Level 1 White Belts at the after school clubs!

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

Richard’s Philosophy

The term ‘Martial’ derives from Latin, and, means “Arts of Mars, the Roman God of War. Thus roughly translated to” The Art of War. 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.

School Sports Week 2017

The Olympic Roadshow kicked off this week – here are some pictures of Managing Director Richard and Team GB Olympian Sophie Cox, as well as a collection of medals Sophie brought along. You can read more about the Roadshow and Sports Week here:





We would like to start by thanking every school, pupil and member of staff who took part in June’s Olympic Roadshow. Sophie and I were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and embracement demonstrated by each pupil we met. What impressed both of us was how each school’s ethos reflected the values of the Little Dragons and of the Olympic Games.

This year we are proud to have launched The Education Programme’s Olympic Cup, in partnership with Sophie, for schools who took part in last year’s Olympic Roadshow. Many congratulations to Corpus Christie R.C. Primary school and Canon Johnson C of E Primary school on receiving their trophies!

Thank you also to all of the pupils and members of staff who kindly took the time to write to us with their lovely comments and positive feedback. Unfortunately, due to the high volume of letters we received, we are only able to post a small selection but we hope you enjoy reading some of them in the section below.

Finally, Sophie and I would like to wish everyone who took part, all the very best in their futures and we look forward to seeing you all, with a new and exciting Olympic Roadshow next year! Don’t forget to book early to save disappointment. Please contact Richard on: ricky@epldirect.com.

Peace and Respect

Richard & Sophie

Have a look at some of the great Photographs taken from the past 2 weeks:


Spring 2016

Welcome to the EPL spring blog!

We are excited to announce the preliminary plans for National School Sports week – see the page at https://epldirect.co.uk/1710-2/ for more details. We will again be joined by Olympic athlete Sophie Cox who will be on hand to demonstrate her skills and teach all about the techniques and disciplines involved with martial arts.

Such is the popularity of the Olympic Road Show that a second week has been added. We are fully booked up for the first week and had done so within a day of spreading the news to our schools and partners.

Have a quick look at our testimonials page too to review some great feedback from the team at the Rochdale school games, whom we are proud to be continuing with working alongside.

There are further pictures below which show a recent session with Sophie Cox demonstrating some moves on Richard and leading a training session. The children paid close attention to the techniques and were in awe of some of the moves! Sophie also brought along just a small collection of some of her medals and awards – just feast your eyes on these, what a collection!

November Update

We have had some excellent feedback that has been added to the Feedback page of our website from Simon Hunter at Buckton Vale Primary School – be sure to head over there and have a read. You may have seen through our social media recently that we have a vacancy for a Dance Coach on Thursday evenings; if you are interested then we would love to hear from you! We offer excellent rates of pay and as we continue to grow the opportunity and potential to progress and network amongst our partnership groups is definitely there. We are always on the look out for teachers and Teaching Assistants to join us here; submit a form and have a chat with us to find out more on our Teachers and TA’s page.
We are very pleased to have received recognition in early November as being a validated center of learning for sport through the Childrens University. We are very proud of this achievement in what can only be beneficial for everyone associated with the Education Programme. We also wish to thank our long-term partners, Tameside Schools Sports Partnership and the Rochdale School Games for their continued support and association with ourselves. We are again very proud to be partners with organisations that share the same ethos as we do, and we continue to go from strength to strength and make a difference for our pupils. Details for each organisation can be found on the accreditation page: https://epldirect.co.uk/new-accreditation

September Update

We at the Education Programme wish to thank the following schools across Manchester and Tameside for their ongoing support and for accommodating our ‘Little Dragons’ Martial Arts program:

Buckton Vale Primary, Cannon Johnson, Harwood Park Primary, Corpus Christie, Boarshaw Primary, Yew Tree Community Primary.

Also, we wish to welcome Whittaker Moss primary school in Rochdale who have recently joined the Little Dragons program.

We would also like to take this opportunity to personally thank Debbie Fitton at Hawthornes Primary in Droylesden for her support with the Olympic roadshow during National School Sports Week back in June.

We hope you all had a pleasant summer and look we continue to look forward to working with you all! We hope you all had a pleasant summer and look we continue to look forward to working with you all!

Recently, we took one of our Martial Art sessions to a whole new dimension – a class was delivered to 10 children at the Touchstones Museum and Art Gallery in Rochdale. This unique experience was fantastic for both pupils and staff alike, and we wish to thank Alison Cooper and link4life for allowing this to take place in such surreal surroundings! You can visit the Touchstones website for more information – http://www.link4life.org/centres/touchstones-rochdale

New Programs added to the Education Programme’s Curriculum!

We are very pleased to announce the arrival of 2 new and exciting programs and activities for summer 2015! Dance Art and Sports Invasion have arrived, and we are thrilled to be offering such fun and contemporary programs for our staff and students to enjoy. You can read more on the new programs here:



EPL’s Little Dragons at National School Sports Week

The Education Programme’s Little Dragons Olympic Roadshow has been in full swing throughout Nation School Sports Week! Team GB Olympian Sophie Cox and Chief Instructor Richard have delivered Martial Arts classes to over 1000 children so far this week. With 2 days to go, we are hoping to make that figure closer to 2000 with classes fully booked up in schools across Thursday and Friday. The feedback from the students has been excellent – some of which is below.

Richard has spent some time building-up to Sports Week with some extra training from 14 time Thai Boxing Champion Juile Kitchen. The photos above will see him being put through his paces in an intense training session! Richard’s time spent with Julie was followed by a learning seminar about this branch of martial arts afterwards, which was brilliant.

Half-term holiday club @ Friezland Primary a big success!

Another fantastic May half-term holiday club was enjoyed by all at Friezland primary! We had plenty of fun activities going on throughout the week led by our coaches and staff, including: Arts and crafts, Basketball, Netball, Football, Cricket, Hockey, Pottery and even Dodgeball!!

Seen below is some of the excellent artwork our students produced – we’ve got some real talented artists in our holiday club! Can you pick a favorite one?

Recent National Gradings and School Sports Week

The recent National Gradings for Martial Arts took place recently, and here at EPL we had some great success with students through our Little Dragons Programme. We just wanted to say a huge congratulations to everyone involved and hoped you enjoyed it as much as we did! Remember to keep up the hard work, spirit and determination. A good ethos and inspiration to remember is the following… ‘Every black belt was a white belt that never gave up…’ Wise words indeed! It just goes to show that when following a goal or a dream, the sky is the limit, and anything is achievable when you set your mind to it! Could you be on the path to acquire as many medals or official events jackets as this?!

Coming up on the 22nd June is National School Sports Week in association with Youth Sports Trust. The Education Programme is fully-booked for the week with our Olympic Roadshow, with Richard and Sophie Cox. We would like to say a big thank you to all the schools that have booked the Little Dragons programme and look forward to seeing you on or from the 22nd June!

All ready for the half-term holiday club at Friezland Primary School!

All the plans and preparations are in place for another fun-filled half term at Friezland Primary school in Greenfield from the 26th of May following the Spring Bank Holiday. We’ll have sports coaches at the school for cricket and football amongst other games, plus our usual fun and interactive programmes and activities. Moving into June we are also gearing-up for the fantastic ‘Little Dragons’ Olympic Roadshow with our very own Team GB Olympian Sophie Cox – keep checking the blog to find out more!

Please be wary that due to the different lengths of half-term at schools we will only be at Friezland Primary for 1 week only – from Tuesday 26th May until Friday 29th. We are aware that some schools have assigned 2 weeks off for half-term this time around, however Friezland had their 2 weeks earlier this year in March! Friezland will of course be our base for the summer holiday clubs for the usual 6 weeks in the summer.

Spring update – May 2015

The 2015 Easter Holiday clubs at Friezland Primary in Greenfield were a great success recently. Amongst our great activities we had coaches in from the Team GB Paralympic Cricket team as well as new coaches in overseeing football. The feedback from the pupils and parents was positive as always! Looking ahead we will be planning our Summer holiday clubs so do not hesitate to get in touch to find out what we have planned.

We have also recently re-consolidated our presence on Social Media, so looking ahead we will have lots of news to share through Twitter and Facebook. Feel free to like our Facebook page and give us a follow us on Twitter! The links are as follows:



We will of course welcome any feedback you wish to share, be that on Twitter, Facebook or through the website.