Outside interest: martial arts

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 17 Feb 2016

Mike Kerton When he's not at work, Bloor Homes' planning director Mike Kerton takes time out to practise the martial art of Krav Maga, a self-defence system developed for the Israel army.

How did you get into the martial arts?

I did the Shotokan style of karate for a good many years, rising to brown belt – two off black belt – before university. And when I started my planning career I wanted to get back into martial arts. I'd heard about Krav Maga and it peaked my interest.

What does it involve?

I should practise every week but work and other commitments mean in reality I do go through the moves two or three times a month. There are no belts in Krav Maga, emphasis is on keeping fit and well toned.

Why do you do it?

I do the martial art as a release from work and to keep fit. It is gruelling, and being an army technique it's disciplined and fitness-intense involving stomach crunches and back and leg exercises, which I find challenging. 

What’s the toughest thing about it?

Being hit isn't much fun and the physical aspects can be very demanding.

What’s the most rewarding thing about it?

Martial arts are a great way of making friends and good way of boosting your confidence.

Are there any similarities between your day job and martial arts?

The adage practice makes perfect is appropriate for both day job and outside interest. You need to train regularly to keep abreast of what's happening around you. Like planning, if you don't do it regularly you get out of touch and unresponsive. 

Do you have any unusual interests or hobbies that you would like to tell us about? If so, please email planning@haymarket.com