10 Tips To Reignite Your Passion

10 Tips To Reignite Your Passion

Martial Arts, no matter which one you do be it Jiu-Jitsu, Aikido, Karate or MMA should be a lifelong pursuit, simple as that. The day you think you’ve learnt everything is the day you should hang up your belt/gi/boxing gloves. It never stops and never stops being interesting. Having said this, it’s usual to have down periods, periods where you dont want to train, have things going on in your life that make it hard, or simply can’t be arsed! So I present to you 10 tips to reignite your passion and get you back to your usual ass-kicking self!

10 – Watch your favorite Martial Arts film!

This may sound like a bit of a dumb one, but if you look at any of the interviews I’ve done on here, in nearly every single one they quote a film that initially kick-started their interest. Normally a Bruce Lee film, going back and watching your favorite flick can help you remember why exactly you’re doing your chosen martial art. Is it for the culture, discipline, respect, fitness? Is it just that you want to look damn cool flipping people round and smashing tiles? Whatever your reason for choosing martial arts, going back to the source could easily reignite that passion within and make you realize that training feels good!

9 – Speak to others you train with

Ask anyone anything that they are passionate about and you’ll realize that passion is infectious. Anyone who makes a success in life is due to the fact they are passionate about something. You can be the most learned and accomplished individual in a particular field, but without passion it’s impossible to impart that knowledge and infectious enthusiasm that makes charismatic people a success. People you usually train with are there for a reason; they love what they do. They feel that enthusiasm, that passion, that drive to learn more and just being around this kind of energy can lift you up and shoot you back in to your training before you know it. Just as some find inspiration through watching their favorite martial arts movie, others find inspiration from the people they train with.

8 – Speak to your instructor

Part of an instructor’s job is to maintain your interest. This is a bit of a give and take as it’s not entirely an instructor’s job to make you come to classes, but they should ensure you are progressing, learning and having fun. Explaining what the problem is to your instructor may be able to help them reignite your passion and get you back to your fighting fit self. Little theme emerging here….speak to people…. instructors, other students. Lacking the motivation? Chances are the instructor did at some point too, maybe other students did. What did they do to get out of it?

7 – Write down an achievable goal for your training

Lack of passion can sometimes be the result of having no goal or development in your training. Small, achievable goals help us to push harder, increase our interest and make us feel damn good when we achieve these goals. Struggling with the warm up during class? Next month you won’t be, you’ll be at the front of the pack leading the way! Struggling with a certain technique? Get advice, research, practice practice practice! This time next month, you’ll have nailed it. Small achievable goals help us to reach the main goal, progression in the martial arts, so set yourself little ones and chip away!

6 – Improve your lifestyle/fitness

Martial arts should be physical and improve your lifestyle and health. This comes as a result of training. If you train once a week for an hour however, you won’t be seeing improvements fast. Combining training with day to day changes in your life like diet, exercise, lifestyle etc can all add little differences that in the long run will improve your overall training. You’ll be faster, more flexible, have more stamina and be able to understand more and more of the techniques and principles you are learning about. Little consistent changes eventually equal a bit change.

5 – Look for similarities in things, not differences

Lots of people cross-train and this is awesome. However, when it gets tricky is when you take on too much and feel that what you cross-train works against each other. Last week I was speaking to someone who does Aikido and Parkour and feels that sometimes these work against each other for his training. I advised don’t look for the differences, look for the similarities. What do both have in common? Both work to develop the body in a number of ways such as strength, stamina and flexibility. Both require patience, technique and self control. Both require being in the moment when you do it, not thinking about other things, but being immersed in that moment. Even if you don’t cross train, this can also be the case in your day to day life. Find the similarities in your training and your day to day routine. How many are there? What translates across? Do this and your art and your life start merging in to one.

4 – Write down what’s going on!

Physically writing something down lets us see it clearly and puts it clearly on paper, sometimes bringing clarity to an uncertain situation. So go ahead write down whatever is pissing you off and then try and find some clarity in it! All eventually leading to getting you back doing what you love!

3 – Get a private lesson

Group lessons are great, they’re sociable and you get the group feel with everyone working together! Private lessons are also great however! You get some individual feedback, some one on one training, a great workout and a great little boost that you can then take to future lessons. A private lesson with the instructor can be exactly what is needed to give you that kick up the arse and get you back to having fun and progressing!

2 – Do some research

This links to what I’ve said above. Knowledge is power. Finding something difficult? Can’t get a move, technique, principle? Research it! Ask people, look on the internet (a source of some great, and some truly awful knowledge), ask your instructor, go to DVDs, books… any resource to find the answer. Research and exploring martial arts outside of class is half of the fun for me but I’m a bit weird! Give it a go and see what happens!

1 – Just train!

Honestly, sometimes no-one feels like going training. Best remedy for it. Go to training. Once you get there, you’ll have a great time, be surrounding by good people, and be buzzing at the end of the class. Don’t feel like going training but you go and still feel crap after? Find a new club. Simply as that. The minute you stop enjoying martial arts training and can’t get it back through training there’s something wrong so at that point, it’s time to find a new club!

Mean Streets – Jarmesty Martial Arts

Mean Streets Mean Streets   Jarmesty Martial Arts

 

Mean Streets – Jarmesty Martial Arts

So last week Russell Jarmesty of JMA Academy in Atherton, Manchester released his much anticipated self defence app, `Mean Streets`. As soon as it was released I logged into my Android account and downloaded it, eager to check it out and see what it had to offer. Honestly, I was impressed!

Anyone who is on Facebook knows the Russell is pretty active on social media, being one of the four `Martial Arts Guardians` who produce a free magazine dedicated to highlighting the best in martial arts and self defence. Russell regularly posts videos from his academy in Atherton (which looks amazing by the way) along with videos demonstrating real world self defence that he has acquired through many years working as a doorman. Techniques such as snatches and barring are a big hit for him and so I was eager to see what the app involved and how it was laid out.

The home page is broken down into 6 main sections: Introduction, Tutorials, Techniques, The Street, Qik View and More. The introduction lays out basically what the app is about saying there will be more in the series, and that the app is meant to bring a bit of thought to training, something to go and try in your own time. Simplicity is key with Russ and as he explains, a lot of what he does is based on `Third Party Martial Arts` or stopping someone from getting to someone else, due to the world of work he was in.

The tutorials consist of explanations of techniques and principles varying from grabs to strikes to intensity drills, all well explained by Russ, looking at multiple scenarios and multiple camera angles for easy to follow drills. The techniques themselves look at functional warm ups (no running involved), tips for practicing the techniques, threats, third party techniques as alluded to earlier and grabs, again all explained well with multiple angles so it’s easy to follow.

`The Street` section is probably my favorite in the app and shows a range of scenarios from one opponent to multiple. 9 defences in total are shown and explained well, giving multiple scenarios and possibilities as anyone who has ever had an altercation in real life knows, things don’t always go according to plan. Plan A is looked at, but also plan B, C and D focused on simplicity and what is most likely to work! It’s no holds barred and intensity is key with hard strikes, eye gouges and groin strikes to get you out of the situation fast.

The Qik View is exactly that. Short clips showing warm-ups, third party techniques, and grabs. Easy to digest and easy to refer to, again with multiple angles showing full speed applications. The more section is a summary of the information in the app, along with links to JMA Academy, Facebook links and links to The Martial Arts Guardian along with a disclaimer.

So my overall thoughts? The app is easy to navigate, digest and get to grips with showing simple techniques for self defence that both beginners and seasoned martial artists could learn from. Russ’ explanations are clear simple and articulated well, and it’s not hard to see why he is considered one of the best in the country in terms of real world self defence. He draws on his extensive experience but simplifies it down to easily digestible bites that are great for those experience in self defence/martial arts, as well as complete beginners barely able to throw a punch. For only £4.99 there is a ton of information and you can see that Russ and the app team have put the effort in to making it a professional product. I highly recommend this product for anyone interested in broadening their knowledge of self defence. The app is available on Android and Apple devices and here’s also a link to the Martial Arts Guardian Website! Enjoy!

 

The Jacques Payet Project

Payet111 The Jacques Payet Project

The Jacques Payet Project!

Here we interview Kenji DuBois Lee, main man responsible for bringing the Jacques Payet Project to life. Jacques Payet is a 7th degree black belt in Yoshinkan Aikido and was live-in student of Yoshinkan founder Gozo Shioda for many years. As a westerner in Japan, Payet Sensei was able to build a close relationship with Shioda Kancho and wasn’t as bound by the rules of the student-teacher relationship and so was able to form a close bond with Kancho Sensei, gaining many insights in to the man and his powerful form of Aikido. Payet Shihan now teaches around the world and is revered by many as one of the top Yoshinkan Instructors in the world. He also recently graded me to 3rd Dan and is a thoroughly nice guy! Here’s the interview!

Hey Kenji thanks for interview, what is your background?

I have been living in Japan for nearly 7 years, making short films for the past 4. I like to consider myself a Self University graduate seeing as I pick up tricks of the trade mainly through online tutorials and real life trial and error. I shoot, write, and edit wedding, promotional, and business videos for a living. I’m happily married to the world’s most amazing woman who brings me happiness everyday. My interests include hanging out with creative action-takers, beaches, mountains, and soccer.

How did the JP Project initially come about?

One day a good friend of mine, Izzy, told me, “Dude, I’m gonna move to Kyoto and dedicate my life to aikido: intensive training 6 hours a day 5 days a week for a year.” After that year, he did it again! Over the years I watched as Izzy transformed.

Physically, he made me feel like a slob for not having a six pack and waking up after sunrise, but he also went through a rather impressive internal transformation. His business boomed, spirituality deepened, and even with the newly acquired bulge on his knee resulting from hours on the tatami mat, he was constantly exploring the boundary of possibility.

Because I was the video man for his business I spent a lot of time filming him, listening to his ideas, discoveries, and interpretations of a purpose-driven life. Purpose – which Izzy seemed to find loads of in the dojo – was taking a stronger grip on my life as well. Inevitably we spent many conversations exploring the overlap of martial arts principles and everyday life.

As you might have guessed by now, Izzy was training at Kyoto’s Mugenjuku Aikido dojo under the instruction of 7th degree instructor Jacques Payet, who, as Izzy pointed out to me in one of these conversations, “has an amazing life story that would inspire the sh*t out of you.”

Thus the stage was set for me to enter the dojo and meet the man himself.

My first time in Kyoto Mugenjuku dojo was for a 5 day shoot where I produced a short film highlighting the dojo’s Kenshusei program. This short film was well received by Jacques Payet and the international community.

A year later, Izzy, Jacques Payet and I sat down for some coffee in a small cafe across the street from the dojo. This was when Jacques Payet told me about his journey of becoming a 7th degree master, and what his hopes are for the future.

We came to the conclusion that film is a very effective tool to reach the masses. With the unforeseen success of the Kenshusei short film, we decided to implement this tool once again, this time to deliver Jacques Payet’s life story. The desired outcome being a wave of inspired and purpose-driven youth across the globe.

What was it that made you think JP would be a great choice for the project?

From my understanding, in aikido there is a push and pull between what I control and what I don’t. Even though the extent of what I control has a limit, if I am committed and effective enough I can use these outside forces and be part of something amazing and far more powerful than anything I could do alone.

This project is the perfect example of such forces combining. The timing, the people involved, the city I moved to, all these outside forces were staring me in the face like, “C’mon man! This opportunity is right here, right now. So what are you gonna do about it?!”

So I committed.

Now as for why I think Jacques Payet would be a great subject for this documentary film project.

Yes, Jacques Payet overcame challenges, accumulated accolades, and gained the respect of the martial arts community around the world. Yet, the even more significant part of this project isn’t exactly his life.

What strikes me is how so many young adults are taking the same journey a young Jacques Payet did and how even more people are stepping into their own journey.

The important thing to note is their journey.

Jacques Payet is blazing an amazing trail but it’s not as if he wants others to follow him. Rather, he wants to see others fully commit to blazing their own trails.

He wants you to feel alive – not just to go through routine, tradition, and necessities – but to truly feel alive, by finding your own path, committing to it, and embracing the discoveries along the way.

In this sense, this documentary project came to be because of the inspirational power Jacques Payet’s journey has, as well as me choosing to step up to my own.

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Just after my 3rd Dan test

What do you hope will be achieved through the project?

In a word: empowerment.

Personally, I’m finding so much happiness blazing my own trail in this part of my life right now. I’m 29, well-travelled, blessed with an amazing wife, ridiculously supportive family, and talented friends around the world. When I told them, “Hey, I’m gonna make my first feature length documentary film” I was met with mixed responses. To be completely honest, I had no clue how I’d do it, who’d help me, where I’d get the resources, and I began to hear that all-too-common voice of doubt. I had a long list of reasons to give up – worse yet – not even try.

But as fate would have it, the subject of my very first feature length documentary is an aikido master.

And like any master will say, to master anything requires doing what’s difficult, uncertain, and often unrealistic, just out of reach.

So for me as a filmmaker, I hope to stretch my filmmaking career by learning as much as possible while I take these steps into the unknown. Even though I had been shooting and editing for years before this project started, I had never tried launching a crowdfunding campaign. I had never built a production team. I had never drafted an official request for funds. I had never made a pitch to influencers. I had never spoken with a bona fide producer about confidential private placement memorandum documents. I had never consulted with a campaigning agency. Now, even though we’re still in pre-production, I can happily say I’ve done all of these things and learned so much along the way. Image what I’ll have learned by the time we’re in post-production!

Most importantly, I know that there will always be more to learn. I know this because 7th degree aikido master Jacques Payet told me, “Of course I still learn new things everyday. It’s neverending. It’s for life.”

Even a master continues to learn.

Hence the name of Jacques Payet’s dojo ‘mugenjuku’ which can be translated as ‘never ending training.’ He instills this principle in his students and it is one of the messages I hope to share with the JP audience.

Simply put, whatever you want requires endless effort.

This process – endless effort – uncovers possibilities that are buried within ourselves which surface in the face of adversity. The more and more possibilities come to the surface, the more and more empowered we become.

Jacques Payet personifies this. Ultimately I hope to use his life story as a mirror so the JP audience can start finding possibilities within their own lives.

And if someone was making a documentary of me making this documentary I would hope that audience feel empowered as well! They would watch as an aspiring filmmaker makes his debut feature project about a martial arts master. Unexpectedly the young filmmaker begins to connect martial arts principles to his own life, in turn applying them to filmmaking, and begins blazing a new path in the world of cinema.

See, I wasn’t even able to articulate this a year ago!

How far is the project in development?

We’re in pre-production. We’ve done extensive research on what production level we can take JP to depending on how much monies we raise. We’ve spent even more time writing and editing the story of JP, again, to different degrees depending on the monies raised which will directly influence the scope of the film.

JP has taken multiple forms and been through so many changes since we committed to it back in November 2014. But I firmly believe these changes polished JP into what it is today.

Now we are in the funding phase of the project. Arguably the most important. Undeniably the most suspenseful!

When will the project be released?

I hate this question. lol

Once we finish the funding phase we’ll have a far better estimate of the release date. But I know this is important, especially when we’re receiving monetary contributions from supporters worldwide.

At this point, we are expecting to release in spring 2016.

We’d like to enter JP into film festivals in France, Japan and the United States.

What will the project focus on? Yoshinkan Aikido? Jacques Payet’s life?

The original title of this film was Aikido Is Life. The change was made to JP to put more focus on Jacques Payet and his relationship with Japan.

This film will focus on the overlap between martial arts and life within the context of aikido master Jacques Payet’s

3-decade journey to become a master.

How can people get involved with the project?

Make a contribution to our Indiegogo Campaign!

Rub elbows with big-timer producers? Contact us!

Ask 5 friends to pitch in on a group contribution!

Are you a musical genie who can whip up amazing scores for film? Contact us!

Become a sponsor by supplying our production team with transportation in Japan and/or Reunion Island!

Got access to gear in Japan and/or Reunion Island? Contact us!

Speak French, Japanese, and/or Russian and want to build up your resume as a translator? Contact us!

Got a private jet with room for a few filmmakers? Contact us!

Wanna support JP but not by contributing money? Contact us!

Know someone somewhere who should be involved in JP? Contact them!

Where can we keep up to date with the latest news regarding the project?

The best place is over at the JP Indiegogo Campaign page: igg.me/at/jp-film

You can also keep up with us on our social media outlets listed below.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thedoublecut

Instagram: @thedoublecut

Twitter: @thedoublecut

The changing face of experts….

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The changing face of experts…

Be honest with yourself, are you an expert in self defence or martial arts? In the age of digital media and knowledge at our fingertips, more and more so called experts are coming out of the woodwork, giving “expert” advice on martial arts, self defence and combat sports in general. There is a whole host of information out there on fighting styles, legality of self defence and mixed martial arts take-downs and submissions and with one google search you can find out what you can legally do to defend yourself, how to choke someone out, and how to throw a half decent left hook. The problem comes when they then think they can argue and advise people who have been out pioneering and testing this stuff in real life for decades!

Anyone can say and post anything on the internet, and this is especially the case in martial arts. A YouTube search of `Martial Arts` will bring up millions of results, some great, some fricking awful but all with someone’s own interpretation of self defence, martial arts or combat sports. When this interpretation is based on experience, knowledge, blood, sweat and tears, fantastic, we need people to push the boundaries and evolve with the times. When this interpretation is based on a few books bought on eBay, and a few hours spent watching some MMA highlights, the interpretation lacks some credibility. What seems funny is that it is often the ones with the least real life experience of training or fighting, that seem most vocal in their interpretation of it, probably due to the fact they overestimate their own ability and the genuine skill and depth of knowledge from others.

Martial arts and self defence require years of study. You learn the basics, you explore the techniques, you make the techniques your own, keeping the principles from the basics. You then interpret the techniques, expand or narrow them down and then teach to others. It seems sometimes people tend to go step 1 to teaching others straight away, posting videos, advertising events and claiming expert level knowledge. Anyone can write a book on a subject. Anyone can teach a class on a subject. All it takes is a bit of research. What makes the difference is the interaction with the students and the way it is presented however. The individual knowing only the basics will be narrow in their approach, teaching a few techniques or principles and that’s it. There will be no individual feedback, no scenario training, no allowances for different sizes or strengths, no question and answer session. The knowledge will be one dimensional and lack substance. The only people who will learn from this is those who know less than you. Put up against someone with some knowledge and you’re in a proverbial creek without a paddle.

Too much information is available today especially in the case of martial arts, many of which have long traditions, cultures and principles that can’t be learnt in a matter of weeks. Looking at the source of the information is crucial. What’s their background? Do they claim to hold a 12th degree black belt in 72 different styles of killer Kung Fu and once kicked Chuck Norris in the face? If so, call bullshit. This type of filtering down of the arts dilutes the whole process and lowers the bar for all involved to the point where you get 4th degree black belts who couldn’t punch their way out of a paper bag. Loads of people know wayyyy more about martial arts and self defence than I do and when they speak, I shut up and pay attention. They are the ones who keep quiet and wait to be asked their opinion on a topic, not jump at the first opportunity to prove their knowledge and skill. They are the ones who offer a range of answers for a particular question, never black and white answers.

They are the ones worth learning from and dedicating your time and efforts to.

MAUnity will be launching soon. It will showcase these people. These people who are experts in their field and have tried and tested their methods. It will be a webshow with a different style of the week each week showcasing a style of martial art of self defence, along with background and clips. It will include reviews, expert tutorials, interviews and anything else we can think of along the way! It’s taking a lot of work to get PERFECT so bear with us but it will be here. The Martial View will become MAUnity in the hope of being a place of genuine knowledge for sport, self defence and traditional martial arts. I’ll be the host, which I apologize for as I have a face made for radio, but the content will be great with some top quality martial artists and self defence instructors already on board. It’s coming!

Want to be involved? Get in touch!

What motivates you?

What motivates you

Martial arts are a lifelong pursuit as I’ve said over and over again, so what keeps you motivated when you train? Do you go for the social aspect? Do you go to learn and develop yourself more? Do you go out a sense of obligation – you’ve started may as well keep going? As people progress through the martial arts, motivations change and evolve as you yourself also change and evolve, going from beginner, to intermediate, to advanced. Do you aim to teach, always aim to learn, or a bit of both. The most effective schools and instructors are always the ones who continue to learn. Learn from those above them, learn from different styles and learn from their students in order to progress both themselves and their students.

Martial arts are an individual pursuit and a certain level of selfishness is probably required. We want to do the best for ourselves, especially in the early days, we want to progress and get good at whatever art we have chosen. As we progress however, our focus may turn to those less experienced, getting their skill level up and therefore improving your skills as an instructor. Martial arts are often quoted as saying we develop self discipline, respect and selflessness, yet do many of us actually practice these in real life? Fellow blogger Andrea Harkins who runs The Martial Arts Woman recently posted about the criticism she received at the start of her blogging, and I have to say I had the same from those involved in the martial arts. High ranking instructors saying I was too inexperienced/young to be writing about martial arts which I think is ridiculous, as well as some bloggers who were willing to help in the beginning, yet quick to criticise and publicly slate The Martial View once it started building a bit of momentum. These same people who advertise teaching respect, self-discipline and selflessness on their school advertising. It’s a shame there are not more who actually practice this in real life, not just using empty words. Recently Martial Arts Guardian Russell Jarmesty who runs Jarmesty Martial Arts Academy in Atherton Manchester posted a facebook post offering 1 year membership to his academy, fully sponsored, only conditions being you must be committed and must be out of work or in education. It’s selfless acts like this that actually improve the community as a whole which is what martial arts should be about. My motivation is to one day have my own full time school and be in a position to earn a living from the martial arts, while also giving back to the community as often as I can. How realistic this is we shall see but we can all dream and passion=success in my book.

What is your motivation for training? How far along are you in your training? Do you instruct? Simply learn? Or want to make martial arts your life? Motivation is important and previous posts have focused on setting goals both in fitness and in life in general. What are your goals?

Review! Matt Chapman’s Mittmaster!

banner logo1 Review! Matt Chapmans Mittmaster!

Review! Matt Chapman’s Mittmaster!

So I’ve just finished watching and training in some of Matt Chapman’s Mittmaster series, looking at MMA, Trapping and Kickboxing and honestly… I’m well impressed! Matt has nearly 30 years of martial arts experience in a variety of styles including Kickboxing, Ninjitsu and Keysi Fighting Method and won a British MMA Welterweight Title in 2006. All this shows in the way he de-constructs and explains some pretty complicated pad work and the reasons behind it so that both pad feeder and the one hitting the pads is getting some great technical knowledge and progression!

maxresdefault 300x169 Review! Matt Chapmans Mittmaster!

Matt’s idea with Mittmaster is to raise the standard of pad feeders around the world as pad feeding can be just as difficult a job as the guy hitting the pads. Good pad feeding takes coordination, memory, timing and great technique yourself and through these series of videos, Matt takes you right from beginner level pad feeding, all the way up to bad-ass pad feeding!

The MMA and Kickboxing level 1 videos are great, going in to enough detail to explain why the drills worked and how they look in a real MMA/Kickboxing scenario, without Matt just rambling on talking for the sake of talking! Fitness and instruction was also looked into such as games where the leg is caught on a leg kick, therefore drop down and give me a burpee! Matt explains a number of different ways of doing a technique and different options available such as the whizzer where a short range whizzer allows follow up strikes, a longer range one allows for the head kick and the whizzer driving the head down allows for takedowns and submissions, meaning the full range of options is outlined.

dvds 300x157 Review! Matt Chapmans Mittmaster!

The trapping video is equally as good with Matt breaking down relatively complex moves so they are easy to understand and develop, drawing on his real life experience on why he does things the way he does. Different angles are looked at and again, the technical knowledge is great, with Matt’s instructors including the JKD legend that is Bob Breen so you know he comes from a great pedigree of martial artists.

Basically guys! I recommend this product pretty highly. Matt really knows what he is talking about from a technical point of view, but he also has a great style of teaching that I know from experience and it’s translated through these videos. If you want to improve your fighting game as well as your pad feeding and technical knowledge I would definitely recommend these videos as well as the other stuff Matt has done such as his books on how to win your first MMA fight, or how to get more students at your dojo!

See more of MittMaster at http://mittmaster.com/

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Close Quarter Combat Craziness with Defence Lab!

dl1 300x182 Close Quarter Combat Craziness with Defence Lab!

Close Quarter Combat Craziness with Defence Lab!

Endorsed by Liam Neeson, used in films such as Jack Reacher and Batman Begins and hailed by many top martial artists as the future, Andy Norman’s Defence Lab is taking the world by storm and for good reason as I’ve recently been finding out. Anyone who follows The Martial View on Facebook knows that I fairly regularly post videos and articles sent out by the Defence Lab team. I do this for a number of reasons; I think the material is fantastic, both in terms of the content as well as the production and I think Defence Lab is paving the way for professional martial arts in terms of business, content and image. Last Saturday I attended the Defence Lab `Defence in Action` workshop in Andy Norman’s home town Hull, held by Paul `Demolition Man` Strauther which focussed on close quarter combat craziness and my verdict? Absolutely mind blowing…

What makes the workshop and classes I’ve been attending recently so incredible? The techniques?The instruction?The application? Yes, all of the above, but it’s also more than that, it’s the family atmosphere Defence Lab have managed to create which I’ve seen lacking in some schools. Having trained at both the Nottingham school under Charles Hartnett and also the workshop under Paul, from the moment I arrived at the venues I was welcomed by the team and the students who took the time to ask how I was, see my background and generally have a chat. It’s a great thing seeing a room full of people decked out in the Defence Lab black and green, laughing and joking but also learning an incredibly practical, dynamic combat system developed from real life situations. Everything that was taught in the classes and the workshop was practical and had an application with a special focus on Defence Lab’s speciality, multiple assailants. Techniques were shown and explained by Paul then put into a real life context through drills such as the `Temple of Chaos` which includes working and escaping from a multiple attack situation.

The pure practicality of Defence Lab, combined with the image, branding, endorsements and family feel truly is making Defence Lab the future in martial arts in my opinion. With Andy Norman’s Defence Lab being cross-branded with Phil Norman’s `Ghost` system and Bob Breen’s `4D Combat` as well as Eddie Quinn’s `The Approach`, these all combine to form one hell of a lot of martial experience. This also shows a refreshingly collaborative approach in the world of martial arts where many bicker over whose style is best and Defence Lab has the feel of people just wanting to make friends, train in a great environment and learn an incredibly practical form of self-defence. With Defence Lab schools now active around the world, there has never been a better time to join the Defence Lab team and I would highly recommend experiencing training with them both from a martial arts perspective as well as being a part of something that is taking the world by storm and revolutionising the martial arts forever.

 

Ego and the Martial Arts

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Ego and the Martial Arts

It can be argued that martial artists are egotistical and there’s plenty of examples where this is just the case. Think of other sports or hobbies such as football or basketball and we realise that these are team games. You succeed, the team succeeds, the team succeed, you succeed. This is not the case for martial arts however, and in many cases, martial arts are a completely solo journey where you focus on developing yourself and no-one else. Is this a bad thing? Potentially not, but it does beg the question as to whether professional, or high ranking martial artists aren’t just a little selfish and egotistical?

Let’s take a traditional art such as Aikido or Karate, the focus is on you. You develop yourself physically and mentally and compete in some instances to further your knowledge and skill. Martial arts are not a team sport, they do not rely on a team mindset or environment, they rely on you as an individual having the strength and determination to succeed and this in many ways can be a great thing – it can teach self sufficiency. Many draw their inspiration or energy from a team, feeding off the group dynamic and using that to achieve athletic performance or zone in on their task. Martial artists in many aspects don’t have this team environment. Sure you belong to a club, may have friends and family supporting you, but when you get up to fight, or compete, or grade, it’s you and only you in front of the judge or inside the cage. Only you can rely on you in martial arts. As said, this can be a great thing, but can it also lead to egotism? There are countless examples of egotistical instructors, teachers, sifus, grandmasters, shihans etc who think their style is the best style, or even worse, get their students believing what they teach is the one and only way and that no touch knockouts are a legitimate thing and something that can be achieved if enough time (and money) is invested.

There’s also plenty of fantastic high ranking instructors and teachers out there who give all their time to their students and are open and honest about their style, their limitations and other styles. Martial arts are what you make of it but the journey, especially at the start, is a very personal one in many instances. Is a certain level of egotism or narcissism okay in the martial arts – I think so! After all, it’s your training and your progression whether that be competitive martial arts, traditional martial arts or self defence training, either way its your development that comes first.

The Martial View is changing!!

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Okay, I know I said the changes were coming in the next few months, but hey I’m going to announce it now! THE MARTIAL VIEW IS CHANGING!! In the next few weeks The Martial View will complete its change into `MAUnity`!! For those who don’t know about the change yet, MAUnity is the evolution of The Martial View, a group dedicated to forwarding the Martial Arts Industry and promoting collaboration and cohesion within the Martial Arts Community! This has been over 6 months in the making and we have some really exciting articles, interviews and webinars coming your way! Not forgetting our new weekly webshow, MAUnity Style of the Week, where we showcase a different sports, self defence or traditional style every single week! We have had a MASSIVE reception already with over 50 different instructors from different styles interviewed for the show! I’m excited and hope you all are too! This is about working together so everyone here already supporting The Martial View will instantly become part of the `MAUnity Community` (Little rhyme there too) and will get to be part of the new movement. Let’s work together and show everyone why we love martial arts and self defence so much!! Thank you for your support so far and it’s time to move The Martial View on to bigger and better things!! Onwards and Upwards, seeing the big picture!

Martial Artists Supporting Children with Cancer

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Last Sunday I was lucky enough to attend the Martial Artists Supporting Children with Cancer charity event at the awesome Twin Tigers Dojo in Scunthorpe organised by Lucci Del-Gaudio of Combat Ju-Jitsu in Nottingham. The event was attended by well over 60 people and numerous self defence styles and martial arts were on offer such as Jeet Kune Do with Rob Jarvis, Urban Krav Maga and Empower Self Defence. The event was for a fantastic cause and it was great to see instructors from different backgrounds and styles all teaching and training on the mat together, without any politics or differences in opinion, showing that this can happen!

The event was the third of it’s kind with others in Basingstoke and Walsall, and more are planned for the future, with locations including Leicester, Nottingham and Lincoln. I’d highly recommend getting down to one of these events as there are so many different styles on offer, new people to train with and just a generally awesome atmosphere for a generally awesome cause! Cohesion in the martial arts for a worthy cause such as this one is to be commended and goes to show that martial artists and self defence instructors from different areas and styles can work together and showcase their styles, free from politics when needed!

Follow Martial Artists Supporting Children with Cancer on Facebook here and if you want to donate, feel free to at the Just Giving website found here