our instructors

Meet our Empower Martial Arts Academy Instructors


Dan started martial arts when he was 7 years old beginning with Karate which he did for a couple of years before seeing a poster for Aikido at the local RAF camp.

He did Aikido for around 15 years achieving the rank of 3rd Degree black belt in Yoshinkan Aikido and being lucky enough to have trained with some of the best teachers in the world including Joe Thambu in Melbourne, Australia where he trained and lived as a full time student for a month.

During his time at University, Dan started boxing and MMA where he became a vice-president of the MMA club and was taught by then UK Welterweight 10th legion championship Louis Chapman for 3 years.

After graduating Dan looked more into the self defence side of martial arts having trained in the traditional and sports side and found Keysi Fighting Method (KFM) which was when he first met Defence Lab founder Andy Norman who was then co-founder of KFM. He fell in love with the efficiency and no nonsense approach and trained for 2 years in KFM before it split up.

During this time Dan was also applying to join the Lincolnshire police force as a police constable after studying a degree in criminology and psychology and a Masters in Civilisation and Terrorism and realised what he really wanted to do was teach martial arts for a living.

When Defence Lab provided the opportunity to do this, Dan turned down a job in the police in order to pursue his dream of running a full time academy.

In 2015 Dan was lucky enough to be inducted into the Martial Arts Illustrated Hall of Fame and in 2017 co-published his first book ‘Martial Masters Volume 1’ which involved a number of interviews with high ranking martial artists in the UK. He also won the ‘Rising Star’ of the year award at the British Martial Arts awards the same year.

Dan continues training in a variety of martial arts and building on his skills, including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Balintawak. He is an associate instructor with the Minnesota Kali Group teaching Jeet Kune Do, Silat, Kali and Muay Thai and recently returned from America where he spent time learning from Guro Dan Inosanto – Bruce Lee’s friend and training partner.

Dan is now committed to running a professional full time academy and training future instructors in order to serve the local community and provide a good (and fun) life! He is the designated safeguarding officer for the academy, as well as head coach and owner and can be contacted at d.holloway@empowermartialartslincoln.co.uk or by calling 07792 866296.


I’m Lee, I am 35 and I started studying under Dan around 4 years ago. Having always had a keen interest in martial arts and seeing the benefits they can offer I thought it was long overdue that I jumped in with both feet and started my own journey.

I looked around the area at was out there to study and thought long and hard about what was important to me, I wanted something that was extremely effective and practical but also something that was taught in a fun and friendly environment with no egos. This led me to Dan!

My first lesson I was greeted by  Dan with a smile and a handshake and this instantly put me at ease and spared any first lesson nerves I was carrying. During that lesson we looked at basic head cover and street striking and from that moment I was hooked!

I decided to take the step to instructor because I have discovered new skills such as teaching, working with kids and team work through a group that wants you to be the best you can be. My future hopes involve becoming an instructor and running my own martial arts school teaching children and adults knowing that if they find themselves in the worst possible situation they will be armed with self defence skills and knowledge.

I have never been the greatest at public speaking and standing up in front of groups of people since starting on the instructor programme this has gone from strength to strength due the confidence I have been given and the have a go attitude that is supported.

Lee is now Level 2 Instructor at Empower Martial Arts Academy and a certified MittMaster Pad Holder.

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