Christchurch/Middleton - Nigel Stupples




  • Monday & Wednesday: 6:00PM - 7:00PM
  • Saturday: 10.30AM - 11.30AM



    BAY 5 - 244 ANNEX ROAD



Kyoshi Nigel Stupples

I started Zen Do Kai for the first time in 1986 for a short while but it wasn’t until 1988 that I really got into it, prior to that I had trained in some boxing and Judo as a child. I first started for the self-defence and fitness side of things but soon came to enjoy the environment, positive attitudes and challenges that went with the training.

Before I new it I was training every day and progressing through the ranks. When I got to Shodan Ho (Black Belt) in 1990 I opened my first club where I found I had a real interest in teaching. Through to this day my passion in Zen Do Kai has to be helping people to help themselves. I have found that through teaching students and watching them improve and grow, I myself have grown -either through their growth or the fact I have had to source more information to help them.

Over the years this has led me to attend seminars, camps, other clubs, and for the past 8 years I have travelled overseas regularly for training seminars and up skilling. I have trained with the likes of Toshishiro Obata, John Will, Michael Campos, Patrick McCarthy, Bill Wallace, Steve Nedelkos, Bob Jones, to name a few and have also graded in many styles outside of Zen Do Kai.

This open minded approach to training has really kept me on my toes as we keep abreast on latest training and teaching methods, to the point now where I study things like Ortho-Bionomy, sports coaching and leadership to name a few new skills coming on board.

In 1996 I founded a group called Proactive Martial Arts, which I now work for full time. It is headed by a group of Zen Do Kai Black Belts that run professional clubs through out the South Island. Our Purpose is to educate and promote martial arts in an environment, which best services, the student.

Most of my time these days seems to be spent with martial artists and I find it a very inspirational and exciting job. Many of my close friends have either trained in the past or currently do so, including my wife who is a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Zen Do Kai.

I look forward to a very exciting 2008 with the development of the organisation and the progression and growth of all the schools. I would like to finish with a big thank you to all my past and present teachers who have helped me over the years. With there help it has influenced thousands in a positive way.

Kyoshi Nigel Stupples.

Renshi Anna Stupples

I began training at Proactive in April 1999 in Kickboxing and then Zen Do Kai. I had been seeing Nigel for a couple of years at this stage and realized it was a bit stupid of me to not come along and give training ago, after all isn’t it a wise idea for all females to learn how to defend themselves? I didn’t really think it would be my thing, in the past I had never managed to stick at a sport but because Martial Arts was obviously such a huge part of Nigel’s life I though it was about time I went along to see what all the fuss was about. If wasn’t long before I was hooked, (once I overcame my nervousness about the whole thing) there was always something new to learn and that keep me interested because I had to use my brain as well, I slowly started to get fitter, made new friends and began to love the family atmosphere. Now if I can’t make to THE CLUB I hate missing out on what’s going on!

My initial goal was to achieve my Brown Belt, but somehow you get caught up in the motion of things and just keep on going – its kind of like “well if they can do it then so can I” which is great because it keeps you motivated and achieving goals and you end up being surprised at how far you have come.

In December 2001 I graded through to Black Belt and wondered what now? But – that was just the beginning! I started instructing beginners in early 2002 and apart from a break to train for my 2nd Degree Black Belt, I have been teaching ever since. It has been hugely rewarding for me to see some of my first students achieve their 2nd Degree Black Belt this year!

If someone had told me 10 years ago that I would become a Black Belt and manage a full time Martial Arts School, I would have laughed at them. It just goes to show that you never know where life will lead you. Proactive has become like a second family to me, I am a much stronger person both mentally and physically from my journey so far. I would be lying if I said that each grading didn’t scare me because it does – but what an awesome feeling it is to work hard for something, put your heart and soul into it and actually achieve it. As you move up the ranks you slowly notice changes in yourself, not just in your training but also in your personal life – things like focus, perseverance, commitment, goal setting – for me the list just goes on.

Instructing has been one of the most challenging and rewarding things I have ever done and it has been what has taught me the most about training, human nature and myself. It has given me invaluable life skills and taken up a huge amount of my time and energy – but it is so worth it.

In October 2007 I left my job of almost 18 years as Office Manager to run Proactive Martial Arts full time with Nigel. It has been the fasted and most exciting two years of my life…….with lots more to come I hope.

I have completed my 3rd Degree Black Belt in Zen Do Kai with a teaching rank of Renshi and my Green Shirt in Kickboxing and am currently training in MMA- Shoot Fighting.

What I love most about our family is the fact that it doesn’t matter how old you are, or how fit you are or what you do for a living – everyone is welcome.

Believe in yourself, treat others as you would like to be treated, enjoy each day and do something each year that scares you!

Renshi Anna