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Martial Arts at the Heart of Master Graduate Joby Wilson`s Success

Two years ago, Society Member Joby Wilson graduated from the University of Gloucestershire with a Distinction in MSc Sports Therapy. Joby had already opened his own clinic, the Reboot Injury Clinic, in 2014 where he is the Lead Therapist. Then in April last year, with this experience and having taken part in martial arts from the age of 7, Joby became the ideal candidate to take up the post of Head of  Sports Therapy to the Saudi Arabian National Taekwondo Team, working with the KTW Academy; an elite performance centre in Oxford. While the role has now finished, Joby is clearly not a person to stand still and he is already scoping out another exciting project.

We caught up with Joby to find out more about his career to date.

How did the role of Head of Sports Therapy come about?

I was approached through one of the directors of the company running the project, whom I knew from a short period of competing in Taekwondo. They were looking for  a Sports Therapist who fully understood the demands of the sport.

What do you feel are your key strengths that made you stand out from other therapists applying for the role?

My experience in martial arts as both an athlete and Sports Therapist gave me a better knowledge of the potential injuries that can happen, along with the necessary measures for athletes to take to prevent their occurrence. 

What were your principal tasks? How often did you see the team and did you travel with them?

I was seeing the athletes 4-5 days per week. I implemented an injury prevention warm up to be done before training and competitions, carried out screenings for the athletes and produced injury prevention and prehab programmes. I also assisted the Strength and Conditioning Coach with S&C sessions, treated and rehabilitated injuries and ran massage clinics for the athletes. Unfortunately I was unable to attend international competitions due to other work commitments but I did travel with the team for test match days within the UK. 

What challenged you most as Head of Sports Therapy?

Trying to get athletes to take simple advice on injury prevention and utilising protective equipment and basic injury management. It was sometimes challenging to help them understand that if they kick and elbow that day, their foot will hurt for more than a couple of minutes!

What additional value do you feel the MSc Sport Therapy Course has added to your learning and development process?

This really encouraged me to stay up to date with current research and implement evidence based strategies to our injury prevention and rehab protocols.

Congratulations for being the Owner and Lead Sports Therapist of Reboot Injury Clinic! What made you decide to open your own clinic?

Prior to beginning my Masters I’d already signed a contract for a business premises. The Reboot Injury Clinic was a great addition to the Martial Arts Centre and gym that was already running there.

You clearly have a very busy life – how do you manage to keep on top of things?

With difficulty! I have constant reminders, scribbles on paper and a diary that tells me where and when I have to be somewhere, notifying me well in advance.

We understand you continue to compete internationally in karate - tell us more about your passion.

 I’ve been competing since the age of 15, starting karate when I was 7. It’s allowed me to travel and fight in Europe and recently Japan. This year I am competing in Spain, Austria, Chile and China. Therapy comes into it all the time as injuries are commonplace but we, as athletes, are self-funded. Access to therapy is therefore tricky, so it’s nice to be able to assist others in their return from injury.

I love competing but it is often difficult to juggle that with everything else. Training and work have to swap over as one takes a back seat at busier periods, but it would be tough to walk away from the sport altogether. 

What’s next on your career’s to do list?

I am heading out to present to the World Taekwondo Federation and hopefully World Karate Federation to begin the implementation of a concussion protocol and rehabilitation from concussion.

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