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FEATURE Mark Noyce

Mark chalked up the trophies in his younger days

I’ve still got it! Mark and Emma Elmes demonstrate their stuff

Mark Noyce pictured with Ian Pauly.

in the early ‘90s trying to get some help with my musical Kata. Basically I felt like I had come to a standstill and wasn’t improving as much as I should have been. With Jeff’s reputation as a world class traditional Instructor I thought I would go and see him. He advised me that I needed to work on my technique and go back to basics, so I had 6 months off competing and he coached me everyday for that duration. It was extremely exciting to be learning new things again and with every technique we practised he would explain its application. Understanding how you would use a technique certainly helps executing it correctly during a Kata and this is something I feel a lot of modern

competitors now lack.

BS: What other training routes have you taken over the years?

MN: I’ve been extremely fortunate and have had the opportunity to train with some great people over the years. My first Instructor was Sifu Nigel Thompson and we used to make regular visits to train with Master Jeremy Yau. At the time the whole competition scene was huge and going to competitions with the Lau Gar team was a fantastic experience.

I later moved on to study Iwa Kai

A white belt and young

Mark Noyce with his first kick. The first of many to come.

Karate with the legendary Sensei Bill Holmes. I had done Kung Fu for around 7 years and my Father thought that it would be good for me to try another style. Looking back it was a very good move for me but at the time I wasn’t very enthusiastic about it. I had gone from being a Black belt in Kung fu to a White belt in Karate and it was a huge bruise to my ego.

Several years later I was approached by Ian Pauly about a sponsorship deal, I had known Ian for many years as our clubs used to be fierce rivals in the 80’s. He had a fantastic training facility and was a highly respected trainer so I joined his stable and trained with all his fighters.

BS: How hard do you train today? MN: Very hard! Currently I’m in the gym everyday and my training sessions are broken down into four categories. Traditional martial arts, stretching and kicking, gymnastics and body conditioning.

BS: How have you managed to retain your flexibility?

MN: From a very early age I was in a routine of stretching daily and it’s something I’ve continued to do.

BS: What do you think makes your

home town of Peterborough such a martial arts hot spot?

MN: When I first started training Peterborough had a couple of huge Martial arts clubs. Ian Pauly and Nigel Thompson were both full time instructors and had literally hundreds of students. A lot of the instructors in Peterborough today started as students from one of these clubs. The training was very ‘old school’ with no messing about and discipline was instilled from day one. I think both Ian and Nigel can take some credit for the quality of Martial artist in the area. I still remember Clifton Findley’s first lesson, he arrived late and was made to stand in horse stance at the back, and I thought to myself “he’ll never stick it”

BS: Do you currently teach? MN: I have my own Martial Arts gym but it’s used more as a place for me to train than it is to run classes. It’s an invitation only gym and I have a handful of people I’m helping coach.

BS: Why have you made the decision to start competing again?

MN: I think the time is right for a change. I genuinely believe this country can start to make some serious noise and drive musical forms forward rather than being overly influenced by what the Americans are doing. Pretty much everyone looks the same at the moment and is following the XMA route. I’ve

10 Martial Arts Illustrated

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