Phoenix School of Martial Arts in Southampton

Master Matthew Marshall

Master Matthew Marshall is the founder of TaeKwonDo School Phoenix SMA in Southampton and has been providing expert training in TaeKwonDo and self defence martial arts for over 15 years. Find out more about his background and his martial arts schools in Hampshire below.

Martial Arts Background


After trying Japanese Jiu Jitsu, Kickboxing and Karate, Master Marshall began training in TaeKwonDo in 1999 under the International TaeKwonDo Alliance (US based style now known as Ho-Am TaeKwonDo). He was awarded a 1st Degree Black Belt in 2001, 2nd Degree in 2003 and 3rd Degree in 2006 whilst with the ITA. He then joined the Cobra Martial Arts Association (CMAA) in 2008 after being awarded his 4th Degree by the ITA. Since then, Master Marshall has studied and trained within several similar styles of TaeKwonDo including ITF, TAGB and several independent groups that followed the Chang Hun style of TaeKwonDo, along with attending seminars with Master and Grandmaster Instructors including First Grandmaster Rhee Ki Ha of the UKTA. In 2014, one of Master Marshall’s previous instructors (Lynne Lewendon, Reading Taekwondo Academy) also joined the CMAA giving Master Marshall the opportunity be able to Grade under a Senior Instructor that was more relevant to his training and lineage. After completed the requirements needed to promote, he was awarded a 5th Degree Master Black Belt in 2015. Over the course of his TaeKwonDo career, Master Marshall has entered several tournaments, under the ITA and several open TKD events. He has regularly medalled for Forms and Sparring and during 2012 and 2014, he was undefeated within the local circuit.


After discovering Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 2006, Master Marshall took part in several workshops and seminars. Unfortunately, due to the was very limited of Instructors in his area, he struggled to continue training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu frequently, and so it was some time until he was able to fully commit to regular classes. However, from 2013 he began training under Kevin Hall at Basingstoke School of Martial Arts and was awarded a Blue Belt in 2017.


Master Marshall also trained in HanMuDo whilst with the ITA and Graded to Red Belt 4th KUEB. Although his training briefly continued until 2013, Master Marshall did not promote further in rank.


In 2015, after having many requests for a modern approach to training in martial arts and self defence, Master Marshall created his own martial arts programme. Combining the training from Freestyle TaeKwonDo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and the other martial arts he had studied and trained in, he developed the Self Defence Systems (SDS) programme. Based on the ranks achieve in associated Martial Arts styles, Master Marshall was accredited the rank of 2nd Dan Black Belt within the SDS programme by the Cobra Martial Association. In 2018, he had spent the required time in rank to be able to promote in rank. After completing a Grading in May 2018, the CMAA ratified his promotion and Master Marshall was presented with his 3rd Dan Black Belt.

Teaching at Martial Arts Schools & Instructor Training

In 2001, Master Marshall began assisting part-time in junior classes at the TaeKwonDo School he trained. In 2002 he became a Trainee Instructor and with a growing interest to work in martial arts schools, he began teaching full-time at Cowplain TaeKwonDo Academy in Portsmouth in 2003 as an apprentice. During this apprenticeship, Master Marshall attended Instructor Workshops that covered subjects such as class & centre management, customer service, health & safety as well as curriculum reviews. Also, in this time he helped organise after school clubs, teach self defence classes, run summer holiday programmes and set up Black Belt Training classes. In 2005 after passing a written and physical test, Master Marshall became a Certified Instructor under the ITA and was given the position of Assistant Centre Manager.

In 2006 Master Marshall was invited to start up a TaeKwonDo School in Sardinia, Italy, which he did so successfully and graded over 40 students. Upon his return to the UK he began teaching in Southampton as a Centre Manager for a full-time martial arts club, until opening his own club in 2007. Upon joining the CMAA in 2008, his Certified Instructor training with the ITA was credited towards the Martial Arts Instructor UK Qualification and after attend an MAIUK Course and passing the written exam, he was granted Level 1 Instructor Status.

Always looking for ongoing training to bring the best possible teaching to his martial arts schools in Southampton, Master Marshall passed the Martial Arts Instructor UK trainers’ course and achieved a MAIUK Course Trainer certification in 2015

Setting up Phoenix School of Martial Arts (SMA)

After gaining excellent knowledge and experience in how to run a TaeKwonDo School, Master Marshall set out to open his own martial arts schools in 2007. Starting with just 1 day a week in Bursledon and Hamble near Southampton, the classes soon became so popular that more were added, and the club was moved to bigger training spaces in Hamble and Botley. To reach as many people as possible across Hampshire, Master Marshall set up After School Clubs in 2010, to help pupils improve their fitness, discipline and learn self defence skills.

After expanding his knowledge of martial arts and seeking different styles of training, Master Marshall founded Phoenix SMA in Southampton which now has over 300 members. The martial arts schools offer three different styles of classes, Freestyle TaeKwonDo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Self Defence Systems. Students attending our Martial Arts and TaeKwonDo School are taught by Master Marshall and an excellent team of fully-qualified and experienced instructors.