyone has a right to their opinion… That was mine during the Jity interview! Now for others.  Marco: Hi Lucy and welcome to the forum. I lived in Leicester for a few years and trained at a lot of different martial arts clubs trying different styles.  The best one that I found was ‘The School of Hope and Glory’.  They do a variety of different styles so you could try them and see what you like best.  Here is a link to their site: http://www.schoolofhopeandglory.co.uk/ Let us know how you get on 🙂


Andrew ‎ – 21 Aug 2010.

Fantastic!  I’ve been a student at the school of hope and glory since 2001.  And throughout that time, I have been consistently impressed by the standard of teaching.  The work the school does to develop students in a way that caters for their individual needs.  The scope of disciplines which can be learned is broad and the school has constantly strived to adopt new styles.  Which can help students to develop into well rounded martial artists.  There is a great balance between a friendly family welcoming atmosphere and a strong history of competitive success.  Which creates a blend that can accommodate all comers, whatever their age or ability.

Everyone was really welcoming and the general atmosphere is really friendly.  My son is very shy but was made to feel at ease immediately and got involved without any hesitation.  He enjoyed his session and couldn’t wait to return to his next class.

Not only have I seen my confidence grow since joining School of Hope and Glory.  But I have also seen my fitness levels gradually rise.  I have been attending the School’s kick boxing classes for almost two years now, and am currently working towards my Blue Belt.  I have learn t a great deal about kick boxing within those two years, and it has left me with a self-assurance that I can use my skills to defend myself if a situation should arise. Although the personal attributes that I have learn t at School of Hope and Glory are incredibly valuable to me.  There are other reasons that I continue to attend Hope and Glory.  The ‘aero-box’ fitness classes not only compliment my other lessons, but also supportively pushes my fitness potential.  I firmly believe that it is important to be fully encouraged to reach your potential, and this is something that the team at Hope and Glory do best.  The support I have received is phenomenal, and has left me wanting to strive to better myself. Both of my instructors, Derek and Lynda, have a profound understanding of the martial arts that they teach.  It is reassuring to know that what I am being taught is from experienced martial artists.  The School of Hope and Glory motto is ‘Train Hard, Fight Easy’, and this is certainly something that the instructors adhere to.  Pushing students to their full capabilities. I have also been attending the submission wrestling/grappling classes, for the past year.  Which has not only taught me a new martial arts discipline.  But also improved my strength and focus.  All of the classes in which I attend are also stimulating on an intellectual basis.  With frequent philosophies and wisdom’s about body mechanics, spiritual understandings and the basic principles of the various martial arts taught. I am very happy to be a part of a School that has strong, supportive and dedicated instructors, high-level Black Belt students and other students that are promising and keen.  The School has left me with a strong sense of achievement and accomplishment.  Both of which I am very proud of, and has given me skills and lessons that I will now carry throughout my life. –PB, 2011.

Testimonials continue.

Review of School Of Hope & Glory Kick-boxing/Self Defence from 20 June 2011.

I first got into martial arts back in 1998 at the age of 20 when I started training at The School of Hope and Glory in Leicester. Arriving for my first class I found the instructors (Derek Smith & Lynda Bryan) friendly and very welcoming. I found the classes really hard work but the atmosphere was relaxed but positive, I have since achieved black belt status and I compete in prestigious tournaments such as:- Irish Open, W.A.K.O British Nationals and Cimac to name a few and with results I may add! I have noticed a lot of changes in myself, I have improved strength, flexibility, balance, mental strength and concentration. I would certainly recommend martial arts to anyone, even if only fitness training is what they are looking for as it trains the whole body! Nick (1st Dan)

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Uploaded by Cleric Jericho on 8 Dec 2009.

Martial arts 24-hour fightathon (for Help for Heroes), RAF High Wycombe, Nov 2009. RAFMAA team member decides that he’s going to attempt some leg sweeps, despite the fact they’re against the rules. The result?  Scuba Steve dumps him on his ass… “Scissors kick take down… And you got done mate!”  Epic. Big props to Derek Smith of the School of Hope and Glory for teaching me the skills needed to make a good YouTube video.

Interview – WKA 2008 – Under 85kilo’s World Champion.   MARK DEACON. Q: What first inspired you to start studying Martial Arts? A: I started as a kid, and wasn’t very fit, moved to the city and started learning for fitness, I began with Preying Mantis, wasn’t too impressed by that and started going to Hope & Glory Martial Arts which had everything I wanted.

Q: Whilst training, what has best motivated you to push yourself as far as you have? A: Derek my instructor in classes, whilst outside of the class it was the competition that inspired me. Q: When you first started, did you ever imagine you’d make it this far? A: No, I was just a kid starting and wanted to be a black belt, then to be as good as those who taught me and finally to compete in tournaments. Q: Do you currently own any titles or, are there any in mind that you’re aiming for? A: Last year I won the under 85 kilo WKA 2008 World Championship and recently the British 2009 Championship, I am currently aiming for the WAKO 2009 World Championships. Q: If given the opportunity, would you encourage more people to train in Martial Arts, if so, why? A: Yes, because it’s not just about fighting but about life skills and confidence, and it is good for all ages.

Ghost Hands Testimonials.
Ghost Hands Course Review.
I found that the course was very informative and knowledge was applied by practicing the techniques. There are many pressure points and main key ones were taught and practiced.  Sifu Derek had excellent teaching skills and was good in highlighting areas of improvement and understood the level of skills varied between individuals and adapted techniques accordingly.
From my understanding this is a unique course as it gives an individual the ability in defending and attacking the points that can be vital, when being attacked. The course is a great self defence tool and I would recommend it to all that are able to practice the techniques and use it in a responsible manner. Anyone can attend from novice to professional martial artist, having the knowledge and the ability to use the knowledge requires the time and effort with practice and I would encourage anyone that is considering to attend to speak to Sifu Derek as I had questions prior to attending and I did a bit of research on what was required of me. I found it a positive experience and regained my confidence after being attack and I will be considering attending again at a later date as I feel regular practice is needed and further knowledge of the other pressure points. It has been a pleasure training with Sifu Derek, thank you for your help and guidance.
See you again soon.
Review of The School of Hope & Glory Kickboxing/Self Defence from 2 November 2012.
MarkR29 Uttoxeter 1 review.

Sifu Derek came to our union learning event at the Oddfellows on Weds October 31st.  I was really impressed – he’s a good listener and pitched his self defence ‘taster’ sessions just right for the rather unfit middle-aged (yes, including me!) participants.  His advice and style is very practical and I would not hesitate to recommend someone wanting to gain confidence.  Learn to defend themselves without getting into trouble with the law and get fit at the same time to go along to School of Hope and Glory.  Thanks, Derek – you went down really well mate 🙂

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Karishma with Black belt award.

Manji7 Leicester 1 review.
Review of The School of Hope & Glory Kickboxing/Self Defence from 24 August 2013.

Being new to martial arts, I wasn’t sure where to look until I saw the School of Hope and Glory online.  Sifu Derek (chief instructor) is very easy to talk to and so decided to give it a go.  In my first lesson, I was introduced to Sifu Derek and Sifu Lynda.  They are both very friendly and will also push you so that your abilities are used to the maximum.  I would recommend this anyone as this is a good way to keep in shape.

Johnathan Cuvelier.
I have been a student at School of Hope and Glory for over 2 years now.  I thoroughly enjoy training and learning here, every lesson is a chance to learn something new.  Sensei Derek is patient, understanding and kind.  His love for teaching martial arts shines through when he teaches pupils.  I would highly recommend this school of learning martial arts to anyone.

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