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Quest to be the best – hidden treasures on Armley’s Carlton estate

West Leeds has a wealth of hidden treasures, and a veritable Aladdin’s Cave can be found at the Carlton Estate in Armley, writes parent Jamie Grand.

People interested in health and wellbeing can find a dance studio, and two alternative fitness centres which are proving to be extremely popular with members.

premier martial artsThe pick of the bunch, however, can be found in Premier Martial Arts. The Leeds branch of this global brand is growing by the day, and this is testament to the learning experience offered. The organisation offers training for children and adults in Taekwondo and the much revered self-defence methodology of  Krav Maga, which has been used in training the SAS, among others.

Premier also offers weekly keep fit classes in the form of “Kickfit,” which is designed around high intensity training.

My own experience as a parent comes right at the beginning of the Premier Martial Arts offering. My own son, at just three years, is an established member of the “Tiny Champions,” group, which is available to children aged three and four years.

The classes consist of sets of routine actions and commands, which the children embrace with enthusiasm. Like many others, I had my concerns that my young son would not have the attention span to take part in a class. Ricky Lam and his coaches have shown us that children love the disciplined routine they are playing in.

The coaching staff is made up of Mr Lam’s own students. These young black belts demonstrate all of the behaviours required to reach to the top level in martial arts. Mr Callum in particular is deserving of a mention. At just 16 years of age he already has all the hallmarks of a top coach and is loved by the children.

The Premier Martial Arts student creed is clearly a favourite with the children, and is performed in every class. The creed itself is a brilliant philosophy for all aspects of the child’s life:

“I will develop myself in a positive manner.”

“I will use common sense before self-defence.”

My personal favourite motto can be seen as you approach the door of this impressive facility. A small sign tells us how Premier Martial Arts creates athletes “from the inside out,” and this is absolutely integral to the Premier Martial Arts Mission.

Older children are tasked with homework each month, which is set around one of the key virtues required to be a black belt. This includes patience, perseverance and modesty. Evidence of the success can be seen each time you visit, as the children demonstrate excellent behaviours with each other in a social setting.

The student creed finishes with the statement of “We are on a quest, to be the best,” and it has to be said that they’re doing a fine job so far.

Anybody interested in finding out more should visit or

Also, if you’d like me to write about your West Leeds Treasure, drop me a line at


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