Welcome to another edition of TMA Role Models, this time we interview Ian Connor, one of our adult black belt students and find out why he has committed to training at Tring Martial Arts and what he gets out of it. 1. How old were you when you started training and why did you choose martial arts? I started training in Kickboxing when I was 19 and at Uni, I chose martial arts as there was a club on campus which looked like a fun activity and it was always something that I wanted to give a go. I knew that I’d be much more likely to enjoy kickboxing than just going to the gym. I also wanted to feel like I could defend myself if I had to. 2. Why did you choose TMA? When I moved to Tring I wanted to keep up my kickboxing and so had a look for local clubs. TMA stood out, with a variety of classes and good reviews. 3. How does the training help you with your day time job? Training over the years has definitely improved my confidence in every aspect of my life. I have energy from regular fitness training and increased drive to achieve any challenge thrown my way. Seeing the way other members of the club train their hardest and demonstrate amazing levels of motivation has helped me respect people for lots of different reasons, not just those who are the best at things for example. 4. How do you maintain your work / life balance, has there ever been a time when work was threatening to get in the way of training and what was your thought process behind your decision to keep training? What was the outcome? Although working full time does mean that I can’t make the earlier classes, thankfully there are regular classes available later in the evenings. Even though I don’t always feel like training after a long day at work, I always feel better for going so I make sure I always go regardless. I can’t always make the number of classes that others do due to working, but as long as I’m training regularly then I’m happy. The feeling of having trained is always better than the feeling of missing it! So I try my hardest to only miss training if I absolutely have to. Taking part in a physical activity is a great way to unwind & get energy after a day in the office! 5. Did you ever feel like quitting training? I’ve never wanted to stop training as martial arts is something I’m proud to be involved in and I enjoy all of the benefits from it. There are times when I’ve felt like I’ve wanted a break for a couple of weeks when there’s just too much going on in my life, but my approach has been to allow myself to just take a day or maybe two out from training if I’m not feeling up to it to give myself the space I need to get back on track. It’s easy to give something up once you’ve broken the routine so by sticking to it (even when it’s cold and dark outside!) it’s the best way to keep up the buzz of training. 6. Can you tell me the 5 areas of your life that Martial Arts has had the greatest impact on? All round confidence Fitness! Increased drive to achieve things Keeping social outside of work My sense of achievement 7. Why should a teenager or adult choose to train at Tring Martial Arts? Any age group will get great benefits from training at TMA – it’s fun and very friendly, everyone here put’s lots of effort in, not least the instructors who always deliver different lessons and a brilliant syllabus. You’re guaranteed to improve your fitness levels from this kind of training as well as learning plenty of skills, all in a well equipped and professional environment. The number and variety of classes offered at TMA is better than most, so you can focus on Kickboxing, Krav Maga, Black belt level or just fitness for example.