Surviving Cancer with martial arts

Geoffrey Moore is a cancer survivor first diagnosed in the early 2000's and over the past two years has been suffering an aggressive recurrence. Two years ago this resulted in four major surgeries and two 20 week chemotherapy rounds.

Throughout this time, Geoff has remained committed to martial arts, as a coach and student in Kickboxing (1st Dan Blackbelt), Jiu Jitsu (2nd Dan Blackbelt) and Judo (5th Dan Blackbelt). His illness has understandably led to some difficult times.

"Cancer is often a taboo subject" said Geoff.

"I can speak with some authority on the difficulties of training and coaching through treatment.

"Having enjoyed a long period of remission, I found myself breathless and unable to breathe during a judo competition in 2016.

"Initially I thought it was a chest infection, however upon returning to the UK a few days later, an X Ray and subsequent CT scan revealed a massive tumor eating on my left lung with smaller tumors in both lung linings."

After the initial shock, Geoff once again prepared himself for treatment.

He continued, "Surgery and chemotherapy followed in quick succession resulting in organ failure and a long stay in hospital.

"Upon coming out I was weak, had lost 30% of my body weight and was suffering from numbness in my feet and trouble with my balance."

According to Geoff, the martial arts community was a huge support in his recovery.

"I had massive support from my friends and colleagues from home and abroad, across all the martial arts I practiced.

"I maintained contact and when I was not too fatigued I continued to visit Dojo's and teach, although often I had to use others to demonstrate for me."

Geoff suffered another recurrence and more surgery last year followed by Chemotherapy and this time was left with poor lung function. His determination and strength have seen him continue on his martial arts journey.

"Now I am back at the point where I can coach, demonstrate and take falls in Jujitsu and judo. I also teach a bit of boxing and grappling.

"Although I'm currently unable to engage in any sparring, I do roll a bit and engage in Newaza (grappling)!"

Further surgery may follow ahead of what Geoff hopes will be successful gradings in his beloved sports.

"In the mean time I remain positive working towards the requirements for my 6th Dan in Judo and 3rd Dan in Jujitsu.

"I've just achieved my British Judo awards for Kata and I'm working towards becoming a senior examiner as well as coaching and supporting our competitors at Ford Bushido Judokwai."

Geoff had a final message to any fellow sufferers of cancer. "Don't let the disease define you.

"It's easy to fall into the trap of inactivity because of fatigue. Try and get out, remember who you are and your responsibility to be a role model through adversity.

"Give yourself challenges and goals for the future, however uncertain it may be. Embrace your limitations and work around them, you are capable of so much more than you or your medical team can imagine."