Category Archives: Muay Thai

This is where energy flows

Hey. 🙂 Nice to catch up once again and I hope your week has been a good one so far. I’ve noticed since lock down began that the days and evenings seem to blend into one continual seven day run of monotony that of course of late, has been broken up with writing, demos, more writing and what appears to be an endless fountain of creativity that I’m loving tapping into.

Training wise things haven’t been too shabby at all. Last week saw me maintaining my 4 run a week threshold and I even got a decent amount of home training in as well. In fact, I’ve started to make sure I put a little more time into actually training at home. For the past couple of months I’ve found myself in a place where I am

Shadow boxing round my flat when bored (which is totally fine)

Running and training when I get home for thirty or forty minutes. (which is also totally fine.)

The other day I decided to make things slightly more interesting, I went running and decided to train for a whopping great one hour when I got home. It consisted of the usual stuff I’ve been doing  weights, free weights, knees, elbows and so on and so forth, I just spent a little more time than usual shadow boxing and working on specific combinations. Afterwards, as I lay soaking in a hot bath I noticed that my muscles ached.Slightly bemused, I realised that I haven’t actually ached from training in well over two months. Of course, I thought to myself grinning.. this can only be a good thing.


WRSA light weight Muay Thai area title 2013. 60-62 kg 

It can only be a good thing because I know that when I ache I’ve worked. I also know that if I haven’t worked then that’s not acceptable. You don’t get anywhere in life by taking half measures be it with writing, activism, running a business or anything else you want to get really good at. When I’m giving something my all, I know that this is where the energy flows and what it gives back is mine to keep.

I guess that’s why towards the end of last week I found myself over the common with friends and whilst my friend’s girlfriend caught some rays, we decided to hit some pads and then as nicely and as socially distanced as possible attempted to beat the snot out of each other with a few minutes sparring.

Despite time out from this kind of training I’m pleased to say I’ve still got it. In fact, I’m that convinced I’ve still got it that trips to Europe to catch one of the best martial arts shows on the face of the planet later this year seem almost a certainty.

I’m hoping to spend a lot more time as lock down eases up focusing more on pad drills and light sparring here and there. It’s a little disheartening to see the continual cluster fuck the so called government here have made of this entire thing giving green lights to the best of the best in the combat sports world (ok, they may be Olympic and world class standard but to me that’s not the point) and not the rest of us, but as always we adapt  and train the best we can in the interim. Of course I’m sure we’ll back on track soon. Hazmat suit or no.

In the meantime, it’s good to have started off this week with a nice if a little shorter than usual run today, and I intend to continue in the same vein tomorrow followed by a bit of living room graft to finish. Regardless of what’s happening out there when it comes to training and all things martial I intend to just carry on as normal. Sometimes, it’s all I know.  Here’s to the gyms  reopening and us fighting again before the end of 2020. 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.)







Cat zen.

Hi. Nice to catch up with you again, and being honest it’s good to sit down and get some writing done. You know something, I’ve spent the last week or so procrastinating about writing a thousand words a day to get a project I started over 4 years ago into reasonable shape. For those that don’t know, I decided some time ago to write a book about my life and journey into Thai boxing, and how it helped change me for the better.

So far “The last of the good guys”  is over 160 pages long, needs to be finished, shortened tidied up,and proofread. When friends of mine read some of the manuscript a few years back they couldn’t stop telling me how good they thought it was. In fact people outside of that circle said the same thing.

It was nice for a couple of reasons firstly because my dad and my auntie over in the States are both writers so it kind of runs in the family, and because I think it’s the closest thing I have to a natural bias. You’ll meet people in martial arts circles from time to time who seem to have the same thing going on. You know, the ones who somehow make it look easy. Everyone has something they are good at, working out if it’s something you can excel at takes practice and time.

I’ve been writing this blog of mine for as long as I can remember for the sheer love of it. Right now, the words and sentences are just flowing onto the blank canvas that is my WordPress page. It’s a nice feeling and something I don’t even have to think about. Like with all things martial, it comes from the heart. Which brings me onto the topic of today. Cat Zen.

From “Be more cat” by Alison Davies, a birthday present from a friend! 

Working on observation has been a big part of training this week. Today while running I’ve found the off switch and that’s always a good thing. Letting the world go by as my feet hit the concrete has been pretty much therapeutic and a great stress buster.

I’m still sprint training and still visualizing my next fight but not to the point where it dominates my run. It’s been good to just let negatives fall away and at the very most just observe them but not engage. I’m beginning to remember we are not our thoughts and our mind is not us. Shutting down the internal dialogue lets me appreciate my run a lot more and of course, just like cats are it’s nice to be thankful for every little thing.

Learning how not to engage with emotions and responding rather than reacting is a big part of the martial picture and you’ll find that some of the best fighters have a poker face when in the ring.  Good Thai boxers take their opponents to pieces quickly through responses that are filled with venom, not with anger and hate. Being able to respond rather than react is important in a street situation too.

Observation and presence work is an ongoing learning curve for me but something that I think fits very well into my journey as a martial artist and fighter. Fighting is primarily more mental than it is physical, and learning how to shut down the internal dialogue and remain calm and focused under pressure is something you can practice at home on a daily basis. If you’re wondering where to start from, next time you make a cup of coffee just focus on that one task. Be more cat, and just like the last time.. I’ll see you on that road.





Me time

Hi. I hope your week’s been a good one and that training in whatever form it’s currently taking is going well. Despite ultimately confusing advice from the government here it’s plain to see that we’re going to be navigating our way through the remainder of the current crisis not only by the skin of our teeth but for some time to come.

Sadly, this means when it comes to all things martial we’re unlikely to see gyms reopen for a good few months yet. Personally, I’m hoping it’s going to be before the end of the summer but only time will tell. Of course, like many others, I’m still training.

This week, like the week before I’ve spent time working on my fitness through running, with a bit of core strength training, stretching, and shadow boxing plus Dieselnoi/ Sylvie knee and elbow drills.


Boxing sparring at Sitsongpeeenong 2014 

When I’ve been running this week, I’ve spent some of the run focusing on staying present. I do this by listening to the sound of my feet on the concrete.  My run in itself is pretty relaxing and tuning into my breathing has also helped me switch off from distractions and noise.

Being honest, I’m currently missing hitting stuff. This appears to be a mutual feeling in Thai boxing circles at present, and although I love my own company I miss training with my friends and the gym as a whole. We’re a good club and no one’s happy about our current situation. I’m planning to get a small portable bag mid-month that should keep things interesting and most importantly keep me sharp.

Keeping sharp and focused also heads back to the mindset training I was talking about a minute ago. Switching off from the clutter and working on my cat zen is the order of the day as is going with the flow and focusing on the same goals I had in the gym before the pandemic hit the UK.

I thought I’d leave you this week with some Muay Thai goodness to keep you motivated, this time from Yodkhunpon Sittraipum The Elbow Hunter  on pressure fighting. When they push you in that ring, always remember to push back with everything you’ve got, keep the pressure on and never, ever give up. Have a good week, train hard, and just like the last time… I’ll see you on that road.



Still training in the age of COVID-19

Hi. I thought I’d take the time to catch up. How’s your week been? When it comes to all things martial mines not been too bad at all. Despite us still being in lockdown here it’s good to see the weather getting warmer and I think that’s been one of the drivers for some truly awesome runs this week.

I’ve started sprint training again to keep my fitness up ready for when I get back to the gym in the next couple of weeks. There are a river and woods near me that make for a pretty scenic 6 or 7k and it’s been good this week to just let it hang out a little and really push. I  start off running to a light jog and then gradually build-up into a decent pace after the first couple of kilometres of warm-up. From there, I start to sprint.


What’s been pretty awesome about sprint training this week is that I’ve managed to push through the breaking point and have just kept going. That’s important to me for a couple of reasons. It shows me my fitness is good and it also makes me a little tougher inside. It’s true when they say your mind gives up or gasses out before your body   so it’s been good to hit the point of no return and breakthrough. Nothing, as they say, is permanent and I’ve learnt over time if I can beat myself I can beat fucking anyone.

When it comes to sprints, this week I started with 10-second bursts and have ended with sprinting to just over 30 seconds at a time. Despite the lockdown, there’s still a reasonable amount of people around, so to try to keep distancing at points I’ve used them as sprint markers as well as trees, lamposts and assorted shrubbery. Don’t get me wrong it’s not a country bumpkin disco out here and I’ve not heard one banjo yet but you know..

Along the way, I’ve also found myself working on a little bit of presence and visualization techniques. Staying in the now can be walking or in my case running meditation and today, I focused on my breathing and the sound of my feet hitting the concrete path. I’ve worked through rounds 1 to 5 even with the last 30-second push of the fight and I’m pleased to say I’ve still got it. It’s never been easy and it’s never going to be.

As well as my sprint training and runs of awesomeness I’ve also done some decent home training this week too of between 35 minutes to an hour at a time. I live in a top floor flat heat rises in blocks and at the moment..boy is it warm. My living room has become my ring.


As soon as the front blocking leg hit the ground I came in with my battle axe rear knee. 

I start my home training sessions with around 100 to 150 situps, followed by around 40 kettlebell swings and another 30 goblet squats. As a disclaimer about kettlebell training, I’m not that great (I watched a video I made of myself earlier and almost heard a twang.) and then 50 to 100 press-ups After a 6 to 7k run with sprints this usually destroys me but I keep going.

From there, I move into around 150 bicep curls with my free weights and squats. By this point. I’ll usually have a pause and do some light stretching.) I seriously need to more stretching, but that’s nothing new.) and then around 25 to 30 minutes of shadow. After that’s done I’ll usually finish with Sylvie / Dieselnoi knees. (Check out her videos to see what I mean)  They are a work in progress and an absolute killer.

I’m going to build up reps and drills next week onwards. At present,  I’m very pleased with my hands and elbows and knees. I do my best to keep things simple (jab teep from one end of the room to another as an example here ) and back then build the combination up.  My movement needs a bit of work so I spent some of today practising some footwork too.

This week I’ve been running 4 times and trained at home 3 times. This is a big improvement from my sporadic 20 minutes of shadow here and there when bored the week before and it feels like I’m creating a bit of structure to what I do. I hope from May the 7th things begin to return to normal and that I’m back at my camp soon. It’s good however to get my focus and motivation back and as always I have no intention of giving up, It may not get any easier but it does get absolutely better with time.   Train hard because you’ll fight easy, and just like the last time… I’ll see you on that road.



We’re still training in the age of COVID-19

Hi. I thought I’d take the chance to catch up with you again. It’s good as always to sit down and write and I’ll make sure I get my blog back to it’s regular Sunday slot this week onwards.  Despite gyms still being closed and things across the globe looking increasingly like 1984,  I’m pleased to say I’ve stayed motivated and ok although I need to train from home a little more than I am at present, I’ve kept the running up and I don’t have any intention of slowing down.

In fact when it comes to all things Muay Thai I want to make sure I’m ready to step back into training regularly full time when the lockdown over here lifts. A little voice is telling me that’s going to be sooner rather than later so if I feel a little low about not being able to hit a heavy bag or spar or train with friends at points, I take a little strength in knowing that things will inevitably get better.


Right now, we’re looking at a lift on this thing in around 6 months, but that’s not to say gyms will be shut for that period of time. There’s been talk of us seeing things return to  whatever classes as normal around these parts by around late May or June,  I’m sincerely hoping that’s the case because although I’ve always wanted a Twins teardrop knee bag, I think I’d begrudge setting one up in the living room and besides I’m planning to get myself out to Europe to catch one of the best martial arts tournaments on the face of the planet as well as do a little traveling.

But in the meantime we are in a state of lockdown so how do we do cope? what do we need to do exactly to make sure we stay sharp and competent for when we get back to our camps and get our fighting heads on once more? I think first and foremost the most important thing is to keep the training up and keep the training consistent.

If you’ve been a little like me at points and struggling to stay motivated (let’s be honest, it’s an easy trap to fall into) then it’s worth catching Sylvie’s home training videos and work on developing your own daily routine. Today I changed my run route a little and along the way caught sight of a guy shadowboxing by the river near my place and intermittently skipping. Turns out he trains at a camp I trained with when I first moved to Bristol way back in 2012.

I could see he is a beginner and it was nice to see someone staying motivated despite everything and I shadowed a little myself. I think in hindsight it felt a bit too Jean Claude Van Damme for me to do regularly but hey it broke my run up a little! I realized that I absolutely need to be training from home more and I’ve already got my eyes on a small portable bag for the living room and intend to get a daily routine worked out for my Thai boxing. Even if it’s 40 minutes at a time (I did an hour or so the other day) it should be enough to keep a degree of rust off my tools.

So far I’ve managed to left body kick the clothes horse into submission and even had a go at making a temporary heavy bag out of the sofa’s cushions yesterday. For a moment back there it was nice to let my hands go but it’s still not the gym and what that tells me is that I need to get a bit of structure into my training at home rather than bursts of activity and moments of so-called inspiration.

I’ve got free weights here and a kettlebell, just about enough space in the living room to have a nice move around and there’s even a strip of grass at the back of my flats away from others (this is seriously so strange. ) that I can use if the weather holds up and it gets warm. From tomorrow onwards I’m going to make sure I’m training twice a day as well as running four times a week. Let’s see what happens. I’m sticking to my guns because there’s still no time like the present.

I’ve also gone for long bike rides to keep my fitness up but still can’t get over how surreal my home is right now. Nothing is permanent and I know it will change for the better but Bristol feels like a ghost town.

It’s worth remembering at this point that what I take away from training has always been mine to keep so on that basis I’m not going to let it go to waste. Here’s to staying focused and motivated. Have a good week, train hard and just like the last time… I’ll see you on that road.


Training in the age of COVID-19

Hi. I hope as always your keeping well, and that you are staying safe.  At the moment with gyms having shut their doors and the UK being in a state of lockdown it’s important to stay fit and healthy.

Despite the outbreak and authoritarian restrictions, it’s good to stay positive and stay focused and most importantly, even it’s through phone or video call stay in touch with friends and family.

When it comes to training it’s been nice to see martial artists such as Sylvie Von Douglaas-Ittu sharing regularly sharing home training videos as well as the Warrior Collective keeping us all motivated with useful drills and training tips we can practice at home.

If you’re lucky enough to live in a martial family then maybe you’ve got someone to hold pads for you and if not it’s worth considering picking up a cheap bag to set up at home to keep sharp and fit other than just via shadow boxing and running or cycling. In terms of outdoor exercise, I’d suggest making the most of it whilst you can.


I’m upping the ante next week to running 4 times a week as well as my usual bit of cycling. I’m also making sure I dedicate more time to home training than I have done this week. I’ve found it useful whilst watching some of Sylvie’s training videos to shadow box at the same time she is.

It kind of gives that training together feeling and if you’re anything like me you’re a people person. I miss seeing my friends as regularly as I was but we’re keeping in touch and my gym has a Whatsapp group that we can all share training videos and tips through.

Right now, the state of play is that we might be under lockdown until June, so the worst thing we can do is let our training fall to the wayside, and our tools get rusty. I keep focused on training goals for the rest of the year and I can’t wait to get back to the gym.

I’ve always been someone who takes my art home with me, but that’s just me and as I’ve always said, I’ll be training when I’m 60. I think in these ever turbulent times it’s important to remember that nothing is permanent and everything changes. Tough times only ever make tough people. All we ever have is situations and opportunities to be the best we can possibly be.

From next week onwards I’m going to start blogging about what I’m working on in particular and what drills I’ve been practicing over the course of the week,  if you follow me on Twitter you’ll see me tweeting stuff like “jab and teep from one side of the living room to the other..” or ” block off the rear leg, lead teep, rear leg knee”

It’s not just my train of thought, well ok it is, but it’s what I’m working on too. Maybe that will help give others a little inspiration for shadow boxing drills from home. They’ll be a little more from me on home drills this time next week as I’ve said and On that fairly positive note, I think I’ll leave you with this video from Sylvie on things you can train from home. I hope it helps you stay motivated. Never give up and train hard…and just like the last time, I’ll see you on that road.



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.







Changing shape

Hi. Nice to see you. I thought I’d take the time to catch up, fashionably late as always but life’s like that. Training wise things are going well and I’m looking forward to competing again when the weather starts to get a little warmer.

I’ve been thinking recently about the need to change my shape when it comes to competing. Just recently, I decided to step back into the interclub world to shake off a little ring rust that’s developed and to make sure that my head would be in the fight game the next time I stepped up for real. Being honest here, I don’t really need to take this route, I train hard and spar regularly but it’s good fun and usually a challenge.

Before I stepped into the square ring (I admit I was buzzing about it)  my inner voice said to me  “fight like you mean it.” Although I could feel the rust when things got going, everyone told me I did ok and I felt confident that with a lot more training and maybe another interclub or two I’d be ready for the next competition that came up.

You see, I’ve been worrying recently about not being able to cope with the pressure of a win-lose or draw fight, due to having those moments (we all get them from time to time) when being hit hard in sparring is no fun and I just don’t seem to want it enough. I miss shots, I feel slow and I don’t always cope when they give it back.

I don’t think it’s helped me by clinging onto the particularly negative memory of my last fight, which I was immensely unprepared for and didn’t take anywhere near as seriously as I should have done. I was more determined to put things right (I’d lost the fight before that one)  than remember me and “short notice” don’t really get on, my body kicking was terrible, I was far too predictable, I panicked in round one an- see? I’m doing it again.

There’s nothing I can do to change results. I don’t have this magic time tunnel that lets me reset, train for six or seven weeks and then give it my all. All I have is the here and now and all I can ever do is learn from my mistakes, build my skills and develop who I am as a boxer.


To do this has a requirement. And that requirement is that I become a different person from who I am now. Human beings are multifaceted and what we see is very rarely what we get with each other. I have the ability to shapeshift just like you do. I have said before that fighting is brutal. It’s not for everyone and in order to be ready the next time I step up I have to be a different person in that ring. The nice guy needs to stay at home and the fighter needs to step into the driving seat.

I think at the moment when it comes to training I’m striving to get back to being the Thai boxer who won an area title in 2013. I feel frustrated that the fighters still there but he’s clouded with a lot of self-doubts.

At points, I wonder if I’ll ever see him again and I think I need to remember that since then and now I’ve made a lot of progress. He’s always there when I need him the most. It just takes time, dedication and practice and the courage to rise to the challenge, to stay brave as a friend once said and to remember that I’m a warrior.

The easiest way to face my doubts and fears is to get on with the work ahead so on that note I’m pleased to say I’m training later. I’m training Thursday, Saturday, and twice Sunday too. Yesterday I swept someone clinching. I forgot I could do that. But there I go again. proving me wrong. When it comes to this Thai boxing game, I don’t think I can ever really lose. Train hard, fight easy and just like the last time…I’ll see you on that road.