MTGP Podcast #2: Lion Fight Vice president of Events, Christine Toledo

MTGP Podcast #2: Lion Fight Vice president of Events, Christine Toledo

January 27, 2016

With the upcoming Lion Fight 27 taking place on Jan 29th, Philip Tieu and I talk with Lion Fight VP of events, Christine Toledo.  We talk about the main event between UK's Charlie Peters, who won the MTGP 4 man tournament and the reigning champion, Fabio Pinca. We talk about Christine's fight career, her TV appearances on Ring girls and Fight girls.  We also talk about the current state of Muay Thai and what we can expect from Lion fight in 2016. 

AFH Podcast 4: The Kindness Diaries with Leon Logothetis

AFH Podcast 4: The Kindness Diaries with Leon Logothetis

December 27, 2015

Listen to the lessons shared by author and traveller Leon Logothetis, who left his life as a broker to explore the world on the kindness of others.  His journeys have been filmed in over 90 countries and the success has spread virally on YouTube and to a huge global community.

MTGP Podcast #1: Lion Fight CEO Scott Kent, MGTP Founders Philip Tieu and Kieran Keddle

MTGP Podcast #1: Lion Fight CEO Scott Kent, MGTP Founders Philip Tieu and Kieran Keddle

November 14, 2015

We kick off the MTGP Podcast series with a great guest line up.  Joining Anh and I in the Renaissance Podcast studios are two of the Muay Thai Grand Prix founders, Philip Tieu and Kieran Keddle.  We are honoured to have Lion Fight CEO, Scott Kent join our conversation and he gives us a fantastic insight into the evolution of Muay Thai and of the meteoric rise of Lion Fight Promotions in the past 5 years.  

Fresh of the press, we announce some big fights scheduled for next year featuring a certain John Wayne Parr and exciting collaborations for 2016.   Click on the media player to find out about the upcoming fights (Lion Fight 26 on the 20th Nov and MTGP 2 in London on the 22nd Nov).

2:32 How has the Muay Thai fight scene changed in the last 5 years?

5:38 How did the three of you get introduced?

8:07 Why is the 4 man tournament so popular?

11:03 Lion Fight 26 - fight talk

19:27 - Special announcement - title fight in 2016

25:00 Fighters are great role models

34:00 Scott talks about his time as an Arsenal fan living in London. 

Lionfight.com     @Lionfightofficial

muaythaigp.com   @muaythaigp

AFH Podcast 3: Managing Anxiety with Mindfulness for Dummies, with author Jo Marshall

AFH Podcast 3: Managing Anxiety with Mindfulness for Dummies, with author Jo Marshall

November 8, 2015

We speak with author Jo Marshall about the role mindfulness can play in helping us to understand where Anxiety comes from and what we can do to change our relationship with it.  We also look at the evolutionary roots of Anxiety and discuss some simple exercises people can do to help with this very normal issue.  We first met at an Action for Happiness event and Jo is a big supporter of this charity.  

AFH Podcast 2: Mindfulness for Creativity with Dr Danny Penman

AFH Podcast 2: Mindfulness for Creativity with Dr Danny Penman

August 19, 2015

Dr Danny Penman is the leading author for mindfulness in the UK with his best selling books being translated into over 27 languages and being used by many GP's to help their patients with anxiety and depression.  He joins Gui with Team Renaissance to talk about his current book which speaks about using mindfulness to unleash our creative qualities.

Renaissance Podcast: Humanitarian Projects in the Himalayan region, Karuna-Shechen charity

Renaissance Podcast: Humanitarian Projects in the Himalayan region, Karuna-Shechen charity

July 18, 2015

Conversation with Christophe Grigri, coordinator to the most influential eastern charity, Karuna-Shechen.  Find out the significant global role they play and about the work they did following this years terrible earthquakes in Nepal

AFH Podcast 1: Living Danishly with Helen Russell

AFH Podcast 1: Living Danishly with Helen Russell

July 6, 2015

We kick off the new Podcast for Happiness series with a wonderful interview with Helen Russell. Helen, is the author of 'The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country.  I just finished listening to it on audiobook and it tells the story of her reluctant move from the UK, following her husband and his new job to Denmark. The book details Helen's mission to figure out the their secrets of Happiness.  Helen has written for the Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independant, The Daily Mail and Marie Claire among others.  

4:22 Helen talks about 'arriving somewhere new and having no friends, no family, no support network and not really any purpose' 

9:28 'There is something about making your home environment beautiful that contributes to happiness'

10:53 'There is not bad weather, there is just bad clothing  

 13:10 We break down Maslow's Hierarchy of needs -  this is a must know chart to learn about life

15:29 'If you're worried about keeping a roof over your head, and keeping food on your table, then you don't have the head space to be happy

21:30 the biological Danish advantages and 5HTT (the serotonin transporter, associated with happiness and wellbeing) 

24:10 Lego to manufacture its blocks using sustainable materials 

26:10 How Helen was introduced to the Action for Happiness group

30:40 The benefits of singing, alone and in a group - community


Order the bookThe Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country, through Amazon.com by clicking here

Twitter: @mshelenrussell

facaebook parge the yearofliving danishly 

Check out the action for happiness website (actionforhappiness.org)for more details about the great work they are doing, find out more about the events they hosting, notably the big one in september, where his holiness the dalai lama will be speaking at the event.  He will be promoting his new book, where he does acknowledge action for happiness for the great work they do.  you can also visit their donation page there and help to support this amazing charity, where our co founder Lord Richard Leyard is pioneering happiness as a metric to be considered when calculation the 'wealth of a country'

Podcast 41 Keiran Keddle - Double K Gym

Podcast 41 Keiran Keddle - Double K Gym

May 28, 2015

Podcast 40 with former world Mauy Thai Champion Kieran Keddle


Double K’s Keiran Keddle joins the podcast to talk about the biggest show in Muay Thai to hit London.  June 20th will set the stage for the inaugural Muay Thai Grand Prix  Featuring the best of British:


Check out the podcast to hear us talk about:


-Kieran’s amazing career that begun at the age of 12

-Being world champion multiple times

-Kieran’s life in Thailand to becoming one of the top coaches

-How the relationship began with Team Tieu and Simon Jays

-We talk about the upcoming ‘Revenge and Repeat’ fights on June 20th

 -4 years on, the repeat match between Sallah Kalifa and Josh Turnbull

-The revenge match between Annabelle and

-The revenge match between Jamie Whelan and

-The rematch between David Tieu and Shaun Wieldman

-4 man, Full Thai rules tournament for the great £2k prize

PODCAST 39: Mindfulness-Based Substance Abuse Treatment for Adolescents. Sam Himelstein talks about his new book.

PODCAST 39: Mindfulness-Based Substance Abuse Treatment for Adolescents. Sam Himelstein talks about his new book.

May 17, 2015

Sam Himelstein is the author of two fantastic books on how to use and teach mindfulness to troubled youth.  He joins Team Renaissance to talk about his journey since leaving the Mind Body Awareness project and about his new book, Mindfulness-based substance abuse treatment for adolescents.  He is a licensed psychologist, an author, trainer, and researcher and is currently a Behavioral Health Clinician at the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center. 

A former troubled youth himself (listen to podcast 23), Sam explains how his new role allows him to spend more time doing what he is most passionate about in the prisons working face to face with the inmates there.  To get a bit of perspective on the trauma suffered by these youth, when asked by Sam how many have witnessed a murder first hand, almost 3/4 raise their hand. What kind of detrimental effect does that have on the human brain?

PODCAST 38: Floatation tank / isolation tank - Team Renaissance visit Floatworks

PODCAST 38: Floatation tank / isolation tank - Team Renaissance visit Floatworks

May 4, 2015

Team Renaissance return to Floatworks in Canary Wharf for our second visit. My first visit dates back to 2013 and was a very relaxing and pleasant experience.  I have now been meditating for 4 months and my goal this time was to purely focus on the breath and see if I could repeat my daily 20 min practice for a full hour in the confines of an Isolation tank.  

The Isolation tank (or floatation tank, or the Sensory deprivation tank) is a fantastic tool to create an environment that you can find nowhere else in the world.  The water level is about knee high and is set to body temperature so that after 10 mins, you lose the sense of where your skin ends and where the water begins.  The water is full of about 1000 lbs of Epson salts, allowing the body to float. There is no sound, no light, no smell - no distractions. 

Although this was my second experience, I was still slightly nervous about spending a whole hour with my mind.  I first found about the tanks on Joe Rogan's podcast and have to credit him for this great journey.  

Anh and I reflect on the podcast on our experiences of that day, from his 'almost' mini anxiety attack and my battle with the silicon ear buds (to keep out the salt water) that I struggled with.  We talk about about the spiritual side of spending quality time with the mind and have a fantastic conversation about the positive take aways.

We introduce listeners through a 30 second mediation to show how easy it is, and also to highlight that just sitting silently is not meditation.  We also discuss the benefits of continued meditation that is so powerful that it is something Anh and I do everyday.  For all this and more, click on the media player above, or download the podcast episode in iTunes.

Podcast 37: The return of the Mind Body Awareness Project

Podcast 37: The return of the Mind Body Awareness Project

April 15, 2015

Podcast 37: The return of the Mind Body Awareness Project

Executive Director, Roger Miller and Senior Instructor Micah Anderson join us to talk about the significant advances they have made since our last talk in early 2014.  These are they guys that are going into the prisons and through their own techniques, find ways to reach out and make a huge impact on the lives of these troubled youth.

PODCAST 36 - We guide best friend Eddie through his first 2 meditations - reactions and questions ensue…

PODCAST 36 - We guide best friend Eddie through his first 2 meditations - reactions and questions ensue…

April 9, 2015

This podcast begins immediately after Eddie's first mindful meditation.  The very brief 60 second excercise was sufficient to trigger the interest that allowed for the rest of the Podcast.  Meditation is not sitting silently, nor is it praying or doing anything remotely religious.  Eddie is one of my closest friends and introduced me to Eckhart Tolle's amazing book 'the Power of Now' almost a decade ago.  Having said that, he had never formerly meditated.  We wanted to convince him that the daily practice is different than just understanding the concept. Co-host Anh and I use this Podcast as a revision of what we have been learning but also to put it into practice. With the help of YouTube videos featuring Russell Simmons, Eckhart Tolle and Sam Harris (videos below) we break them down with our own comments and thoughts.  We never intended this to be a Podcast, but the experiment of guiding a 'newbie' through a meditation would be a great learning experience all-round.

When trying to explain Mindfulness, what better way than to refer to the videos that have inspired us?  Below are the time stamps for when we discuss certain topics.  I have also added the videos that we are referring to and I would recommend everyone to watch. 

-What are the benefits of daily meditation? why is there unnecessary unhappiness in my life? what is a thought? : 31mins22secs  

-Eddie is guided through his second meditation - listen in as we discuss his experience: 18min45sec

-Whats the difference between being religious and being spiritual? 43min 

-Oprah interviews Eckhart Tolle about the ego: we discuss this: 44mins

-Are we separate from our thoughts, the dissolving of the ego - self identification with the stream of thinking :47mins25secs

Russell Simmons: 51mins someone who has all the money he needs, explains why the most important thing is being 'present' and this is also where happiness comes from. 

The final part of the podcast was really fun for me and its something we will be doing more of.  We play a video and pause it regularly to reflect and discuss the bits we find fascinating 1hour34mins.  The video below is the full length film that we are basing our comments on.

PODCAST 35: Action for Happiness Director - Dr Mark Williamson

PODCAST 35: Action for Happiness Director - Dr Mark Williamson

February 22, 2015

The biggest challenge we face as humanity is our belief that our progress is tied to perpetual economic growth and consumption of stuff...It's not just killing our planet, it's killing us.' -8 mins 45

I was fortunate enough to get some time with Action For Happiness Director, Dr Mark Williamson over a beer, following a talk he gave late 2014.  Following several email exchanges we were honoured to have Mark join us on the podcast.

Mark has been Director of Action for Happiness since October 2010. Prior to this he has an amazing resume of education with an MBA from IMD business school, holds a PHD and 1st class Hons degree in Electronics and communications from Bristol uni and is a Sainsbury management fellow and chartered engineer. Mark spent nine years as a management consultant at Accenture. and before this he also worked for Hewlett Packard Labs and Orange. After more than a decade of corporate life, Mark decided to change direction and is now using his energy and leadership skills to help build a better society.

Podcast 34 : Dealing with death

Podcast 34 : Dealing with death

February 7, 2015

Losing a loved one is a very tricky thing to deal with.  Team Renaissance are in the house to talk about dealing with death.  My granddad passed away last week and we discuss the difficulties of trying to find happiness and mindfulness during these stressful times. The daily meditations that I was becoming so used to doing were almost impossible to do once I found out my Pappy had passed.   This has only encouraged me further to improve my mediation abilities, especially to prepare me for these extreme situations.   As we talk about death, we also play some of Sam Harris' video on this subject and we also play some of Steve Job's Commencement 2005 speech where he too touches on the subject of death and life.  ''If you live each day as if it were your last, some day you'll be right''  Turn death into a motivator and a driver to exceed in life. 

Listen to the media player above for the full episode and also take a look at the videos below for amazing inspiration. 

PODCAST 33: British #1 Christi Brereton -Chaos Gym

PODCAST 33: British #1 Christi Brereton -Chaos Gym

December 16, 2014

Christi Brereton is the #1 British fighter at 55kg's and she's just defended her Title with a mega 4th round TKO at Unleashed IV in Telford.  A lovely honest podcast with an amazing woman and champion who is paving her own path to achieve her goals of becoming World Champ again. 

For me, she is the next Ronda Rousey of Muay Thai and it's a fighter that I am always very excited to watch.  Her last 3 fights have been wars in which she was victorious against the former English, European and world champion Alexis Roufus and also French Champion Soraya Bucherie who was 54 -4!  On the 30th November, she defeated Helen Wilson of Headhunters martial arts academy.  

PODCAST 32: Double K’s Charlie ‘Boy’ Peters

PODCAST 32: Double K’s Charlie ‘Boy’ Peters

November 29, 2014

Podcast 31 and the first in a series of fighter podcasts - Following the success of the Team Tieu interviews, I have had requests from listeners to have more similar style podcasts and I have been fortunate enough to meet the best British and European Muay Thai fighters- 

Our guest today, fights out of Double K gym and has an incredible 42 wins and 7 loses.  He last fought at the SUPER MTC show, where he battled it out to take the victory against Team Tieu's Baby faced assassin Carlton Lieu.  He is a fighter that truly encompasses all the qualities of one of the greats both inside and out of the ring

Listen in as Charlie breaks down the pieces that have contributed to his amazing career.  He left school at 16 and worked full time at Toni & Guy. Was an avid Rugby player but had to sacrifice this at it clashed with the hairdressing job. 

He was taken to his first Muay Thai class at Semtex Gym and this path led to him moving to Thailand where he fought 16 times.  What a way to be thrown in at the deep end - Respect

We talk about the influence  that 3 times Muay Thai World Champion Kieran Keddle has on Charlie to this day.

Charlies' next big fight is coming up in February 2015 in Portugal, so we will be following that closely. 

PODCAST 31: Super MTC with Team Tieu

PODCAST 31: Super MTC with Team Tieu

November 3, 2014

Team Tieu join the Renaissance team to talk about what went down at the biggest Muay Thai show in the UK.  We talk about the highlights of the day and some of the lessons learned.  With 8 A-class fights, 6 International fights and 3 title fights, Koko's in Camden was electric and packed out.   This one is not to be missed!


-Davide Scacco (Italy) vs to David Sa -Team Tieu Referee stoppage, fighter unable to continue

-Reece Thompson, Mungkondam (20-6) vs Joseph Lasri (Italy) Team Tieu

-Soraya Bucherie BMTC France (54-4) vs Christi Brereton, Chaos Gym England (15-4)  This was the highlight for me.  This International title fight went the distance with Christi demonstrating why she is the best in England and continues her amazing streak following her last amazing win against Alexis Roufus.

-Ryan Ward, Stars Gym (5-0) vs Michael Pham, Team Tieu (9-4)

-Sam Gough, Shin Kicks (9-2) vs Ryan Li , Team Tieu (10-1)

-Andrea Castiglione, Thai Way Union Italy (16-4) vs Jose Valera, Team Tieu (27-9)

-IIyess Bouzerouata, France vs Ash Uddin, KO Gym (12-5)

-Charlie 'Boy' Peters, Double K Gym (36-7) Vs Carlton Lieu, Team Tieu 13-3

Podcast 30: Claire Kelly -Mindfulness in Schools Project

Podcast 30: Claire Kelly -Mindfulness in Schools Project

October 17, 2014

Claire joins Team Renaissance for Podcast 30.  This is quite a mile stone for us and it motivates us to keep moving forward and having these wonderful conversations.  

Claire leads the Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP)  team with a focus on partner relations and curriculum development.  A not-for-profit organisation, MiSP now delivers teacher and student training in 12 countries, where their work has been translated into 8 languages. Claire is also a trained teacher of mindfulness for adults (MBSR). Claire graduated from Cambridge Uni in Social and Political Science in 1988. She has worked in education for 25 years, and most recently was Deputy Head at South Hampstead High School, one of the leading girls’ schools in the UK, where she initiated a mindfulness programme that continues today.  Click on the image below to access the website.  You can follow all the work that is being done by the Mindfulness in Schools group. 

As the Renaissance Team continues with its Mindful theme, we are always on the look out for people that are going above and beyond to help spread awareness of Mindfulness.  We believe whole heartedly that there are so many benefits that students can gain from mindfulness however the research is not entirely there yet to back all the claims (especially improvement in grades), so we have to be careful as to what we say the true effects are.  Having said that, Claire is working with 1000's of students with her .b (secondary curriculum) and paws.b (primary curriculum) and the success of the program and the positive results that are filtering in is leading the way in helping to get Mindfulness into Schools. 

Podcast 29: YouthMindfulness with Michael Bready

Podcast 29: YouthMindfulness with Michael Bready

October 2, 2014

How old does a child need to be before their brain is receptive to Mindfulness techniques?  How much study and research has been done on this matter?  Surprisingly not much.  It is very difficult to put percentages or stats to the work being done with children, especially primary and secondary school children as the results are usually more qualitative.   More concentration in class creating a great learning environment, better grades, more enthusiasm and the understanding that the Brain is a  muscle and it can grow.

Although we have discussed Mindfulness on several podcasts, we have not yet addressed this in relation to our youth and we are joined by Michael Bready, founder of the Youth Mindfulness program in Scotland who has worked with thousands of students and is the creator of a Mindfulness course and curriculum that is getting fantastic reviews.

Michael discovered mindfulness at the age of 18 and has been practising ever since. He established Youth Mindfulness 3 years ago and in that time has taught thousands of children, teens and young adults. Bringing humour, energy and passion to his teaching, Michael seeks to inspire young people, enabling them to realise that such qualities as awareness, inner strength, clarity, and kindness can become living realities.

He is currently working in collaboration with the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh in evaluating the Youth Mindfulness Kids programme as well as leading the development and delivery of a mindfulness programme for young offenders. He holds a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and has trained in mindfulness with both the University of Bangor and the University of Aberdeen.

To find out more, please visit Michael's website where you can find out more about him, the courses and the Mindfulness curriculum.


Podcast 28: The Renaissance Crew - group meditation

Podcast 28: The Renaissance Crew - group meditation

September 26, 2014

Getting back to our roots:  Its been over a year since Team Renaissance had a catch up podcast.  We have had so many wonderful guests that we felt it time for the 3 of us to catch up.

More importantly, Fran, Ahn and I do a 25 minute guided meditation just before recording the podcast.   It's an amazing video that Sam Harris narrates and is available on Youtube.  If you have not  meditated before, I strongly suggest that you commit to doing the 25 minute exercise and watch how you grow and develop in such a short time frame. 

As soon as you begin to meditate, you will have so many thoughts rushing into your mind such as, this is a waste of time,  my back hurts, this is stupid, why am i doing this, what am i going to eat for dinner etc.  The purpose of the exercise is to realise that this is going to happen, but what can we do about it once we recognise they are happening.   This is the basis to controlling how you feel in life and how you will be able to effectively have more control on your thoughts and happiness. 

Anh, Fran and i talk in detail about our internal dialogues on the podcast.