Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit

Bury Defence Academy (BDA) is a Martial Arts and Boxing Club providing classes for men, women, and children in Bury. The academy offers 6 combat sports including Boxing (Bury A.B.C), Wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay-Thai, Circuit Training, Mixed Martial Arts, Self-Defence, Fencing and a weekly Youth Club.

With over 400 people attending the classes per week, BDA are encouraging the local community, especially young people, to channel their energy and time into sports.

“This area has serious issues with crime, under achievement and deprivation. Bury Defence Academy is working to create a better future for the next generation and is run by the community for the community.” – Ifti Ahmed, Chairman, Bury Defence Academy.

Their work is led by local volunteers who act as mentors for the young people as they have grown up in the area and have lived experience of gangs and criminality.

“We work to nurture young people at a grassroots level by directing their energy away from crime and anti-social behaviour and towards sport.” – Ifti Ahmed, Chairman, Bury Defence Academy.

In September, BDA was delighted to host the British Fencing Association, delivering a two-day core coaching course. Four local people attended and successfully passed the coaching course. BDA has subsequently started a female fencing class for beginners which is free of charge. The Fencing class instructor is being led by one of BDA’s four recently qualified fencing coaches.

BDA also recently welcomed Quinton from Boxing Awards ( Quinton delivered a Boxing Tutor course for five local people who live in Bury East and want to teach Boxing to school age children – all five volunteers passed the course. This milestone allows BDA to deliver structured and recognised Boxing courses to schools. BDA will be looking to offer the schools the opportunity to let their students acquire a recognised Boxing qualification with certificates and medals through our Boxing Awards program.

In October, Olympic Silver Medallist Boxer Amir Khan visited Bury Defence Academy, giving words of encouragement to local young people to continue with their Boxing and dedicate themselves to the sport, and in November, Lewis George, a Junior European Muay-Thai silver medallist and British Muay-Thai champion, visited BDA and gave the BDA youth club attendees an inspiring speech encouraging them to stay away from trouble, focus on fulfilling their sporting ambition and to stay connected with sport for the long term.

Recently, the academy has awarded two of their regular students with a Sambo Kurtka and shoes each (martial arts clothing) to compete in Sambo competitions on behalf of BDA.

BDA is part of the Violence Reduction Unit’s community-led programme in Bury. The VRU has worked with 10GM – a joint venture of VCSE sector infrastructure organisations in Greater Manchester, and StreetGames – an organisation that uses the power of sport to transform lives and broaden ambitions, to drive forward this programme of work.

Learn more about Bury Defence Academy:




Watch the Mayor and Deputy Mayor visit Bury Defence Academy here:

Article posted on: 09/12/2022 10:12am

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