My qualifications & experience
*Level 1 Global KAPAP instructor, June 2021
*Level 3 BTEC Physical Restraint Trainer, October 2020
*Level 2 BTEC Personal Safety & Self Defence, 2020
*Level 1 CROSS Krav Maga coach, November 2019
* Level 3 Self defence instructor (Combat Academy), 2016
* Trinity teaching certificate (TESOL), 2006
* 2.1 BA (Hons) Business & Marketing, 2006
* BA (Hons) International Business & Marketing, 2006
* Qualified ABA coach, 2012
* First Aid trained, renewed November 2020
* Muay Thai instructor
* Advanced Open water diver (PADI), 2007
* Enhanced DBS checked
* Full UK driving licence
*Regular safeguarding training
* Fully insured for all activities I offer (BMABA)
The name Flippin Fit was first used when I started to offer personal training sessions in early 2013. I then went on to open a studio gym in Lingfield which was given the same name.
The gym ran successfully for three years but in 2016 I moved from Lingfield but the name stuck!
I am not sure where to start so I am just going to dive straight in! For various reasons, by the time I was 21 years old I was a very angry young woman and I did not know where to direct my anger so I used to get in to fights quite regularly and I know that I was not always a very nice person. I was at at De Montfort University in Leicester and we got offered the opportunity to go and study abroad for six months; I thought it would be a great idea to get away and be in a completely different environment so I signed up. Living and studying in Holland was a fantastic experience which I will never forget, I met amazing people from all over the world and I also took up kickboxing. Wow! I loved it, I was allowed to punch and kick those pads as hard as I wanted to and I learnt to save up any frustrations during the week to take out on the pads in the kickboxing sessions.
To cut a long story short, I moved around a lot after university but continued to kickbox wherever I went; Leicester, northern Spain, Sussex, southern Spain and then back to Sussex. There came a point when I couldn't find a local kickboxing class and that is when I discovered Muay Thai; elbows, knees, clinches and lots more! At one point I helped to coach the gym's Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) junior classes which was great fun and ended up with me qualifying as a coach. Over the years I have also tried Wing Chun, Karate and Aikido.
I love martial arts but due to personal history, there was a part of me that never felt safe and confident despite training so much. Everybody always thought I was super confident but deep down I knew that I wasn't and I couldn't quite figure out what to do about it. It was only when I really analysed it that I came to the conclusion I wasn't confident about defending myself in a real-life situation. Having experienced pure fear that causes you to freeze, I knew that all the martial arts training in the world would not help against that. When you spar or fight in a martial art, you are generally pitched against someone of a similar weight and experience and you have a referee to ensure it is all done safely and kept within the rules. That is not how it happens in the real world and I realised I wanted to train in a system that was based on reality.
I found Combat Academy and after one session, I was hooked. I immediately signed up to qualify as an instructor. Completing the training was tough and I had to face up to some serious demons from my past but I did it and I qualified after many tears and lots of hard work. I ran various self defence sessions in schools and universities, all of which I loved.
Then, purely by chance, I discovered CROSS (Combat Ready Offensive Survival System) Krav Maga and after a trial session, knew that I wanted to add the skills taught within their system to what I teach because it is gritty, sometimes harsh but always based in reality. You can never train your body not to freeze but you can give yourself a much stronger chance of reacting with something rather than doing nothing.
A quote I found summarised why it was so important for me to learn self defence and feel safe in my own skin:
"feeling confident in your ability to protect yourself empowers you to live with less fear and more freedom."
I understand, first hand, that our physical and mental health are connected and that if one is suffering then the other will suffer too. When I teach somebody, no matter what I am teaching them, I try and understand what makes them tick and why they are there in the first place.
In March 2021 I set up Physical Empowerment CIC (Community Interest Company) which is aimed at helping people work through past physical trauma through focusing on all the aspects of self-defence; emotional, physical and mental.
In the words of Winnie the Pooh, "You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think."