Martial arts expert Charlie Green is a busy man.
Not only is he gearing up for his very first cage fight, but he has his hands full overseeing the completion of a new martial arts centre.
And all this while being hit hard emotionally – and financially.
Charlie, 39, has been involved in local martial arts for 25 years.
He has taught all over the region, including Hoyland, Jump, Sheffield and Rotherham.
He currently teaches a taekwondo class at Darfield Community Centre and one at Bolton Ings Lane WMC, which are proving very popular.
Charlie told Barnsley News: “I also used to teach a MMA (cage fighting) class at the Sports College in Barnsley but due to a relationship breakdown I had to close it.
“It has been a difficult time, especially as I had just signed the papers on a new, state-of-the-art martial arts centre, and invested thousands of my savings into the project. Suddenly I had no regular income.
“I was faced with a relationship breakdown, no job, no home, and a proposed business that had already cost me loads of money which I had no more to invest.
“Luckily a friend said I could stay with him for a while, and I also landed a job at the local Wetherspoon’s pub. They have supported me brilliantly, giving me shifts around my commitments to my son, and also helping out with the training I need for the cage fight.
“Better Bodies, the local weights gym in Wombwell, have also been wonderful. They have sponsored me, and allowed me to train there for free.
“So things are looking up. The martial arts centre is nearly finished and should be completed in late February.
“My martial arts career spans 25 years. I have competed in taekwondo and kickboxing bouts, and have even represented my country. I’ve competed from Ireland to Hawaii.
“I have many friends from all over the world and I have been invited to a two-week training camp in Australia, with an option for a fight there, and also another one in Malaysia in the middle of November.
“These are now exciting times for me – and shows that even in the darkest times of your life there is hope if you believe and motivate yourself. It also helps when you have got a strong family and a great set of friends behind you. And I certainly have that and am so grateful for their backing and support.”