On May 20th 2009 Defense dans la Rue student, and more importantly, my friend Mark Bayliss was killed instantly in an accident that can only be described as surreal.
A few things I wanted to share with you about my friend.
Mark’s “bucket list”, as he described it, was always very full to say the least.
In 2005 Mark decided to set up his own property management / real estate business , by 2009 he had close to 10 full time staff working for him and was well respected by all his customers and employees.
During the early stage of setting up his business Mark told me he regretted the fact his training time in Defense dans la Rue was limited to around about zero. However by 2009 after successfully establishing himself within his industry, Mark began to immerse himself once again in the physical activities he yearned for. During a trip to Nepal he walked well over 200km on the Annapurna circuit , while back home he walked the Kokoda challenge which required one to hike close to 100km over rugged mountainous terrain within a 39 hour period, to top this of he was also in training for a full marathon.
In his last email to me, 5 weeks prior to his untimely passing, Mark expressed his desire to returned to Defense dans la Rue training, and his keeping fit would put him good for the rigors of our class. Mark knew that I only taught individuals who I consider to be my friends, he was always welcome to train with me no questions asked.
Apart from being a high achiever Mark was involved with a number of charities and helped people set up their own business both in Africa and the Philippines with no strings attached. He found great satisfaction passing on certain skills to people so they could, in turn, become more self-sufficient. During 2006 he taught my wife and I how to film and edit DVD, which culminated in the completion our first DVD production.
In a personal letter Mark presented to me back in 2001, he stated that his training in Defense dans la Rue had actually enriched his life. Mark considered the skills he had learnt would place him in a much safer position during his overseas traveling which he had a passion for.
A true gentleman, and one who was generous to a fault, Mark will be terribly missed, but never forgotten.