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Leaving the military is a tough transition for a lot of people. I was in the Royal Marines for 12 years and when I left it was a shock. As a physical training instructor, when I walked through the camp everyone knew my name and there was always that level of respect.  When you leave it is like everything you’ve built up has been taken away. Nobody knows who you are and you have to establish your reputation from scratch. I found that hard, and I know being away from the comradery of the corps hits a lot of the...

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By Sam Laird, former Royal Marines Commando and co-founder of The Green Retreat Ever since I started judo when I was 11, I have loved all martial arts. But in the last few years, my training has taken on a new level of importance, because it has been a vital part of keeping my mental health on track. I joined the Royal Marines at 17 and did three tours of Afghanistan. Losing friends and comrades is never easy, and it definitely took a toll on me. Especially when we lost Sgt John Henry Manuel, who we all called Manny. Manny...

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By Dr Marc Barton, chief instructor at Kingston Jiu Jitsu After more than a year of disruptions, we are finally daring to hope that jiu-jitsu life will get back to normal soon. But with so much time away from the mats, there are many pitfalls to avoid as you start training again. Before leaving the medical profession to teach jiu-jitsu full time, I was a doctor working in the Accident and Emergency department of a busy London hospital. It was an incredibly stressful job, and involved, as you can imagine, a lot of harrowing scenes. While many of my colleagues...

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By Sam Sheriff Some challenges are a lot tougher than you think they will be. But because they’re super tough, they end up being the most rewarding. Back in 2010 we were raising money to build a new memorial garden at 45 Commando to give the lads, family and friends a place to reflect and remember. Everyone was getting involved, doing what they could to raise money. I wanted to do something that hadn’t been done before, but also that was a fitting tribute to the Royal Marines. As a physical training instructor climbing ropes was a big part of...

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By Mark Ormrod MBE, REORG Trustee.Imagine swimming with both of your legs tied together and your dominant hand tied behind your back. That’s what it’s like for me. So I am not really sure what possessed me to pledge to swim 1000 metres in rough, open water. I used to be a very strong swimmer. You have to be when you’re in the Royal Marines. But then I stepped on a landmine back in 2007 and lost both my legs above the knee and my right arm above the elbow. As you can imagine, I lost a lot of my...

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