Ukrainian soldiers trained by Worcestershire martial arts expert

Image source, Tommy Moore

Image caption,

Tommy Moore said he was contacted by a former British soldier about a need for training in Ukraine

Ukrainian soldiers have been trained in unarmed combat by a British martial arts instructor who said it was a "completely strange" experience.

Tommy Moore, 34, from Inkberrow, near Worcester, has taught military personnel across the world.

He ended up training soldiers in Ukraine after being contacted by a former British soldier.

"Going out there was a completely strange and abnormal experience," Mr Moore said.

His contact, Brett Mackenzie, told him there was a need for hand-to-hand fighting training in Ukraine.

The pair were invited in October to go to the country and train a unit of the Presidential Guard.

The men he instructed were mainly aged between 18 and 30 and Mr Moore told BBC Hereford and Worcester none of them spoke English.

"But as soon as you start chucking people around, hitting each other, there's like a universal language and bond. Soon as you get to grips with each other, they appreciate it," he said.

"These guys would much rather be sat at home, playing video games, drinking beer, having girlfriends and going out on dates but they are thrust into this war zone."

Image source, Tommy Moore

Image caption,

Tommy Moore said he would return to Ukraine if they wanted more training from him

However he admitted there was a big culture shock to get used to from being in a war zone.

"The first couple of times you have an air raid during the night you wonder 'is this me shuffling off the mortal coil?' Then by night three you're like 'if I go, I go'. It just becomes your new normal," Mr Moore said.

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The 34-year-old has trained in martial arts and boxing since he was five and still boxes while teaching judo and other martial arts.

He said instructing the Ukrainian soldiers created a strong bond between them and he would return if they needed him to do more training.

"We will do our best and will network with other charities and groups to make sure those guys get what they need," he said.

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