Dr. Rodney King
Mindfulness & Embodiment Researcher | Inner Fitness Strategist | Challenge Play Maestro | Systems Thinker | Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt
"I was homeless at 17 & sleeping on the streets"
Until my late 20s, I felt like I had been fighting my whole life. Brought up on the south side of Johannesburg, in South African government housing (similar to “the projects” in the USA), I learned early on that what really mattered was how tough you were. Growing up as I did, I often felt trapped in a really bad nightmare — and I wanted to wake up.
I was determined to survive the school bullies and the gangsters on the streets of my neighbourhood. Yet, even though I barely survived the violence outside of my home, my home wasn’t safe either. Things turned rough in my teens. My abusive, alcoholic mother kicked me out of the house at 17, and as a result, I never finished high school.
Destitute and homeless, I found myself sleeping on the inner city streets of Johannesburg. With less than $20 in my pocket, I decided then and there, to change the trajectory of my life. I realized in my darkest moments of my despair that success comes down to what you do on the inside, no matter what’s happening to you on the outside.
Turning Everything Around
truth is, I realized that the only narrative that really mattered was my own. As with any story, my life’s story could have any kind of ending I chose. On my journey to healing and self-discovery I decided not only what my story would ultimately become, but how it would play out. The final ending as they say, still remains unwritten, but hopeful.
What got me through this incredibly tough time in my life?
This may surprise you, but it was the inner resiliency fitness tools I learned as a martial artist.
My martial arts practice taught me to be resilient, to be composed and calm in difficult situations that life threw at me. The inner fitness tools I developed as a martial artist taught me how to embrace my fears, to develop laser like focus, and to never give up. Having developed these qualities, I went back to school, put myself through college. I did my undergraduate work in psychology, completing my masters degree in Leading Innovation and Change. I earned my Doctorate in 2019 from the University of Leicester’s School of Business.
In the past two decades I have coached Army Special Forces all around the world, both on developing high-performance inner fitness, and self-preservation skills to survive on the modern battlefield. I have instructed law enforcement officers both in the United States, Canada, Germany and Australia on how to protect themselves when all else fails.
I have worked closely with corporate executives, emerging leaders, artists and CEOs how to purposefully choose to become fully attuned to the present moment with clarity, poise and equanimity.
Over the past several years I have coached, consulted and offered training to high profile companies, such as Google, AirBnB and Singapore Airlines. In addition I created two modern martial arts lifestyle brands that are now taught in over 15-countries around the world.