Short film: One More Round — Nobody could touch Stuart Lawson in the ring, but it was his own body that almost defeated him.

“The last 24 years of my life, that I’d taken for granted for so long, and now it’s just been taken away from me,” explains kickboxing champion Stuart Lawson. “You have two choices: give in to that, or you don’t give in and you look at yourself and you just say, ‘This isn’t going to happen and I’m going to push.’”

When Stuart’s brother Jonathan was stabbed in a street brawl, the two young lads made a decision: they took up kickboxing to learn how to protect themselves. Over the following two decades, Stuart’s dedication and love for the sport took him to the highest levels. He became a two-time world title-holder and was twice crowned best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, but repeated problems with his hip (which eventually led to a hip transplant) brought his world crashing down.

Directed by Ed Andrews, One More Round documents Stuart’s battle with injury and courageous recovery after his hip operation. After hitting the limits of what his body is capable of, Stuart passes his energy and commitment on to others at Paragon Gym in Shoreditch, East London (which he founded with his brothers in 1997) and inspires everyone who steps in to the dojo to achieve all they can.

“It doesn’t matter how tired you are, if you don’t [push yourself], you’re gonna have a different type of pain,” Stuart explains. “That’s going to be an internal pain that you’re going to have to remember when you say to yourself, ‘You know what? Could I have squeezed a little more out of myself?’ And that’s where the journey takes you with kickboxing.”

One More Round premiered on Nowness. Head down to Paragon to see Stuart work his magic in the ring.