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Valley Martial Arts was started in January 2014 from humble beginnings in the corner of a CrossFit Gym in Clitheroe, Lancashire. As the academy grew from strength to strength the gym and mat space grew with us. We now operate out of our own martial arts academy situated in the heart of Clitheroe.


Our academy is dedicated to providing students with the best environment to train in. With high quality mats and an array of training equipment whether you are striking, grappling or improving that fitness, we've got it covered.


Here at Valley Martial Arts we teach mixed martial arts in our curriculum based system. Mixed martial arts takes the most effective techniques from various martial arts disciplines and combines them into one effective system. You will learn striking, grapling and transitioning between them both as well as taking your fitness to new levels. Classes also include stretching and mobility to take care of your body and help prevent injuries.

Our family classes are ideal if you are looking for a positive, fun and exciting sport to get your kids involved with or, why not join them? Our academy is built on the encouraging family atmosphere we have so parents can train with their children in the same family classes. If you are an adult looking to learn self-defence, improve fitness or whatever your reason, we have classes specifically for you to train alongside other likeminded adults.


Ryan Sparring.jpg

Graham Wardle is the co-founder and Chief Instructor at Valley Martial Arts. Before opening Valley Martial Arts in January 2014, he spent 10 years of his life training at the highly respected Castle Martial Arts Academy in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, one of the top Academy’s in the country, where he achieved the rank of 3rd degree Black belt.

It didn’t take long for Graham to realise that Martial Arts was so much more than just fitness and self-defence. Not only had his own fitness and Martial Arts ability increased to levels he had no idea he was capable of, but his confidence and self-belief had sky rocketed. He also noticed the incredibly positive impact it was having on so many different people, from children as young as 5 years old to men and women in their sixties and seventies.

In late 2006 the opportunity came along to study for a CIT qualification (Certified Instructor Training). A 2 year intensive Instructor training programme teaching all the aspects of not only Martial Arts training and instructing, but also how to get the best out of the students and how to help the students get the best out of themselves.

In January 2009 he was taken on by Castle Martial Arts as an Instructor and began dedicating himself to his craft full time. In December 2011 he was promoted to Chief Instructor. It was in this role where Graham became excellent in helping his students gain confidence and self-belief as well as becoming fit, strong, healthy and physically robust top level Martial Artists.

When Graham opened Valley Martial Arts in 2014 he placed a great emphasis on helping his students and their families learn together in a warm and encouraging atmosphere. His passion for martial arts is a strong now as it was when he started and Valley Martial Arts is already the premier martial arts school in Clitheroe and the Ribble Valley.

Teaching children

Also on the instructing team is Ryan Cook. He is a second degree black belt and has been with Valley Martial Arts from the very beginning in January 2014. Ryan was one of the first ever students to receive his first degree black belt at the academy and the very first to receive his second degree. He has completed his three year instructor training program and has been teaching classes at Valley for around seven years. Ryan takes great pride in teaching at the academy and his love for martial arts shines through in his classes. His ability to explain techniques in a way that students can understand and put into practice is a one of the reasons he is such a highly respected instructor.

Ryan places a lot of emphasis on making the classes as fun and enjoyable as possible. No two classes are exactly the same and the variety makes for a fast paced and exciting environment. The children especially enjoy Ryan's classes and as a father he connects with them in a warm and positive way. He is also 'Child Protection in Sport' certified by the NSPCC.


The third member of the team is Alex Clegg who is our assistant instructor. Alex is a 2nd degree Black Belt and an invaluable member of team, Alex has been helping out with classes for a couple of years now. At 15 he is already a very highly skilled martial artist with a very mature head on his shoulders.

Always smiling and ready to help out, Alex is the embodiment of what a Black Belt should be. With a very warm and calm demeanour he is very well respected by the juniors and adults alike. The future is very bright for this young man and we are lucky to have him as part of the team.


If you are after top quality training at an affordable price, fantastic facilities, a warm, friendly atmosphere, then Valley Martial Arts is the place for you. Get in touch now to try a free one-to-one, no obligation, taster lesson at a time and date that suits you.


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