Coaches Corner.. week 6!

Welcome to week 6’s edition of Coaches Corner. The previous 5 weeks have indeed been entertaining and numerous.

Last week we spoke to our lovely Liv Davies but this week we have picked on someone a little older. That’s correct this person has been around the circuit in many disciplines, no it’s not Andy Cleeves’ turn yet.

This man is a genuinely top person and is one of the best sparring partners anyone could ask for. He’s fought on TV, he was a world champion- twice and he also is EPiC’s head ring sports coach.

Yes of course it’s Gio ‘The Jackal’ Marchese!

Gio with friend and Bellator star MVP

Gio with friend and Bellator star MVP

Q: Your nickname is Jackal, why is that?
Gio: Well when I was a kid doing learning TaeKwonDo my instructor used to refer to me as a little Jack Russell as I was a yappy little thing full of energy always jumping around snapping at heels. As I got older & started fighting on shows a fellow Kickboxer who was watching said my style was less like a Jack Russell & more like a wild Jackal & it just stuck from there.

A very young Gio breaking a board

A very young Gio breaking a board

Q: If Italy and England were to play in a football match, who would you support?
Gio: Well fortunately for me England always go out early so I end up supporting Italy as they are so much better but when they play head to head my passion is still English football so I do lean towards England.

Q: You have achieved many great things in your martial arts career so far, what’s been the standout ONE best moment for you?
Gio: Without a doubt winning my first World Championship Gold in Continuous Kickboxing. I had made it to the final 3 World championships in a row, in Spain, Scotland & Germany & unfortunately I lost all 3 of those finals against the same German fighter. A very tough well known experienced guy called Guido Rodel. As we were both seeded in the category the only way we could meet was in the final & sure enough in 2012 in Florida USA at the Hilton at Universal Studios we met for the 4th time & this time my arm was to be lifted for Gold. The whole England team went nuts, that was a day I will never forget.

Champion Marchese

Champion Marchese

Q: What is your favourite type of food?
Gio: Pepperoni Pizza (How Italian!)

Q: If you had to live in the big brother house and could only take 3 other people who would they be and why? (You’re not allowed to choose family)
Gio: Conor McGregor so we could train & spar.
Gordon Ramsey for the good cooking.
Lee Evans for the entertainment.
Besides my family there are 3 things I love the most which are training/fighting, Good food & laughter.
With these 3 guys I’m covered & they all have cracking banter so never a dull moment. If Chef Ramsey gets to mouthy Conor can sort him out lol.

Q: What age did you start training martial arts and what style?
Gio: I started training at 9 years old & the style was Tae Kwon-Do which is a South Korean martial art & was taught by Antonio Puma in Bath, he was a great man & I owe him a lot for inspiring me & fuelling my passion for competition.

Gio with fiancée Annie and his two daughters Mischa and Darcie

Family guy: Gio with fiancée Annie and his two daughters Mischa and Darcie

Q: What is your all time biggest martial arts idol?
Gio: That would have to be Bruce Lee, Enter the Dragon which is my all time favourite film was ground breaking & it changed the game & how the western world perceived Chinese martial arts. He was more than just a film star though, he was a philosopher, leader, master, a Dad, an innovator & an absolute character. A truly great man, a Legend.
Q: If you had to fight one professional fighter from any style who would it be?
Gio: I’d fight Prince Naseem Hamed as he was my boxing idol growing up. His movement, showmanship, ring craft & overall flamboyant skill set were inspiring to me & something I always tried to emulate and imprint into my kickboxing style.

Gio with Andy C and Kam D

Gio with Andy C and Kam D

Q: Do you sing in the shower? If you do what is usually your choice of song?
Gio: I don’t sing in the shower but I do rap (badly) haha my girlfriend hates it when I bust out my best Eminem impressions.

Q: You work in the daytime too, what do you do for a job?
Gio: I have 3 jobs, I am a Personal Trainer at Clifton College Gym, I am Team Technician at Stage Electrics & I teach Martial Arts for Epic.

Gio with Sean Viera, Andy Cleeves and Ross Arscott

Gio with Sean Viera, Andy Cleeves and Ross Arscott

Q: What are your thoughts on world politics?
Gio: World Politics wow where do I begin lol. This year has shown that the people simply want change, With Brexit & Trump winning the votes it shows that the Western World has taken a firm anti establishment stance & movement. Whether this is for the best or not only time will tell. It’s all smoke & mirrors & propaganda so it’s very tough to know what to believe. My humble advise is to stick to researching local politics & find out the things that immediately effect you, your children & your community for the best.

Q: Where has been the best location you’ve ever fought at?
Gio: Orlando was amazing as the venue was next to Universal studios & Disney, I also love City West in Dublin but for atmosphere it would have to be the London Troxy which is where I’ve had 5 K1 fights, The combination of it being an old Theatre & the East London crowd along with the West Country barmy army who have come in their numbers (which I’m eternally grateful) to support me makes for a very loud, intense special occasion.

Q: Final Question, If you had to move abroad (other than Italy) where would it be and why?
Gio: Hong Kong as I love the Chinese culture, people & way of life.

Marchese vs Barnett, Gio won this bout (again)

Marchese vs Barnett, Gio won this bout (again)

Gio was the UCMMA bantam weight champion until September 2016, he is looking forward to see what challenges 2017 brings as he grows his personal training experience and shares his expertise on the mats by stepping up his coaching commitment.

Join us on the 23rd for coaches corner round 7!

Coaches corner: Week 5

Welcome to week 5 of coaches corner, the exclusive weekly release feature of EPIC Martial Arts. This feature will cover all of our coaches, junior coaching team, admin and those who make the club tick.

We’ve so far heard from Ben Gill, current WAKO world champion Kam Doyle, Matt Roberts and the lovely Jane Lewis in the opening 4 weeks. Now it’s time for someone else to be under the spotlight.

Who is it? Well it’s none other than our lovely junior coach Olivia Davies. Liv is one of the coaching team at Portishead on a Tuesday and trains on a Monday night, Tuesday night and when she can after recovering from a bad injury and operation.

Want to know more about ‘the Major’?

Q: What do you think the most important aspect of martial arts training is?
Liv: I think discipline has to be the most important for me. For many children it can help them with behaviour in school and at home and also respect for people like teachers and parents and even friends.

Liv 'The Major' Davies

Liv ‘The Major’ Davies

Q: How long have you trained in martial arts for and what styles do you do?
Liv: I have been training for nearly 9 years in which I have done point and continuous, definitely favour points. Although I have to take a year out due to my knee injury.

Q: If you had to have a dance off with one member of epic who would it be and why?
Liv: Steve Cruse would definitely have to be my choice, he’s got the moves!!

Liv (left) with her mum Helen (right)

Liv (left) with her mum Helen (right)

Q: Would you win that dance off?
Liv: definitely not me haha

Q: How many times do you train in a week?
Liv: I try to train twice a week because with work, driving lessons and homework I have to squeeze everything in however I would prefer to train at least 3 times a week

Q: Of the letters in EPiC’s name which stand for Energy, Positivity, Inspiration and Confidence, which one resonates with you most? Why?
Liv: um, it’s got to be inspiration for me. The role models that our senior coaches set inspire me along with many of the students who look up to all of our EPiC coaches including junior and assistants.

Q: Who do you least like sparring and why?
Liv: I think I’d have to say Kam, he’s so good and reads people so easily but he makes you really think about what you’re doing which is so good!

Q: What is your standout EPiC moment of 2016?
Liv: my standout moment has to be quite recently at Ed Byrne’s interclub when I returned to fighting, after nearly 2 years out, and fought a challenging round robin drawing in 1st place and then getting second overall.

A young Liv, ready for action!

A young Liv, ready for action!

Q: If you were to take 3 members of EPIC on holiday who would it be and why?
Liv: I would definitely have to say Molly, Carmen and Lady G- Grainne that would be so fun!!

Q: Which is a better martial art: kickboxing or Kung fu?
Liv: this is difficult as I believe both give different skills. Kickboxing is good for sparring skills and techniques and Kung fu gives a more traditional approach to martial arts. For me, I will always feel most comfortable with Kung fu syllabus as that’s what I’ve graded in.

Q: What are your aspirations and goals for 2017?
Liv: Next year I want to be back competing on the circuit and would like to go to an international competition too.

Liv with fellow coach Matt Roberts in 2015

Liv with fellow coach Matt Roberts in 2015

Q: Finally: if you could win one tournament outside of the worlds or euros which would it be?
Liv: this would definitely have to be the Irish open, winning the biggest competition would be a huge achievement for me and a dream I want to one day come true.

Liv is looking forward to 2017 and the challenges it will bring. All the coaches are looking forward to her getting back to sharpness and what she will do on the circuit next year. Along with the fighting she is a budding young coach who revels in the challenge of leading the younger children to success not only in martial arts but also setting an example to follow as they grow into successful and bountiful adults.

Coaches corner: Week 4

This week we visit our lovely PA Jane Lewis whom most of you will have had contact with at some point over the duration of your journey with us so far.

With the patience of a saint and the drive of a Ferrari this productivity machine makes the clogs turn with communications and our introductory process. We thought about what to ask her and came up with this:

Jane with Hub-goer husband Simon

Jane with Hub-goer husband Simon

Q: How long have you been with EPiC?

Jane: 14/15 months.

Q: How many phone calls a day do you usually get?
Jane: Depends on time of year and what events are happening…. if the phone isn’t ringing – guaranteed I am ringing to build relationships and work on events.

Q: If you had one wish granted by a genie, what would it be?
Jane: If I had one wish – it would be to have endless wishes. However, I am a little cynical – ‘careful what you wish for – you’ll always get it but it may be in a format you weren’t expecting’!

Q: Who is the hardest instructor to get information across to and from?
Jane: Matt Roberts when he isn’t on facebook…. grrrr. Everyone has their moments.

Q: What else do you do for work other than EPiC admin?
Jane: The Hub gym, Crossfit Portishead and very occasionally I help out my travel trade buddies when they desperate for support.

Q: Have you ever participated in Martial arts, why or why not?
Jane: Growing up in Glasgow surburbs in the 70’s – choices were generally limited (gosh I sound old), so Scottish dancing was prob. the nearest choice I had. I keep a list of things I want to try… just waiting for the phone to stop ringing!!

Jane with her beautiful daughter and EPIC student Alanna

Jane with her beautiful daughter and EPIC student Alanna

Q: Who scares you the most? Why?
Jane: In what context? In the kickboxing arena – all of them! However, would they challenge me on the nagging front!

Q: If you could have one celebrity’s job for a day, who would it be?
Jane: I am more interested in ‘moments in time’ .. I would love to see the thoughts of peoples when massive world changes happen… Obama’s real thoughts when Trump won the election. Peoples feelings when they reach the tip of mount Everest.

Q: Who does the household chores in your house… you, Simon or Alana?
Jane: Alanna creates the chores, Simon moans about them and I do them (eventually)! When I clean… everything gets cleaned out.. I am not a fan of clutter but equally – a perfect house is a life not lived!

Q: If you had to do karaoke with ONE instructor at EPIC who would t be and why?
Jane: Andy Gill… his array of fancy dress photos tells me he is always game .. so I could fade into the background as I can’t sing.

Jane Lewis relaxing with a cocktail

Jane Lewis relaxing with a cocktail

Q: What’s been your best moment in the last 12 months?
Jane: No one event stands out as the ‘best’. If your not enjoying the adventure.. why do it? Favourite moments are the ones that have me in belly aching laughter….But with Epic you feel valued no matter what part you play in the production.

Q: Final Question, what’s your goals for the next 12 months?
Jane: Is this my appraisal or my new years resolutions? Enjoy the journey….and always be learning.

Join us next week where we will have week 5 of coaches corner and another member of the EPIC family reveal some of their roles, aspirations and revelations about those around them!