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and between my heart and lungs.

The doctor
said it had to come out. Within a week I had
an appointment with a surgeon and with an
oncologist, and sent to Shrewsbury Hospital
for a variety of lung, heart and blood tests.
Eour weeks IaLer, on June 6LL 2004, I was
in Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham, having
my chest cut open and the tumour removed.
The surgeon told me that, until they had
actually removed it, they wouldnt be able to
assess how aggressive it was. The signs were
that it was a thymoma [Editors note: Thymoma
is an uncommon tumour originating from the epithelial
cells of the thymus], and LLaL by LLe sIze oI IL,
the tumour had been growing a long time.
However, he said, provided it had not invaded
my lungs or the main vein running to my
heart, there were good chances that I could
make a good recovery and live a normal
life. If, on the other hand, it had become
invasive...well I would cross that bridge when
I came to it.
Anyway, the surgeons went in straight
through my sternum and opened me up.
When I came to a few hours later, I was told
that the surgery was a complete success; the
thymoma was surrounded by a membrane
of fatty tissue which the cancer had begun
to invade, but had not spread into my other
internal organs.
Just two days later I was at home, weak and
tired with a wired up chest and convinced I
wouldnever do combat sports again. I was abit
depressed, aILLouLobvIousIy Iad Lo be aIIve!
Afewdays later a couple of judo buddies called
by to see me and I told them that I wouldnt
be up and about and prac-tising again very
soon. They made some phone calls and a week
IaLer I oL a pLone caII Irom AIan Jones, 7LL
Dan who was, at the time, the Welsh National
Coach. Alan said he had written a letter to
the British Judo Association recommending
me Ior a promoLIon Lo 4LL Dan. I LLouLL LLIs
was per-haps a bit of a sympathy promotion;
LLey probabIy Bured LLaL I was abouL Lo
pop my clogs and dis-appear off to the great
dojo in the sky, but nevertheless I said OK,
on the condition I could take the exam, even
LLouL I probabIy sLIII wouIdn'L be BL enouL
to compete.
TLree monLLs IaLer I dId compIeLe my 4LL
Dan practical although my performance was
terrible; it was just too soon after surgery and
I couldnt physically perform the techniques.
But they passed me anyway because, they said,
I could demonstrate an understanding of the
LecLnIcaI knowIede. EuL IrankIy, I was panLs!
Shortly after, my buddy John Walsh, 6th Dan,
from Wrexham Judo Club, asked me to teach
at the club and I did so but was desperately
unhappy doing it and felt a complete fraud.
John and I also started doing judo kata
together, but even that, at that time, was too
much for me; I still hadnt fully recovered.
A few weeks later I started lessons at a
traditional Jujitsu club at my local leisure
cenLre. AL BrsL, LLe coacL, Mark 0erard
4LL Dan, ave me jusL wrIsL Iocks and non
throwing techniques to master and everyone
was very kind to me, but I still couldnt
throw or take falls. But I practised and as the
monLLs passed oL BLLer and sLroner and
sIx monLLs IaLer I was abIe Lo Lake my BrsL
falls. Two years later I gained my 1st Dan in
Jujitsu, a further six months later I also had
a black belt in Kenjutsu.
[Editors note:
Kenjutsu is the umbrella term for all traditional schools
of Japanese swordsmanship, in particular those that
pre-date the Meiji Restoration and the modern styles
of kendo and iaido. Kenjutsu, which originated with
the samurai class of feudal Japan, means the method,
or LecLnIque, oI LLe sword." TLIs Is opposed Lo kendo,
wLIcL means "LLe way oI LLe sword"]
DurIn LLe earIy parL oI 2006, I meL up wILL
Roger Huston 6th Dan and an old pal from
the judo world. He invited me to Ford Bushido
judo club, and I began to practice - in a very
enLIe way aL BrsL randorI (sparrIn). TLe
members of Bushido judo club were very
kind and allowed me to take things at my own
pace. But again, I trained as hard as I could,
and pushed myself as much as my improving
health would allow, and later in the year
gained a silver medal in the veterans section
of the London Judo International, and won a
few local tournaments. Also whilst shopping
in Sainsburys, I saw a poster for Team Elite,
a new MMA class opening in the community
centre near to my house. I thought I would go
along and just join in the exercises, but two
Iessons IaLer and I was Looked! TLe coacL
was a youn BLLer caIIed FIcL Cosrove,
who is currently the All England ICL Belt
Holder, and after just a year of training
with him, he asked me to help out with the
kids classes. Year after year I continued to
Improve and deveIop my BLness and Iour
years later and after grappling tournaments
aIore and some amaLeur MMA BLLs, I was
taking my black belt in full contact Kick-
boxIn. My BLness was aL sucL a IeveI, I couId
do an Lours' BLness LesL, IoIIowed by Bveby
Bve mInuLe rounds oI IuII conLacL kIckboxIn
- with new partners each round - followed by
pads and drills.
Rich Cosgrove developed a coaching team of
sIx BLLers, oI wLIcL I was one, and In 2010
Team Elite moved into its own town centre
full-time training facility. I have never
known a better team spirit anywhere, and
discovering MMA gave me a real chance
Lo Bnd a new dIrecLIon In my IIIe and In my
martial arts. I now run a basic grappling class,
and help with the juniors each week, as well
as training whenever I can and help prepare
BLLers Ior evenLs. LasL year I was awarded
Oswestry Sports Council Veteran Athlete of
LLe Year Award. In 2011 I successIuIIy Look
my 5th Dan in Judo and currently hold a 2nd
Dan in traditional Jujitsu.
AL LLe LIme oI wrILIn LLIs, I am S4 years oId
and sLIII work as LLe BenIor YouLL 0IBcer Ior
Powys, and I volunteered at a local youth
project in Oswestry working around alcohol
and substance misuse. I always believed
that Budo is about becoming a productive
member of society and improving self, rather
LLan jusL IearnIn Lo BLL. AL Team EIILe we
have a young volunteer programme and, for
the past two years, have nominated young
peopIe Irom LLe ym Ior LLe Youn CILIzen
Of The Year Award. I still spar at least once
a week, practice boxing and kick-boxing at
least three times a week, and practice judo
once a week. I also try and get in a session of
JujILsu once a week Loo!
Lastly, I would just like to mention Danny
EIdood, wLo I meL In 2012. Danny Is now
66 (yes, sIxLysIx!!!) years oId and LLree
years ago had a triple bypass. Now, after his
LLoracIc surery, Le Is BLLIn Ior LIs bIack
beIL In judo aaInsL some uys 40 years LIs
junior. This man can talk tough and walk
tough and in my eyes hes a real hero. There
is life after thoracic surgery and with the
right support, the right attitude and a great
big pile of determination, you can still live
a productive and active life. Dont ever let
anyone say you cant.
*********************************
Contact Geoff via email:
Email: geoff_moore@msn.com
Tel: + 44 (0) 7S82 88S810
Team Elite:
www.eIILemarLIaIarLs.neL/aduILs
Bushin Martial Arts is
www.bushinmartialarts.co.uk
*********************************
T
he main reason for telling my story to
Tough Talk, is really to send a message
out to those who are about to have, or are
undergoing, or have just had major surgery,
is that it doesnt mean the end of an active
life; there is always hope and with the right
attitude, a little bit of good luck and the right
training, nothing is ever out of your reach.
I IIve In 0swesLry on LLe WeIsL/EnIIsL
border. IL was 1999. EILL CIub, Toy BLory 2
and The Sixth Sense were the top movies of
the year. Manchester United had just won the
EUFA Champions League in Barcelona; Bas
Rutten had just made his premier appearance
In UEC 18 , WIII BmILL was sInIn abouL 'TLe
Wild, Wild West; Britney was in the UK charts
with Hit me baby, one more time, and I had
just knocked three guys over in a row using
Uchimata (inner thigh throw) and Ouchigari
(inside trip), to gain my 3rd Dan at Judo and
I felt pretty damn good about myself. I was
forty years old, had a reasonable job as Youth
Work Manager in Chester, a happy family, pet
dog, mortgage, car loan - the full package. I
was also teaching judo part-time and looking
forward to happy, healthy career, followed by
a nice retirement with a good pension. What
couId o wron?
And then I developed an annoying cough.
Ey Eebruary 2000, IL was nonsLop and by
March I was coughing until I was sick. At
BrsL, anLIbIoLIcs seemed Lo cIear IL up and IIIe
started to look up again; I was promoted and
took on more responsibility at work, and then
things took a sudden dip; I started getting
breathless and tired. My doctor sent me for
x-rays but when they came back, everything
Iooked Bne, buL by LLe end oI LLe year I was
unable to practice Judo and when I started
coughing I would often be sick, and was in
a constant state of breathlessness, so much
so, someLImes I couIdn'L speak. In 2001 I Lad
more tests but once again nothing seemed
wrong, and so I struggled on but I was getting
weaker by the day, I began to lose weight
and my complexion took on a grey colour.
I was sleeping a lot too, and when I tried to
exercise I felt awful, my appetite had gone
and I honestly thought I was going to die.
I dIdn'L know wLaL eIse Lo do. In 2008 I
started going to a Chinese herbalist who gave
me several mixtures of tablets and herbs to
boil up and drink - the stuff that they gave
me was disgusting, but for twelve months I
religiously drank it, took the tablets and also
attended acupuncture, hypnotherapy, Reiki,
yoga and breathing exercises. Nothing helped.
In 2004 I was desperaLe, I was couLIn aL
night now and so couldnt sleep. I had more
blood tests, more antibiotics and more x-rays
and then, by chance, my regular GP was on
holiday, a doctor from New Zealand was on an
exchange visit and looking after the clinic. He
took one look at my medical record and said;
"Mr. Moore, I LLInk I've seen LLIs beIore." I
was given an urgent MRI scan and within the
week summoned back into the surgery and
shown a computer image of a tumour on my
thymus gland, situated behind my sternum
TOUGH TALK caught up with martial art specialist
Geoffrey Moore. In 2004, docLors Iound a Lumour
behind his sternum, between his heart and lungs, and
had thoracic surgery to have it removed. He is now 5th
Dan judo and an MMA coacL. TLIs Is LIs amazIn sLory...
Geoffrey Moore Geoffrey Moore
BprIn 2018 tough talk magazine 21 20 tough talk magazine BprIn 2018