History of Afan Lido Kickboxing Club

The club was established in 1996 by the late Shihan Ritchie Noblett 8th Dan, widely acknowledged as one of Britain’s’ finest Karate exponents and one of the pioneers of British karate. Evolving from full-contact karate the club now specialises in full-contact Kickboxing.

Afan Lido Kickboxing and karate Club has dominated the Welsh fight scene for years and produced numerous Welsh, British, European and World Champions. The club has since produced an incredible number of top class kumite competitors – a tradition which continues to this day.

Mark Watkins (Blue) started karate at the early age of 5 and after training on and off over the years turned to kickboxing at the age of 16. Mark fought at professional level and had many full-contact fights under the coaching of Ritchie and by the age of 18 years he was already senior British champion and took gold in the WAKO Pro British open winning the Final with a 50 second KO. Mark is the only senior Welsh fighter to be picked for the WAKO Great Britain Full Contact team, and went on to represent Great Britain in the WAKO World Championships held in Venice.

Following this success Mark fought some very tough opponents around the world including Israeli champion Eldad Levi, 9 x Irish boxing champion Keith Whelan, European Thai boxing champion Michael Robinson, and Pro Welsh and Celtic Champion Mathew Ashford, just to name a few, and in a 12 year competitive career only lost twice.

Ritchie sadly passed away in 2009 after a hard fought battle with cancer, Mark then retired from fighting in order to become chief instructor and follow the footsteps of Ritchie. With Mark’s dedication and commitment, the club continues to go from strength to strength with over 100 loyal members. Mark and his team of coaches prove the success of the club and currently hold numerous Welsh, British, Commonwealth and World champions. Mark is now also the Full Contact coach for WAKO GB.

Improve Your Health & Learn Self Defence

Kickboxing is an excellent way to improve your fitness and flexibility, as well as helping you to lose weight. You’ll also be learning a practical way of self defence and help build your stamina and confidence.

Taught in a safe and friendly environment, our kickboxing classes accommodate children and adults of all age groups. Whatever your level of health and fitness, kickboxing training is a sure way help you achieve your goals and is an excellent form of stress relief!

The Afan Lido Kickboxing Club is based at Vitality Health & Fitness in Port Talbot, which has purpose-built well-equipped training facilities with full matted areas, punch bags, training equipment and a 16 foot training ring.

If you would like to get involved, everyone is welcome beginner or experienced fighter, just come down to see us at the club. Alternatively, get in touch using the details on our contact page for a brief informal chat.

What Happens in a Typical Kickboxing Class?

Each kickboxing training session starts with skipping, warm ups and mobility exercises, followed by some shadow boxing, and then onto bag work and focus pad work. We also take you through various kickboxing fighting techniques and maybe engage in some sparring.

Our fighters will mainly do some hard sparring sessions in the gym on Tuesday and Thursdays, but squad training sessions on Sundays are frequently held outside, involving Functional circuits, hill sprints or bleep tests.

Kickboxing Club


Facebook By Weblizar Powered By Weblizar

Chief Instructor

Mark Watkins Profile Picture

Mark Watkins

Mark is the Chief Instructor for the Afan Lido Kickboxing Club and is the first point of contact for information about coming along and training with the club. Mark is friendly, approachable, and knowledgeable about the sport, having achieved great success fighting at professional level. Mark became WAKO pro Light Middleweight Full-Contact Kickboxing Champion in 1999, and as well as being selected for the GB team in World and European championships, he has also fought for Wales v England and Ireland. Now Mark coaches full time nationally with the Afan Lido fight time and internationally as Coach for WAKO GB.

Class Information

Monday      4:45 pm – 5:45 pm

Sparring Juniors (5 – 14 years)     4.00

Tuesday      4:45 pm – 5:45 pm

Juniors (5 – 14 years)     4.00

Tuesday      6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Adults (15 years +)     4.00

Thursday      7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Adults (15 years +)     4.00

Friday      4:45 pm – 5:45 pm

Juniors (5 – 14 years)     4.00


WKO logo