David Tutor Interview
- Q. Hi David! Let’s start off with a brief self-introduction!
A. Hi there! My name’s David, and I’m a professional English teacher as well as an Advanced Personal Trainer, Yoga Instructor, Nutrition Consultant and more! I have been teaching and training students and clients for 11 years now, and helping other people to achieve their goal is my biggest passion in life!
- Q. According to your profile, you are originally from the UK. Can you tell us a bit about your hometown and where you grew up?
A. I was actually born near London, but my family soon moved to a city called Southampton, which is on the south coast of England. It’s a really nice and friendly place, although doesn’t quite have the beautiful sandy beaches many people expect from a coastal city! It’s a port city, and despite some naval imagery and bases around town, it is largely the same as many other big cities in the UK. Being so close to London meant that my friends and I would spend a lot of time there, and eventually I moved there with my girlfriend Ashley in 2005.
- Q. In 2017, you moved to Japan for a while. What was your time in Japan like?
A. The two years we lived in Japan were the greatest two years of our lives (so far)! We both really evolved over that time, and were able to achieve many of our life goals. Travelling all over the country and teaching fitness workshops, as well as being head trainer of a private medical gym was a dream come true. Some of the highlights included climbing Mt.Fuji through the night in time to see the sunrise on my 30th birthday, becoming a certified Rescue Diver in Okinawa, and snowboarding in Hokkaido. We spent much of the two years living in the historic and deer filled city of Nara, so that’s also an extremely special place for us. It really was an incredible time and Japan will always have a firmly rooted place in our hearts.
- Q. Right now you seem to be located in the US. Will you be staying there long-term or do you have other destinations in mind?
A. We are currently enjoying mountain life in Colorado, almost 1700m above sea level. As an athlete and keen adventurer, it was always a dream of mine to visit Boulder as many of the greatest runners and mountaineers in the world live and train here. We have been here for six weeks, but will be returning to the UK shortly before a big trip to New Zealand for five months in January. Travel plays such a huge role in our lives, and I simply couldn’t imagine living without seeing as much of the world as possible. After New Zealand – who knows! For me the key is always having an open heart and an open mind in all situations. The idea that we could be in a totally new country having some amazing experiences in a year’s time is what greatly excites me and motivates me to keep living this way.
- Q. What are you usually up to when you’re not teaching on Cafetalk? What are your hobbies and interests?
A. As you can probably guess, fitness is a huge part of my life! I like to get out in nature every day, and start to get a bit stressed and tense if for some reason I can’t. A usual day will be filled with running, Yoga, maybe some weight lifting, martial arts or cycling – all in between teaching of course!
I also love to play music. I’ve played guitar since I was very young, but unfortunately couldn’t bring it with me when I moved to Japan. I recently fell back in love with it after returning to the UK, and try to play for at least a few minutes every day. On top of this, photography is a huge passion of mine. I love to spend time in nature taking photos and sharing them with others. I hope to do a photography exhibition one day, and whilst that may be just a dream, one has to have dreams!
- Q. Can you tell us a little bit more about your professional background? What got you into teaching, and what motivated you to keep pursuing this career?
A. I have always been involved in fitness in one way or another since I was a kid. Initially I was very overweight, but as my love for sports developed, so did the need for me to take care of my health and get in shape! This along with two shoulder surgeries led to my initial study of health and fitness, which has been pretty much never-ending over the past 11 years. I have continued to amass qualifications, and have been studying for new and updated techniques for the majority of this period.
English teaching came a little later, and was initially something I studied because I thought it would be extremely beneficial when travelling so often. I was always very good at English in school, and so when it came to studying I found that a large amount of it was reinforcing and reminding myself of what I already knew. I have since developed my own English teaching methods, worksheets, games and correction format, which I have received a lot of positive feedback about.
The idea to teach both fitness and English in combined lessons online to foreign students initially came to me a while back, and although I wasn’t sure how it would be received, it has proven to be very popular!
- Q. Other than an ESL tutor you are a professional Yoga/Pilates/Fitness trainer. Can you tell us about your background in fitness?
A. As I mentioned above, fitness has always played a huge role in who I am, and teaching it seemed a logical progression in my life. Whether I’m running ultra-marathons in the mountains, kickboxing, scuba diving in caves in Japan, or practicing Yoga – movement is my medicine, and without it I would be lost. I love to share this with others and empower them to take control of their own lives.
- Q. Your personal training lesson is actually your 3rd most popular lesson! Do you have some advice for people who want to become more fit or lose some weight? What is your recommendation for staying motivated?
A. Although advice should always be tailored to the individual, I do feel that there are some simple ways everyone can improve their health without needing to stress about it!
For one, obtaining all of your calories from whole foods has an incredibly positive effect on your health. A ‘whole food’ is anything which has not been processed or refined, and includes fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, beans and more. This alone eliminates the need to check packaging for hidden additives and chemicals. Nature provides us with all that we need! Learning how to make meals that taste great with these foods is the key.
Secondly, I would advise people to give up liquid calories such as fizzy drinks and even refined fruit juices. These drinks are packed with calories, but do little to make us feel full and satisfied! Over the past decade I have worked with countless obese clients and patients, and one thing I often notice is that they like to drink a lot of soft drinks. This adds a huge number of unnecessary calories, whilst providing little to no nutrition. Stick to water and tea (without milk) is my advice.
Lastly, if you have the opportunity I would advise standing throughout the day as often as possible. If you can have a standing work station, go for it! Whilst this may not be possible for everyone, office workers for example could benefit from regularly standing and activating certain muscles which switch off when we are seated, such as the glutes (buttock muscles). Go for a short walk every hour or so to get a glass of water or go to the toilet. This alone will increase your metabolism, as well as stop your body from becoming stiff and immobile.
- Q. A lot of students are probably curious about the atmosphere in your lessons. What can a student imagine a lesson with you to be like? What’s your teaching style, both for ESL and fitness lessons?
A. My lessons are all based on the principle that if you’re relaxed and enjoy what you’re doing, you will pay more attention and therefore retain more knowledge. I try to make all of my lessons fun and interactive, and have created my own games for learning and improving English, as well as hundreds of my own English language exercise worksheets. I make notes throughout each lesson, which I will type up in full and send to each student afterwards. Whether it is Personal Training, Yoga, English or even Meditation – this is my promise to you!
- Q. Since you offer a variety of lessons, is there any lesson you can recommend in particular? Or can you give a quick overview of which lesson might be good for which type of student?
A. I offer a large variety of lessons, but those which have proven to be extremely popular are my ‘Discuss The News’ lessons and also a new ‘Roleplay’ lesson which I recently started here on Cafetalk. These will improve all aspects of your English, although if you are after something more tailored, I teach specific classes on pronunciation, listening, speaking and more!
As for fitness, nothing can beat Personal Training. Before the lesson we will discuss your goals, likes, dislikes and exercise history, as well as briefly getting to know each other. I will then take the time to create the perfect tailored workout programme for you.
- Q. Finally, would you like to leave a message for your current and future students?
A. I would like to express a huge thank you to all of my incredible students here on Cafetalk! Many of you have become more than students, and are now lifelong friends. I greatly appreciate all of the kind messages that you send, as well as the photos of your travels, pets and family, and I am extremely touched to have this connection with you all.
To those of you who have never taken my lessons but perhaps read my tutor columns or are unsure about exactly what my lessons entail – please feel free to take a trial lesson with me. I can’t promise that you’ll enjoy the lesson (although I think you will!), but I can promise that I will put in 100% of my effort to make the lesson as beneficial and fun for you as possible. I treat every student as an individual, and do not believe in a ‘one size fits all’ teaching method. With 11 years of experience, I am confident that I can help you to achieve your goals in a relaxed, fun and enjoyable way.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope to see you in a lesson soon!