Let’s get to know the newest member of our team. Many of you will know Sensei Aray already before he began teaching at Baker Street, as he was originally a member of our Goodge Street dojo.
Like many others it was during his training that he discovered Xen-Do was more than just a hobby and it was a passion. With this he came forward with his interest to teach and approached Dai Master Rafael. Since then, Sensei Aray has become part of the team whilst still training amongst fellow instructors and students. So, let’s find out more about Sensei Aray…
How long have you been training in martial arts?
I have been training in kickboxing under Master Rafael for 8 – 9 months when I found Xen-Do on Tottenham Court Road. Although, I love training and always try to better myself each day, I find martials arts is more than just practicing. It is also to do with your mentality and the energy you put into it. I have tried Kung-Fu in a temple whilst living in Spain, which I absolutely loved. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to continue with this for long, however for the time I did train I gained valuable knowledge and experience in martial arts.
How did you find out about Xen-Do School of Martial Arts?
I had been living in London, having moved from Spain, for 2 and a half years. I was working and studying while finding my feet. I needed something to change up the everyday routine! I started meditation, looking for new experiences and realised good for the mind.
However, I wanted to return to Kung-Fu and continue with sports, so I googled classes nearby and booked in my trial lesson. Being new to London it did not go the way I expected, and I ended up in a random park with no Kung-Fu nearby. This was not going to stop me; I went straight back onto my phone and search for martial arts. I found a dojo within a 2-minute walking distance. This is the moment I walked into the dojo on Goodge Street, there and then I had my first class with Sensei Nathan, Sensei Patryk and Sensei Lewes. It was exactly what I was looking for and from that moment I was training 6 times a week, 2-3 times a day. I was super motivated to achieve my goals and succeed in my training.
What is the best thing about being an instructor?
It is hard to pick just one thing. Something I enjoy is meeting knew people and the capability to know more. Also, I believe that one of the best ways to improve at something is teaching it to someone else. So, as I help someone achieve their goals, they are also helping me achieve mine.
Are you aiming to compete in the Spanish Open next year?
I never thought about competing, but I would love to learn more and acquire fighting experience. So yes, I would love to go to compete with Xen-Do.
What are your hobbies besides martial arts?
I love learning and gaining new skills. I have an adventurous side which will lead me to try something, and I have the determination to be the best I can be at it. In my spare time I love to skateboard or climb/parkour. I also spend a lot of time reading.
Have you always been interested in Martial Arts?
From my earliest memory I’ve always pushed my body and mind to its limit. I’ve always wanted to do anything I put my mind to, as well as being able to have complete control over my body. Martial arts are the perfect discipline for this.
What was your biggest challenge as a martial artist?
As you progress in something you will always face new hurdles, however, my biggest is that I tend to overthink and that may slow me down.
Explain the transition from student to Sensei?
I have admired my fellow Senseis from the day I began training with them in Goodge Street. Training alongside them was an easy decision for me, they pushed me, and we can share knowledge to better each other. When I approached Master Raf to become an instructor I was welcomed with open arms it was a great feeling to be a part of this team. It’s impossible to understand how big this opportunity it’s for me as a person, to grow, learn and become something that I want and something I need.