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Blackrock just hired a martial arts guru teaching ‘the spirit of the warrior’ to City workers

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Cailey Barker has just been hired by BlackRock as a director in its mining research team. He made the move after spending the past ten years as an equity researcher covering mining companies for investment banks, thus following the flow of sell-side analysts moving to the buy-side.

If this seems run of the mill, Barker’s personal life is less so. He’s a sensei in mixed martial arts. More specifically, Barker is the founder of a centre for Bushin, a martial art he invented himself.

Parker is a 5th degree blackbelt in Shorinji Kempo, a Japanese version of Shaolin kung-fu and has a high degree of competence in Taekwondo, Wing Chun, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai. He also has ‘real life’ experience of street fighting. In short, you wouldn’t want to mess with him.

In an era where white collar boxing has been replaced by cycling as the sport of choice among finance professionals, Barker claims to have tapped into a niche area of demand for City workers who cancelled their gym memberships to take up Bushin.

It’s not just about self-defence, he says. Bushin translates as ‘spirit of the warrior’ and is particularly helpful for stressed out bankers worried about lay-offs or the pressures of work. “If you fall down seven times, get up eight,” he told Management magazine.

“It makes you improve as an individual, it makes you a better person; fitter, with some self-defence skills and a better and healthier mind. It’s sort of a philosophy. A lot comes from training with the people, not by fighting and ‘killing’ each other,” he says.

Stressed out bankers undertaking company-sponsored ‘resilience’ training may wish to take note.

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