Real-Life James Bond – The Mike Bates Interview

Today’s guest, Mike Bates is a former British Royal Marine Commando and covert counter terrorism operator who is often referred to as the real-life James Bond.


The day Mike stepped foot off the train at Lympstone Commando to begin Royal Marines training was the start.  The start of a journey into finding his physical and mental limits, then overcoming them.  This journey took him from the mountains of Afghanistan to the deserts of Iraq and far further.  It whetted his appetite for demanding training, for setting challenging goals and striving to constantly improve as a human being.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu:

Mike first discovered Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2003 whilst still in the Marines.  Back then it wasn’t a well-known martial art never mind a sport, today it’s one of the fasted growing in the world.  Jiu-Jitsu replaced many things he felt he’d lost upon leaving the military; tough training, a seemingly impossible goal of attaining my black belt and camaraderie.  A brotherhood.  It took him 8 years of committed training and competing before he was awarded his black belt, an achievement he holds as dear as the day he received his Green Beret.

The Atlantic Grappler:

In December 2022 Mike rowed across the Atlantic Ocean SOLO, just him, 2 oars and a 24ft rowing boat.

This challenge took him more than 3000 Miles west from San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands, Spain (28oN 18oW) to Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbour, Antigua & Barbuda (17oN 61oW).

Mike had to battle with sleep deprivation, salt sores and physical extremes inflicted by the row. His only company were his own thoughts, the expanse of the ocean and the job of getting the boat safely to the other side.

​To put this into perspective, more people have reached the summit of Everest or travelled into space than have successfully rowed an ocean.

For more information about Mike’s SOLO Atlantic Row and to connect with Mike:

About Your Host:

From your host, Charles Wallace:

“I am on a journey to be the best version of myself and want to ensure others don’t travel alone. Join me as I look to interview experts in areas of mindset, motivation and fitness to help guide us on our journeys.”

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