He was also an ex-member of Thailand's Tae kwon do squad and he too had a formidable Thai boxing record. Master Sken was completely different to Toddy. He is a tremendous kicker with great speed and skill and is also a good technical fighter and instructor. Toddy was incredibly knowledgeable with great strength and power. Pound for pound he was awesome, and thou the training with him was rather brutal at times one became superbly conditioned to fight. Nick had his first Muay Thai fight at the age of fifteen, against an ex -professional boxer who was 25 years old. The following year Master Thonsaphon Sitiwatjana awarded Nick the grade of instructor from the British association of Thai martial arts (B.A.T.M.A). As he grew up he would fight every weekend in Tae kwon do, Kickboxing or Karate competitions as well as several Muay Thai fights held at Picket’s Lock in London.
In 1984 Nick began working as a full time instructor at the Milton Keynes Academy of Martial arts. This was the first purpose built martial arts center in the UK. During this time Nick had continued to travel up to Manchester at weekends to train with Master Toddy and occasionally Master Sken. The instructors’ courses at that time were something of a star-studded event, having probably the greatest collection of fighters and champions from the various Martial art contact sports; (five times World Thai boxing champion) Ronnie Green, Ladies World Thai Boxing Champions, Ann Quinlin & Lisa Howarth, World Full Contact Karate Champion Howard Brown, as well as World Thai Boxing Champion Pele Nathan, European Champions Edge Brown, Peter Feely, Owen Corrie, Nigel Howlett, Brian Walker & many more.
In 1987 Nick spent the three months of his summer vacation working as a full time martial arts instructor at the Antonia Oliva Gym in Madrid Spain. During Nick’s time there he taught Tae kwon do and Muay Thai. It was also Madrid that Nick would return to later that year where he once again won the European title in super Tae kwon do. It was also a good year for Nick’s international career in Thai boxing, fighting mainly in Europe. Nick had a total of fourteen fights in Spain, Holland and France winning all. Having won the British Muay Thai title together with the All Styles title it was not difficult to get Nick fights with the best fighters in Europe; Particularly in Holland where he fought fighters from the Chakuriki and Mejyo Gyms in Amsterdam and the Vos Gym in Rotterdam.
In 1989 Nick was awarded the grade of instructor with the International Full Contact Federation in the art of Muay Thai from Philip Tsang. Nick also won fifteen Muay Thai fights in Europe, including the European middle weight title. This was held in Marsalais at the foreign legion barracks and was against one of there unarmed combat instructors. The champions’ opponent had injured his arm, so Nick was put in as reserve. However due to the shortness of preparation time, Nick was sent to Lanzorate for three weeks to prepare for the fight. So his days were spent running up & down the volcanoes in the extreme heat to build up his stamina & endurance, & then pad work every evening. Not that it was really needed, as he knocked out the Frenchman in the opening minute of the second round with a knee to the body.
.1991 started off at a brisk pace with a defense in April of his European Muay Thai middleweight title, which was actually delayed two weeks after Nick had arrived in Portugal, due to storms, as the fight was taking place in an open air arena on the outskirts of Faro. But it was not to bad as Nick spent most of his time training with the local Thai fighters at the Ginasio Clube de Faro, which is one of the largest martial arts gym in Portugal. Nick’s opponent was the Spanish fighter Jesus Lui, and although he to had an unbeaten record like Nick, it quickly became apparent that he wasn’t in the same class, being knocked out in the third round with a spinning elbow to the head.
In 1993 Nick was sent to Japan by the company for whom he worked, for several months & whilst there he studied Goju-Ryu Karate in Hirooka under Master Toshi Miyazaki and Japanese Kick boxing in Tokyo under Hiromichi Fujiwara. At the end of his placement he decided to travel to Thailand for a spot of additional training. During his time there he trained at the Carryboy gym in Bangkok together with having two professional fights at the Lumpinni Stadium. Nick also traveled to Pattaya City where he trained at the Sityodtong Muay Thai boxing camp also gaining an instructor Certificate. Nick then traveled north to the Burma / Laos border where he spent a few days being trained in Bando boxing (which is Burmese traditional bare knuckle boxing, which is very similar in look and technique to the Muay Choa Cherk.)
In 1995 another knockout was awaiting him, as he was involved in a serious car accident with a Juggernaut (semi). This resulted in Nick taking the full impact across his chest & arms & in the process, it displaced his spine and the arteries to his arms. The effect of the accident was immediate and catastrophic. Nick could no longer take any sort of impact, even jogging resulted in nick being crippled with neck pain and shooting pains running up and down his body, and as a consequence of the displaced arteries, the blood would flow into Nicks arms but wouldn’t flow out again. Therefore any sort of activity was almost impossible, which to someone who was in such good shape and so competitive was almost unbearable. The remainder of the year was spent trying to various medical treatments to try to reduce the extreme pain and more importantly the control over nick’s blood flow in his chest and arms. The realization that this was effectively the end of Nick’s competition career was not as difficult as one would expect. All through Nick’s fight career thou he had never lost, it was not the winning that had been his motivation, he had simply wanted to be the best that he could be, and had always tried to see where exactly his ability fell within the martial arts community. By winning he had effectively reached that pinnacle of his fighting career and although there was the possibility of him losing future fights. He knew that he at that particular time he was the best that anyone could be in that particular sport. From the information that his doctors gave him it was almost certain that it would take years of treatment to get back to anywhere new the level of fitness that he once had. So rather than getting bitter at his situation Nick decided to focus on developing his students into the best that they could be and give them the benefits of many years of training & study of the martial arts. This was also the year that nick was awarded his instructors’ certification by Arjarn Tony Moore & Kru Bob Spour of the British Thai Boxing Council.
In 1996 nick showcased his skills at a world martial arts symposium thou Nicks injuries were causing him some problems it didn’t stop him from enjoying teaching not to mention the opportunity of showcasing his unique style of Thai Boxing and his no nonsense teaching style. During the convention Nick also partnered kick boxing champion Jean Yves Theualt, who must have been quite impressed with Nicks conditioning as every technique he demonstrated bare handed and with full force, thou on lookers might not have noticed as Nick didn’t even flinch. Because of there appearance and more realistic training methods, Nick and his students Jonathan and Bruce attracted a lot of attention from the other martial artists there. But they were always willing to go onto the other mats with the different styles and train in there arts and towards the end of that first convention, had made a number of good friends and won the respect of everyone there. Not just for their Muay Thai skills but also for the level of their other martial art skills. As the year continued Nick continued to train as best he could and also take part in as many seminars as possible. These included seminars with Arjarn Lec Chaieawrung in Muay Choa Cherk, Arjarn Tony Moore in Krabi-Krabong, Kru Bob Spour in Self-protection techniques & Muay Thai under Kru Tony Myers & Kru Nidt Caweewat.
Thou Nicks injuries were still having major consequences towards his own fitness. As the injuries had stopped almost any chance of him doing roadwork or abdominal conditioning due to the jarring effect on his neck & shoulders. Nick did try to modify his training in the gym to try and build and strengthen his body and reduce the increase in weight, that was the consequence of his metabolism slowing down and the significant reduction in training. Therefore Nick turned his attentions to mastering the foundations of Muay Thai, through the study of Krabi-Krabong at the Buddhai Sawan Institute UK under Arjarn Tony Moore and Once again Muay Choaw Cherk under Arjarn Lec Chaieawrung. Nick became quite proficient in both arts taking part in the Amazing Thailand Festival that year as a representative of the Buddhai Sawan, unfortunately this was taking place at the time that the founder & grandmaster Arjarn Samai passed away in Thailand. Also once again that year Nick was one of the Coaches for the British Team taking part in Kings Cup amateur World Championships. Towards the end of that year Nick also traveled again over to Holland to train at the Chakuriki gym with Thom Harnick.
Once again 1998-showcased Nick’s skills on the international seminar circuit when he was again asked to teach at the World Kobudo Convention in Strasbourg. Once again his superior conditioned body demoralized the other masters techniques, as the painful leg kicks and nerve stimulation strikes which were having such a profound effect on the other martial artists were having no effect on Nick whatsoever. In fact during one of the sessions where a jiu-jitsu master was demonstrating a leg kick takedown technique, the entire assembled mat of fifty or so high ranked black belts took turns trying out the technique on Nicks leg’s, all without success. However the following day their endeavors were apparent, as his legs were completely black from the bruising. However not even that stopped Nick from taking his training sessions. As a the year continued Nick also started to concentrate on the organizational side of Muay Thai taking part judging and refereeing Muay Thai competitions almost every weekend. Together with continuing his studies in Muay Chao Cherk & Krabi-Krabong and his coaching of the British Muay Thai team In December of that year Nick was traveling again this time to St Petersburg in Russia to teach at the Federation of Budo Martial Arts.
1999 was to again bring some hard decisions for the camp. The skill level of the students training was very high, but the actual numbers of students training was very small therefore making it very difficult for the camp to continue financially. Once again Nick used his income to pay for the continuation of the venues. However holding the camp together was to pay dividends when we sent a team to the World Kobudo Convention in Quebec, Canada. As well as having a group of very proficient students to accompany Nick and once again show off our skills, it was the camps turning point with regard to World Wide recognition as Nick was Made the World wide Coordinator for Kick & Thai Boxing for World Kobudo. Together with being awarded a plaque of outstanding teaching at the Convention. The demonstrations and seminars were very well received, and still several years later, Nick is still asked about techniques and combinations that were shown at that convention. Upon returning to the UK, Nick quickly got back into his own training studying Muay Thai with Master Pimu Chokechaichana Krutsuaran.
As Nick’s fitness gradually started to return after several years’ treatment, thou his body type had changed significantly from his fighting days. As rather than sporting a very lean upper body with very strong dense but flexible legs, his upper body was now very muscular and although his legs weren’t considered thin, they were about half the thickness that they had been. This however didn’t effect Nicks pursuit to train and as well as continuing his training with Arjarn Tony Moore in Krabi-Krabong, Nick was fortunate enough to Study that year with Arjarn Weerayut Mesaman the head instructor of the Buddhai Sawan Institute Thailand and the son of grand master Arjarn Samai. Once again that year Nick took part in the Amazing Thailand Festival as a representative of Buddhai Sawan UK.).
The year 2000 was the start of a new millennium and for Nick and the camp it was also to be a new dawn, in January was sent to America for a month with his job and during his time there did a promotional seminar tour. Whilst in Tennessee Nick was the guest of Honor of Chris Hicks the Chief Instructor of the Colombia Tae kwon do school, where Nick spent four hours teaching the applications, conditioning and fighting skills of Muay Thai to the assembled Black Belt students. Muay Thai in America is still only in its infancy and therefore for most it was there first sight of Muay Thai, but within minutes, Nick had all of them enthralled with the techniques as he effortlessly countered one attack or combination after the other. Nick then went on to explain the differences in application of the Muay Thai techniques as opposed to Tae Kwon Do, together with the principals of movement and distance to select the best technique for each given situation. Also whilst in Tennessee Nick spent time training units from the local SWAT teams and FBI and DEA in Close Quarter Combat, as well as Muay Thai. Nick was also was a guest instructor at Fort Bragg where he spent a week teaching unarmed combat to members of the Green Berets, and also at Fort Benning where he spent a week teaching Close Quarter Combat and Muay Thai to members of the US Rangers. When Nick returned to the UK he was once again fortunate to train for a couple of weeks with Master Pimu Chokechaichana Kritsuwan and Kru Tony Myers which was to be the only refresher of his own skills he was able to have that year. As in May Nick was again invited to Instruct at the World Kobudo Convention in Vienna, Austria, this was to be the start of a new chapter with the camp. As during the convention Nick made friends with the Swedish Jujitsu team and as a result of the instruction they received from Nick decided that they would like to include Thai Boxing into the teaching structure of there schools in Sweden. The Convention was also the place where Nick was promoted to a 6TH degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do by the Technical committee of World Kobudo as well as receiving an award for outstanding teaching from Ernest Binder the convention organizer. On Nick’s return to the UK he was approached by Alan Charlton to be an International representative for the Self-Protection Association, which Nick Gratefully accepted. Nicks life was again to change as he was headhunted for a job in America, which was unfortunately to good to turn down. However before leaving he traveled to Sweden to do a week long seminar at the Orebro Camp as well as putting in place the training structure for there Thai boxing as well as teaching and preparing there affiliation and there instructors training. Once completed Nick returned to the UK briefly to organize the running and structure of the UK schools before leaving for America.