A CHESTER karate instructor has recently returned from the US where he trained with world-renowned MMA fighters at their dojo.

Antony Pendlebury, Chief Instructor at Tokon Karate Academy, has shared his experience training with former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida and his brother, former Bellator fighter Chinzo Machida, at their California based dojo, Machida Karate Academy.

Antony has achieved 5th Dan in Karate, been nominated as an inductee to the “Martial Arts hall of fame” and has won various medals and championships across different associations.

This experience proved to be tough for him however, but one which he welcomed.

He said: “MMA is one of the world’s biggest growing sports and the Machida’s have a massive reputation worldwide.

“I’ve trained with some of the best karate practitioners in the world and this was a great experience.

“To be invited to train with the Machida’s was a real honour, training was tough as to be expected, being roughly three times a day with the first session starting at 5.30am.”

Both Machida brothers have competed in Bellator, with younger brother Lyoto practicing for an upcoming bout when Pendlebury was there.

Antony provided a sneak peak into the life of a high-end competitor.

He said: “I was extra lucky as Lyoto has his next fight coming up in Bellator MMA at the end of September, so he was at the peaking phase of his training getting ready for the event.

“To see behind the scenes of how one of the biggest MMA superstars prepares for events was a real eye opener.”

The Chester instructor also added: “I have been invited to go back out there again to train and promote Machida karate in the UK, making it very unique and creating lots of opportunities for students within my club, Tokon Karate Academy.”

Anyone wanting to start karate, Tokon Karate Academy has classes in and around Chester. If interested, contact Sensei Antony Pendlebury on 07871322034 or visit www.tokonkarateacademy.org.uk