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From Russia with Love……

About 2 months ago one of my regular members, Kevin”Hardcore”  Callan who is the head of the Kyokushin Karate Ireland Federation asked me to help out one of his fighters.

I work with him and several of the IKK senior instructors so was more than happy to help out.

The fighter was due to compete in the Kyokushin Karate World Championships in Russia and Kevin realised she needed sharpening up with a period of Strength and Conditioning work.

Aneta Axe Kick

Aneta throwing an Axe Kick in Russia

He introduced me to Aneta, his fighter, and we got to work.

Karate people in general are easy to work with. Maybe it’s because I’m one of them and understand the mentality.

Or maybe it’s because to succeed in Karate you need to develop an iron will, self discipline and drive.

It was clear that Aneta had all these in spades.

And work she did.

2 months is a very short space of time to work with someone.

I like to develop a relationship with my clients, figure out the buttons to push, the levers to pull. To figure out their mental and physical limits so that I can challenge them on every level.

2 months isn’t long enough to build this, so we did the best we could.

And as a coach I couldn’t have asked for more.

Three days per week she came in and killed it. Three hard training sessions, each taking around 40 minutes. Basic strength and power work and high intensity conditioning. Armour building and weak point eliminating.

Each week we watched her lift with more confidence, more speed and more power. The weights weren’t heavy, but they were challenging.

And each week I checked in with her Karate coaches and got feedback on how much the training was crossing over into her fighting.

And each week the feedback was positive. She was hitting harder, faster and for longer.

Here’s a quote from Dave king her team mate sitting at ringside  after her first fight in Russia:

“It was an absolute war lasting 3 rounds Senpai Anetas strength and fitness pushed her through. But what a battle!”

There’s zero point in training a person, any person never mind an athlete in a manner that doesn’t improve their performance outside the gym. It’s not just about lifting more weight, for more reps, in less time. It’s not about a 1 rep max. It’s not about getting them so tired they can’t speak.

It is about getting them better at what they do.

Be that fighting against the best in the world, or rolling about on the floor playing with your kids.

And the result?

Bronze Medal.

3rd place in the World Championships.


I’m happy with that.

I hope she is.

If we she chooses to continue training at Wild Geese, I hope to help her get Gold next year.

Now I need to get to work on the BJJ fighters as they prepare for the European Championships in Lisbon this January.

Training for these guys is just starting.

Aneta, you take a breather.

You earned it.


Dave Hedges


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