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Hi I am Dr. Rodney King....
but everyone calls me 'Coach'

My approach to peak human flourishing honors ancient wisdom traditions, while moving with the present.

My work explores the intersection between the natural world, instinct, embodiment and optimal human flourishing.

I believe the ability to break free from feeling anxious, fragmented and the struggle to find meaning so many of us are experiencing in modern life—is only possible through reconnecting to the embodied wisdom of our ancestors and the natural world: underpinned when necessary by the latest scientific research in optimal human flourishing.

At the heart of what I explore and teach is that through positively embracing our ancient embodied wisdom and through RiˈWīLDing our spirit, we can unlock our natural flow in life.

The outcome? The ability to showing up in life on your own terms: with poise, focus, and clarity.

As philosopher and naturalist Henry David Thoreau reminds us:

My Journey to a Wild'Life'

My childhood was scarred with trauma. I grew up never knowing who my father was. My mother was an angry person, who spent much of her waking hours trying to distract herself from reality with a bottle of brandy. I don’t ever remember my mother saying she loved me, although in drunken fits of rage, between verbal and physical abuse—she often reminded me that her life would have been far better if I wasn’t around.

I grew up poor on the South Side of Johannesburg in government housing (similar to the Projects in the USA). Surrounded by gangs, bullies, and drug dealers—along with boys who too had broken homes—each day was a fight for survival. School wasn’t much better either. I was bullied severely as a child, so much so that by my early teens I was often contemplating suicide. It felt like my entire childhood was a living hell and I just didn’t have the necessary resources to get out of there. As such, I turned to the only weapon I had: aggression.

Homeless at 17…

From my earliest memories I was obsessed with finding and learning the best methods to fight back. By the time I became a teenager, violence and aggression was how I solved most of life’s problems. Then in the year I turned 17, in another drunken rage my mother kicked me out of the house. I found myself homeless, sleeping on the inner city streets of Johannesburg. Because of this I enrolled early into what was then compulsory military service in South Africa. The military was mostly a positive experience for me, where served in the Close Protection Group of the Military Police, rising to becoming both the platoon sergeant and the lead hand-to-hand combat instructor for my unit.

After the military and with no high school diploma I took on the only job I could find as a doorman (aka Bouncer) outside some of Johannesburg’s toughest nightclubs and bars. For the next several years I would work the door, surviving 100s of interpersonal violent encounters and an attempt on my life. By the time I decided to leave the door in 1998, I had over 70 doorman working for me all across Johannesburg at various entertainment venues. It was at this time that I decided to finally give it a go at becoming a full time martial arts teacher. Something I had always wanted to do. From that time till now I have taught martial arts all over the world. The programs I developed have gone on to be taught globally, and my students have included special force military operators, law enforcement officers of various kinds, special agents, close protection teams, airline cabin crew, CEO’s, fortune 500 companies and many others.

My Battle with Depression…

While I was pursuing my career as a martial arts coach, I decided that I needed to go back to school. To be honest, it was more to prove all those teachers wrong who continuously told me I would never amount to anything. I did my undergraduate work in psychology, I then earned my masters in leading innovation and change, and went on to spend several years as a social science researcher earning my doctorate. My research topic was in the area of mindfulness and its role in leadership performance (at the time of this writing I am working on becoming an Ecopsychologist).

A few years into my PhD I encountered a series of personal mishaps, along with several health issues that almost led to my martial arts career ending. Much of what happened during that time made me realize that I hadn’t fully dealt with my childhood trauma. While I made it through my doctorate thankfully to my personal mindfulness practice, I was in the end still diagnosed with severe depression. I spent years trying to ignore that I was depressed and the unwillingness to accept how much I had been struggling sadly ended a two decade marriage, along with the life I had carved out for myself.

My Journey to Healing…

From 2019 to date I have been on a personal journey to heal. My time living in nature both in Thailand and the Isle of Man has given me the space to realize what had made me both a success in life, but in turn the opportunity to change and evolve those aspects of myself that had always held me back. Drawing from this healing journey I created the ReAwakening the Human Animal Project, as well as developing the Instinct {Code} training program and retreat.

To get a better sense of both my journey, my work and what I am teaching, I suggest reading MY BLOG HERE. Of course feel free to contact me anytime.