My martial arts journey began in my hometown of Rochester, NY in the new year of 1998 in an American ‘ninjitsu’ system called IOMASDA Ryu. In the autumn, I re-located to Glasgow, Scotland for post-graduate studies in British Social and Gender History; I became heavily involved with the Glasgow University Shorinji Kempo Club and achieved the rank of shodan in 2001. In 2002, I moved again, this time to London, England. Struggling to launch my academic career meant the finances weren’t there for martial arts training, until I re-trained as a software developer. I began training at the Bob Breen Academy, then in Hoxton Square, in the fall of 2004. That’s when I met my coach, Dave, and began my grappling journey; I started training at his club, Dartford BJJ, in the spring of 2008. As the BBA transitioned out of Hoxton Square, I left, and I now train full time at DBJJ.
I competed in BJJ as a white belt in 2008 taking gold in my division at SENI and silver at the Kent Open. A rupture to my left ACL soon after promotion to blue belt interrupted my ability to compete. I have trained through this injury which I have nursed with a committed physio regime and operation, which also benefits a slightly older injury to the right MCL. While I would very much like to compete again, as I found the experience hugely useful, my priority is to maintain my health and fitness in order to enjoy a lifetime of training and evolving on the mats.
I’d love to hear from you. Find me on Facebook here.