AMBASSADORS OF WAVE
Every month we will showcase one of our students, these will be mini interviews giving you an insight into their BJJ journey as well as a bit about their backgrounds.
If you are a member and would like to be an Ambassador email us at email@example.com with Ambassador in the subject line. If you are chosen you will win a £20 Amazon gift card.
This months ambassador is WaveBJJ student and new Yoga teacher David Forbes. Learn lots about David below :)
Your Name: David
Your age: 34
How did you get into Yoga?
I was home on the Isle of Man, and I started to get itchy feet... Every couple of years, I'd stare out the window at the ocean, pack up a bag and catch a plane somewhere. I'd taken Yoga classes locally, so I decided to go to India for classes. I left the Isle of Man and took a trip to India for a couple of months. I spent £50 a month on rent and went to Yogacharya Vinay Kumar's PranaVashya Yoga Shala (in Mysore) for 6 hours a day. At the end of the two months, I extended my stay a couple of weeks. There was nowhere for me to practice at home. I told Vinay and asked him if he could train me as a teacher. He said I wasn't good enough, and to train for at least a year by myself first. The next year I decided to go back, so I booked for 4 months and practiced for at least 2 hours a day at home. It was really hard to self practice, the Primary Series is very difficult. I woke up early every morning, regardless of how I felt and put in some very hard hours. The TTC (Teacher Training Course) is two months long. I decided I would need at least 2 months of 6 hour days before I would put myself through it. On the first month I went back, Vinay saw me doing the splits, and he smiled. He knew I'd been practising. Those two months before the TTC, I really started to master (for me!) the Primary Series. Every day there was so much sweat on the floor around me they had to get someone to mop it up... It was difficult, but at the same time, I had a singular focus that pulled me through. By the end of the TTC, I could do the entire Primary, without variations, whilst giving teaching a class at the same time. I wrote 30,000 words of notes did all 4 exams and passed. I started teaching at home, but I really wasn't interested in getting caught on the Isle of Man again, so I decided to go back to India for another round of classes. I wanted to get good enough to teach in a major city. I had to ask for permission to take 6 months of Intensive Courses. You're only allowed to take 4, but Vinay said it was fine, knowing that I was stuck on the island. On the sixth month, I asked to extend it an extra month, but I was utterly exhausted. I had gotten it into my head that I wasn't ready enough to teach in London. Vinay went to teach 400 policemen one day. I didn't know it, but I had to teach both intensive classes and pranayama (the breathing exercise class). This was terrifying, no-one teaches except Vinay, so I was thrown into the fire. Most of the students have been training for years, and some for decades (and multiple). I did the first class, and the advanced, and then fell asleep straight afterwards. I knew the classes where good, and Vinay told me I was ready to go and teach in London. I arrived in London a few months ago and started a BnB in my brothers' house and that's how I ended up here.
What is your favourite Yoga Position?
Who is your Yoga hero?
Vinay Kumar my teacher in India. Honestly, if you saw the difference between the day I walked into his Shala, and when I left it's unbelievable. I'd see the same students come back year on year, and they were astounded too. He's a great teacher. My little brother lost 7kg in the month he came to visit. Vinay managed to get him to take every class in the month, despite him being a drinker and smoker. It's really incredible how much he transforms people. Some days, you really wonder how you managed to get through his classes. He always knows the absolute limit of each person, it's really amazing.
What does Yoga mean to you?
Yoga makes normal people appear superhuman. It looks like magic at the start, but after a while, you'll be flying through the practice.
What advice would you have for someone starting yoga with you?
You have to put in hours. It will take a couple of weeks to get used to the classes. After a couple of months, you'll start improving rapidly.
How would you describe your style of Yoga?
PranaVasha the style I teach is notoriously difficult, but beginner friendly. It is one of the fastest ways to increase strength, flexibility and endurance. The aim of Yoga, if taught correctly, is left to the student to decide. If you want to just practice for sport, health, or to lose weight that's completely fine. Likewise, if you want to study for spiritual reasons that's fine as well. The student should choose what they want.
Why did you start BJJ?
I always wanted to study BJJ properly but have never had the time. I took classes in Tokyo, at Axis Jiu Jitsu for a couple of months when I lived in Tokyo in 2006. That's a long while ago... I've taken classes every now and again throughout the years as well. For some reason though, I never trained properly. I always ended up doing something else.
What is your favourite submission and why?
Any submission I can get... Gogoplata is my favourite though because it looks amazing.
Who is your favourite BJJ athlete?
Eddie Bravo, I like his youtube channel.
How do you choose your gi?
I got mine with the beginner package at WaveBJJ. You don't need to buy one! It's a high quality Tatami one.
What is your favourite gi brand?
I guess Tatami, it's the only one I have.
What other martial arts have you tried?
I studied Yoshinkan Aikido in Japan when I was 21 years old for a couple of years. I was really fat when I joined (about 90kg or thereabout). When I went home, after the first year, I was 65kg. I think Aikido isn't a very effective art, but I have to credit it with setting me off on my journey into Yoga, and other things that I would never have done without it. Inuoe Kancho (my teacher) got given his 10th Degree after I left in 2009, having started in 1955. Regardless of effectiveness, he was definitely a martial artist. He really did change people's lives through training.I always saw BJJ as more effective, so I'd like to become capable in that and I'm really lucky there's a good school near to my house. I never really understood Aikido, being half art and half martial. To me it's message was always confused. Why learn an art that doesn't really work? I couldn't understand. If you wanted health benefits, and discipline why not just do Yoga? If you wanted an effective art, why not do BJJ and Muay Thai? I decided to go down the purely training direction of Yoga instead. Yoga is basically what Aikido should be at the art side. It's a very difficult dance, that requires superhuman strength, flexibility and endurance to perform. BJJ is the Martial side of Aikido, it's an effective Martial Art. All three require discipline to learn, which I think is probably the most important aspect. I think Yoga and BJJ compliment each other very well. Each has skills that directly benefit each other and it's easy to understand the benefits of each. I enjoyed doing other arts, but I was really out of place in Aikido.