Saturday 9 March 2013


Well how do you reboot your club?

I started my journey in the martial arts when I was in infants school.  Around 6 years of age.  I had been having a hard time with all the other kids in school, being bullied and being the butt of many jokes due to my being overweight.

On a visit to my nan's house, my uncle was showing off his brand new VHS Video Cassette Recorder.  I'd never seen one before and he had these plastic rectangular cassettes that he inserted into the top, pressed it down and pushed the play button.  Movies would then be played on the home television!  It was fantastic.  My uncle had also rented two video tapes, one of which was the classic Enter The Dragon.  On watching this movie, my life changed.

Here was this 5' something super hero.  Slight of build, but huge in physical skill, he was bouncing bullies left right and centre.  I wanted to be able to do that.  I could do that.

Around three years later I happened upon a Shotokan Karate club, based in the local British Legion.  I spent many years there, obviously not possessing the physical abilities of many - I was still overweight, although my fitness was never in question.  I worked my backside off, but I still lacked the finesse, the ability to perform the jumping spinning kicks.  Even though many more talented than I passed through those doors, left and never returned, I stuck at it.

Eventually I grew disillusioned.  I realised that this was not for me, but I still loved the martial arts.  At the age of 16 I ultimately quit.  But the passion was still there, beneath the surface.  I had witnessed a programme a few years earlier, on Eskrima and I knew that this was what I wanted.  However I couldn't find anywhere to train me in this amazing art.

I went to University, and there trained in Muay Thai.  Only for a couple of years on and off, but I felt that now I was getting somewhere, now I could excel in something.

Leaving Uni and finding a job I eventually found the Combative Edge Academy.  Here I could finally train in my beloved Eskrima.  I also trained in Jeet Kune Do Concepts under the expert tutelage of Dave Green.  I got to meet some great characters and train with some of the best martial artists of the age.  However all good things come to an end.  The club eventually dissolved and what was left was Dave and myself training together in a tiny community centre in Dog Brothers Martial Arts.

I continued to train - and importantly to improve.  I built on the foundations laid by Dave Green and carry on the torch that was lit for me by him.  It is in honour to him that I am attempting to reboot the Combative Edge Academy.

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