Posts Tagged ‘get fit basingstoke’

New Year’s Resolution – Get Fit. (Self Defence 101)

Written by bryan. Posted in Health and Fitness, Self Defence

Basingstoke, fitness training, how to get fit, PT, Group Exercise, How to lose weight, 4 Health, Group Exercise, Exercise to Music, Bootcamp, Return to exercise, Return to Sport, Moderate exercise, budget gym, Curves, Ladies only gym, Get fit and tone up, diet, get fit,Here we go again. It’s time for people to start their annual fitness regime with all the best intentions in the world.

You can just hear it can’t you……”Well it’s a new Year and I’m going to get fit and lose weight.”


So what will it be this year? Gyms, Bootcamps, Personal Trainers, Swimming, Jogging, Dancing or Martial Arts? The Government are doing a good job of telling us that a sedentary life style will kill you. So maybe you’ve decided to listen, at last.


Oh and lets not forget after the excesses of Christmas it’s time to lose some weight as well. If you go out and pick up any of the women’s health or men’s fitness magazines at this time of the year. You’ll find the typical headlines “Loose 7lb in a week,” “Lose weight fast” and the list goes on and on. It must be an important topic, Government Ministers are getting into the act now and suggesting to the magazines what they should be saying

Anyway enough about all that fitness mullarky and losing weight. Let’s get back into the Martial Arts and give you the biggest most important Self Defence tips of all time.


Are you ready to slay your demons? Well let’s start then at Self Defence 101.

  1. Eat moderately and sensibly
  2. Exercise
  3. Don’t eat more calories than you expend during the day

Surprised, Yes? Well Martial Arts is about self defence and self protection and practiced well is meant to be holistic as well. (Your know holistic derived from the Greek word holos, meaning that the bodies natural systems should be considered a whole entity rather than a collection of separate parts –


Eat Moderately and Sensibly

eat well, diet, food, healthy diet, good food, calories, calorie control, Do you know that as a rule of thumb, the guidelines indicate that following intake of calories is necessary to maintain a healthy body weight.  A man needs around 2,500 calories a day a  woman needs around 2,000 calories a day.

Any idea what you actually consume? There are plenty of Android and Apple phone applications that will help you to keep track of what you are eating.

Bottle of Cola and bar of Chocolate for breakfast? At 139 calories for a tin or 210 calories for a 500ml bottle and a bar of Chocolate being upto 255 calories, you really won’t do yourself any favours, if you carry on like that all day.

The NHS offer some good tips for healthy eating. If you really want to scare yourself, look at the calorie lables on the foods you buy, yes even the so called ‘low fat’ options



Do you know what the NHS’s guidelines are for adults aged 19-64?

To stay healthy, adults aged 19-64 should try to be active daily and should do:

At least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week, and

             muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a
week that work all major muscle groups (legs,
hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).

75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity such as running or a game of singles tennis every week, and

             muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a
week that work all major muscle groups (legs,
hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).

An equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity every week (for example 2 30-minute runs plus 30 minutes of fast walking), and

muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).


weight loss, gyms, bootcamp, get fit, PT, trainer, new years resolution, weight watchers, fitness, diet, exercise to music, zumbaDon’t eat more calories than you expend in exercise

The ‘magic numbers’ seem to be that to lose 1lb of fat, you need to burn 3500 calories. The recommended guideline is to aim to lose 2lb of fat per week, so you need to make sure that you are burning another 7000 calories in a week. You could eat 500 less calories a day and that will lose you 1lb. You can also add more exercise.  What does that equate to, have a look at the table to the left and work out how the figures impact you.

We often use a calories counting watch, one of our members holds the current record with 1046 calories burned off during one 1 hour class.  That kind of consistent result will see some good things happen, but it’s down to you to make it happen.



So the first and golden rule of Self Defence has to be to look after your health.


The second golden rule is to learn a Martial Art 😉 Details of our classes are here







Is there more to training in a Martial Art than fighting? (Self Defence 101)

Written by bryan. Posted in Health and Fitness, Self Defence

At our Martial Arts school in Basingstoke we talk about developing the student ‘holistically’ or developing the ‘whole person’ rather than ‘teaching people how to fight.’  What does this mean?

Some schools say that the sole purpose of training in the Martial Arts is to learn to fight and the rest is just ‘fluff’ and extraneous, but is a ‘fighter’ a Martial Artist? Like Darth Maul, fighter might be able to look after themselves, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that they are ‘nice people.’

Our Chief Instructor Steve Rowe at has this to say on the topic.  Where text is in italics  I have made some tongue in cheek annotations.


The majority of our people wanting to learn a traditional Martial Arts don’t come to the Martial Arts to learn to ‘fight’, 99% of the phone calls we take are from prospective students who want to be fit and healthy and also to be able to defend themselves.  These two purposes are not mutually exclusive and there is a fundamental difference between ‘fighting’ and ‘self-defence’.

First of all, what’s most likely to kill you?  It’s not the street mugger or bully, your own health is most likely to bring you to an early demise, therefore the first rule of self-defence is – look after your health!  This means that the ‘medical’ or ‘health’ aspect of training takes priority. (Back in the good old days, whenever we picked up an injury, we picked ourselves off the floor, dusted ourselves off and carrier on. Great ‘Budo Spirit’ but not necessarily very sensible from a health perspective.)

If you work on your posture, breathing and mental condition and then exercise sensibly you are likely to stave off the biggest threat to your existence. (Wait what do these have to do with learning a Martial Art??)

To then prevent a lot of trouble in your life you need to work on your ‘emotional intelligence’.

What is ‘emotional intelligence’?  An emotionally intelligent person has well developed interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences, the level of emotional intelligence is an indicator as to how well someone will do in life, they will understand and manage their emotions, be friendly and outgoing, self confident and self motivated, value relationships, be a good team player, listen well, lead others, like to work and learn in groups and set and work towards targets.

Any good Martial Arts Instructor will teach all these aspects and show the qualities personally.  Think about how much trouble a person could avoid by using pharmacy these skills.  Controlling fear and anger, being able to show confidence and deal with other people’s problems in a friendly and natural way are the qualities that can stop violence in its tracks. (Ah, anyone remember the original Karate Kid and the ‘Sensei’ from Cobrakai? Yes it was made for good viewing on the silver screen, but he was the very antithesis of someone with emotional intelligence)

It also means that someone with these skills can develop good training relationships, learn faster and get on much better professionally at work.

The author of ‘Maximum Achievement’ Brian Tracey said:

“Today, the greatest single source of wealth is between your ears.  Today wealth is contained in brainpower not brutepower.” 

(You’d be amazed at how many Martial Artists don’t understand this point, either emotionally or even at a physical level. For them everything has got to be harder and faster and then even harder and even faster with little or no concept of skill development)

The learning parts of the brain are the Neo-Cortex where higher order thinking and problem solving take place and the Limbic System where our emotions and long term memory function – we remember best when we use our emotions in learning.

Under stress we revert to the Reptilian Brain which blocks the Neo –Cortex and Limbic System from thinking and remembering as we are in primitive ‘survival mode’ so learning is slowed down or prevented.  This is when we go into a stressed ‘fight, flight or freeze’ mode, losing our temper or panicking.  It doesn’t shut down the right hand side or ‘intuitive’ part of the brain so we are still able to react appropriately to dangerous situations and control our emotions.  Think of when you are driving and how you intuitively read the road and situations that may occur and react instantaneously without going into panic.

Some instructors think that they are teaching productively by constantly scaring their students with violence, but in fact they are only passing on their fears and neuroses to them.  They should have developed their emotional intelligence and taught their students to do the same.

Having spent many years teaching Law Enforcement Officers and Security Personnel I realise the importance of this point, dealing with violence you cannot just ‘lose it’ and react in a reptilian way, you have to be able to adapt to an infinite variety of situations that have to be handled intelligently and in what the law (and CCTV) has to latterly see as a ‘reasonable’ manner.

The learning process is also enhanced if proper, permanent learning pathways are used, connecting the information to something that is relevant to the student in a way that excites or stimulates their imagination and emotions in a positive manner, challenging their thinking and making them want to find out more.

Stress should be applied gradually in such a way that the student learns how to deal with it in a positive structured way, using established knowledge, intuition and confidence. (

People learn in different ways and the Instructor needs to be able to present the information in a way that they can process.  Some respond to visual stimulation, in the form of demonstration, pictures, diagrams and so on, some to auditory, hearing explanations, moving with rhythm, cadence, chanting and sound and some kinaesthetically by practical application, touching, doing and moving.

As a coach, we need to use all three learning styles, but some prefer to learn in one or two of these ways.  A good teacher is aware of this and is careful to present the knowledge across all three spectrums. (As many ‘great’ instructors will inform you, it’s not their fault if their students are too stupid to understand their ‘instruction.’)

This is why lesson planning is so important, if the students are aware of what the content and outcome of the lesson is supposed to be, how the knowledge is being given to them, how they are going to process it, how it is going to be practiced, verified and validated, how they will have the opportunity to challenge it and give and get feedback, then they are on track to progress in self development and emotional intelligence.  This will give them the overall ability to develop physically and mentally and defend themselves against anything that might influence them in a negative fashion!

The old days of shouting and bullying in Martial Arts clubs are thankfully gone in most places.  Instructors are now looking at teaching and their continued professional development in a more intelligent way.  Make sure that an ignorant or inexperienced Instructor does not run the club you train at, look for someone who is professionally trained, properly qualified and possesses and teaches students with emotional intelligence. (Sadly far too many choose not to investigate whether an instructor is able to safely coach them in an appropriate manner. But that’s another story entirely

Martial Arts Standards Agency British Judo British Council for Chinese Martial Arts – National Governing Body The World Union of Karate Federations Shi Kon Martial Arts British Council for Chinese Martial Arts – National Governing Body

Contact Us

Telephone (01256) 364104.


Shin Gi Tai Martial Arts Academy,
The Annex @ ITT Industries,
Jays Close,
RG22 4BA