"I was born in Albania but found myself in England on my own at the age of 13, due to devastating circumstances. I was unable to speak a word of English, I claimed asylum and was put into care. I found being in a new country without the language really difficult, it was a very traumatic time for me. Soon after my move, I discovered the sport of martial arts and it completely changed my life. At 17 years old I started working full time as a Martial Arts instructor teaching people of all ages, the youngest being just two years old, and I never looked back since.
I came to love martial arts and was really inspired by it and the way it helped me overcome my own difficulties and I am so proud to be able to pass those skills on to the next generation. I hold British titles in kickboxing and MMA and when I fight abroad I fight for Britain, as this is my home.
Martial arts helps people overcome issues such as low self-esteem, lack of confidence, emotional difficulties due to bullying or other circumstances and lack of physical or emotional control.
As someone who got truly influenced by martial arts facing my own difficulties, I can really empathize with the people I teach and find their achievements truly humbling.
The best part about my job is working with the kids, there is nothing better than seeing a child who really struggled become a young adult in control of themselves. The joy it brings me to see them get their awards or new belts, and the pride they have in themselves and each other is indescribable.
I have a beautiful wife who lives back in Albania as unfortunately due to current immigration law she is not able to join me here. This is really hard, but the fantastic kids I teach and my wonderful friends help me get through it.
I feel that despite my difficult childhood I have let the negativities shape me in a positive way to become the happy, inspirational person I am today."