2nd Degree Black Belt
I was always very shy and small when growing up and afraid of any sort of confrontation. I used to hate seeing people fight. So this was partly the reason why I decided to take up Martial Arts. Also like most boys I loved the idea of being a martial artist so when I was around 17 I finally did a few classes. But it wasn’t until I was 21 when I and my great friend Tim Starke decided to join Fighting Fit and I haven’t looked back! (Nor has Tim!)
I was hooked from day 1 and spent a number of years training at Epsom under Steve Ray progressing through the belts. Eventually after around 7 years and having to train very hard in the later stages I got my 1st degree black belt. This was easily one of the hardest but also proudest moments in my life.
I continued onto 2nd degree and became an instructor and now teach two classes at Tooting. After 15 years I am still as keen as ever. I have taken part in a number of competitions and won several medals and trophies.
Whilst it’s not my main profession, I spend most of the day sat in front of a computer, so doing something so physical is welcome relief. I love doing martial arts because it is fun, challenging, keeps me in great shape and teaches me valuable skills that could one day save my life. I personally can’t see a better way to keep fit!
Martial arts has also helped me improve my confidence hugely, I am no longer that timid boy when I was younger. I could never have imagined that I would be taking part in such an activity! Whilst it can seem like a violent and aggressive sport, I can speak from my own experience and of other students that it really can be hugely beneficial in providing confidence and, perhaps surprisingly, self-control and discipline.
I have made so many great friends at the club to the point that I see it as like a family. It might seem strange given that we put on boxing gloves and hit each other (with control of course!) but we’ll all go out for drinks afterwards and it is a great way of resolving problems!