Andy Hopwood - Founder & Chief InstructorAndy Hopwood - Founder & Chief Instructor

Andy Hopwood

Andy Hopwood was born in February of 1965 in a small town called Taverham located in Norfolk England. Moving to Birmingham aged 4, he developed a love for martial arts gaining black belts in both Kyushindo Karate and Ju Jitsu.

In 1995, Andy became Founder and Chief Instructor of the British Free Fighting Academy and has since cemented himself as one of the UK’s leading combat and fitness experts, with an established list of celebrity clients from premier league footballers and motor racing champions to famous soap actors.

Andy has been involved in martial arts and fitness for over 45 years and is a 7th degree black belt in British Free Fighting. Andy has also twice been inducted into the prestigious ‘Combat Hall of Fame’.

Andy has most recently become the UK President of the World Kickboxing Federation and Head Coach of Fight Team UK.

Fight Career

At aged 23, after a five year spell in the military, Andy embarked upon a career in the ring as a kickboxer.

E.S.K.A. Fight Record – Fights: 24 Wins: 24 Loses: 0 K/O’s: 18

British Champion from 1990 to 1995.

European Champion from 1994 to 1995 (retired).

Andy wrote his memoirs of his time in the military. His autobiographical novel ‘It’s Only Pain’ has had rave reviews here in the UK and overseas.

Andy is available for private one-to-one sessions, group sessions and workshops in the UK and throughout the world.

Sharon Hopwood - Instructor

Sharon Hopwood

Sharon Hopwood was born in September 1969 and grew up in Coleraine, Northern Ireland.

Sharon has always been passionate about health and fitness. After working oversees for the Armed Forces, Sharon qualified as a fitness instructor and has worked at some of the UK’s most prestigious health clubs.

Sharon has been a personal safety and combat instructor since 2002, and is widely recognised as being the UK’s leading female in this field. As a highly experienced 4th degree black belt, Sharon is the world’s highest ranked female in the martial art of Free Fighting; her credentials include:

  • 4th degree black belt in British Free Fighting
  • Personal Safety and Combat Instructor
  • Ricky Hatton Boxing for Fitness Coach
  • MMA Referee, Trainer & Second
  • Holistic Sports Nutritionist
  • Life Coach
  • Safe Guarding Officer

Sharon is available for private one-to-one sessions, group sessions and workshops in the UK and throughout the world.

Sid Khaliq - Hopwood Instructor

Sid Khaliq

Sid Khaliq is a passionate instructor and a firm favourite with our members.

Sid loves to pass on his vast knowledge of martial arts and self defence to anyone who is keen to learn.

Having spent most of his working life in the security industry, Sid knows the techniques and methods of practical self defence that work when it really matters.

As a second degree Black Belt in British Free Fighting, kickboxing & MMA Referee and a First Aid instructor, with Sid you are in very safe hands!

Connor Hopwood - Hopwod Fight Centre

Connor Hopwood

Connor Hopwood is a talented young martial artist. Connor gained his junior first Dan black belt at the record age of 10 and then went on to break another record in gaining his second Dan junior black belt at the age of 12. After four years away, Connor returned to achieve his 2nd Dan adult black belt at the age of 16.

Connor now competes regularly in different disciplines of martial arts and hopes to one day become a world class MMA fighter. At the age of 18, our youngest instructor, Connor teaches with enthusiasm and passion.

Connor loves to pass on knowledge to different generations and is truly a product of the prestige British Free Fighting Academy.

Connor Hopwood - Hopwod Fight Centre

Zac Read

Zac Read studied BSc Sports Therapy (Hons) at University of Worcester, finishing his degree in June 2019 with a 1st Class Honours. As a Graduate Sports and Exercise Therapist and member of the Society of Sports Therapists, Zac has expertise in the examination and assessment of a variety of injuries, conditions and the muscular-skeletal system. Zac is competent in a range of treatment options including sports massage and joint mobilisations, as well as holding qualifications in first aid and pre-hospital trauma care.

Zac has experience in professional, semi-professional, amateur and youth sport including at Worcester Warriors RFC, Somerset CCC, Droitwich RFC and England Lions Disability cricket teams. During his studies he also achieved two academic scholarships and completed 3 times the required placement hours.

Zac currently works with Evesham RFC providing side-line medical care as well as a weekly injury clinic session. Zac will also be operating out of our clinical space at Hopwood Fight Centre offering 30 minutes or full hour treatment slots. If you would like to book in or for more information visit

Trudy Payne - Safeguarding Officer

Trudy Payne

Hello, my name is Trudy Payne and I am the Safeguarding Officer at Hopwood Fight Centre.

The BMABA Safeguarding Policy sets out how organisations and individuals should work together to achieve a safe environment for all children. It is my job as Safeguarding Officer to ensure everyone shares the responsibility for safeguarding by adhering to this policy.

The Policy statement is based on the following key principles:

  • The welfare of the child is paramount
  • All participants regardless of age, gender, ability or disability, race, faith, size, language or sexual identity, have the right to protection from harm
  • All allegations, suspicions of harm and concerns will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly, fairly and appropriately
  • Everyone will work in partnership to promote the welfare, health and development of children
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What our clients say

“I have not felt back pain since joining”

After getting nowhere at a regular gym due to lack of self motivation over a number of years, it has been a life changing experience finding the Hopwood Combat System.

Not only has it dramatically increased my fitness, but it has also taught me very useful self-defence skills. Additionally, having suffered from reoccurring lower back pains for many years, the core strength techniques have meant that I have not felt the back pain since joining.



“My fitness has dramatically improved”

I started training with the Hopwoods with the intent to get fit, lose weight and start a healthier lifestyle; but the style of the training offers so more than that.

Over the last 18 months my fitness has dramatically improved, my body shape has changed dramatically and my cardiovascular system is better than ever!



“Great for toning muscles without building bulk”

I really look forward to my weekly one to one personal training sessions with Sharon – every week we do something different.

Combining combat training with the workout has really helped increase my fitness level, and its great for toning muscles without building bulk.



“At the cutting edge of development”

Andy Hopwood has created a syllabus which is both practical and relatively easy to learn. His deep understanding of how to turn an attacker into an unsuccessful assailant is at the cutting edge of development.

The structure of the system is second to none, so if you are looking to stay safe, give the Hopwood’s a call. It may just be the best call you ever made!

Combat Magazine

Get fitter than you’ve ever been

For a free consultation call Sharon on 01527 759 523