A Swindon-based martial arts entrepreneur, with over 650 martial arts and dance schools across the UK, has been inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
Matt Fiddes, the founder of Matt Fiddes Martial Arts and MF Dance has been given the Martial Arts Superstar award, which will place him in the martial arts industry’s Hall of Fame – the most honourable award in the industry, and is recognised world-wide.
Fiddes, 35, is Michael Jackson’s former bodyguard, a 7th degree black belt, and lives in Swindon. He is youngest person to ever have been awarded a Martial Arts Superstar award currently run by the renowned magazine, Martial Arts Illustrated.
Previous winners of similar awards include legends Bruce Lee, Jean Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris.
Fiddes took to the stage alongside Expendables actor, Scott Adkins and Elvis Presley’s former karate trainer, Bill ‘Superfoot’ Wallace, who were also presented with the Hall of Fame’s Martial Arts Superstar award. The Hall of Fame is seen to be the ‘Hollywood Stars’ of the martial arts industry.
The award is sanctioned by a committee headed by co-organiser Paul Barnett.
Fiddes, a former St Joseph’s Catholic College and Lydiard Academy student, said he was unaware that he was being given the award. He commented: “It is such an honour to receive such a prestigious martial arts award. I’m over the moon!”
The awards were presented to Matt Fiddes, Scott Adkins and Bill Wallace by Bob Sykes, editor of Martial Arts Illustrated at the superstar lined, invite-only event, at the National Brewery Centre, on 18 May 2014.
450 people attended the event.
Fiddes dedicates his awards to his mother, Majella Norris, who passed away two years ago at the age of 56. She has 13 brothers and sisters who were all raised in Swindon. Fiddes was inspired by his grandfather, Irish weightlifter Sean Norris.
Bob Sykes, editor of Martial Arts Illustrated said: “It was honour to present Matt Fiddes with the Martial Arts Superstar award and induct him into the martial arts Hall of Fame. He is the most well known martial artist in the UK without doubt.
“His presence at the event was well received and it was amazing to see the other martial arts stars and legends from past and present mobbing him for pictures all night. He was a gentleman and gave everyone time.
“As editor of the biggest martial arts publication in the world I get asked more questions about Matt Fiddes these days than Bruce Lee. He does so much for people behind the scenes that he never speaks about. He is an amazing martial artist and is leading the industry.
“It was such an honour to be on stage with three living legends.”
Matt Fiddes Martial Arts in Swindon has 2000 members itself, and is the single largest martial arts school in the UK, owned by Pat O’Driscoll.
Pictured above from left to right: Scott Adkins, Bill Wallace, Matt Fiddes and Bob Sykes. Photograph courtesy of Burton Event Photography.