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Inspire: Tom Abbosh Karate for Confidence & Positive Mental Health

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What do you do?

I run karate classes across the city to give people a vessel that’ll deliver them greater confidence, competence and calmness.

How do your classes help people who struggle with body confidence?

When any of my students pass the sixth month mark they begin to realise that any body (anatomically that is) is very powerful and once they realise that anybody – has any body I can see that spark of confidence growing; they hold their heads higher their shoulders are back and there is a really engaging smile on their face that says “I’m ready to learn”. This is what I strive to achieve with any of my students journeys’ and I’m proud and humbled to say that I’m beginning to achieve that.

What is your greatest challenge at the moment?

Expansion ! I know there are loads of people out there looking for a karate school like this, one that values family, heart and spirit before muscles, ego or glory. However having the resources to tap in to the new networks is tough which is why I’m really grateful to Less-Stress London for this platform. I have to think really creatively about how my organisation can develop symbiotic relationships with others with similar ideals so we can develop our resources together.

What is your greatest joy?

Stepping into the class is like coming home, I’ve practiced Karate since I was a child and I know how powerful it can be. When I see that recognition take hold on my students faces I get a great swell of happiness.

Do you follow your own advice?

Yes its all very well telling people how they should exercise their body, mind and spirit, but they could never follow you if you’re not on the path yourself, it’s just not possible.

A week never goes by without…

Progress; It sounds like nothing, seeing someone settle in to a particular movement but its often a small step on a great journey and every week we learn more together. I’m always learning from my students and I always make sure they’re learning from me.

What makes you optimistic in the world?

People make me optimistic, I don’t believe in bad people, I believe in bad deeds. Those bad deeds that get people down are just the results of issues that have been left unaddressed. Everyone, when you take the time to listen and to learn has a struggle with this understanding. People open up and want to re-invest what energy has been re-invested in them. It’s really exciting to see and makes me very optimistic for the future of London and our society.

What is the experience of being totally present with your opponent in a tournament, are they the opponent or is it yourself?

That is a great question and the answer is one that I’m always preaching to my class. The opponent is always yourself. The object of a tournament is never to see how much better you are than someone else, it’s to see if even when you’re afraid, whether you can act honourably.

Are you a Londoner? Is there an area of London that resonates strongly with you and why?

I’m going to fail to surprise you here, I love Soho. Being a romantic it’s really inspiring to be surrounded by anything and everything you like, and you just know the historians of the future will liken it to how we think of ancient Rome. I find London a great reminder of the breadth and depth of human potential.

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