Sensei Gillian

Gillian has been a student with Activ8 for 9 years, starting relatively late in life aged 44 years. She has achieved the level of black belt and has recently started teaching with us full time. Gill has both paediatric first aid and DBS certificates and NVQ level 2 in instructing and coaching.

Gill has experience teaching both children and adults, specialising in using her background knowledge from the Lancashire constabulary to work with victims of domestic abuse and other violence to help them gain confidence and feel safe.

Sensei Kate

Kate has been a student at activ8 for 12 years and started teaching with us last year. She is a junior black belt and has recently completed her NVQ level 2 in sports fitness instructing allowing her to teach classes for circuit training, weight management and boxercise.

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Sensei Rachel

Rachel has been teaching with Activ8 for 3 years after previously mentoring in music and dance for 11-13 year olds. Her creative flair and skills in performance make her a magnet for the younger students who describe her lessons as fun and exciting. Rachel has recently attained her stage 3 in the Activ8 teacher training course, has paediatric first aid and DBS certificates.
Rachel has experience in teaching all ages and belt levels and being a part of the workshop team and the activ8 parties’ team. Specialising in teaching 4-6 year olds and children with ASD/ ADHD using learning through play.
Rachel is also a qualified ‘English as a Second Language’ teacher and can offer tuition to children and adults who are learning to speak English after moving from other countries or who have not learned English as a first language.

Sensei Sarah

Sarah is one of our black belts who has been with activ8 for 9 years. She has completed her NVQ level 2 in instructing and coaching, has paediatric first aid and DBS certificates and has reached the level of stage 3 instructor in the Activ8 teacher training course.

Sarah is talented in technical skill and speed, having experience in working with all ages and belt levels and also being team leader for our holiday club and part of our activ8 parties’ team. She specialises in teaching ages 7-11 when their fine motor skills have developed and technique is ready to be improved; also specialising in teaching weapons.

Sensei Laura

Laura is a highly valued team member and has been doing martial arts for 12 years now and has been teaching with Activ8 for 6 years. Laura has attained the level of Black belt and also has an NVQ level 2 in instructing and coaching, paediatric first aid and a DBS certificate.

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Jo Kitchener


Jo is a senior instructor with Activ8 Self Defence and has been teaching jujitsu for the last ten years. She has previously managed hotels and businesses, therefore her experience has proven to be invaluable as Jo is the General Manager at Activ8 Self Defence and keeps the business running smoothly. She has also been an integral part of its growth and continues to help drive the company forward.

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Mark Bruffell


Mark is a senior black belt jujitsu instructor who comes from a military background who has served his country in troubled areas across the globe.

Mark is a big man with a big heart and has a very approachable demeanour which allows his students to feel they can talk to him and ask advice with regards to their training.

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Gary Standaloft

Gary is the founder and Chief Instructor at Activ8 Self Defence. He is passionate about Martial Arts and has over 30 year's experience in a number of different Martial Arts including Jujitsu, Kung Fu, Judo, Karate, Taekwondo and Krav Maga. Gary firmly believes that an effective Martial Arts syllabus is one that is fluid and dynamic and incorporates the most effective techniques drawn from across a range of disciplines; it was through this belief that Activ8 Self Defence was born.

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Teachers - Instructors Profile

instructorsOur instructors have got a vast amount of knowledge and experience within the area of self-defence. As a prerequisite, our teachers require a number of credentials before we allow them to begin their full teaching:

  • Hold the highest level CRB/DBS disclosure check (sections 115 and 116 of the Police act 1997)
  • Have current and valid indemnity insurance
  • Are regularly trained in First Aid and Health and Safety
  • Hold relevant teaching qualifications other than just their martial arts grades that have been awarded by recognised awarding bodies
  • Undergo a rigorous coaching programme which involves 250 hours of practical teaching before taking a class of their own

Our personal protection advisors working within our current schools and colleges are full time professionals who have many years of experience in a magnitude of associated fields, such as:

  • Close protection work
  • Professional Martial Arts Instructors
  • Prison Wardens
  • Members of the institute of Conflict Management.

The credentials of the selected teachers adheres to the Activ8 Self Defence policy of striving to be the best at any given time, we aim to deliver elite trainers, and elite programmes.
We have many Assistant Instructors working towards their 250 hours practical teaching.






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Domestic Violence

Learn practical self defence techniques to help stop violent abuse. You will learn to de-escalate domesticviolencenegative situations whilst being able to defend yourself from a violent partner/family member.