CHRIS MORGAN – Head Instructor – 5th Degree Black Belt

Head Instructor, Chris, a 5th degree black belt has been training in Martial Arts since the age of 8. With 30 years’ experience, Chris studied Kung Fu for a year and quickly turned his focus to Kickboxing in 1990.  Chris began competing in Light Contact Kickboxing in 1993 and in 3 years collected 10 wins without defeat leading him to turn to Professional Rules Full Contact Kickboxing in 1997. His accomplishments include:

Welsh Champion

English Champion

4 x British Champion

Commonwealth Champion

Chris retired from competition in 2009 and retired as the reigning ISKA British and Commonwealth Light Middleweight Champion.  Chris has 17 years’ experience as an instructor and is recognised as a Level 1 Instructor with the CMAA. He is also the current ISKA Team Wales Coach.

In 2019 Chris moved the Academy into its first proper home and has been pivotal in its growth to date.  Chris is passionate about teaching and is known for his patient and approachable coaching style and meticulous eye for detail.  He is fully committed to passing on his knowledge and developing the next generation of Black Belts and Champions!

KEVIN GUNTER – Instructor 3rd Degree Black Belt

Kevin Gunter is a 3rd degree black belt and has 6 years’ experience as an instructor.  Kevin trained in San Su which is a Chinese Kickboxing art from the age of 18 and reached Red Belt.  He then started training with Alan and Chris at the Modern Karate Kickboxing Association in 2002.

Kev has competed in both Light Contact and Full Contact kickboxing rules and was on the fringes of a Welsh Title shot before deciding to retire from competition in 2007.

Kev is an old school martial artist who prides himself on enforcing the traditions and values of martial arts to those he teaches.

SAM JOHANSEN – Instructor – 2nd Degree Black Belt

Sam has been training with AJ’s Kickboxing Academy since 2013 having trained briefly in Boxing and Muay Thai previously.  Sam has dedicated himself to his training and worked his way up through the ranks.  In November 2020 he achieved his 1st Degree Black Belt and then went on to attain his 2nd Degree Black Belt in April 2023.  

Sam has competed in Light Contact Kickboxing and is now actively playing a role in developing and supporting other students who wish to compete in ring sports.

Recognised as a Level 1 Instructor with the CMAA, Sam has an engaging teaching style, and is known for being a bit of a joker at times but his mix of humour and discipline brings the best out of the students he works with.

OWEN REES – Instructor – 2nd Degree Black Belt

Owen began Martial Arts as a child and trained in Wado Ryu Karate for a couple of years.  After taking a sabbatical from his training, Owen resumed Martial Arts in 2015 when he joined AJ’s Kickboxing Academy.

Owen feels privileged to train and coach at the Academy and has enjoyed his journey to date which brought him his 1st Degree Black Belt in November 2020 and his 2nd Degree Black Belt in April 2023.

A Level 1 Instructor with the CMAA, Owen has competed in Light Contact Kickboxing on a few occasions and is now focused on nurturing the next generation of competitors to become the best versions of themselves that they can.  He takes great pride in helping our students improve and takes great satisfaction from seeing them mastering new techniques.

RICHARD COMMONS – Instructor 1st Degree Black Belt

Richie began training with AJ’s Kickboxing Academy in 2013 having participated in team sports for most of his life.  He has some previous Boxing experience but was never something he did regularly. 

In his 8 years with us, Rich has competed several times in Ring Light Contact Kickboxing and in November 2020 achieved his 1st Degree Black Belt.  He has come up through the grading system at AJ’s Kickboxing Academy so understands the standards and principles expected and always ensures he embeds these in his teachings.

Rich is now recognised as a Level 1 Instructor with the CMAA and is renowned for being a bit of a task master. He demands maximum effort from students at all levels.  

He combines this well with his supportive nature making him a very competent Instructor at the Academy.

TOYAH BARTON – Instructor – 1st Degree Black Belt

Toyah started training in Martial Arts when she was 7 and reached her Brown Belt in Shotokan Karate.  She trained until the age of 15 when she decided to take a break. 

In 2004 she began training with Alan and Chris at the MKKA Wales and remained there until it disbanded in 2010.  In 2011 Toyah decided to join AJ’s Kickboxing Academy and a year later took another break to start a family.

Toyah returned in 2018 and achieved her lifelong goal by becoming the first female member to achieve a Black Belt with AJ’s Kickboxing Academy.  She has very recently become our first fully qualified female Instructor, becomming Level 1 qualified with the CMAA. 

Toyah is looking forward to being part of the Instructor team and training other students to fulfil their dreams, just as she did!

JOSH PALMER – Instructor – 1st Degree Black Belt

Josh started his Martial Arts journey back in 2011 where he began training in Korean Kickboxing and it was under this style that he attained his Black Belt and won Welsh Open gold under sport karate points scoring rules.

In February 2020, Josh joined AJ’s Kickboxing Academy as he felt he needed a new challenge and has trained consistently ever since.

He passed his 1st Degree Black Belt with AJ’s in April 2023 and is a regular presence on our Instructor team. He has gained his Level 3 and Level 2 Instructor certificates so far and is now working towards his Level 1 certificate.

Josh is young and fresh in terms of coaching and brings with him an energetic coaching style. He is extremely popular with our younger members and heads up our Saturday classes.

ALAN MORGAN – Chief Instructor – 5th Degree Black Belt

Chief Instructor, Alan, a 5th degree black belt had 30 years’ experience in Martial Arts which included 19 years’ experience as a Kickboxing Instructor.  He sadly and unexpectedly passed away in November 2017 but left behind the knowledge and foundations on which to build a fantastic Academy.  

A gentle giant in the Martial Arts world, Alan started training in Shotokan Karate in his younger years and then went on to train in Kickboxing in 1990 with his sons Chris and Kirk.

After years of hard work and dedication, Alan achieved his Black Belt with the Modern Karate Kickboxing Association in 1995 and began his journey as a Kickboxing Instructor in 1998.

He achieved Silver Badge Instructor Status with the World Kickboxing Association in 2000 was also qualified as a ‘C’ Class referee and judge.  

Alan competed on the Light Contact Kickboxing circuit between 1993 and 1995 and in his time as an Instructor went on to develop a number of Professional Kickboxing Champions.

Alan was a highly respected Martial Artist and individual in his own right and was recognised as a Level 1 Instructor with the Cobra Martial Arts Association (a nationally recognised Martial Arts Association to whom the Academy is currently affiliated).

Known for his compassionate and supportive nature, Alan was an outstanding Instructor and will forever remain a part of the history of this ever growing Academy.