Student, Apprentice, Instructor - Tom’s Journey

From apprentice to sensei 

Tom Simpson started training in our Jiu Jitsu classes at EMA in the spring of 2017 at the age of 17 and having just left school.  When we advertised for our first apprentice that summer he applied and we were pleased when he started working with us in September 2017. Tom worked hard both at Exeter College and through his training at EMA to complete 2 apprentice qualifications over the next 2 and a half years- his gym trainer qualification and an NVQ in Leisure Management.


From apprentice to sensei 



When Tom joined us he had no instructor experience, and just a few months of martial arts training under his yellow belt.  Three and half years later he has grown into a valued member of the team and is beloved by the children he teaches and their parents alike. He has also trained hard on gaining a well-rounded number of martial arts skills and currently is working towards his black belt in Jiu jitsu and his purple belt in kickboxing, with the hopes of competing later in the year when covid restrictions allow. 


From apprentice to sensei 






Over the pandemic Tom has been a rock, alongside the rest of the coaching team he has helped the EMA members through hard times both mentally and physically with his daily appearances on zoom classes.  Teaching on Zoom is a real challenge- keeping people engaged and progressing with very limited feedback and interactions, but it is a challenge which Tom has excelled at.  Although we know he is really looking forward to seeing all our students face to face when we reopen later in the month.


Tom is now a full-time instructor with EMA and as we grow we are looking forward to seeing his progression both as a martial artist and as a valued instructor.


Tom embodies the values of EMA; enthusiasm, hard work and consistency and is a great role model for the next generation of martial artists.

01392 663000

Exeter Martial Arts