A Worksop man who has been studying martial arts and fighting for more than 10 years is set to fight in a charity match for the Mental Health Foundation.
Martin Thorne, 29, who has had problems with his mental health since he was 13-years-old, says martial arts and fighting changed his life.
Martin is an experienced fighter and has been fighting for the last 12 years in different combat sports however he retired due to family commitments.
However he is set to get back in the ring for a charity fight on Saturday, June 22, in Essex, however the fight will be televised.
Martin said: "It has had a major impact on my mindset when you're feeling low inside it’s all about channeling it into something positive.
"I want to raise awareness of the affect mental health can have on people.
"One thing I have found that has been my saving grace is fighting. Most people would frown upon it , I don’t do it because I want to hurt anyone, I do it because it give me a purpose , it give me a focus and it’s brings the support I need around me.
"I feel better in myself knowing I can’t let my coach down, my family and my friends, I need to ensure I give it my best shot.
"Mental health effects people in many ways and my advice would be to think about giving yourself a purpose.
" I crave for people to be there when I need them and it affects me most when I’m on my own.
"Having fitness and drive for something I enjoy ensures I can always look out for myself. I have shown my children the same ethic and it’s bonds us.
"This is a sport that is not about violence , it’s about staying fit , it’s about staying strong and it’s about facing demons.
"For me mental health is something I really want to support, I’ve been there and some days I still am.
"We all should be taking about it , we all should be sharing it.
"We all at some point know someone that lives through it. A brave face or not this is a horrible thing for people to go through.
"I share my thoughts and feelings as should everyone else and together we make a difference."
As well as raising money for charity Martin also wants to raise awareness of mental health and how it can impact others.
Martin said: "Talking helps unravel issues. It’s so much better to not block it in.
"My friend committed suicide last year, I spoke to him the day before he seemed fine. It shows you never know what anyone is going through.
"Suicide, especially in young men, is on the rise so raising awareness can help so many people .
"So always be nice, it costs nothing be nice. Lots of us go through some sort of mental health issue in our lives.
"It’s how you cope with it and how you deal with it that’s the important bit. Talking and exercise are two great tools to help focus on something positive .
"I haven’t fought for a long time due my own issues but thankfully I managed to find light at the end of the tunnel and want people to know it’s possible to fight back when you have been knocked down."
You can support Martin and make a donation by visiting www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Martin-Thorne2