Customer Focus: The Byrne Black Belt Martial Arts Schools

Ed the Champion Fighter…

Chief Instructor, Master Ed Byrne is known as the father of Sport Karate in the Southwest. He introduced it after many discussions with multi World Champ Kevin Brewerton. He is an expert in a number of Karate styles including:- Bujinkai, Shotokan and Shukokai Shorai and is recognised as the first person to bring both Freestyle Karate and Sport Karate into the Southwest.

Ed is also the co- founder of Ashiita Kai Karate and founder of Ed Byrne’s Eclectic Karate – he was presented his 9th Dan in Eclectic Karate by Jon Alexander and Ito Kunimitsu.

He also practices:

  • Wing Chun Kung Fu
  • Pak Mei Kung Fu (white eyebrow style)
  • Jeet Kune Do
  • Judo
  • Tae Kwon Do (T.A.G.B/ G.T.I/ W.T.F)

Ed is the British Masters Champion and has won the Southwest Grand Prix Masters Mens title for the past 5 years. He gets invited to compete at every Kumite event and is due to fight in ‘The Battle of the Celts’ on 23rd August and again in October 2008.

Ed Byrne Champion Fighter

Ed the Record Breaker…

Ed Byrne

Ed has been the World Destruction Champion since 1992 and is the holder of 15 consecutive World Breaking Records.

On March 21st 2008 Ed set a new world record by breaking 55 concrete blocks with his bare hands in just 4.86 seconds, shattering Dan Netherlands previous record of 17.49 seconds. He is now aiming to beat the existing record for breaking the most blocks in one stack which currently stands at 31.

He has also just finished filming for a new ‘Super-human’ television series, where he is appearing in the ‘Strong’ programme.

Ed the Family Man…

Ed loves teaching children and watching his students progress and as a father of 3 he likes to spend as much quality time with his family as possible. Despite winning numerous championships he maintains that his favourite title is ‘Dad’.

His hobbies include following his favourite Football team, Arsenal and enjoying a round of golf, when he has time.

He dislikes bullying, back stabbers bad etiquette and Instructors who don’t practice what they preach!

About the Academy

The Byrne Black Belt Martial Arts Schools are regarded as the best and most progressive in the Southwest of England, offering an exciting blend of Kickboxing, Sport Karate, Thai Boxing and Kung Fu disciplines. Teaching takes place in a fun, non-combative, educational programme, which helps the pupil learn self-reliance, respect and discipline.

The Byrne Black Belt Academy also has a tournament squad named ‘The Pirates’, who train separately to the Academy, holding squad training sessions on a weekly basis. Ed set up ‘The Pirates’ in 1990, choosing the name as it was synonymous with the Southwest and they always took the silverware at tournaments! Ever true to his word, ‘The Pirates’ are the Southwest’s most successful team, having won over 400 tournaments outright thanks to Master Ed’s vast knowledge of tournament techniques.

Ed is recognised as being the most successful and influential Martial Arts coach to come out of the Southwest, producing over 100 Cornish champions, 26 British Champions, 6 European Champions and 3 World Champions. In 2006 he was awarded Instructor of the year and for 2006/2007. Ed was voted Coach of the Year at the prestigious Restormel Sports Awards. His success has continued this year as the Byrne Black Belt Academy has just won the Junior Club of the Year.

Why NEST?


NEST was recommended to us by fellow Martial Art schools, Winspers School of Black Belts and Lee Matthews Black Belt Academy. They had used other companies in the past but had since joined NEST and they told us that they were by far the best in the business, so this was the main reason we signed up. I wasn’t just looking for a billing company, but rather a company that could help me grow from a part-time Instructor teaching twice a week to someone who could help me make a living doing what I loved – teaching Sport Karate.

When I first contacted NEST I was pleasantly surprised that the Managing Director Gerard Turvey gave me a courtesy phone call just a couple of hours later and arranged to drive down to Cornwall, the next weekend. It was this kind of dedication that persuaded me to join NEST.

I remember telling Gerard and Joy why a full time Karate Instructor wouldn’t work in Cornwall.  They were very helpful, pointing out some key facts and telling me what student numbers and turnover I could expect within the first year.  I remember laughing at them at the time – but I have never been so delighted to be proved so wrong!

My student base grew from 60 students to 348 students in just over a year and I’m now looking at purchasing my first full time dojo.

NEST is not just about billing; they help your business in so many different ways, e.g. Marketing, customer retention, student analysis and their admin is second to none. This leaves you to focus on teaching students and growing your business, without having the stress and worry of attendance tracking, collecting money and administration.

The NEST team are on top of their game and are as passionate about Martial Arts as I am. I recall reading an article from Neil Hourston from Scottish Kempo, who said that with NEST you are not treated like a number, but as part of the family. We experienced this at first hand on a recent weekend trip to Nottingham to watch the WAKO British Championships. Gerard very kindly offered to show us around the NEST offices and we all went out for a meal. I really did feel like part of their family.

NEST has also helped me with various other aspects of business, such as tax issues and accountancy – they are even conducting my next Black Belt meeting.

I have been contacted from other Martial Art billing companies recently, but as long as I remain in martial arts, I will always use NEST.

(Interview from August 2008)

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