I’ve always been interested in sports and exercise of different types. From a young age Martial Arts captured my interest, along with a lot of the philosophies and practices that were often part of the package of Chinese Martial Arts. I’ve practiced various martial arts for 30 years or so. I’ve also been a student in a variety of key strength and conditioning practices, learning from some of the top men in their fields in all disciplines. Dan Docherty, 1980 South East Asian full contact martial arts champion has been my primary Martial Arts teacher. Vasily Ginko, 7 time World kettlebell lifting champion was my main kettlebell coach (I lived in Latvia for a while to learn from him). Lee Hasdell, UK MMA pioneer, was helpful in developing my understanding of submission wrestling and MMA in general. Dr Mike Stone, one of the worlds leading strength researchers helped to shape my understanding of strength, endurance and explosive training, whilst I studied for an MSc in Strength and Conditioning at Edinburgh University.
Over the years, as a practitioner and teacher I’ve been inspired by the deep and profound thinking of many naturalistic training methods, for strength, fitness and martial arts effectiveness. I’m particularly interested in Taoist philosophical thought (and its western cousin, Stoicism) and its application to healthful living and effective training of body and mind. A lot of modern scientific research is explaining how human beings need to adopt a much more natural mode of living in order to optimise their health, wellbeing and athletic potential.
This appreciation of natural laws and their power can be termed ‘primal’, ‘Primordial’ or in accordance with ‘The Tao’. I believe as a practitioner of health, fitness and martial arts its important to understand and use the most efficient and effective approaches and methods, rather than the fads and trends of the day, many of which are not based on the best method.
A lot of the training is designed to return the practitioner or student to a more natural mode of operation, to achieve balance in all the key areas of living/lifestyle. The training program is a stimulus though the ‘homework’ or self-practices a student develops will ultimately create the most useful changes.
As a trainer/teacher I shape the training process to be
1. Engaging and enjoyable
2. Effective and efficient in achieving goals.
3. Developing a sense of self reliance and understanding of the key variables