History of TMAC Kickboxing


TMAC was first started in 1992, by Sensei Barry Rutter (5th Dan Kickboxing & Ashihara Karate) and Karen Rutter, who taught martial arts classes at various commmunity locations throughout Tameside. Barry is the UK Head of our style of karate, Ashihara Fighting Karate.

We became the Tameside Martial Arts Centre in May 2002 when we opened our first full time dojo (training room) on Ashton Road in Denton. This is now the Istanbul Grill restaurant!

The dojo had a double fronted shop, parent viewing/refreshment area and two small training areas (the main area had a sprung wooden floor and the other was matted).

Due to local demand, we launched our adult kickboxing classes here in late 2002. These classes were taught by 20 year old Kelly (Barry & Karen’s daughter) who, at the time, was 2nd Dan Kickboxing. The classes became so popular that we also introduced children’s kickboxing classes, which were taught by Barry (as Kelly didn’t have the patience back then!!).

It soon became apparent that the training areas were too small for the number of students that we were attracting, and so we additionally rented the Main Hall in the nearby Festival Hall, Denton.

In 2006, we transferred all of our classes to Hope United Reformed Church and closed the Ashton Road dojo. We have been at Hope Church ever since!

Over time, we stopped teaching Ashihara Karate to focus solely on our Kickboxing classes, although we do still use some Ashihara principles in our Kickboxing syllabus (rotational defence, for example).

In 2015, Barry and Karen moved away from Denton and Kelly and her husband, Jonny (both 3rd Dans by this point), took over the running of TMAC Kickboxing. Barry is still our Chief Instructor and students get to see him and Karen regularly, at our Club gradings.

Kelly and Jonny are assisted by a fabulous team of Assistant and Junior Instructors, Debra, Jordan, Emily, Nicola, Kate & Kali.

It’s crazy to think that TMAC have been in Tameside for 26 years, so far! We are a true family run club, and are extremely proud of our history and what we’ve achieved, up to now.

Who knows where we’ll be in another 26 years….?! Maybe Oscar (Kelly & Jonny’s son) will be our Instructor then, and will be writing about how his Grandad Barry started the Club 52 years ago….! 

Thank you to everyone who is, or has been, part of our journey. Running TMAC means we get to meet lots of incredible people, and it is an honour to continue to teach Kickboxing to you all.

Kelly – TMAC Kickboxing Senior Instructor