Yorkshire entrepreneur invests in self-defence Academy

A Spartans Academy class

Leeds based self-defence club, Spartans Academy of Krav Maga, has secured significant financial investment from York-based entrepreneur and businessman, Tom Maxwell, to support a new strategy for growth following a surge in demand for self-defence training.

Headquartered in Kirkstall, the Academy operates across Yorkshire and the Northeast, teaching people of all ages the real-world application of Krav Maga, a form of non-competitive self-defence that combines techniques from boxing, wrestling, judo, and karate. Krav Maga was originally developed for Israeli defence forces and military applications.

Spartans Academy teaches people how to use the techniques in real life situations and has seen a 24 per cent increase in both male and female membership over the past 12 months. It is on track to recruit 500 members by the end of the year.

The club has also had a big impact with young people, helping over 1,800 ‘Young Spartans’ in the past five years, from combating bullying to simply boosting self-confidence.

Spartans Academy is operated by Chief Instructor, Gheorghe Husar, one of the most decorated and respected masters of Krav Maga in the world. Gheorghe Husar is currently part of the Global Security Centre Team and offers club members the highest quality levels of teaching available.

Having seen the impact the Academy has had in the Yorkshire community and the importance of the skills and values it teaches, Maxwell is focusing on broadening the scope of the business to make Krav Maga even more accessible by collaborating with schools, Universities, charities and businesses in order to offer classes.

Tom Maxwell, who is both CEO of multi-million pound turnover business Twisted USA and chairman of tropical plant retailer Grow Tropicals, said: “As soon as I heard about the academy and Krav Maga as a discipline, I knew that this was something I wanted to help raise awareness of and push forward.

“Gheorghe is an instructor of the highest quality and is helping teach all demographics of the community these valuable, potentially lifesaving skills for defending yourself in a legal and safe manner. This is resonating with people now more than ever. 

“With more and more people wanting to take steps to feel safe, there is undoubtedly tremendous potential to broaden the scope of the Academy and implement this type of training further in the education, charity and corporate sectors, and that’s something I’m really looking forward to. 

Gheorghe Husar said: “It’s terrific for the Academy to have someone like Tom on board. His investment and forward thinking have brought new ideas to the table and provided a platform for us to increase the awareness of the importance of being able to defend yourself, if necessary.

“At the Spartans Academy, we have helped a huge variety of people and provided a safe space for them to overcome negative experiences and gain self-confidence, which in turn has delivered a massive benefit to their lives.

“We have already worked with partners including the Scouts, National Citizen Service (NCS) and Sheffield Hallam University and, with the support of Tom, we have no doubt we can continue to increase our reach and make a real difference in the community. We’re excited to see what we can achieve moving forward.”

Spartans offers classes in York, Sheffield, Leeds, Hull, Harrogate and Newcastle and is accessible to everyone, including those looking to learn a new skill or who want to know how to legally defend themselves.

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