1. Age? 27
  1. How long have you been training in Hard Target? 7 months
  1. Current Grade? Yellow Belt.
  1. Favourite Technique and why? The bridge and roll technique. It was one of the very early techniques I was taught that stuck with me. I love how quick it is at dislodging an opponent in mount position – no matter their size! I am still taken by surprise by the sheer effectiveness of it, whenever I use it.
  1. What do you enjoy most about Self Defence training? There are two things that stand out most for me. Firstly, the fact it took everything (I thought) I knew about self-defence and quashed it. From being at Hard Target I have learned strength doesn’t mean as much as I thought it did. At the same time, it has also taught me I am stronger than I originally thought I was. My mind-set has been completely flipped. Before, I thought if someone was male, bigger than me or both – I did not stand a chance. I now know that this it is not the case. We prove this in practice every week. The boost in confidence because of this alone is incredible. Secondly – the people (and Diesel!) There honestly is no place like it. I am blessed that I get to train every week with such kind hearted, positive people. There are no egos or competition at Hard Target. Everyone is there to help everyone. It really feels like home and is like nothing I have ever experienced before. There are always laughs to be had or little anecdotes to be told and no two days are ever the same. You could be having the worst day but one thing is guaranteed. You always leave class like a weight has been lifted and with a smile on your face. The tea and biscuits are just an added bonus! It is said the academy is built on a foundation of love and support for one another and that is very true. It was the first thing I noticed when I attended the weekend workshop in April. The instructors have a passion for what they do and it really shows. They go above and beyond for each and every student. If it is true what they say “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with” .. I’ve really struck gold!
  2. Favourite movie? ‘Me Before You’ (film based on my favourite novel by the same name. Both carry an important message!)
  1. Favourite food? Pick n’ Mix… (We all have our vices)
  1. Describe yourself in 3 words? Empathetic, giddy, over thinker!
  1. Most memorable moment in HT? The weekend workshop in April with Aidan and Debbie. It was my first time attending something by myself in years where I knew absolutely no one. Everyone was so nervous but by the end of day one, we were all like friends that knew each other years. Aidan has the most amazing ability at putting people at ease and Debbie is such an inspiration to listen to. Plenty of laughs were had that weekend. I was lucky enough to have some one on one training with Aidan during the course when grouping with partners. Pretty sure this was the first time I was introduced to the bridge and roll technique I mentioned earlier.  Secretly, I thought to myself there was no way I was going to be able to do it. This was a guy that was much stronger and heavier than myself. I was shocked when it worked! Even more so to everyone’s applause and cheers. I left the class on such a high I don’t think I stopped talking about it for a good week and a half! This was the very thing that made me want to come back (and never leave!) The encouragement and enthusiasm by everyone for you to do well… something I still witness at every class today.
  1. Favourite quote? “Where you invest your love, you invest your life” – big Mumford and Sons fan. From the song “Awake My Soul”.
  1. If stranded on a desert island who would you choose as a companion and why? My dog, Taylor. He’s an 8 year old boxer with the biggest heart. My shadow (even if he is afraid of his own) There really is nothing that compares to the silent devoted companionship of a dog. It is impossible to be unhappy around him for long… especially if there is belly rub to be had! They say the best things about dogs is that you can act like something really great just happened and they’ll instantly start celebrating with you. They have no idea what context is.. They’re just always ready to party no matter what… I can’t think of a better companion to have on a desert island, can you?
  1. If you could go back in time who would you like to meet and why? My Mam. She is my rock. The one I always confide in without any judgement. My best friend. We are quite similar in our mannerisms so it would be fun to see what she was like at my age. She is the most kind hearted, selfless person I know. By watching my Mam, I picked up at a very young age how good it feels to do things for others, however small. To grow up to be even half the person she is, would be amazing.
  1. What type of animal would you be and why? A Polar Bear. I have always been fascinated by them. I could watch endless re-runs of Frozen Planet quite happily. I love how protective they are of their young. It is so cute to witness. Life can be sometimes hectic and go at 100 miles an hour. Polar Bears look like the polar (pardon the pun) opposite. So lazy, stress free and chilled. To spend most of my life floating peacefully around, on a chunk of ice, in the middle of a semi frozen Arctic Ocean.. Sounds like heaven personally.
  2. How would you explain your basic life philosophy?

I believe we were all put on this Earth to leave it a better place than when we arrived. If we all did something for others, however small. Without looking for anything in return. Just think of the amazing world we could be living in. I try keeping this in mind when going throughout my day and put it in practice as often as I can.

My basic life philosophy can be summed up with another of my favourite quotes:

“Even after all this time the Sun never says to the Earth “You owe me.” Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky.”