At the age of 16 my parents divorced, which left me taking to the streets. Both my parents moved out and my older sister, who had a young baby, and I stayed on in the family home. It was a trying time in my life, I started going out with my friends, I was never home. Drinking and socialising leading to street fights in Edinburgh was a regular occurrence. I have to admit, looking back, I did enjoy elements of it. It was a release for me in many ways, and in one of these altercations, I was slashed with a Stanley knife on the arm and side. This was one of the turning points in my life, I started losing weight and realised it was time to constructively channel my fighting talents.
My passion in combat sports was ignited after watching the first UFC fight on the 12th of November 1993. This led me to enroll in martial arts classes in Edinburgh under Rick Young. Rick has been studying martial arts since 1975, and has taught martial arts internationally. He quickly became a mentor and a positive role model in my life.
Through my training, I attended the Dan Inosanto martial arts seminars in 1999, 2000 and 2001. A my passion for martial arts grew I swapped my office career for one in the fitness industry.
Becoming a Trainer
I was appointed as gym supervisor at Edinburgh University Center for Sport and Exercise, where I worked for 10 years. During this time, I continued to train with Rick and was fortunate enough to start teaching kickboxing classes at his academy.
After spending a few years in Spain, I returned and resumed training and teaching martial arts at Rick Young’s Blackbelt Academy. I currently have my own successful personal training business and assist many of my clients in realising their fitness and training goals.