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phill sadgrove chief instructor

Phill Sadgrove (2nd Degree Black Belt, School Owner, Chief Instructor, Associate Examiner)

My background is about as varied as it gets. I've worked in several industries including Locksmithing, NZ Fire Service, Hospitality, IT and Courier. But most important here is my experience in Martial Arts and instructing.

I am currently an internationally certified Black Belt, School Owner and Chief Instructor of Choi Kwang Do International. I also have a Black Belt in another martial art, and experience in several others as well (including Karate, Ninjutsu, Aikido). I have a love of teaching and have instructed in various fields (IT, Locksmithing, Fire Safety Education), and I've taught kids through to adults.

I have been instructing in Choi Kwang Do for 7 years and running a school from Greenhithe since 2011. Now I have taken school ownership for the Upper Harbour area from Caroline and Gavin Hazelden (Browns Bay Headquarters).

I will continue to give my students the best instruction I can, and grow the school. My goal one day is to have my own premises where I can teach Choi Kwang Do and Self Defence, and do Fitness and Strength training.



Lauchlan (2nd Degree Black Belt, Assistant Instructor)

I (Phill) am proud to have my son as my Assistant Instructor

Lauchlan has been training since a young lad with me and has been instructing at my school since it began.



Our Team

We also have several SWAT (Students Who Assist Teachers) and STORM (Special Team Of Role Models) members who help out regularly with the younger kids.
All Chief Instructors, Head Instructors and Assistant Instructors are first aid qualified, police checked and internationally certified.

How we teach

Observe or participate in a class and you will see our positive and friendly teaching techniques. Our classes run a specific format that involves light stretching and warm up exercises, general fitness, practice of techniques and patterns, self defence, muscle and coordination development and learning modern martial art techniques. We also make sure we have some fun - in a martial art way.

Our Location

We are currently operating out of our home studio in Greenhithe. We were operating out of the Greenhithe School (first the Hall, then a classroom), but due to new classroom constructions, and old classrooms being removed they could not accomdate us for space and the amount of classes we were now running.

Luckily we have a 8x5m studio at our home that is just right for the small classes sizes that encourage the best learning. It is fitted out with Martial Arts mats and a full height mirror and all the equipment we need. There is a mezzanine veiwing area for the parents as well.

Our Goal/Rank Systembelt rank

Promotional testing is an opportunity for our Choi Kwang Do students to determine their readiness to progress to the next belt rank. This is usually every 2-4 months depending on attendance, ability and belt rank. The testing is not a high pressure win or lose competitive event. Rather it is intended to be a positive learning experience for all students. Testing eligibility is based on four criteria. Knowledge of the material for the currently belt rank, technical proficiency at that level, personal improvement and class attendance. All of these factors are equally important.

The belt ranks provide positive incentives as well as establishing a hierarchy of command from Senior to Junior. This hierarchy instils a feeling of pride and achievement in each belt attained. By learning to give and receive instruction, students at any level or age group learn to cooperate as well as develop leadership qualities.  Students learn that in order to be respected, one must respect others.

Our Ethos

Choi Kwang Do is founded in nonviolent self-defence, health, character development and humanity. We want to help each other and anyone else who needs our assistance. Students recite our doctrines and a pledge at the beginning of every class, and living by the Choi Kwang Do principles at all times is considered to be of utmost importance.

pil seung

motto pil seung


Our school motto, Pil Seung, translates as "certain victory," but not in an aggressive manner, and not always in respect to outside forces. It means we never give in unless it's the right thing to do, we never give up until we achieve victory, and we never allow our spirit to break. The Pil Seung attitude allows us to overcome any obstacle to achieve our goals.


Children's Promise
  • To always do my best and never give up
  • To obey my parents and teachers
  • To tell the truth and honour my word
  • To always be polite
  • To never misuse what I learn in class
Adult Pledge
  • To set positive goals and strive to achieve them
  • To apply self-discipline to further my personal development
  • To stand for justice and honour my word
  • To promote friendly relationships among all people
  • To use what I learn in class in a constructive manner
Principles of Choi Kwang Do
  • Humility
  • Integrity
  • Gentleness
  • Perseverance
  • Self-Control
  • Unbreakable Spirit
Also Available

We also offer the following services/tuition

  • Women's Self Defense (groups or private)
  • Private 1 on 1 tuition
  • Strength Training (Callisthenics/Body Weight training)
  • Weight loss/Fitness advice

Please enquire if you have any questions.

Fun  -  Fitness  -  Flexibility  -  Strength  -  Discipline  -  Confidence  -  Self Defence




Ages 5 through to Adult

School Location

185 Upper Harbour Drive


(Walkway down left side of garage)

North Shore, Auckland, NZ


Phone: 021 263 8097

Postal Address:

Martial Arts for Life Academy Limited
PO Box 153
Auckland 0756

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