Kevin Gowing's Testimonial

"Finding FFMA has been one of the best things I have ever done!"

Having trained in a number of styles of Karate and Chinese Kempo over 20 years ago, coming back to a Martial Art at 56 years of age (And having done very little formal exercise in the last 20-odd years) was a daunting prospect. However, after a serendipitous meeting with Alan, I was impressed with him and his description of FFMA, its ethos and culture, so I thought I would take a chance and go along to a session.

The spur to this decision was that I was recovering from a knee injury brought on in no small part by my general lack of fitness. I had recently spent a week on a walking holiday averaging 7 - 9 miles a day. This took its toll on my (unfit) knees which manifested itself a week later in the form of a condition known as bursitis (Housemaid's Knee) where the front of the knee above the knee cap swells up and becomes VERY painful. This left me barely able to walk for the best part of a fort-night. This was the first time in a very long time that I was effectively 'disabled' and I did not like it one bit!!! I resolved that as soon as I had recovered, I was going to get fit again.

When recalling this event with Tony at the end of one of our sessions, he suggested that the time must now be right and that I was now ready for FFMA. What an enlightening and motivating thought! He's good at that!

When I first started at FFMA I was still recovering from the knee injury mentioned earlier. This meant that I could not do a lot of the bending and stretching exercises, even at a moderate level. Despite this, at no time did I feel I was being 'sidelined' or ignored by the instructors... indeed, for the first couple of sessions, I had my own personal trainer in the form of Alan, who was my partner when we teamed up for the drills and was at pains to ensure that I did not exacerbate my injury.

In my experience of Martial Arts clubs, new people invariably had to find a place at the back of the class and join in as best they could.

Tony and Alan's approach is a refreshing and commendable change where new people receive additional help and support until they are happily integrated into the club. The atmosphere is totally professional and friendly - unlike some other clubs. The senior grades motivate, help and support the less experienced students as opposed to regarding them as 'cannon fodder' for their inflated egos - a common theme I've experienced in other clubs. Whilst this may give the impression that FFMA is a 'fluffy' little self defence club... nothing could be further from the truth. When the session starts, it's 2 solid hours of hard, strenuous training, that will ensure you get a good night's sleep at the end of it!

In terms of progress, I can honestly say that I am delighted with the results already! Many of my friends have commented that I have lost weight. I have far more energy and feel (and look) much fitter. I really look forward to the twice-weekly sessions.

My sincerest thanks to Tony and Alan for helping me to re-discover the 'way' and get me back on the path.

Kevin Gowing FFMA Student

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