Here at Pendle Martial Arts Academy we are proud to offer quality tuition in a variety of Martial Arts. All our Instructors are fully qualified, insured and DBS checked, below is our team who have decades of experience with some regional and national champions:

John 'Staffordshire' Stokes:

John is our Head Coach at The Academy with over 30 years experience within  a variety of Martial Arts. John is only one of a few coaches in the North-West area to be awarded his 1st Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. John also holds a 5th Dan in Ju-Jitsu and a 2nd Dan in Judo. John coaches our BJJ Classes and Judo at The Academy.

 5th Dan Ju-Jitsu

    2nd Dan Judo

1st Degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Derek Whittaker:

Sensei Derek Whittaker has over 50 years experience within Martial Arts. He holds a 5th Dan in Ju-Jitsu and a 1st Dan in Judo. We are incredibly honoured to have Derek as part of our coaching team as he brings a wealth of knowledge to classes. Derek teaches the Junior Ju-Jitsu classes alongside Laura and Catherine.

5th Dan Ju-Jitsu


1st Dan Judo

Laura Stokes:

Laura has been at The Academy since it all began and was our very first female to receive her Black Belt in Ju-Jitsu Purple Belt in BJJ. Laura holds a 4th Dan in Ju-Jitsu and regularly teaches the Junior Ju-Jitsu class and assists John with our Junior BJJ Class. Laura also coaches our Ladies only BJJ Class alongside Catherine.

4th Dan Ju-Jitsu

Purple Belt BJJ

Colin Drake:

Colin has been training with us at The Academy since it all began. Alongside John he was awarded his Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2016 from Lucio Sergio Dos Santos, Colin also holds a 4th Dan in Ju-Jitsu.

4th Dan Ju-Jitsu

BJJ Black Belt

Cat Horner:

Cat has trained with us at The Academy since 1995 and became our first Junior student to successfully obtain their Black Belt and has taught at The Academy ever since. In March 2017 Cat successfully graded to 3rd Dan in Ju-Jitsu and in January of the same year was awarded her Blue Belt in BJJ. She is an active competitor and teaches the Junior Ju-Jitsu Class and  assists Laura with our Ladies Only BJJ Class.

3rd Dan Ju-Jitsu

Blue Belt BJJ

Green Belt Judo

Assistant Instructors:

Steven Stokes:

Steven is the son of John & Laura and has been around Martial Arts his entire life. He became the third ever Junior Black Belt at The Academy and successfully graded for his 1st Dan Black Belt in Ju-Jitsu in 2013. Steven is a Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and an active competitor, he has won many regional and national championships.

1st Dan Ju-Jitsu

Purple Belt BJJ


Mo has been training with us at The Academy since 2015 with his two daughters and currently holds a Brown Belt in Ju-Jitsu. He assists with our Junior Ju-Jitsu classes. Mo has previously trained in Wing Chun, His favourite techniques are Harai Goshi and Rear Naked Choke.

Brown Belt Ju-Jitsu

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