My name is Lee Whitfield and I am the owner and chief instructor of Bai Lang Kickboxing Academy which I launched over 15 years ago. I have been passionately involved in Martial Arts for over 25 years, competing at the highest level, from representing GB as an amateur through to becoming a Pro Kickboxing and Muay Thai Champion.

I started Kickboxing at a young age due to being bullied. Kickboxing has helped build my confidence, channel my energy positively, keep fit and healthy, and has instilled many life skills. All of which I am passionate about passing on to all those I teach today.

I am on a mission to pass on the great benefits of Kickboxing to people of all ages and backgrounds, teaching at the highest level, and helping to positively change lives.

How did you get into kickboxing?

Lee: I started kickboxing when around 7 years old. Although I remember very little about it, I was meant to have been bullied by the older kids in my school so my parents were keen for me to start

What made you want to own your own kickboxing club?

Lee: I didn’t actually think about owning my own club. It was an idea of my dads. I liked the idea and jumped straight into a large full time centre teaching 30+ classes a week at 19!

What is it you love most about kickboxing?

Lee: I love the amount of life skills instilled and changes it can make to a person. It’s a tough sport and you can’t help but get a tough competitive mindset from it to apply in real life.

What is your biggest achievement to date?

Lee: I don’t think I could list my biggest achievement! I guess running my club and getting it to where it is. Although a Pro European Kickboxing belt, Pro British K1 belt, a 5th Dan black belt, representing GB and a Hall of Fame award are some of the things along the way achieved, although not finished yet.

You have a huge fight lined up with Louis King next month. How are you preparing for it?

Lee: Yes, very big test. He is a bigger hitter and experienced. I’ve increased my strength massively, skill set has improved even more despite already confident with it, and had some solid sparring partners. I’ve been consistent too with it all.

You have recently launched a new line of kickboxing apparel, Inspired, can you tell us more about that and how it started?

Lee: Yeh, INSPIRED. I was reminiscing over old footage of one of my idols Prince Naseem. I thought it would be cool to have a kickboxing shorts design similar to his leopard print ones. Idea grew from there with 8 designs released so far. I am inspired massively by different people and love merchandise of said people. So i thought kickboxing shorts that had more meaning to the design would be awesome.

Questions from: www.sidekickboxing.co.uk