Full Circle is a dynamic club providing martial arts in Chester. Dedicated to providing high-quality training to individuals of all ages and skill levels. Our team of experienced and passionate instructors are committed to helping our members achieve their personal fitness and self-defense goals, while fostering a welcoming and supportive community.
Whether you are a beginner looking to develop basic martial arts techniques, or an experienced practitioner seeking to refine your skills, we offer a range of classes and programs designed to meet your needs. With a focus on discipline, respect, and hard work, Full Circle is the perfect place to discover the power of martial arts in Chester and reach your full potential.
OWNER / INSTRUCTOR
“With a moment of patience, the wind calms down, the waves calm down.
If you step back, your horizons will expand, the sea will look endless, and the sky will open…”
Kaicho Ian Thomas began his martial arts journey in 1974 and has spent the last 50 years studying all aspects of martial arts/close quarters combat and self-protection, both armed & unarmed.
His study has taken him from military training to police instructing and spending over 2 decades working in the security industry at many nightclubs & bars, gaining a vast amount of practical/hands on experience and empirical evidence of application of techniques & tactics.
Ian has travelled the world training, teaching & spreading his no frills but practical approach to martial arts/self-preservation.
Ian is the founder & chief instructor (Kaicho) of Full Circle Martial Arts (EnGyo Kenkyukai Horin Dojo).
I joined Full Circle Martial Arts back in February 2006. I had absolutely no previous experience with any kind of Martial Arts aside from watching a lot of Bruce Lee films and playing computer games, so I had no idea what to expect when I joined the Dojo, but I certainly didn’t think that I would find myself still finding new things to learn nearly 20 years later! The training has often been hard but also incredibly rewarding and the boost in confidence I have had since I joined has been amazing. I have done things that I never thought I would be able to and been able to push myself far beyond what I believed was possible as well as meeting some amazing people and making lifelong friends along the way!
I have trained with Ian in various disciplines for over 10 years. Ian’s level of knowledge and practical application is second to none, which is why I have continued to train under him for so long. I achieved my black belt in 2014 with Ian’s guidance and support. I’m fortunate to also train alongside a number of other skilled and dedicated peers. The dojo is very inclusive and provides interesting and enjoyable training. We are encourage to ask questions and nothing is too much trouble for Sensei Ian. My experience in the dojo has given me the confidence and skills to become a self-defence trainer myself with my current employer – but the journey continues.
I am fortunate to have begun my martial arts journey with Ian Thomas when I was just seven years old. Under Ian’s guidance, I’ve been privileged to travel to Japan and Europe, gaining invaluable experiences along the way. At the dojo, we are welcomed into a supportive and inclusive community that fosters personal growth through engaging and enriching training. Ian’s teaching style encourages us to ask questions and explore our potential fully. This has equipped me with essential skills and confidence to overcome challenges in various aspects of life. The lessons I’ve learned and the experiences I’ve had under Ian’s tutelage have played a vital role in shaping the person I am today.
HISTORY / TRADITIONS
Ninpo, also known as ninjutsu, is a Japanese martial art that originated in feudal Japan. It was developed by ninja, who were skilled warriors trained in the arts of espionage, assassination, and guerrilla warfare. Ninpo incorporates a wide range of skills, including hand-to-hand combat, weapons training, stealth, and deception. The origins of ninpo are shrouded in mystery, as much of the training was kept secret and passed down only through oral tradition. Over time, ninpo evolved and became more widely practiced as a martial art, emphasizing personal development and spiritual growth alongside physical training. Today, ninpo continues to be practiced by martial artists around the world who are drawn to its rich history and unique approach to self-defense.
Ju Jutsu is a Japanese martial art that originated in the medieval period. It developed as a means of self-defense for samurai warriors who found themselves disarmed or in close quarters combat. Ju Jutsu techniques include joint locks, throws, and grappling, with an emphasis on using an opponent’s strength against them. Over time, Ju Jutsu evolved into a diverse set of styles with different techniques and training methods. In the early 20th century, Ju Jutsu was introduced to Brazil, where it evolved into Brazilian Ju Jutsu, which emphasised ground fighting and became a popular martial art and combat sport. Today, jujutsu remains a popular and effective martial art practiced by people around the world.
Karate Jutsu, also known simply as karate, is a Japanese martial art that developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom (modern-day Okinawa) in the 19th century. It evolved from indigenous Okinawan fighting styles and was influenced by Chinese martial arts. Originally, Karate Jutsu was practiced primarily for self-defense, but it became popularized as a sport and a means of physical fitness in the 20th century. During World War II, Karate Jutsu was banned by the occupying Japanese government, but it resurged in popularity in the post-war period. Today, karate is practiced around the world and has evolved into a diverse set of styles, each with its own techniques, training methods, and philosophies.
ShivWorks is a modern self-defense system developed by Craig Douglas, a former law enforcement officer and martial artist. It evolved from Douglas’s extensive experience in real-world confrontations and training with other experts in the field of self-defense. ShivWorks emphasises practical, efficient techniques for self-defense in a variety of scenarios, such as armed and unarmed attacks, multiple attackers, and confined spaces. It also incorporates training in decision-making, communication, and stress management. The system has gained popularity among law enforcement officers, military personnel, and civilian self-defense practitioners. ShivWorks continues to evolve and innovate, incorporating new techniques and approaches based on ongoing research and real-world experience.
School of Arms
When we started the School of Arms, we shared an idea that it should be a school where we – through dedicated training – can acquire the tools to build ourselves up as vessels for values that build society and interpersonal relations across borders and cultures. Our products offer convenience and flexibility, utilizing our online access portal for distance learning.
Training in these arts allows one to preserve tradition while allowing exploration and innovation; fueling curiosity, imagination, and inspiration. We offer comprehensive and famous systems of martial art involving weaponry and free hand usage. By investing in our content, we are confident you will not only improve in whatever you practice, but gain a deeper understanding of movement; having these tools will help you to improve your techniques and further your personal development.
WHAT IS MARTIAL ARTS?
Martial arts is a collective term used to describe a variety of practices and disciplines that originated in various parts of the world and are focused on combat techniques and physical skills. These practices involve a range of techniques, such as striking, kicking, grappling, throwing, joint-locking, and weapons training. Martial arts are often practiced for self-defense, physical fitness, mental and spiritual development, or as a competitive sport. Some well-known martial arts include karate, judo, taekwondo, jiu-jitsu, kung fu, and Muay Thai. Training in martial arts requires discipline, perseverance, and dedication, and can provide practitioners with a host of physical and mental benefits.
WHY PRACTICE MARTIAL ARTS?
There are many compelling reasons why someone should practice martial arts. First and foremost, martial arts training can help improve physical fitness, coordination, balance, and strength. It can also enhance mental discipline, focus, and self-confidence. Practicing martial arts can provide a sense of purpose, self-awareness, and self-defense skills, which can be particularly valuable in today’s unpredictable world. Additionally, martial arts can be a great way to meet new people, learn about different cultures and traditions, and cultivate a sense of community. Whether you are looking to improve your health and well-being, build self-esteem, or just have fun, practicing martial arts can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience.
ARE MARTIAL ARTS SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?
Martial arts can be a suitable activity for children, as it offers numerous benefits. Martial arts training can help children develop self-confidence, self-discipline, and focus, while also improving their physical fitness and coordination. It can also teach important life skills such as respect, perseverance, and teamwork. Children are taught the importance of self-control and non-violence in their training. With our guidance and instruction, martial arts can be a positive and valuable activity for children of all ages.
WHAT TO WEAR?
The appropriate attire for practicing martial arts depends on the specific style and school being practiced. In general, comfortable and flexible clothing that allows for a full range of movement is recommended.
HOW FIT DO I NEED TO BE TO START?
The level of fitness required to practice martial arts can vary depending on the style and intensity of the training. Some styles of martial arts, such as Tai Chi, may be suitable for individuals with limited physical ability, as they focus more on balance, coordination, and relaxation rather than strength and endurance.
Martial arts is an excellent activity for people of all ages and skill levels. It is a fun and challenging way to improve physical fitness, build self-confidence, and develop self-defense skills. Training can also foster discipline, focus, and mental clarity, which can have a positive impact on other aspects of life. Whether you are looking for a new form of exercise, a way to relieve stress, or a path to personal growth, Full Circle can help you achieve your goals. We offer a welcoming and supportive community of practitioners who share a passion for the martial art. Don’t hesitate to get in contact today and start your journey toward a healthier and more confident you.
Martial arts is an excellent activity for people of all ages and skill levels. It is a fun and challenging way to improve physical fitness, build self-confidence, and develop self-defense skills. Karate training can also foster discipline, focus, and mental clarity, which can have a positive impact on other aspects of life. Whether you are looking for a new form of exercise, a way to relieve stress, or a path to personal growth, Full Circle can help you achieve your goals. We offer a welcoming and supportive community of practitioners who share a passion for the martial art. Don’t hesitate to get in contact today and start your journey toward a healthier and more confident you.
TIPS FOR PARENTS
If your child has expressed an interest in learning martial arts in Chester, there are several things you can do as a parent to help support them in this endeavor.