Jake Pritchard leading a class at Raven Martial Arts

Former British Martial Arts champion Jake Pritchard is hoping “to really showcase what martial arts is about” and get as many students as possible involved with his Lincoln club.

First getting into the sport in 2009, Pritchard is a former WUMA British Champion, WAKO GB squad member and has a third degree blackbelt.

He dreamt of being a wrestler as a child, saying: “I loved the idea of stunt acting and WWE, I went to a club when I was eight and the instructor told me before wrestling, go and learn a martial arts discipline.”

Jake did more than just that and dedicated the next decade of his life to the sport.

He achieved his black belt in 2012 and third dan black belt in 2018 and in-between had a desire to compete and achieve success. He said: “It started as I just wanted to win a tournament, then I wanted to win the national title, then the British.”

On why he had such ambition he said: “Tournaments became something to focus on and the more I got into competing the more I wanted these accolades, it made me stand out from the crowd.”

However, despite his previous achievements he has now set his goal to passing on his skills to students at his martial arts club ‘Raven Martial Arts’ in North Hykeham.

On how his passion for coaching came about, he said: “I was about 6 months in (to martial arts) and while I was still enthusiastic to learn, I like giving back and always have done. It started out simple and through the years I’ve taken on more responsibility and hopefully made a bigger impact.”

In addition to his martial arts career Jake is also a part of the RAF. On if there is similarities between the two, he said: “definitely, it makes me love both sides of what I do, there’s that discipline element as you can imagine with any side of the military and you can see that reflected tonight in the martial arts.”

The former champion started his own business, Raven Martial Arts, in June 2022. He said: “It was something I’d wanted to do for quite a few years, but it was taking that initial step.”

He added: “I looked around the area for kickboxing classes like what I do and realised there’s nothing here, so I thought why don’t I create it? Luckily I had that support around me and I took that dive and as you can see today it’s really starting to come on.”

Nearly 18 months on from their inception, he now coaches children’s and adult classes for the people of North Hykeham and Lincoln weekly, teaching and developing their skills. Saying: “I think teaching that (discipline) is really important to that next generation, and it builds good character in people.”

Finally, regarding his plans for the future of the club, Pritchard said: “I want to get as many people as possible into sparring and really showcase what it’s about. I don’t want to just get them punching and kicking I want to show them the full picture of what martial arts can do”