Barnstaple's Matt Fiddes (second right), with Scott Adkins, Bill Wallace and Bob Sykes. PHOTO: Burton Event Photography

Fiddes becomes youngest award winner and inducted into martial arts hall of fame

Wednesday, June 4, 2014
11.49 AM

Barnstaple martial artist joins the likes of Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris

A BARNSTAPLE martial artist has become the youngest-ever inductee to the martial arts hall of fame.

Seventh degree black belt Matt Fiddes, 35, who used to work as Michael Jackson’s bodyguard, has also been awarded the prestigious ‘Martial Arts Superstar’ award by magazine Martial Arts Illustrated.

The world-renowned award puts Fiddes in the company of previous winners, including Bruce Lee, Jean Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris.

Hall of fame members are seen to be the Hollywood stars of martial arts, and Fiddes was joined this year by Expendables star Scott Adkins and Elvis Presley’s former karate trainer Bill ‘Superfoot’ Wallace.

Fiddes, who set up his first martial arts school in Barnstaple when he was 17, said he was unaware that he was being given the award.

“It is such an honour to receive such a prestigious martial arts award,” he said. “I’m over the moon!”

Editor of Martial Arts Illustrated Bob Sykes said of the father of three: “He is the most well known martial artist in the UK without doubt.

“His presence at the event was well received and it was amazing to see the other martial arts stars and legends from past and present mobbing him for pictures all night. He was a gentleman and gave everyone time.

“As editor of the biggest martial arts publication in the world I get asked more questions about Matt Fiddes these days than Bruce Lee. He does so much for people behind the scenes that he never speaks about.

“He is an amazing martial artist and is leading the industry.”

Fiddes’ worldwide franchise operates out of his office in Pottington Industrial Estate, and he has recently set up MF Dance – a new franchise aimed at incorporating different martial arts moves with modern street dance – in Barnstaple.

For more information, visit www.mfdance.co.uk.