The master instructor and owner of G5 Evolution Martial Arts his club is the best when it comes to delivering a pure experience in the sport.

Ken Stronach spoke to the Advertiser about his 44 years of martial arts experience and the club he now runs.

He said: “We’re a little different to any other club. We don’t actively advertise.

“We host the odd open day but we’re not in the business of selling black belts, we make black belts.

“Getting one is a marathon. So many clubs now just sell, every six weeks another one is given away.

“It gives a false hope. So many kids go away and think they’ve ‘done’ martial arts.

"I’m 49 and I’ve still not ‘done’ it.”

Despite Ken saying it’s tough to get a black belt, he insists it’s not a boring hobby.

He added: “The club is based on training and discipline but it’s a lot of fun.

“It’s unfortunate for martial arts because so many parents see it as a cheap after-school club but it’s not.”

The club is based at Crowood House Business Centre on Gipsy Lane in its own purpose-built unit.

“People have to go out of their way to get here,” Ken added.

“But when people do we have amazing retention, the students don’t leave.

“When they do join I make a point to say that a certain dedication is required. They need to know because if they’re not prepared for that then don’t join.

“We’re not elitist, we just have high standards from our students.”

The reason behind the high expectations is based on how Ken sees the martial arts landscape in the UK.

“It’s like orange juice," he said. "Once you run low and you just top it up with water it gets weaker and weaker, and we don’t want that.

“The downside of kids just doing it quickly is that instead of enjoying it for decades it’s just a few years and then they’re done.”

G5 Evolution holds a number of different classes for different age ranges and abilities.

These include everything from a Japanese sword class, yoga and urban combat defence as well as martial arts.

Community work is key

AS well as teaching martial arts, Ken Stronach believes that the club should be giving back to the community.

He told the Adver: “We do a lot of community work in Swindon.

“I believe that paying it back is important. We do a lot of fundraising for Wiltshire Air Ambulance too.”

In November last year Lewis Selby, who suffers from autism, helped raise over £300 for the charity after holding a cake sale at the G5 centre.

Ken added: “We do a lot of work with autistic children and we have a lot of life-changing stories.”

Lewis is one of those life-changing stories. Before joining the group his mum Sarah said he used to be quite angry and not very good at expressing himself.

But since joining he has experienced a turnaround and is now much more confident than he used to be. Speaking last year, Lewis said: “They’ve been very supportive of me and they helped me to make friends.”