Warriors Academy - Specialists in personal and outdoor pursuits development

Warriors Academy

About

Warriors Academy has developed an intensive self development program using a wide range of intrinsic and extrinsic activities. The program is divided into four quests, each with a flagship activity and supported by a variety of secondary activities. This is a dynamic program that will push you to your boundaries and beyond.

Founded
2004

Reviews

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JANET MARIE
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My son is currently half way through his gap year experience with Warriors. Family & friends have all seen the dramatic change in him. He was 16 when he started and emotionally very immature. He has learned to cope with mental, emotional and physical challenges whilst being the youngest in his group. I have seen a marked increase in his confidence and self esteem. He is in great shape physically now and so enthusiastic, not only about the next quest, but also about life in general.

The programme allows for high and lows. There is a fundamental principle that growth occurs during the lows. The life skills gained along the way are incredibly valuable. However, the highs are extraordinary and I find myself green with envy at what they get to experience.

I have a happier, more positive and engaged young man who is developing a road map for his future. What more can a parent ask for?

Penny
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Our daughter was one of the very lucky girls to be selected for the Warriors Wasp programme in Oct 18. She had the most unbelievable and action packed few days of her life and has been simply buzzing about her experiences ever since!
Rowena and her team are incredible - inspiring, supporting and encouraging each young person to reach out of their comfort zone to experience amazing and adventurous challenges which they wouldn’t get elsewhere.
The whole trip was memorable and a huge boost in confidence - from abseiling 100 metres into a rock pool, bungee jumping, sky diving from 12,000 ft, caving and zip wiring as well as learning about conservation, visiting an elephant sanctuary and carrying out team building exercises in a fun way supported individually by dedicated, warm and experienced staff.
All in all a fantastic and life affirming time with great photos and video clips to prove it!
Would highly recommend! Thanks so much to all of you at Warriors!

What would you improve about this program?
Can’t think of any improvements needed - but under 18s need to have the birth certificate with parents’ names on it for SA immigration!!
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Amanda
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

As an educator who has sent 3 girls each year for the last 6 years I cannot recommend the Warriors Accelerated Scholarship programme (WASP) more highly. To watch a student when she has returned and witness the increased level of confidence and her awareness of the height and reach of her ability is wonderful. It is a truly mind changing experience for students done simply through a programme of outdoor experiences that are fun, demanding and involving team work. The staff are incredibly kind and considerate and will go the extra mile for each individual. Warriors offers an unique leadership programme that we, as a school, are grateful that we have been involved with and cannot recommend them more highly as an organisation particularly with regards to developing leadership skills and self belief for students in the sixth form .

What would you improve about this program?
The WASP programme is superb and I could not ask for any improvements except perhaps to make the application of the visa easier!
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Bob
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My daughter went on WASP in half term October 2018. She had her 17th birthday there, a plus. This isn't the gap year programme, just a week's taster.
She rated it as "the best week of my life" and her only regret is that she ticked off everything on her bucket list. She says this week school seems totally flat.
I collected her after the long flight home and expected her to go to sleep in the car. Instead, she couldn't stop talking about the experiences she had. Looking at the videos I can't say that UK Health and Safety has made it to SA, but they all survived.
She recommends the programme wholeheartedly. Everything was top notch.

What would you improve about this program?
My daughter said it was perfect.
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Timothy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I am going to do my best to express my honest and most brief review. Bare with me if it gets a little long winded!

I grew up in the USA. I went through all 12 years of schooling in the US education system only to find that I needed something more. Life experience, was one thing that any school cannot teach you in a classroom.

In 2007 I attended the Warriors program for the full term and graduated with pride in my heart. The skills to tackle life outside of academics are essential, and for me Warriors showed me that I could train myself and thrive as an individual and take on the world without hesitation, without doubt, and yet, employ great discipline to my own benefit. The skills I needed were taught to me. And so much more.

Over the Warriors course I learned that, not only was I capable of just about anything I set my mind to, but that I could open my heart, and be true to myself to accomplish my own goals with tools I built myself. Through my own efforts, I could bring results.

I will admit, this course is not a vacation, it is not about perusing the exotic wilderness and urban sprawl that southern africa has to offer, at leisure.

This course is not a walk in the park, it is not for the faint of heart. At times I was pushed to the very limit of my being, but through the teachings given, I was prepared to face anything thrown at me. I was taught to overcome any hardship offered.

Warriors also gave me many of my fondest memories. To this day I look back at the friends I made, the experiences I had and the fulfillment that comes with knowing I accomplished more in seven months than I ever did in all my years in school and even now, everyday I think back to what I learned to use it in my life. I still use the tools given to me to reach out and take life by the horns and make my own.

I cannot recommend Warriors enough for anyone that is willing to give their all, to commit to changing their lives for the better, to bringing out the best qualities within themselves. This is not summer camp, it's not boarding school, it's not a retreat or cruise or any of that. It is not for the lazy, apathetic, or entitled. It is for anyone who is ready to find out what they are made of. It is a place where one may come, and with an open heart, learn how to find out who they are, what strengths and weaknesses they carry, and how to employ that into life and all its challenges. To accept and move with the flow of things. To put your worries and anger and other negative energies into something productive, useful, or helpful and make something out of life.

Warriors does more than teach. It enabled me to learn and grow in ways I never considered. It pushed me to the limits and back again. I experienced the full spectrum of life in a microcosm of itself and came out the otherside better prepared for whatever future might come.

Tim Phillips
Warrior - 07

What would you improve about this program?
It's not about the program, it's about yourself.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

Alumni interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Kim Maritz

Kim Martiz is a fun loving, loud noise making, adventure seeking 19-year-old, and a complete bomb of crazy who is aspiring to be an all round badass chef. She has grown up moving around and never settled in a city for more than 3 years. When she finished high school in South Africa she made a bold decision to take a gap year - which has been her best decision yet. She spends her extra time writing, taking photographs, or spending quality time in nature; Kim is adventure.
Nyani Cultural Village in Africa

Why did you choose this program?

I discovered the Warriors Academy Gap Year Program when I was 16, and promised myself that one day I would become a "warrior".

I fell in love with the way they helped me to fall in love with myself. I had been bullied and hurt a lot in my life, and the Warriors Gap Year Program was the glue that helped fix me. Not only is it full of adventure it has educational balance; I'm not talking about mathematics or science, but life. A balance to help get your mind, body and spirit all balanced.

Many programs only focus on physical fitness, but Warriors also focuses on spiritual and emotional fitness.

I learnt to love myself once more through all the personal coaching we received from the program directors, and all of the workshops and scheduled lessons we participated in. Warriors is not only fun, but you meet people from all types of different paths and countries - and these people learn to understand you in a way that high school kids never could.

We are cut off from the negative stress and anxiety of the world outside and with that we learn a new language of speaking,I'm not talking about swearing or slang, I am talking about choosing to speak positivity about your life in negative situations, or how to address those who don't speak nicely to you.

We get taught at Warriors how to live once more, how to be alive, how to create a better "you" for your family - and most importantly, for yourself.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The program provider gave us all of the necessary paperwork to apply for the program, they organize transport whilst on the program, as well as accommodation, food, and the schedule for each trip. The Warriors Academy has everything down to the last meal planned in detail with perfect timing.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Be prepared, mentally, to break away from society - you will meet new people completely and you live and travel with these people. Be prepared for personality clashes, when you break down eventually because you miss your parents or friends.

Go in with the mindset of "I am here for me. To change my life. To find myself. To make this the point in my life where I make a stand". Be prepared to be pushed, tried, tested and guided in so many different ways - you discover strength and patience you didn't think you had.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Busy. But every week, and every day is different. Aside from the basics exercise in the morning, meal times, and daily life at base camp - we never do the same thing twice.

Each week we are off to a new destination for a new hike, a new race, a trip to the amusement park, to see a show, to jump off something crazy - or to get a lesson or two on self development.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it and/or how did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was being judged and not being accepted into the group - having no friends abroad after leaving my own behind.

But this didn't happen, Warriors become family quickly, we learn to accept people as the are, no matter how tough or rude. We learn a lesson from them in the end. Warriors and the facilitators always take care of you - if you need anything, they're there.

Do you have any other advice for prospective 'Warriors'?

What to take with? A lot of sunblock, Africa is hot. Take cool clothing. To add a "homey" touch for your cabin bring photos of family. and friends. Don't pack too much, as space is limited and you travel so much that big bags become an inconvenience. Laundry can be done at an extra cost.

The food is great. If you are vegan or have special dietary needs, they don't have any problems with it, and will cook amazing food for you that meets your needs. There were two vegans in my group.

Both boys and girls attend Warriors, but it is mainly male dominated. We do a lot of running, cycling and fitness - be sure to take fitness shoes. Make up isn't really necessary, only bring the basics.

We don't drink, unless we get permission to have a single beer or drink when we go out to a restaurant for a pizza. No drugs, steroids, or anything illegal is accepted whilst on the program.

Staff Interviews

Staff interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Charles joined Warriors Academy in 2016 as our Training Director. He heads up all our training portfolios and in particular our Multi Activity Instructor training program.

What is your favorite travel memory?

Sitting on top of the Central Drakensberg escarpment, enjoying the sun rise over Cathkin Peak and watching a Cape Vulture spring past at eye level. I was on a four day hike with a group of students and took the time to just sit down and enjoy the day rolling out as the sun joined the day. There is no greater humbler feeling than being in the presence of such a beautiful view.

How have you changed since working for your current company?

Warriors Academy has afforded me the opportunity to pursue a life long ambition, which has in turn given me a lot more self confidence as I see my dream attaining reality. I have become far more goal orientated and have a greater sense of self. I am more in tune with where I am at, and am ok with that.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

Warriors Academy had such an impact on her, that it changed her life forever. She came from an impoverished background with very little, if any, support and resources. Whilst on our program, she realized both her potential and how limitless our boundaries are, and is now both a successful athlete and career person.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I would choose the MAI program as this is a unique course in South Africa. The training is intense and provides a very wide foundation for someone who intends to continue in the Adventure Industry. The facilitators are all professionals, sought out for their expertise in their respective fields with a lot of experience.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Warriors Academy is a "people centered" company whose goal is to grow young people, facilitating their walk to a great sense of self awareness and confidence. I am especially proud of my team at each and every graduation ceremony when we get to realize just how much each student has grown over the time that they are with us.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

A successful company not only produces a good product, but lives by it themselves. Whatever they produce is at the heart of their existence and they invest all their time, effort and resources in continually ensuring that they are the very best at which they do. A forward thinking company is always going to be successful.

Professional Associations

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