Category Archives: Activism

Filling in the silence that you leave

Hi. It’s nice to catch up once again, and you know something? It’s good to be writing a lot more than usual too. If you look at the journey of this blog, going right back to 2013 /14 you should a real progression. I first started writing this thing when I won my WRSA area title way back when. That was a good day. It inspired me to start telling my story and eventually, I came up with the idea of writing a book about my life.

This year I intend to pick that project up again and because I intend to do so it means that I will. Writing aside I’m pleased to be getting back into my training again. I trained 4 times last week and this week will be the same with a nice run over the weekend for good measure. Next week a new timetable starts at my gym, and it’s pretty awesome. It means I can invest as much time as I want into Muay Thai. The sky’s the limit when your heart’s in it as they say. Mine always has been.

As of this month, I’ve been training in Muay Thai for 16 years. Do you know what? when I first started I didn’t think I’d be training for 16 weeks let alone 16 years. Martial arts is a long game and it’s brought out the very best in me. It’s shown me I can do things I never thought I would and achieve more than I knew I was capable of. It’s been a good journey so far and I’m enjoying the adventure.

You’ve probably seen my CrowdJustice fundraiser in many places on the internet by now, it’s fair to say that since launch the first few days has felt like a lifetime, but it’s doing ok and I’m confident it will pick up momentum. My ongoing personal fight for justice is an important one and you can find out a little more about the background on the case here. The now-famous (or is it infamous) “Bloody criminal” blog piece I wrote for our police monitoring group has been viewed well over a hundred times. Sometimes, it’s important to speak the truth even if it makes your voice shake.

Looking back on those days, it was martial arts and in particular, Muay Thai that saved me or at the very least showed me how I was living my life, just didn’t have to be how I was living my life and I made my changes kept training and moved on. It didn’t happen overnight but hey I got there in the end.

I guess that’s one of the reasons why at present it’s important for me to train as much as I choose to or choose not to. It gives me focus and helps me heal. I’m still coming to terms with the loss of my father but I know that I’ve made him very proud over the years just the same as my mum. In fact, mum told me he was very pleased to hear about the community monitoring group and the work we do.

When it comes to volunteering and paid work I’m pleased to say I’m getting the balance right and you know what? I’m reclaiming my social life too. There’s more to me than training like there’s more to me than pubs and nightclubs. It’s when I take a look at all that I have that I realize how lucky I am and I know that it’s going to get better and better as the year progresses. The energy is flowing into all the right places. That’s only ever a good thing.

I’ve started to think seriously about fighting again this year and have decided that I need to make sure training is consistent and regular before it’s viable. It’s good to know that it’s heading in the right direction, however. I was told a long time ago by an old trainer that it’s up to me to say when I’m ready. I know myself and I need to work harder but I have faith that it will happen.

Anyway, as nice as it’s been catching up once again the rest of Saturday is looming and I’ve got a few things to get done before training this afternoon. I may even squeeze in a bit of Halo Infinite on the PC today too. I was playing it until 1.30am this morning being the nerd that I am. There were loads of explosions and swearing. It’s nice to keep busy at present and there’s a lot to be said in general for the support from my family and friends over the past couple of months. All is well. Be lucky and walk tall and just like the last time… I’ll see you on that road.

Why I’m taking legal action against the police.

On the 2nd of February 2022, I’m launching a CrowdJustice fundraiser to hold Avon and Somerset Police to account for a data protection breach that occurred in 2018 following a wrongful conviction of “Assault PC” that was appealed in both the crown and high court.

The breach has impacted my life significantly as well as caused distress and trauma and has allowed several other police forces including the Metropolitan Police, British Transport Police, and West Yorkshire Police to target me on anti-racist marches and demonstrations in the past, not only that I’ve had to deal with significant harassment and surveillance from the local police for over 2 years of my life, due to my work in the community as a volunteer for independent police monitoring group Bristol Copwatch and of course being a black anti-racist activist and public speaker.

The breach could also impact my career as an IT professional and Project manager significantly. With the upcoming PCSC bill, it’s more important than ever to raise awareness about police misconduct and abuses of power and of course to hold the police to account. A link to my fundraiser is below. I can see you, and I am here for our community. I hope you can see me. Bristol Copwatch is all of us.


My dad passed away of lung cancer on the 02/12/21 at 4.30pm. He was at home and with my mum and was asleep and just never woke up. I had a call at 7.30am that morning asking me to come that day or the next day at the very latest. I could only get a flight on the Friday.

Before he left I had a video call with mum. She showed me his face and asked if I could see the difference. “Yes.” I said calmly. I decided to go running around lunch time that day. I checked in with mum and she said he was sleeping peacefully but his breathing was slowing down. Vs the pain he was in first thing in the morning before nurses gave him some medicine I was relieved in a way but knew what was coming. I was ready.

On my run all I could see was dad´s face. The sun was shining the sky was blue and I was grinning. All I could see was my dad. All I could hear was the sound of my feet on the road. Road work is sometimes the best work. It is therapy in motion. It releases energy and brings in something better.

I got home from my run and ran a bath- Work had been up and down all day so didn´t care stage had been accomplished. Emails could wait. Bids could wait. In my bath a small voice said gently “your dad´s gone.” I got out the bath 10 minutes later thinking how awful it would be if I missed a call whilst in the bath about dad passing. I ignored myself saying calmly “I´m ready” as I dried myself off.

Dressed and relaxed I checked my phone. Oh a missed a call. I phoned mum. She told me dad had left us. I video called her back as an alternative to voice and told her how much I love her and dad and how one day I´ll have kids of my own and how…. hanging up the phone after the call I broke down. It had been happening off and on all day.

It felt like parts of me were falling away. The gut twisting anger of the day before, the grief like waves breaking on the shore seemed to be observed by me. I felt outside of myself. This is what shock is. I thought. My plans to train that evening were cancelled but I did spend time with good friends.

I had calls off of cousins and uncles and aunts over the following days. Thursday feels like two decades ago. My gym were and still are just as concerned caring and loving as everyone else in my life. We are a family. Just like me mum and dad always will be. We are forever.

The death of my father at the time of writing is something I am still coming to terms with. We say goodbye to dad tomorrow and next year me and my mum are travelling to South Africa to scatter his ashes. This may seem too personal but right now I feel raw. Next Wednesday I turn 43 which from what I´ve been told is young ,so when it comes to many things in my life I intend to just carry on as normal. This includes Muay Thai. I need to give it a lot more of my time. The silence and flow is where the healing starts.

When it comes to community activism, police monitoring and anti racist campaigning the beat goes on. However, that particular torch is going to get picked up again in the new year. For now I need time to heal and need to support my amazing mum. All of these things would make my father proud.

I´m back home in Bristol for my 43rd birthday next week then I´m planning to spend Christmas and new years with my mum shortly after. Time as they say is the best healer but you know what, so is Muay Thai. Rest in eternal power Owen Pegram. Thank you not just for being a lion of South Africa but for being an amazing dad. Even on my best day I wish I could be half the man you were. I´ll see you on that road.

While you’re here

Hi. I thought I’d take the time to catch up as promised so while you’re here, now is as a good time as any to run over the pros and cons of 2020. It’s an emotional topic for many in and out the gym as we saw our entire world turn up side down due to the global pandemic that is COVID-19. I’m not a champion of “muzzle” speak nor am I someone who takes a stand against vaccines, but I agree with the consensus that the government here has consistently failed working class communities for many years. (I’ve known this since around the age of 15 though. Ssh! tell no one!)

For me here in Bristol, life continued on as best as normal could be during the first lockdown period but of course, the most frustrating thing for many of us was not be able to train at all. If like me your someone who trains most days of the week (it’s not a way of life it’s just my hobby, I’ve been in it for nearly 15 years now and I love every minute of it) you no doubt feel my pain. Especially if your still in a tier 4 area! (I’m not going to call them zones. I nearly did back there. Let’s move on.)

Despite set backs like, not having a gym to train out of many of us pressed onwards keeping each other motivated with home training suggestions, running tips , videos from some of the best and ok, maybe now and then we decided to play catch up to do a little bit of what we love the most, literally in our own back yard!

I was pretty impressed with Sylvie’s COVID19 Muay Thai Vlog and most importantly I was motivated, in fact her Diselnoi knees became my “Sylvie knees” and I also spent some time drilling elbows from one side of the living room to another!. I also used this time to get into a bit of strength conditioning on free weights and kettle bells, plus good old fashioned sit ups and press ups. Other than home training I spent a lot of time running. It was therapeutic despite the lockdown. I’ve always enjoyed running and intend to keep things moving in the right direction.

As we headed into the summer months, we saw a global uprising against the police triggered by the brutal and horrific murder of George Floyd. We’ve been here before and It’s always the most tragic events that spark a collective flame in a community. Let’s be honest, the world knew that once again the police were the catalyst, a flash point if you will for an uprising against their brutality and seemingly never ending racism.

The welcome resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement globally was quite frankly awe inspiring as was the US resistance across the country to yet more horrific acts of violence by the state against protestors and the global call to demand an end to structural and institutional racism. (Trust me, as a mixed race black guy who’s been on this spinning globe for 42 years I can tell you for nothing, these problems exist and are absolutely worth fighting to dismantle.)

In Bristol, a 10,000 strong BLM rally and march became global news as the statue of infamous slave trader Edward Colston was torn down by the people and ended up going for a swim in the river close by! Speaking in front of 10,000 people was an amazing and powerful experience especially when I uttered the immortal words “We remember Mark Duggan!” We will never forget him, or anyone the police have murdered in the UK.

Speaking on the day Colston came down has led into several more appearances at All Black Lives Matter in Bristol, and as always I’ve focused on what’s wrong with British policing as well as my own personal journey of police harassment and trauma gained on the way. This is one of the reasons that I’m now a member of a local cop watch and police monitoring group. Thanks to ABL for hearing my voice last year. I’m glad it was well received. It’s been inspiring to see such strong demonstrations and marches around the country over the course of 2020 despite the inherently racist policing of BLM that reared it’s ugly head but being honest was of no surprise to any of us. Keep fighting for change and keep pushing. This year it really matters.

Of course, whilst all this was happening and at points the world seemed like it truly was burning, the gyms reopened. And of course, I was still training as well as writing this little blog of mine. I think as Muay Thai students, fighters and martial artists as a whole there is very little we let get in the way of our focus. Despite it looking less and less likely that anyone was going to fight in the year I kept focusing on little goals to keep myself motivated.

Bag work, pads when we could, sparring when we could and just keeping our training consistent was really the order of the day. When something like COVID happens, you learn quite quickly how committed people are to staying in it. Home training can get side tracked but even if training is socially distanced shouldn’t we all still be there? Of course, this year I’d like to fight again, and this year as well I intend to head out to Europe to catch up with some of the awesome tournaments I missed in 2020. Let’s hope things improve for everyone.

As we headed into the end of 2020 things absolutely seemed to get worse before they were getting better with a new mutation of the coronavirus emerging but of the months leading towards the end of the year the one constant in my life has always been there for me, and that one constant is Muay Thai. It’s given me a gift to put my energy into good causes and projects as well my own life and my business. ( Self employment is tough at the best of times but hey we made it through!!)

When you learn to channel your energy into positive outlets good things happen. I guess over the course of 2020 that’s really what I did and I guess that ultimately that’s what I’ve always known. When it comes to all things martial it’s fair to say that although I’m far from perfect I’ve been getting better technically for a while and I’m still hungry. I intend to stay hungry and rise to all the challenges ahead, in and out the ring. Because as the Nomad says. life is similar to it. Happy new year, train hard and just like the last time.. I’ll see you on that road.

Good Wolf

Hi, it’s nice to catch up once again. Earlier on today I had a great opener for this week’s blog spring to mind. Unfortunately, the moment has passed and what that’s told me is that when I start to formulate the good stuff, I need to act on it straight away. There is always time to sit down and write despite my excuses. In fact, I need to make sure I’m doing a lot more writing.

Of course, excuses aside I have been generally busy, but it’s been a good kind of busy and a large part of that busy has been spent down the gym, in fact I’m even getting into my running again. Training may be a little different at present but hey I’m pleased I’m training. The more you put in, of course the more you get out.

I’ve put a lot of energy the past few weeks into my business and of course into my work as a police monitor. I’m a member of a grass roots police monitoring group and community project taking shape in Bristol and being honest, helping others is just as rewarding as training and fighting, like with all things martial it takes up a lot of my time but the best projects always do. We’re a small team but we’re growing in capacity and are getting a lot of coverage, support and interest!

Its nice to be able to focus my energy into different areas of my life and to keep training itself consistent and balanced. I also study with the Open University and being honest need to get my head into my studies next week onwards. As long as I’m focusing on the right areas of my life things generally seem to go my way. As Geoff Thompson says “everything that happens to me is good” and is always a learning experience.

As we head towards the end of 2020 its fair to say it’s been eventful and of course not without it’s challenges when it comes to training. 2020 for me has also been an exciting time and there’s nothing that I regret. In fact I’ve learnt a lot more about myself in the past 6 months than I have in the past 2 years of my life. Writing is still a favourite thing, training is still second nature and public speaking has become my new favourite thing. I feel confident that I’m going to step into 2021 in good spirits, undefeatable and focused and ready to fight again. As someone said to me at training this afternoon, it’s good to have goals to work towards.

Next week sees my just about last week of training before the Christmas break and I’m already looking forward to heading out to warmer climates for the festive season. Of course, this means I’m going to have put myself through actual martial hell before I wrap up for the year. On this basis alone, I think it’s best to make sure we catch up next Sunday so I can let you know how I get on. Despite it’s best efforts, procrastination will not defeat me. Have a great week, train hard and just like the last time.. I’ll see you on that road.


Just recently I don’t seem to be finding as much as time as I’d like to keep this blog of mine up to date. I try to publish a blog once a week and if you follow my Twitter you will of noticed the glass case of emotion I end up in about writing this thing. It’s been around since 2014 so I guess you could call it a labour of love.

There is of course as always reasons and excuses as to why I’m not writing as much as I have done previously. Not only has work slowly begun to lurch back into life  but I’m usually pretty busy with at points what feels like relentless activism when it comes to police monitoring and public speaking.

You may of caught parts of my last speech at All Black Lives Matter in Bristol  on Twitter. If you didn’t you can find it here.  Suffice to say I’m pretty proud of me. I seem to be settling into public speaking well and it’s amazing to have my voice, views and experiences heard and to have people say how powerful they find my words. I was touched when someone said “thank you” after my last talk on defunding the police.

I was pretty astounded and very nearly choked at the beginning of my last speech when I introduced myself as a police abolitionist and a huge cheer went up from the crowd. That’s inspiring. Its like fighting but different. When the crowd cheer for you and who you are it makes you feel a bit bigger inside and most importantly it gives you even more conviction than you had before.


All black Lives Matter, Bristol August 16th 

I feel very strongly about the police and honestly feel that working towards abolition is the best approach. There’s valid and very personal reasons for my stance. Disproportionate policing and racial profiling is something I’ve been unfortunate enough to experience in my life. Section 60 stop search? yep. I’ve been there. In fact too many times to count. At one point in my youth, they used to stop me almost every day. Political policing and harassment because of activism? yep, you guessed it. That as well. In fact, I’ve got the t-shirt.

All of this has added fuel to my  fire and  I sincerely feel that by re-imagining public safety and reevaluating the role of police in our society we can protect our communities and each other from their brutality, and stop them from killing us, because lets be honest at 1750 deaths in this country and not one conviction against any police officer since 1969, it’s clear they are getting away with murder and we need to start thinking about alternatives that work for everyone. The UK is not and never has been innocent.

It is a long journey and an important fight and as always a good path to be on. Many of us across the UK want justice, greater police  accountability,  equality and an end to racist policing. There were in fact 21,950 stop searches of black men by the Metropolitan police over lock down. 80% of those stop searches were no further action.

Institutional racism in the police is unfortunately live and well. The need for change is something right now that is echoing across the globe not just in America. It’s a dark and liberating time to be alive and just like with boxing it’s a good feeling to be one of countless others standing up.

You have to be tough inside to keep going at points and I’ve always been a fighter but  it’s clear that martial arts has changed me for the better as a person over the years, and it’s good to put all the energy it gives me into positive outlets. This week I’ve trained every day of the week. That’s right. Monday through to Sunday. Although some days I’ve turned up a little late and not worked as hard as I should of  I’ve come away feeling absolutely outstanding inside and have a pretty tidy left body shot emerging. Like with all things martial, it’s a work in progress.

And of course, the one thing Muay Thai is very good at doing is helping me bust stress. I spent a lot of this week working on my power, found that at points my technique really isn’t too bad and enjoyed the sparring I did from time to time. I’m really keen on fighting when fights start happening again so I intend to keep training hard and running lots. Tomorrow is a rest day and I’ll be training 6 times next week with a little more volume. 3 hours of training on Tuesday will absolutely set the theme for the rest of the week.

Of course, outside the gym I’m very busy not just with work but with police monitoring which is incredibly rewarding community activism that helps others and being a people person it also makes me feel a bit bigger inside. It’s new just like stepping into the ring for the first time was new but just like with fighting I’ve found my feet and I’m enjoying the journey.

I’m not sure if enjoying is the right word but I hope you know what I mean. Maybe a part of me has found redemption, maybe it’s what I’m meant to be doing right now. Like with all good journeys time will tell. For now, it’s good as always to be here. Have a great week, train hard and may you win all your fights. I’ll see you on that road.


All Black Lives Matter March August 16th 2020. Remember when they blocked the airports in the US? it kind of felt like that sort of moment. 








Training gets political

Hi. Despite rolling in fashionably late as always it’s good to catch up. I’m pleased to say I’ve managed to see procrastination off earlier than expected and as always it’s good to sit down and write. I’ve been doing a lot of that recently, from blogging, to speeches and poems about racism  (Thanks to Tash Roberts for creating spaces for black voices and for the fantastic art )and so called “patriotism” it’s fair to say I’ve been keeping busy. I’ve even started working on my “Last of the good guys” project again.

Other than keeping the creative juices flowing I’m still training from home and running regularly. it’s good to know we’re only a couple of weeks away from gyms reopening (fingers crossed anyway) and although it’ll be a tough stitch filled return filled with lower back pain and lots of griping I have to say I’m looking forward to it. Seriously though, I’m not that old. In fact, I’m confident that a return to the gym isn’t going to be as half as tough as I think it’s going to be.

It’s been inspiring  watching global protests against police brutality and systemic racism over the past few weeks, and it’s clear that it’s something that will continue for the remainder of this year. But, You know something? It’s also been interesting, infuriating,  and sometimes shocking catching the ignorant, naieve and outright racist views fly across social media, in particular Facebook coming from those you know, those you kind of know and those you’d rather not have anything to do with at all.

They are highly charged often angry and sometimes deliberately antagonistic. More often than not they are incredibly right wing, which has always been my personal issue with that particular political sphere. It gets shouty quickly and if you don’t like what it says it gets nasty, tells you to respect our troops, the flag and screams “all lives matter!”  or “traitor!” because you know.. “patriotism”.

And that’s fundamentally the issue in the UK as it is in the US. Inequality, intolerance of difference and vicious systemic racism, all seemingly amplified ten fold as most of us have been locked away in our homes due to inconsistent and incoherent messaging from the powers that be. Tempers must be frayed and cabin fever is clearly setting in for some. From my point of view, this doesn’t however excuse ignorance. Attitudes may be changing for the better but we have a long way to go before we make real progress.


Black Lives Matter London. I’m genuinely sorry I missed it… 

If your an angry vilifed member of the white working class reading this blog, I feel your pain, but in order to understand ours it’s time to unpack the napsack.  I really do think it’s in everyone’s interest to take ownership of a global situation and understand that right now the fight is against white supremacy, racism and dare I say it priviledge  

It’s something that emerges not just in day to day life but in training circles too, and as gyms are universal, multicultural and generally friendly microcosms of life tackling ignorance and racism when it emerges in the gym is just as important as tackling it out of it. I don’t believe in giving it space to grow any more than you do.

Runter Vonder Matte! Kein Handshake Mit Nazis  (Get off the Mat! no handshake with Nazis!) is a project that tackles hate politics  in martial arts, in particular the presence of the extreme right wing and Neo-Nazi movements that have taken hold not only in Europe but in the United Kingdom too.

“Neo-Nazis in sports are nothing new – but their style in the gym and in the ring is. Various actors and structures organize and network in order to spread their misanthropic worldview. With hip designs, the fashion labels try to make their ethnic, racist and inhuman messages socially acceptable. We fight for fair martial arts without racism and prejudice!”

If your sitting on the political fence, feel that gyms are  Apolitical spaces or are as anti-racist as White Tiger and Freedom Fighters I’d like to think that fascists are the one set of people we can all agree no one wants in our camps or dojos. As we head closer and closer towards to a return to training as normal (whatever that looks like these days) we should take note of the political climate we’ve been in for the majority of this year.

Although we say we are the same,  if our training partners  are black, POC or from any other marginalized group they are likely to be treated differently by the police and overall system we find ourselves in. When they are training with us it may be their only safe space from the abuse and harassment they face in day to day life.

Being aware of this doesn’t mean embarking on anti-racist witch hunts  it just means being decent humans and talking to those we train with if we can see something is wrong and calling out bigotry when we see or hear it.  It means we need to be decent martial artists and look out for one another.

Maybe if we can do this in our favourite places we can extend that mentality to the rest of our lives too. Martials arts can be an incredibly macho and intimidating place at points, it would be good to see gyms state that racist and bigoted views are not welcome. I think personally think we’ve got a lot of work to do.

It’s going to be good to get back to training. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to hitting the sofa cushion heavy bag later and yet again shadow boxing round the living room. Have a fantastic week, train as hard as you can and click your heels and wish for July. We’ve got alot of graft ahead as fighters and a long way to go as a society. Black lives matter. I’ll see you on that road.










Black Lives have never mattered enough.

Hi. It’s good as always to catch up with you.  It’s pretty inspiring to see that worldwide protests against police brutality and racism are still taking place. I’m still over the moon that police abolition and defunding is a growing topic of conversation and seeing autonomous police free zones emerge in the US is pretty exciting. Maybe a better world is coming.

Before this blog heads back into the realms of Thai boxing once again I wanted to take the opportunity to first remind you that if you think “all lives matter” is an appropriate response to Black Lives Matter your absolutely part of the problem. You see, black lives have never mattered enough.

The murder of George Floyd and our ongoing struggles against the police was the main reason I wrote my speech for the protest that took place here on the 7th. Being mixed race I’ve experienced racism a lot of my life, and as some of my family are African American I  wanted to get my thoughts on George’s murder and the struggles of my brothers and sisters out to a wide audience.

I wrote about how this felt last week, and if you want to catch some of my speech you can find it here.   Below is the speech in full. It was a labour of love that just as with all things martial came from my heart. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Have a good week, home train hard and just like the last time.. I’ll see you on that road.

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Black Lives Matter protest speech, 07/06/20 Bristol read to 10,000 beautiful people. 

“On the 25th of May 2020 George Floyd was choked to death by officer Derek Chavin.  I watched as Chavin, like it really wasn’t a thing at all, pressed his knee into George’s neck. I realized after around 2 minutes with mounting horror I was witnessing a murder.

“Why isn’t anyone helping? Get the cop off him!” I yelled at the video like they could all hear me. Like we were in the same room. On the same street. then I saw the photo of the other 3 officers holding George down.  When George Floyd couldn’t breathe I couldn’t either.

This is not the first time a black man, a human has lost their lives at the hands of the police. We remember Michael Brown and Ferguson. We remember Mark Duggan. There are so many names and so many beautiful black faces we will never forget. How can we carry the weight on our shoulders? How can we tell our children to respect the police when we know they want to kill us?

I’ve watched the events of the past couple of weeks unfold at points like an apocalyptic end of days movie.  Last week, my cousin in Louisville, a strong black woman messaged me on Facebook. “John,” she wrote “Remember I am in America. 7 people were shot at a protest for Breonna Taylor yesterday..”  I felt my stomach churn. I felt the rage rise up when she told me she’d been on the sharp end of racist abuse. That she was frightened for her family. I felt helpless. I felt powerless. I couldn’t breathe…

Martin Luther King once said that riots are the voices of the unheard. We should remember that these words were spoken from a place of truth. There is a line in the sand, a thin blue line if you will that is a burning fuse and as events have unfolded, as we wait for another defense of police brutality, of inhumanity remember that the police are the escalators, the agitators, the fragile white victims “just following orders”. Remember that police are the problem. The police don’t change, but we can fight for change. We can demand it.

The problems we see in America do not exist in a vacuum. The UK is a pioneer in inequality. The systemic racism of the police is just as common here as it is in Minneapolis. As it is in New York. As it is in Louisville. Malcolm X once said that the struggle for black liberation is a human rights issue. Never has this seemed more apparent than right here and right now. My father lived through apartheid, he survived the white minorities supremacist machine. We know so-called authority can make monsters of people. We know because we have just seen a monster kill George Floyd.

My own experiences of the police over the course of my life, in particular over the past few years has not been a good one. From regular stop searches in my home town of Portsmouth to fitting a description simply because that description was a mixed-race male to fit-ups, targeting and harassment from Avon and Somerset police because of my colour and anti-racist activism it’s fair to say I know the police are not here to protect me. They only protect themselves!

Last October, the United Friends and family campaign and Netpol (the network for police monitoring) stated Since 1991 on average, there has been a death a week at the hands of the police.  Let that sink in for a minute. A death a week. Over 1500 deaths and still no convictions. The system we find ourselves in, that we are constantly fighting against has protected those who abuse their power for too long.  You cannot reform a system and an organization that was never meant to be reformed.

I  believe we need real alternatives because we are at the point now where it is clear the problem is policing itself. We cannot allow them to police our communities without accountability anymore. If the death of George Floyd has taught me one thing it’s that when we stand together we can hold power to account. We can shake their racist system down to it’s very foundations. If they won’t change it then we will! No justice no peace!”




Hey. It’s been a couple of weeks since we caught up last but I’m glad that I’ve finally made the time to sit down and write. Training wise the past couple of weeks has been pretty much consistent and I’m still pretty sharp. I’m keeping my fitness up running and I cannot wait for the gyms to reopen. Some are saying July, but we will see.

It’s been a crazy year alright and a stressful one. It’s also been one full of immense change, a lot of which has begun from the ground up. That’s why after the brutal and undeniably cold-blooded and racist murder of  George Floyd on the 25th of May by Minneapolis officer Derick Chauvin, It’s been liberating, heartbreaking and inspiring to witness worldwide resistance to police brutality and racism.

Being mixed race (my dad is South African and my mum is white) black liberation and civil rights is a cause that is very close to my heart. In 2018 I had a piece published about me in Mixed race faces  that gives a nice explainer of my heritage and how I feel about it.  My dad survived the white minority’s supremacist machine in South Africa and both of my parents have always been firm believers in taking a stand against injustice as have other members of my family. I guess it runs in my blood.

Journeys. Thai boxing for 14 years to speaking on 10,000 strong protests.

Last Sunday I headed down to the Bristol Black Lives Matter protest that was starting from College green in the city. I’d been asked if I wanted to speak at the event and feeling as strongly as I do about civil rights and anti-racism (it’s something I believe in and have always believed in fighting for)  I was really happy to have my voice heard.

I spent the best part of the week leading up to last Sunday getting my speech together, not really knowing at first how to express myself but finding after a time it just seemed to flow. I let my heart talk because when I watched George Floyd’s murder my heart broke. I burst into tears and an outpouring of grief I wasn’t expecting caught me off guard because the monster on the video killed George because of his colour.

Police brutality and white supremacy were in action, shaking hands like the best of friends. Over the course of that week, I reflected on my own experiences with the police over the course of my life and the ongoing fight for justice I’ve found myself on for over 2 years now. I thought about my family in the US and felt liberated watching the abolition and defund movement voices become louder and stronger.

You see I’ve learned over time, the police are not here to protect you. I’ve adopted a staunch abolitionist stance over the past year or so of my life and sincerely feel we need an alternative because the problem has become policing itself. As they often say the UK is not innocent which is why I find it liberating that Minneapolis is abolishing its police force.

If that’s too much for some of you (it probably will be) then I’d suggest taking baby steps and learn about the origins of the police and why they will never change. My speech, in the end, was highly charged and very powerful I’ve been told and resonated with many. You can catch some of it here.   I think in a couple of weeks time I’m going to publish the whole piece via this blog and I have a feeling it’s the start of a new journey for me

Like Emma Thomas, I found it empowering to speak in front of so many people. Listening to the other speakers was truly amazing and there were so many important voices that I thought I was going to be overcome by tears before I was called up.

The march in itself was fantastic and strong heading through town and out to Castle Park. Talks and music went on for what seemed like forever and it was almost like a pandemic had never even happened. When I found out later that day that the statue of notorious slave trader Edward Colston had been torn down   I knew something important was beginning. Resistance, when it blossoms, is a truly beautiful thing.

This week I’ve watched with enthusiasm as the statue of Robert Milligan was taken down in Oxford and being honest, I can’t wait to see all of the nefarious figures from Slavery’s shameful past fall. It makes me smile inside to know that I’m still just as hungry for change as I was twenty years ago. They say you’re meant to become conservative as you grow older, I’m just thinking of more reasons to eat the rich. It kills time in between the home training and waiting for my camp to reopen hopefully in July.

You know, martial arts and activism is a journey, and both are long ones. Like my parents have said we just have to hope what is happening now continues its momentum because “another world is not only possible, she is on her way.”(Arundhati Roy)  have a good week, train hard, and just like the last time… I’ll see you on that road.

(Thanks to Black Lives Matter, Bristol Rising for the speech photo, some are my own and thanks of course to independant media outlets for the last couple.)







Whilst you’re here

Evening all, I thought I should check-in. Whilst you’re here I thought I’d take the opportunity like many other people are to talk about COVID-19 and the impact it’s having on our training lives as well as many other things. Respecting the fact that not everyone that reads my blog is UK based, here in sunny Bristol we’ve only just begun to start to shut down.  Cases of COVID-19 or the Coronavirus (the last one’s a bit less 28 days later and apocalypse sounding) are unfortunately rising here 

From my point of view, it’s important to not buy into misleading or false information about our situation. I could easily begin to panic about this. Maybe I should. My parents are both retired and live in Spain and have for many years. The country is rapidly entering lockdown. My other family members in the UK are in other cities and many of my friends here like myself, are currently self-isolating.

If you looked up apocalyptic scenarios, you’d probably see this one coming up time and time again throughout fictional history.  No one takes the situation seriously enough and off we go, off the cliff edge. The reality, however, isn’t quite like that. Communities and people in times of hardship pull together. The mutual aid network that has emerged is outstanding and locally has helped me with food and medicine on a few occasions.

You can find a list of UK mutual aid networks here.  There are also many Facebook groups set up by mutual aid organizations to help us. What is mutual aid? Well, if you’re curious about the principles you can learn a little more here.  Right now it’s about supporting one another when we need each other the most.

In a way, it’s similar to training. As fighters or as martial artists as a whole, we support each other in our gyms and dojos. We’re always in each other’s corner and we should always have each other back, in or out the ring. Over the years I’ve heard gyms described as a microcosm of society, so although many of our spaces are now closed for health reasons let’s try and keep that attitude alive regardless. Being a martial artist extends to much more than our personal accomplishments.

On that note, it was good to see Sylvie Von Duuglas-ittu write a nice blog on home training that if your anything like me, should keep you motivated and inspired over the coming weeks and possibly months. It’s been less than a week since I was last at my gym and it already feels like forever. Training wise I can do free weights at home, sit-ups and press-ups, shadowbox and skip and if needs be I may even buy a small bag to put in my living room to keep sharp.


I also intend to keep myself occupied by writing a lot more, running and helping those in the community by getting involved with community support as well as getting my head into my books with studying and reading in general. Today I shared a picture of my home bookshelf on my Facebook.  I’ve never done that before but I was going through a cat stuck indoors moment at the time.  It made me feel better because I was totally thumping my tail on the carpet. Work-wise, I hope things remain positive as I run my own business and can work remotely if needs be.

It’s difficult to say what things will be like over the next few months but I would recommend remembering that no matter what level of emergency we face, we have rights as citizens. Do check in with organizations such as the network for police monitoring Netpol on Twitter and Facebook for updates on what’s happening with emergency powers as well as Big Brother Watch some are saying we are witnessing an erosion of our civil liberties under the mask of a national health emergency. Only time will tell.

Most importantly I think it’s worth keeping abreast of the situation globally as well as locally. We are not an Island who are cut off from the world despite recent political choices and inspiring tales from overseas as well as closer to home can often uplift us here. I’m sure you’re all sick to the back teeth of do’s and don’ts around good hygiene standards so I won’t start preaching, but if you want to run over the dos and don’ts over the widely misunderstood social distancing you can learn more via this NHS link.

As for me? well, I’m doing good thanks. How are you? I had some symptoms but they seem to have dropped off now and I have a few days left of isolation left so I can only hope for the best. I expect a quiet world but I don’t expect a fearful one. We the people protect one another, and in silence, we can sometimes find the greatest peace. Walk tall, train hard and just like the last time.. I’ll see you on that road.