EMAR has been a lifeline to me. I used to be a healthy person, I went to the gym regularly and dreamed of being a fighter one day.

I had surgery (not gym related) that left me bed ridden for over a year. During this time, I put on 120kg of fat. I was depressed and in a toxic relationship with my partner of 8 years. I had met Simeon a few years ago in the gym when I was healthy, and we spoke about me learning Kyokushin Karate. The recovery from the surgery had left me unhealthy and traumatised but I turned up to the class and started to take private 1 on 1 classes with him.

My partner at the time started cheating on me and eventually left me for someone else just before the first lock down. So, there I was alone, depressed, locked up and blaming myself for everything.

But I kept turning up to see Simeon for our 1 on 1 lessons. We had nowhere to train during covid, so we trained tin the park together. He was the only person in my bubble at the time. I don’t mind telling you that during our sessions I broke down several times, but Simeon always manage to bring me back up. He is always so positive and pushed me in a way I hadn’t been pushed before. He told me to take all this angst and use it for fuel. He always smiled and told me that I was strong and that there was light at the end of the tunnel. We trained in the sun; we trained in the rain and we trained in the snow.

I got stronger, and stronger over the months of training with him. I got to know his wife who turned out to be a nutritionist, she sorted me out with a diet that would complement my training. I also noticed that I was becoming mentally and emotionally stronger. This filtered into my businesses that were hit from Covid, but I did to them what Simeon did to me. Picked them up and slowly got them back onto their feet. Now they are both performing better than pre-covid.

It got to the point where I fought in the English Open Kyokushin Tournament at 40 years old, I’ve made great friends through the club that I socialise with and who are all positive, healthy and accepting people.

I am now the strongest version of myself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I even have a new girlfriend who is uplifting and positive. Life is great for me now but looking back I couldn’t have done it without Simeon there. He’ll always be my Sensei… but more importantly he’ll always be my friend.