Meet Emazon (Emma Barbato) Teaching people about self authority, personal protection and emotional resilience. Helping people get their body, mind and priorites back together. Don’t miss out on the ‘Stand Your Ground’ workshop at Life Express Fitness centre on August 13.
What is your background when it comes to fitness and training?
I pretty much started when I was 10 – that would be the easiest way to put it! When it comes to health and fitness, it has really been my background since I was doing self defence protection work. From a really young age I have always been involved in sport – my personal kind of expression was always going to be fought.
I kept studying and doing different things, learning different forms of self defence, fight training and that sort of stuff. Then I actually went to America, and I studied exercise mythology over in the states, came back and I have been formally studying ever since. But I started Emazon in the year 2000, so we are going into our eleventh year.
Tell us about ‘Emazon’, what it means and when it was officially created?
It all came about when I was doing personal protection and body guard work, and when you are actually paid in that protection role. It’s excruciating how people just have no idea how to protect themselves.
It just blew my mind that they had to have people on security doors and had to have people look after them when it was so simple for people to be able to protect themselves – yet there was this massive gap in understanding or remembering how to.
So I went over to the States and just studied for almost two years intensively, and I pretty much wrote the whole entire script for Emazon and what it was going to be when I got back. It was just all about reinstalling your own self esteem and your own personal self confidence.
And it had to be done as a personal training company, because if you don’t respect your body, that is the first place that you start. It was about learning how to protect yourself, but learning how to respect yourself first. It really had to have to have some sort of physical element to it.
Give us a sneak peek into the ‘Stand Your Ground’ workshop coming to Life Express Gym this August?
The easiest way to describe it is that I am going to remind people of everything they have forgotten! People kind of expect to go to these courses and go, “Cool, I am going to be taught something new by a specialist”, whereas it is just about remembering.
People already have all the intelligence they need. So the biggest struggles are things like self confidence, self esteem and self worth, which is why people do things like emotionally overeat, right through to abusing drugs and alcohol. It’s about going back and telling people that they have got this; they have got their own intelligence; they don’t need to be relying on anything or having a specialist telling them what to do.
You can rely on your own authority, and you should turn to yourself first. It is re-instilling your own self respect and self authority and reminding you that you can actually physically protect yourself. So there is physical and self defence training involved.
I commend Gavin from Life express, to actually host an event like this and make it available for the community and the public. It is always good when local gyms want to get out there and host these things, bringing somebody like myself to the town. So I really thank and commend Life Express for being so open and receptive, but purely for just wanting to share this experience.
I think people always assume that anyone on television or touring around won’t come to places like Port Macquarie, but if there are people out there like Gavin who are willing to support these events, then it works well for everybody.
How did you become a part of the ‘Biggest Loser’ TV series, and what was the experience like?
Well, I think I was lucky enough that a lot of people didn’t know what to expect of me when it came to the television show. I did a season of Australia’s Next Top Model, where they wanted me to try to help the models, to make sure that they kept a strong mainframe – because modelling is a brutal industry when it comes to self worth. So I was brought in to coach the models for that.
I was then seen on this show and was approached by producers from The Biggest Loser to see if I would be interested in coming on the show as another kind of rogue trainer, not necessarily a part of the complete team, but just that sort of curveball. So I accepted it based on the fact that I didn’t have to be anything to do with the weight loss; it would just be about their mind frame and fighting their inner demons and their addictions – because these people are addicted to food.
I was stoked with how it came out, and another TV opportunity is already being set up to start at the end of the year. With television you really need to make sure that you are getting your message across, and it isn’t just about all the hype.
What will people gain from attending the workshop?
They will walk out with practical skills, if they were attacked, if they were bullied or if someone was trying to take their power away from them, whether it was from an emotional power or physical power, that they actually already know, they have a natural response mechanism.
What I see happening all the time, is that emotional response getting buried. It gets buried in stress and a whole heap of other things. Your body would respond in a certain way, your mind would respond to it a certain way, and I remind you of that.
How do you stay positive and keep your ‘never give up’ attitude?
I am just born that way. I have never been able to answer that question with a technique, mindset; I was like this when I was 10. I was never going to cop any crap, and I was going to make sure that nobody else had to either!
I would always protect the kids in playgrounds, all that sort of stuff. I have always been like that and always had it in my nature to protect.
Have you been to Port Macquarie before?
I have been to Port Macquarie, but ages ago now, so I know that it is very different. I love going to the regional areas, because people there are just so open and receptive – just more down to earth, and you don’t have to fight through so many barriers. They are just more willing to take in new information, which I love.