Studying the science of flexibility has been my life's work. I have been teaching the subject professionally since 1998 when I ran evidence-based stretching classes at my karate dojo. But I have been studying it ever since I started training in martial arts over 34 years ago. I loved doing high kicks and I knew, both through being taught and from direct observation, that flexibility was necessary for kicking success. While most children my age were watching cartoons and playing video games, I was reading as many books about stretching and human biology as I could get my hands on. I was very fortunate to have martial arts instructors who possessed degrees in human physiology and physical education. Some of the more notable people from whom I received extensive mentorship include Bill "Superfoot" Wallace and Thomas Kurz.
To date, I have achieved black belts in six different martial arts. As a competitor, I won gold medals at the Taekwondo World Games, European Taekwondo Championships, and more than ten national championships. I was the head strength and conditioning coach for the England national karate team for five years, receiving multiple international coaching awards during my tenure, and also winning three world full-contact karate championship titles as an athlete myself.
I hold bachelors and masters degrees in kinesiology (the scientific study of human movement), focusing on sport and exercise biomechanics. I am currently working towards accomplishing my PhD in biological physics. I also qualified as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach (CSCS), personal trainer, yoga teacher, and sports therapist. I hold membership with several academic and educational organisations, including the International Society of Biomechanics, the European Society of Biomechanics, the Biophysical Society, and the Royal Society of Biology.
I have delivered talks and workshops on flexibility and biomechanics all over the world. My lessons are based on the Biomechanical Model of Flexibility, a pedagogical tool of my own creation, which is arguably the world's first physics-based approach to flexibility training. I have taught sports medicine teams at some of the world's most prestigious dance companies, including the Berlin State Ballet and Paris Opera Ballet. I have lectured to undergraduate and postgraduate students at venerable educational institutions such as the University of Zurich, Humboldt University of Berlin, and University College London.
My life revolves around a single obsession: to become the world's best educator on the science of flexibility. I feel like I have accomplished some progress towards reaching that goal, but there is still a very long way to go. I will continue striving to make the Master Flexibility Trainer course offer the highest quality educational content that is available anywhere in the industry - in 2021, it contributed to no less than four students successfully applying for PhD programmes in the life sciences. I will continue sharing my writing in my blog, and I will continue putting out interviews with the top researchers and scientists on the Flexibility Focus podcast.