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Lee Walford Biography

Lee as always enjoyed physical activities and his early years were spent playing sports and going to the gym. After moving away from Nuneaton to university, Lee continued his love of sports and joined the university rugby team where he earned a 1st team place as a lock forward and a position on the university sports board. Little did Lee know that his years practising hitting pads, tackling players and driving forward in the scrum would put him in good stead when he finished university and started his new love, martial arts.

After getting his degree in computer programming Lee returned to Nuneaton and needed a new challenge, Lee found Sil Lum Kune. Lee started training Kung-fu under Sifu Robert Buckler and soon after started training kickboxing under Sifu Paul Burkinshaw. Lee entered the 2008 BCCMA National Championships coming 2nd in the 90kg+ Qingda category, a type of Chinese kickboxing. Also in 2008 Lee attended a BCCMA referee and judging course and was awarded a BCCMA Level 3 - National Sideline Judge Qualification.

While training for his grades in Kung-fu Lee noticed that the syllabus included grappling techniques and in a hope to get ahead decided to go along to one of the grappling classes available at Sil Lum Kune. Lee immediately fell in love and added the grappling classes to his weekly regime of Kung-Fu and Kickboxing. Lee had a great opportunity to learn at Sil Lum Kune training alongside British and European champions in Grapple and Strike. Lee also did a lot of training with other people as well to expand his knowledge and understanding of the grappling and submission arts.

In 2009 Sifu Paul Burkinshaw was so impressed with Lee’s practical knowledge and dedication he asked him to take over the coaching of the Sil Lum Kune grappling classes. During years of competing and helping people train for grapple and strike competitions it became clear that the current class structure needed modernising. After taking over the grappling classes Lee found himself looking to further his grappling knowledge skill travelling to train with ex- grapple and strike champions and attending seminars in MMA , specifically 10th planet Ju Jitsu. With this added knowledge, Lee restructured the syllabus combining the submission grappling, Brazilian Ju Jitsu, wrestling and kickboxing techniques in to a more modern MMA style structure.

During 2010, Lee went on a BCCMA coaching course as part of the Sil Lum Kune requirements of all instructors, and was awarded a BCCMA Level 2 - Coaching qualification. Also during this year, Lee carefully fine tuned his new syllabus and training methods wanting to achieve a progressive advancing structure that also practical, useful and achieved a good workout for fitness.

In April 2011, Lee and three of his students tested out the new syllabus and structure at the WUMA British Open Championships at Worcester. One of his students achieved a first place winning a British title while the other two both achieved second places. Lee himself won all his fights to become a British champion in Grapple and Strike.

After this initial success Lee spurned more of his students on to get involved in the competition side to test their skills. Lee used an inter-club competition as a warm up before taking a squad of ten to the WUMA International Championships at Cheltenham, 17th July 2011. Unfortunately in several weight categories students ended up competing against each other, but still achieving four 1st Place titles (WUMA International champions in Grapple & Strike), four 2nd Places and two 3rd Places.

This success was followed up in October at the WUMA World Cup Championships, where his younger students achieved 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Junior category and adults taking World titles in the -75kgs and -80kgs categories. Several students have continued this success under Lee's coaching gaining WKA Open British titles up to the present date.


From 2015, Lee decided it was better to split the classes into two having juniors in one and seniors in the other. This allowed him to focus more on the needs of each group.