How we change peoples lives - Andy's story
An email we received from a guy back in 2005
Date:- Friday, 30 September, 2005 22:05
A***ew ***** <email@example.com> wrote:
My name is **** and I'm 16. I'm interested in joining one of your classes to gain confidence because I'm the guy everyone in school likes to have a laugh at. I want to be able to defend myself if the occasion arose and make some friends. I'm mailing you to ask when and at what times the classes are on. I don't have any of the required equipment as I'm new to the sport. I'd also like to observe the classes for a few weeks to get a brief idea of what its all about. Any other information would be appreciated.
Many Thanks. AB.
This guy was getting severely bullied at Deyes High School in Maghull I emailed him back straight away and everyday for three months but no reply. Then one day this guy came into the class and said Are you Ken ? Im Andy read his story below
Date:- 2nd August 2012 - A letter Andy sent me!
Every time this individual comes back home, one of the first things this guy does is come to see us. A letter he brought into our class last week
During my time at high school I constantly found myself victimized and bullied for reasons unknown to me. I got to the point where I was being beaten up and verbally abused literally every day. I made my first move and contacted Sensei Ken who kindly invited me to attend a class and I became hooked. Within a matter of weeks, my confidence was at an all time high and I learned how to defend myself giving me the upper hand on my tormentors. I was able to go to school and enjoy my studies and not have to worry about getting hurt. All it took was one simple block and follow up move which convinced them I was not an easy target anymore. I was able to enjoy my final year of school and get the grades I wanted with brand new self esteem.
I trained with Sensei Ken at Maghull Kickboxing and Martial Arts Academy twice a week, improving my skills and building my confidence. It made it all worth while when I received my first belt. I had worked hard for something that is rare and difficult to achieve. It was something to be proud of and my confidence had never been higher. I learned how to block, kick and punch effectively and learned respect and discipline. After gaining my green belt, I decided to apply to work as a counselor on the Camp America programme. I was successfully placed at Camp Blue Ridge in Georgia where I would be working as a martial arts coach. I put all my skills and knowledge to good use by teaching American children aged 5 16 simple martial arts and kickboxing. I returned to the camp for three more summers teaching martial arts, fitness, basketball and conditioning. Three of my students from the camp have continued to practice martial arts.
The confidence I obtained from Sensei Ken Dineley classes enabled me to work at the camp and follow up on dream of working and living in the USA. I graduated from Edge Hill University with a 2.1 degree in Criminology and Social Studies. Through a friend in the USA, I was granted a one year work placement at Georgia State University in Atlanta working as a counselor and tutor for young people living in problematic areas of the city. I hope to make the permanent move to the USA in the not to distant future to carry on with my career. I was also lucky enough to meet a wonderful young lady called Briana, who is now my fiancace. I went from a young kid who struggled to talk to girls to finding my life partner in les than 5 years.
From my time training with Sensei Ken, I learned effective martial arts which assisted me in getting some horrible bullies of my back. I learned how to stand up for myself and maintain self discipline and respect for others. Most importantly, I learned that just a few sessions of training can change your life forever by giving you the confidence you need to be successful.
My improved self esteem allowed me to work and live outside of my comfort zone and make me want to move to America permanently.
The hardest part in handling bullies is to make the first move. I sent Sensei Ken an email when I was 16 asking for help. He changed my life for the better by offering me guidance and the chance to learn effective martial arts, which proved to be priceless. I wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have been able to accomplish what I have without the help of Sensei Ken. I decided to stay in the USA and will be moving over there for good in the not too distant future. I work part time over there at the moment tutoring teenagers who are financially unable to go to college as well as teaching a kickboxing class twice a week to help get troubled teenagers off the streets and away from a life of crime. I enjoy what I do and wouldnt change it for anything.
What started as a Thursday night hobby to improve confidence actually helped me create a career for myself and pave me a path in life. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m now a fully qualified black belt instructor and cant thank Sensei Ken enough for everything he has done for me.
Email from Andy Date:- 5th May 2014 Tampa USA
Andy B*** here. Hope all is well with you and the classes. Just had a quick browse on the site from my office and everything looks great! Lots of fresh new faces and new uniforms too! What's the average attendance these days? Any more Christmas nights out? That picture of Gary, Donna and I is priceless!
So sorry to read the news about your Dad. I had the pleasure of meeting him twice. Both times he bought me a few pints! He was a true gentleman and I'm sure he is missed terribly by everyone who had the fortune of knowing him.
Apologies for being a stranger. I made the move to America permanent! I'd been based in Atlanta doing 4 months on and 1 month off for about two years on separate 6 month temporary work visas. It was getting too stressful not to mention tiring travelling between Manchester and Atlanta! I'm now happily situated in Tampa working in a high school as a behavior and guidance counselor. Moved here in October and it's pretty much the same position but in a much nicer climate! I meet with students on a daily basis who have either been referred to me by their teachers for bad behavior in class or by social services from home visits. It's very rewarding, but these kids have it tough. At the beginning of the year I started running some one on one self defense classes too! So if you had been wondering why I hadn't popped my head in on a random Tuesday for a while, that's why!
Life here is great! Really enjoying working and married life. Yes I got married to my long term fiance Birana, in January of this year! Hope the photo I attached downloads OK.
Just want you to know that all I have now wouldn't have been possible without your priceless help, support and guidance over those four years. Thanks again for everything.
All the very best,
Andy and his students in Tampa - Florida