The term ‘Martial’ derives from Latin, and, means “Arts of Mars, the Roman God of War.” Thus roughly translated to “The Art of War”, although the path of a true Martial Artist is one of peace, tranquility and respect. Martial Arts is universal and transcends through a common goal, the love of the art form. It breaks down all social, economic and religious barriers, bringing many streams to one river. No one form is greater than the other, each should be respected. This is the true path of any Martial Artist. The Little Dragons syllabus is a collective system that fuses different martial arts into one elementary programme. Its aims and objectives are to give students of all ages and backgrounds an overall insight into different Martial Arts and the adaptation of certain techniques from those styles. The Little Dragons syllabus has been designed using traditional techniques as a foundation whilst adding a hybrid element to them. It is not stating anything other than a different approach to the execution of certain techniques. Its aims are not to dilute the purity of those forms but merely to demonstrate alternative ways.  The belt system is that of the “Little Dragons” trading under “The Education Programme Ltd”. It does not reflect the grade structure of the individual Martial Arts styles utilised within the “Little Dragons” syllabus.

Chief Instructor Richard At the end of a grueling workout with a 30 round pad session. Finishing with body and head conditioning strikes from Jake, who is great… Taking the shots without defending. Thanks bro! Haha. We should have filmed this at the beginning of the session when I was fresh, sharp and strong, never mind, next time. Namaste bring it!”

The first black belts in the Little Dragons

































On behalf of Chief Instructor Richard and all the instructors at the Little Dragons, we are immensely proud to be presenting the first Junior Black Belt grades in our system.

This has been a long journey, over four years, and during this time these students have demonstrated the tenacity, determination and courage to achieve their ultimate goal of becoming a Junior Black Belt. They have reached the required standard in a rigorous three day process, concluding with a grading exam on the final day. 

Richard stated that he remembered clearly the first day he met the students and told them that the longest journey starts with the first steps. They are indeed a true inspiration and encapsulate the martial art way.

Richard said that when he created the concept of the Little Dragons programme he wanted it to be universal and transcending through a common goal: the love of the art form. The programme breaks down all social, economic and religious barriers, bringing many streams into one river.

The syllabus is a collective system that fuses many different martial arts into one elementary programme. It aims and objectives are to give an overall insight into different styles and the adaptation of certain techniques, whilst adding a hybrid element to them. The aims of the Little Dragon programme, is not to dilute the purity of the traditional forms, but merely to demonstrate alternative ways.

These students have embraced every aspect of this concept and Richard invites them to become Junior Black Belt ambassadors, where they will join the senior team of instructors and assist them in teaching a selection of the five hundred plus students currently trained each week.

Richard would like to finish by saying that it has been an honour and privilege to teach these young people and wishes them every success in the next chapter of their lives.

Together, Richard and I would like to offer sincere thanks to David, the instructor who has guided the children through this year. He has been an amazing role model to the children.

As headteacher, I am very proud of the children who have been successful in achieving their Junior Black Belt. They are an inspiration to us all.

Details of places for the Little Dragons will be issued in the first week back of school for our Friday morning class. We are looking forward to welcoming some new children to the programme.

Yours faithfully,

D Brown

Mrs Brown (Headteacher)


Chief Instructor Richard said that this year was fantastic working with Sophie again, it’s a pleasure to be thrown around all day by such an elite Martial Artist and good friend, a big thank you Sophie!. It’s our 5th year delivering our annual Olympic Road Show and every time it gets better. Richard would like to thank all the schools, staff and children that took part for making it such a memorable and successful experience. Richard added that he feels incredibly lucky and humbled to have made his passion for Martial Arts apart of his daily life and doesn’t consider it to be work but a privilege to teach to children of all ages and back grounds . We look forward to seeing old and new friends again next year.























Our Charity Work

Many congratulations to our students from our charity work, Head Instructor Richard said. We were so proud of their achievement and felt honoured and humbled to be teaching them. They are a shining light to everyone they meet. The above group have graduated to their level 1 white belt and are an inspiration.

“We deliver to adults with different levels of ability and mobility”. Richard, the Managing Director and Head Instructor of the Education Programme said. “We are so honoured and proud to be invited to work with these amazing people. They are truly inspirational and a shining light to everyone who meets them. They embrace the core principles of our Dragons martial arts program with the same enthusiasm that they approach life. We could all learn from them. I always look forward to delivering to them each week. Carita and all the staff are wonderful and should be recognized further for all their fabulous work they do. Truly humbling in every way.

Another beginners level 1 White Belt class complete their course. Well done from Head Instructor Richard!

Another new level 1 class starting on their Little Dragons Journey!

Our highly successful new intervention Little Dragons workshops – Supporting and adding value to schools SMSC:




















































Some level 1 White Belts being warmed up by purple belts!




















A fantastic start to level 1, white belts, at one of many after school clubs. 71 students! Myself and the team were kept busy!



























The first week back for the Little Dragons pre-school and after-school clubs have been well-attended with some waiting lists due to popularity – keep an eye out for our new company brochure due imminently!



Double Olympian Sophie Cox working with Managing Director Richard, demonstrating Richard’s philosophy on on the Little Dragons hybrid syllabus and variations on a hip throw.










Richard Training with Double-World and European Muay Thai Champion Damian Trainor – what a tough but great 2 hour session!




Richard training with Double Olympian and 7 times British Champion, Commonwealth Bronze Medalist and Double European Silver Medalist Sophie Cox at the EPL Annual Olympic Roadshow 2017.





What a great session!






Richard Training with 14 time World Muay Time Champion Julie Kitchen.










Richard training with Remy, a Muay Thai Boxer – One of the UK’s top fighters. It was a pleasure to be trained by Remy and spar with him.




Richard condition training overseas for Little Dragons

EPL’s Little Dragons




We’d like to congratulate our Managing Director Richard, who took part in the national England trials a few weeks ago in Birmingham. Richard was selected for Team England for the K1 World Championships. They will be held in Athens in the summer. We would like to wish Richard all the very best of luck and bring home the gold medal….

Little Dragons Aims

Our unique Journey Through Martial Arts Programme was designed by The Education Programme under Managing Director Richard  Kirkham and his team of qualified instructors for the primary school sector, from a range of martial arts that include: Kung Fu, Judo, Jiu Jitsu, Karate, Kickboxing and Muay Thai Boxing. They have achieved Olympian Status, Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals in World, European and UK Championships, “and so can you

Our aim is to give students from all walks of life and religion an easily accessible and understandable insight to a number of different martial art styles and to show these can be fused together. No one single style is emphasised although the terminology used will lend itself towards different languages i.e Japanese, Cantonese and Mandarin.

  1. To demonstrate an holistic approach when learning martial arts
  2. For students to understand words and phrases from other languages
  3. For students to reach and maintain the targeted level of competence as laid out in the syllabus
  4. To realise the individual students physical goals and achieve happiness within their own body

Little Dragons Styles

The techniques in our syllabus are taken from a number of different martial arts and are based on those systems that have originated from Japan, China and Thailand and have spread throughout the world for students to enjoy. There is separation in our syllabus that include combinations of Katas or Sets to help develop form and flow of movement, similar to those used in styles such as Tai Chi.
This will help students to develop control over posture and breathing whilst focusing their idea on peace of mind and tranquillity.

Little Dragons Underlying Principles

Throughout their martial arts journey the concept of “the martial arts way” will be introduced and reinforced to all students so they understand that to practice martial arts is to practise essential life skills that will undoubtedly help them in life’s great adventure. Our holistic approach to understanding the techniques and training is there to help provide students with the ability to develop character skills along with their physical attributes. Any student will be able to take part and develop him or herself as an individual in their own time, increasing their confidence and self-awareness.

Our Little dragons programme is unique to students of all levels and abilities. Our approach is customised to suit students at a primary and secondary level of education, and we have bespoke sessions for students attending SEN schools.

Here’s what two of our of our many coaches had to say about EPLS Little Dragons:

I am excited to be a part of the little dragons programme. I believe developing children’s knowledge in martial arts from a young age benefits them in all aspects of life now and in their future, from respect to discipline, the little dragons program has a dedicated team behind it to make sure the children get the very best from their experience.

Steven Henshall

Steven’s Experience:
5 years Mma training
Brazilian jujitsu blue belt
Ex Head coach of Spartan predators Mma in Middleton for 1 and a half years
Current head Mma coach at back2basics gym
Current Mma coach at full contact performance centre Rochdale

Steven’s Achievements:
5-1 Semi professional Mma record (5-0 at middleweight)
Full contact contender middleweight British champion
Rage in the cage middleweight British champion
Sub North NO GI grappling comp winner


I feel the concept of this programme (the little dragons) is excellent. I think getting martial arts into schools is crucial, and gives the children discipline, integrity, honesty and creativity… It also helps more introvert children come out of there shell and helps tone down more rowdy ones. The instructors are great and clearly know what they are doing.
Although I struggled to adapt my style, that is a personal battle for myself as opposed to anything else, and I had full support from Richard from start to finish.

Kind Regards,

D. Powell 4th Dan


Little Dragons – The Olympic Roadshow from School sports week – June 2016


































































































































































































 And here is Richard participating in a private training session with  World Number One ranked ladies Muay Thia Boxing Champion and 14 World times World title winner Julie Kitchen: 

What a great session!



“Martial Arts is universal and transcends through a common goal, the love of the art form, it breaks down all social, economic and religious barriers, bringing many streams to one river”  Richard Kirkham Managing Director