Reading Time: 3 minutesMartial arts millionaire and former friend and bodyguard to Michael Jackson has come on board to take a Dragons’ Den backed business to new levels. Matt Fiddes is an entrepreneur and franchising expert, who runs one of the largest chains of martial arts schools in the world with more than 1,000 locations. In fact, it was Michael Jackson who first introduced Matt to the world of franchising.
Razzamataz Theatre Schools is delighted to welcome Matt to support the theatre schools’ ambitious growth plans and to work with franchisees to help with their own individual growth. As a mentor, entrepreneur and franchise director, Matt’s main focus will be to help the entire network become more profitable and successful and to bring further enrichment to our students’ overall experience. He will also be looking to improve and streamline the operations and ultimately improve profitability.
Matt currently runs a multi-million-pound, international martial arts franchise but is perhaps best known for being Michael Jackson’s personal UK bodyguard for more than a decade. He has a huge list of celebrity clients and friends, is connected to Simon Cowell and has the perfect contact list to help Razzamataz achieve the next level of growth.
“I’m very excited to be working with Razzamataz and love the commitment and energy of the team to provide the very best training in performing arts for young people,” says Matt. “Through my 23 years’ of franchising experience, I believe that we can make Razzamataz the number one theatre school in the world. I’ve been fortunate to have worked with fantastic people and it’s important that I can share this knowledge.”
Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz says: “We are delighted to welcome Matt and are excited about all the benefits he can bring to our franchisees and students. We had a great experience working with Duncan Bannatyne who invested in us on Dragons’ Den and have been very thankful for all the opportunities that came our way since then. Having Matt on board shows that we are committed to continue to develop the Razzamataz brand.”
Matt is passionate about working to support the education, emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people and started his martial arts empire after he discovered a talent for self-defence at just seven years-old after being bullied at school. Much of his current success is down to understanding exactly what parents are looking for to support their children.
“We have developed a Life Skills Programme for our students to help them to develop into confident young people, respectful of their families, teachers and peers,” says Matt. “Each month, the student will work on a core skill such as manners or resilience and they need to complete a number of activities in order to pass. During this time, we discuss the progress with both student and parent to share their achievements and give them the confidence to believe in themselves. Razzamataz has many similar expectations of their students so we are excited to be rolling out a similar Life Skills Programme.”
All through lockdown, Razzamataz continued to offer students a much-needed lifeline in terms of online classes and content and even grew the network with five new franchisees coming on board. “The Life Skills Programme will enhance and enrich the students’ overall experience and in turn, will help our franchisees with retention and recruitment,” says Denise. “We believe that this is the right time for us to grow even further as a network because of the flexibility that running a Razzamataz franchise can offer. Many people will be looking for business ideas that allow them to continue to work from home in a rewarding career that fits alongside their current lifestyle.”
As well as his franchising success, Matt is a 7th Degree Black Belt Master in Tae Kwon Do and holds Black Belts in Kickboxing and Kung Fu and is one of the most in-demand personal trainers. His career stepped up to another level, partly due to his celebrity connections, including providing expert advice as a bodyguard and self-defence consultant to Kim Kardashian after the Paris robbery.
Today, he is a regular contributor to ITV’s This Morning, Mail Online and Daily Express Online. Business Leader Magazine recently named Matt one of fifty most successful entrepreneurs in the UK and he sits on the board of advisors for the Worldwide Martial Arts Teachers Association (MATA) along with the industry’s most admired teachers.
Razzamataz and Matt look forward to launching more theatre schools across the UK and overseas. If you would like to find out more about our ambitious growth plans and be part of the multi-award-winning Razzamataz Theatre Schools network, get in touch using the button below.