Some background info...
I was born and raised in Ireland and have worked there most of my life. When I finished school, my dad told me he'd seen an ad for Karate on a local notice board. So I went along and quickly became a regular and really enjoyed it. That style was Ed Parker's Kenpo Karate. It's not an old style, but it's not very street wise either.
I got a job that was 16-17 miles away (about 26k). I would have had to get up quite early and get two buses there (for an 08:00 start) and then two buses back. So I cycled, in all weather five days a week for a year. Then I moved out of my parent's house and got another job (apprenticeship) and kept training, but a lot less cycling. While I was going to college at night, I found that there were other styles of Karate available, so I did them - at the same time. So I was doing Kenpo on Saturday, Shotokan in College at lunch and Wado Ryu after college twice a week. All in all I was training six times a week and actually getting a bit confused!
I ended up abandoning all of them due to being young and interested in a social life...But, I went back to Kenpo after a few months, as I knew the most about it and missed the training. For some reason (can't remember now) I stopped Kenpo again and took up Ninjutsu. We trained with the lights off for three hours a night up to four times a week - interesting stuff!
Then I crashed my motorbike (a Harley), or to be more exact, a car did a U turn into me. I went flying and landed on my knees on the far side of the car. I didn't break anything, just soft tissue damage, but it still gives trouble all these years later.
I was on crutches for three months and attending a physio for two years every week. After a few months, I tried going back to Kenpo, but I couldn't raise my leg above knee hight, and got very down about it, so I stopped again.
Shortly after, I decided to do a trip around the world, and spent time in some of the US (New York, San Francisco and Honolulu), had a quick stop in New Zealand (4.5 hours!) and then traveled and worked in Australia for a year. By this time I was working out in gyms to help with the rehab of my legs and really enjoyed it. After the year in Oz, I returned to Ireland and got back to the gym. I was really enjoying keeping fit, but never got into bodybuilding, just keeping fit.
Then I got moved with work and ended up living away from anywhere I knew well. Amazingly I discovered that a Kenpo instructor was starting up in the local hall, so I signed up and re-graded to the last grade I had earned (after a few months of training that is!). But sadly the local hall got pulled down and we couldn't find anywhere we could afford to train, so it stopped.
Then, just last year a local Instructor started teaching Krav Maga, I was intrigued and signed up for an 8 week intro course. I loved it and found it a LOT more "street wise" than anything else I had done. Before I graded though, I relocated to Sydney, Australia. So within a month I joined a local Krav Maga club and trained with them up to four times a week.
Then I started running (2010) and I developed a hamstring injury (from running). So I had to stop all training. I slowly went back running and it has become my passion. I have also been an active scuba diver and Instructor. I started diving in 1998 and did my Instructor course in 2003. I moved on to Rebreather diving in 2006 and have done a lot of deep wreck dives with the rebreather, which I love!
We are now back in Ireland and I'm back to Kenpo training again, with my son this time. I also cycle (a lot) and workout at the gym for strength and conditioning.
The story continues...