One interviewee that stood out was covered in sweat and with the biggest smile in the room stretching across his face. His enthusiasm clear I was looking forward to having a quick chat with him. This was especially as there was something familiar about him.
It turned out that not only did he was he competing but that he owned a full-time school. This I felt was very committed of him indeed, little did I know just how committed he’d turn out to be. When I asked what event he’d just won an even bigger grin flashed across his face as he replied. ‘Semi contact, I’m pressure testing myself’. Pressure testing indeed if you’re a full-time instructor and your students are watching you win (or lose)
I asked the usual “Are you going to be competing all the way through the League?” The answer surprised me.
“Very much, I’m very into pushing with the media. I was in Fight School and it was then I realised how big martial arts are. It’s about time that the sport got pushed through I’m totally behind the Combat League.” It finally clicked; this was Alex Campbell of Fight School. Alex had only been a green belt at the time of filming compared to all of the other students who were of much higher grades. When I asked how he got into it the answer was honest and refreshing ‘I blagged it, I’m good a blagging!’ He must have been very good indeed to get past the selection tests and background checks.
He is obviously skilled at things other than blagging and to put oneself in front of ones students in an open tournament is to be lauded as your reputation is most certainly on the line. Just in case he’d come on his own I thought I’d see whether he’d brought any students.
‘We have fifteen students here this time and we’ll be bringing fifty next time.’ Was the bold answer I got from him straight away. The grin came back as I pointed out that with fifty students present they stood a very good chance of creaming the opposition. I almost expected him to start rubbing his hands with glee.
I pointed out that fifty was a lot of people to commit to a tournament and asked whether I’d be seeing him at all of them, even the ones in Northern Ireland and Scotland.
‘I’m going to be at every single event as I’m a full-time academy owner and manager as well. Paul Clifton’s Combat League events are the only ones we’re one hundred percent committed to. We might attend others, but the League is set in stone, it’s the only one that matters.’
If the London Predators are as committed as their instructors and Master Page, this is going to be one instructor and school that will be worth keeping an eye on. Whatever the outcome I believe we’re going to see a LP member winning medals in every event. It remains to see if any other schools have the same commitment and ability to stop them.