ARJARN HARRY WARBURTON
I returned the following week to start training and I will remember this for as long as I live. After almost 2 hrs I was completely exhausted but also felt elated, Master Toddy was a truly fantastic teacher who always brought out the best in his students. I was training alongside Ronnie Green and thought to myself this is what I want to do with my life...
I remember my legs starting to ache walking back to the station to catch my train home to Wigan. I got on the train, immediately fell asleep, and woke up in Southport, the end of the line, some 25 miles or so further on down the line. I got the next train back, fell asleep again and.... woke up back in Manchester! Boy, did I ache the next day. Those were the days. Training was hard. It was not unusual to finish a class with 300 sit-ups and 200 push-ups.
Master Toddy instilled in all of us a sense of loyalty to the gym and to each other, we bonded together and forged friendships lasting to this day.
When Master Toddy sparred with the students he never hurt anyone, you learned from him, even though most of the time you felt like you were fighting a ghost, impossible to beat.
One minor point though, if you made a mistake, he had a habit of pinching the skin on your legs with his toes, funny to see the student being disciplined this way and how they would let out a yell in surprise.
Master Toddy also has a great sense of humor. One day he sent all of us out to do some roadwork on the streets of Manchester. We dutifully filed out the gym and began jogging. As soon as we rounded a corner and was out of sight, our ringleader Ronnie Green (although he will probably deny it) ordered us all to stop and sit down in the sun for 20 minutes. We would go back later, run done and dusted.. or so we thought. Not 2 minutes had passed before Master Toddy came jogging around the very same corner to catch us and find us all relaxing. The press ups we got later were the stuff legends were made of.
Master Toddys unique way of teaching produced many champions. He could watch you and correct mistakes and make you better with every lesson.
When the time came to open my own gym a few years later, Master Toddy was there on the first night, to help, give advice and a short demo. He brought the house down, the people of Wigan had never seen anything like it. He left to thunderous applause and the next day my gym was full of new students eager to learn.
I've always tried to teach how I was taught and the lessons I learned along the way. The results spoke for themselves. Many of my own fighters became champions, including the former WKA heavyweight world champion Shaun Johnson and several British champions.
After a few years, my day job led me to work in Germany, where I met my wife Tina and decided to settle down to a new life.
Five years ago I opened a gym where I now live, in Lörrach on the French/Swiss border and named the new gym Ayutthaya gym, this name was given to me by Master Toddy.
After 2 years we had to move to new premises as student number continued to grow and the gym became too small.
The bigger gym is still growing and we now have around 200 students and some good fighters coming up the ranks.
We run annual trips to Thailand so my own students can benefit from training under Master Toddy and his team of very experienced trainers.
I consider it one of my greatest privileges to have been taught by Master Toddy, he is and always will be my teacher and above all, my friend."
-Ajarn Harry Warburton -