About Elite Survival Training
A former Royal Marines Commando of nine years experience, John has operated in some of the world’s most challenging Jungle, Desert and Arctic environments. He began his survival training career by teaching basic skills to young adults with learning and behavioural difficulties, later leading school and college groups on life-changing expeditions to Namibia, Belize and Borneo.
John moved on to freelance consultancy, using his first hand knowledge and a rare network of in-country contacts to advise media organisations and expedition leaders on how best to experience the cultures and natural environments of the countries they wished to explore.
He became an invaluable adviser to countless expeditions and was selected by the BBC to make all in-country arrangements for their programmes 'Last Man Standing' and 'Extreme Dreams', and by Channel 5 for their programme 'Unbreakables'. More recently John set up from scratch the documentary 'Eating with Cannibals' for the National Geographic Channel filmed in Papua New Guinea.
John's media work continues with projects currently in preparation. His remaining time is spent in the UK passing on his enthusiasm for the natural world, and his insight into surviving in its wildest regions.
Daren (Daz) Knight
Daren (Daz) Knight completed 13 years as a Royal Marines Commando in which his career concluded as an Instructor for men aspiring to achieve the coveted Green Beret. During his service, he worked operationally and during peace-time in a varied and diverse range of environments which included Arctic, Desert, Jungle and Mountains. On completing his Service with HM Forces, Daren qualified as a professional teacher for Colleges, Special Schools and Mainstream Secondary Schools, to teach and inspire students in their academic subjects.
Daren has travelled the world extensively for personal exploration, and professionally as an Expedition Leader. Visiting such regions as North and Central America, the Middle East and SE Asia.It is the culmination of Daren's many years of active duty that specialises him in Survival Skills and outdoor living.
Paul Zeigler (Ziggy)
Paul Zeigler (Ziggy) completed 8 years in the British Army. During this time Ziggy trained in a variety of locations around the world, specialising in Survival skills at an elite level. His training now equips him to instruct others in the exacting and life saving skills of extreme camping and hunting in a range of environments.
Paul has worked with John Sullivan both in his role as an instructor for Skillforce and whilst undertaking wilderness treks in Borneo. Paul has developed a particularability to work with challenging young people by teaching them practical skills which they can relate to in their own lives. His no-nonsence approach has drawn repsect from some very difficult young people. This combined with his extraordinary knoweldge of survivial skills means Ziggy is a very good man to have around in an extreme situation.
This level of training along with Ziggy's lifelong passion for surviving outdoors with the minimum of kit has taken him to a number of different experiences. Utilising these experiences he is now a fully qualified mountain leader, a Duke of Edinburgh Leader and Assessor, an Archery instructor, a Mountain Bike leader and an Army cadet leader for the past 19 years.
Ziggy has trained a range of young people from 12 – 18 years of age, his professionalism has always ensured their safety whilst giving them life enhancing experiences which continue to have impact on their lives. Many of these individuals have continued into the services or have trained as Cadet Instructors themselves.
Paul is also a 3 star solo open canoeist, undertaking several canoe expeditions in Europe and Canada, both as leader and competitor. Mixing extreme camping with survival skills and canoeing is Ziggy's idea of a good time.
Yara Ghrewati grew up in the concrete jungle of London. She had a dream to see the natural environments of the world and began traveling at 18. Yara had her first jungle-living experience with the Mentawai culture on Siberut Island, whilst traveling in Indonesia. It was then, that her love for the tropical rain forests of our planet developed into passion.
Yara has qualifications in performing arts, photography and a degree in World Development Studies and Creative and Media Writing, she focused her research on cultures living in tropical rain forests and how they are being affected by logging. The research led her to the jungles of Borneo, where she volunteered working in the jungles of Tabin Wildlife Reserve helping to build an Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.
Yara trained on how to live and survive in the jungle with only a machete with a local Kelabit guide working as part of the Traditional Knowledge Documentation Project. She learned specific skills, from knowledge that had been passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth. This included learning about various plant species used for healing, consumption and building, as well as day-to-day survival in the jungle.
Whilst trekking in jungles, Yara witnessed the devastation created by the timber companies to tropical rain forests and also the extreme negative impacts on the cultures living in and around the rain forests. She also learned how there is mass undiscovered ethno botanical knowledge that these cultures possess and how there is a strong need to bridge the gap between their sustainable knowledge of the tropical rain forests and our western technology.
Yara has worked as a youth leader and volunteer as an Indigenous Mapping Research Analyst for The Native Planet Organisation. She is also a freelance writer and photographer, focusing on the environment, cultures and the natural world. Yara likes to include a physical challenge with adventure and nature in her life.
Alasdair Kane (Aldo)
Alasdair Kane (Aldo) joined the Royal Marines at the age of 16, completing 9 years as a Commando trained in jungle survival techniques. During this time Aldo completed the mentally and physically gruelling Elite Survival Training Course, which saw him abandoned in the jungle for 4 weeks, with nothing but his training and a machete between him and nature.
Aldo has travelled extensively around the world, both professionally and personally. Locations include Brunei, Malaysia, Scandinavia, Borneo and Papua New Guinea. On many of these trips Aldo has lived on his training and his skills, bringing to bear the types of experiences you will need to survive in the jungles of South East Asia.
As an experienced expedition leader, Aldo has led expeditions to the jungles and mountains of South America, including Peru. His wide range of qualifications as an outdoor leader have proved invaluable to ensuring a safe and extraordinary experience for his clients.
He has been involved in training adults and young people for over 10 years, which his CIPD Certificate in Training Practice has supported. The training has included Rope Access, Survivial Skills and Mountain Leader training.
George Dellipiani served 15 years in the Royal Marine Commandos. George is trainied in survival techniques in the Arctic, the Jungle and in Desert environments. George has used these skills whilst deployed in a wide range of locations, including, Belize, Brunei, the Phillipines and Indonesia.
For the past 8 years George has been working with challenging young people to support them in accessing the school curriculum. He has extensive experience in finding alternative routes into academic qualifications through practical activities. This experience gives George the perfect ability to problem solve and to find alternative methods of doing things, it also requires clear and quick thinking, being able to repond quickly in tricky situations; great skills to have when in Jungle or Desert environments and many miles away from home comforts.
George is a fully qualified walking group leader, Duke of Edinburgh Trainer and Assessor. His Expedition Leader training was gained whilst in the Royal Marines, and has been added to consistently since then, partiularly useful whilst persuing his passion for climbing mountains the world over.