In this edition of TMA Role Models we meet Thomas Hurley, and interview him about how martial arts has given him the confidence to teach in our Kids Martial Arts classes as an Assistant Instructor, find a sense of purpose in his life and an outlet for the stresses of school life. At this time of year it is easy to consider quitting martial arts because you are worried about moving to a new school and the legendary amounts of extra home-work that you’ll be getting, but really this couldn’t be further from the truth. So take a moment to meet our TMA Role Models. These students all continued to train in the martial arts throughout their school life and have achieved amazing things. 1. How old were you when you started training and why did you choose martial arts? I started at Tring Martial Arts when I was 13 years old. 2. How has martial arts training helped you at school (better concentration, grades, confidence etc)? Martial Arts has helped me with confidence and coordination which has meant I now play Football and Cricket at school. I was chosen to represent my school in Go Karting and skiing competitions this year. It has improved my balance and agility. I have a quicker reaction time. I am more confident to have a go at things and its improved my concentration 3. How do you balance homework against your training, has training helped you be more organised or helped you cope with the stress of moving up to a new school? I get my homework done at school as much as I can so that I can concentrate on my training without having to worry. 4. Did you ever feel like quitting training? Yes I felt like quitting when my Dad gave up and we had been doing it together for a year. My parents encouraged me to continue and I got more involved with the club, met some nice people and started going more often. The more involved I got the more I was getting out of it and I liked the feeling that it was my thing, the thing I did out of school for myself. No matter what happened during the day when I went to Martial arts I came out very happy. I like the community feel and I can’t imagine a time in my life where martial arts wont be part of it. 5. If you had to give someone one piece of advice about balancing home/school/work and martial arts what would it be? My tip would be to get your homework done so that you can relax and enjoy your free-time doing martial arts. 6. If you have left school where are you now? I am currently studying GCSE’s and am proud and honoured to be an Assistant Instructor at Tring Martial Arts Academy. Giving back to the younger students is a real pleasure and I enjoy helping them to progress!