Meet Kahn Garcia, film animator and member of Gymbox Covent Garden. "I interpret movement into my characters to give the illusion of life. Keeping fit and understanding physical activity really helps my craft" he says. We meet him.
Hi Khan! You're originally from Australia, what brings you to London?
Yes, I'm originally born and bred in Australia and I have relocated to London for work. I work in the film industry and London is the place to be right now when it comes to films. London has become the new Hollywood, especially when it comes to VFX films. It's such an amazing city, always something happening. I really love this city. It has a festive feel to it, especially in the summer.
How does the fitness world differ here compared to back home?
I think London is light years ahead when it comes to fitness. It's very diverse in your options of how you choose to train, and who with. Being in London gives you access to world class talent in coaching, and the latest training trends is at your finger tips. Australia is an outdoors health conscious culture. Our weather is suited for us to be outside, and we have an active progressive outdoors fitness industry.
What do you miss the most?
First would have to be my family and friends, but besides that I really do miss my surf and beach time. Australia has some of the best beaches in the world, and one of my favourite things to do is wake up before sunrise and hit the beach for a morning surf. Nothing beats watching the sun come up as you're catching a choice wave, and if you're lucky you may even spot a pod of dolphins catching a wave with you. One of my routines back home is going for a surf before work and be at work 30 minutes later! A brilliant way to start a working day.
You're an animator, does keeping fit impact on your work in any way?
Being an animator my job is like being an actor in many ways. I get the pleasure of hiding behind the character or creature that I bring to life. One of the many aspects to what I do is studying the way people and creatures move and work. I study the biomechanics anatomy of people, and many creatures – both fantasy and real – interpreting that movement into my characters to give the illusion of life. So keeping fit and understanding movement both through physical activity and observation I believe helps a lot within my craft.
You're currently training with Team Tieu. How's that going?
I've been involved in martial arts since I was 15. Ever since seeing my first Bruce Lee and Jacky Chan films I fell in love with martial arts. First starting off in Hapkido a Korean Art diverted from Aikido and Tae Kwon Do, a kicking locks and throwing art. After exploring this for many years I have also played around with a wing Chun Kung Fu style, free wrestling and now Muay Thai at Gymbox with Team Tieu. They are an extremely talented and hard working team filled with real fighters and coaches who push their training to the highest of standards. Gymbox is lucky to have found such a strong team.
What does Gymbox have that's missing in the gyms back home?
The advantages that Gymbox has to gyms back home is having so many training choices to choose from: Boxing, Muay Thai, Bartendaz, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Yoga, Rave... the list goes on. All under one roof with a club atmosphere, all filled with high-grade coaches. It really is a treat to be able to find a wide variety of training choices in one place. Back home I'd have to travel all around town and visit multiple gyms to get any kind of variety in my training. I've never experienced a gym like Gymbox before, and do not believe there's anything like it back home.
Any of our classes you've not dared to try yet?
I would like to improve my flexibility so trying out maybe the Budokon yoga, Vinyasa flow yoga or one of the many other yoga styles on offer would be beneficial. I'd also like to improve my boxing. Having the opportunity to train with a world class coach and boxer Derek Williams is one I will not let pass.
It's 'dare' month – what's the most daring thing you've ever done?
In Australia I went on a camping trip with my old wrestling team to the outback of Tasmania. Tasmania is one of the most beautiful and harshest outbacks you can find with a terrain that reaches from rain forest falls to snowy mountain tops, mostly all untouched lands. We spent seven days living off the land, eating a deer that we caught cooking over a camp fire. One day we climbed up through a mountain river rapids of below 0 degrees waters. We spent three hours climbing up mini water falls and fighting against the water. It took us only 12 minutes to make it back down through the rapids, with no rafts, just a wet suit and a backpack. We had a hell of a smile on our faces despite all the scratches!
What would you like to dare yourself to do in the future?
I 've just signed up to the Nuclear race in May which is a 12km run filled with mud and obstacles. I do like a good dare and believe it's important to always keep your self challenged both psychically and mentally. I also want to master the Frame. A good Gymbox challenge would be to master the muscle-ups on the bars. I will take that challenge on and get back to you on the outcome!