This weeks spotlight is on Rick- our Self-Defence guru. His sessions always aim to be empowering and to help students develop their confidence which goes hand in hand with our Residence Sport ethos.
What do you teach at Residence Life and elsewhere?
I teach self-defence at The Edge,
as well as do courses for Give it a Go events for the Students Union. I
also teach and assist each week at my Jujitsu club, including helping with the
What is your favourite class to teach and why?
They all have their rewards… Teaching kids can be great fun as their enthusiasm is infectious and it feels great to give them a positive outlook for their energy, while they learn discipline and self-awareness. Teaching the women’s class is also very rewarding. Seeing people grow and see the world differently is satisfying... After a few weeks, you really notice some people start to walk taller as their confidence increases.
How long have you been an instructor/teacher?
I have been teaching at the university and the kids’ class about 5 years.
What made you want to become an instructor?
Passing on knowledge is always fun, but teaching is part of the martial arts path. If you really want to know if you understand a technique or principle, try to teach it to someone else. You quickly find that people have new angles and perspectives, difficult questions and things they need to know. This pushes you to understand your subject more, to become a better martial artist. The cycle of learning truly becomes a cycle.
Do you still find time/energy to do other types of sport and exercise?
Of course. I train 3-4 times a week with my personal Sensei’s/clubs. I also try to keep fit, running about 10k three times a week, as well as some other things such as weights. It is a lot to do, but once you have adapted to an active lifestyle, being sedentary just does not cut it anymore.
What does exercise and healthy lifestyle mean to you?
There are a number of things. Exercise and diet are as important as just being healthy is so valuable. The biggest killers and causes of unhappiness in this country are effectively diet and exercise related. However, the aim of a martial artist is the chasing of personal perfection… obviously this is impossible to achieve, but that leads to a path. That path leads you to bettering yourself, making yourself a stronger and more balanced person, physically and emotionally. So many life lessons, from being able to control your temper, succeed in a difficult workplace, or overcome personal issues comes from the habit of pushing yourself.
One interesting fact about you
Despite all my exercise and good intentions... I am a geek at heart and love computer games.
Optional - Anything else that you want to add
Self-defence is a truly life changing thing. A few weeks of training can really make you think differently about the world and the people around you. You can grow as a person, and a good teacher really will help unlock your abilities and potential. I cannot recommend it enough… Join a club, go to an introductory class… or come train with me. You will not regret it. I did not!
The picture is off myself being thrown over by a 5-foot girl… If she can do it to a 6’2” black belt, you can too!
You can attend Rick's self-defence session every Thursday 6-7 pm at the Edge at High Tor. The sessions alternate between mixed and women's sessions. You can find more information here.