Rising star: Matt Fiddes

Matt Fiddes, martial arts instructor

· Matt opened his first martial arts school at 17. Now 27, he has over 400 schools worldwide with 30,000 members. 'We have a different approach. It's not about winning competitions; we teach people to defend themselves and respect others.'

· Martial Arts Illustrated magazine voted him Instructor of the Year, and he's Michael Jackson's bodyguard when the singer is in the UK. His best friend Uri Geller calls him 'a complete genius' and a budding 'international star'.

· He was bullied at school and learnt Tae Kwon Do to protect himself. 'Children have a lack of confidence if they're bullied. We give them positive role models; we fill the gaps that school leaves. I help people to be successful - that's the greatest thing in the world.'

· Currently writing a self-help book for adults, Fiddes is 'also considering parts in action movies. I want to keep taking it to the next level.'

· His youngest pupil is just three. The classes promote fitness, discipline and self-control. 'Martial arts is only part of it. Parents don't send their children to learn to kick and punch. We're part of the education system, not kick-boxers.'

· For more information, see www.mattfiddes.com

Interview by Emma Love

The GuardianTramp

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