Posts Tagged ‘Inspiration’

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 www.Shikon.com 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 https://www.basingstokekarate.com/qualified-experienced-professional-coaches/)

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Basingstoke Black Belt Grading

Written by bryan. Posted in Grading, News

Karate Black Belt, Adult Karate, Martial Arts in Basingstoke, Karate club in BasingstokeOur Martial Arts School based in Basingstoke held a grading on Saturday 8th December with members attending from both our Alton and Basingstoke classes. The grading itself was split into four different groups dependent upon age and ability. This was also one of two opportunities for Black Belt candidates to be examined during 2012.

Congratulations to the many people who came away with new belts, your own hard work, effort, perseverance and determination paid off. For those that were disappointed this time, listen and consider the feedback given to you, to help you come back stronger next time. Gradings at our club are examinations, you simply don’t pass for turning up, you have to prove that physically you can do the techniques correctly and that you understand the principles behind them. At a senior level you have to also understand the theory that goes behind it and be able to pass that knowledge on to others.

Many of the children excelled what they did, I’d like to mention particularly Samantha Butcher who is 11. She attempted her Junior Black Belt grading, for her this meant conducting a warm up in the younger age Children’s class, also teaching them a couple of groundwork based techniques and acting as the coaches assistant when necessary. In the second part of her grading session with the 10-15 year olds, she had to present two things  to the group:-

  1. Explain why a Black Belt always has to take themselves out of their comfort zone and what this means for their progress
  2. Explain what you think the most important part is in learning a Martial Art

It’s not uncommon for the presenter to get asked questions about the topic that they have presented and this proved to be the case again with Samantha being asked some challenging questions about her presentations.

In addition to this she then had to take part in over 25 fights, some in a competition scenario where the objective was to win the match and some, where she just had to keep going against both more senior students and against multiple fighters. Finally she finished up with performing her respective forms and katas. Samantha’s performance was excellent, it showed a lot of confidence in her skills and also a maturity. Without doubt she had proven her right to wear the coveted Black Belt that she earned.

Mention should also go to Louise Kelly, Ewan Furness, Hannah Boyle and Amelia Pomerance who all achieved double grades during the Children’s grading sessions.

 

Black Belt, Kids, Children's Martial ArtsThe final session was the adults grading commencing at 7:30pm. These are always more nervous affairs because the people taking part in these are always taken outside of their comfort zone and don’t know exactly what they will be asked to do. Nine of people attending this grading were being examined for Brown Belt or higher, so it was fair to say that the intensity was somewhat high as were the expectations from the examiners.

Congratulations go to Mark van Meerkerk and Emma McDade who passed their 1st Dan Black Belt examination and to Jonathan Swift who passed his 2nd Dan Black Belt. All of whom demonstrated strong physical techniques, determination, discipline and fortitude. Like Samantha all three had to also present various topics including their thoughts on ‘Deeper Training,’ ‘What makes a good student’ and ‘Defending against Knives.’ With several senior black belts present during the grading, it’s fair to say that the push-back to them was quite strong.

After a near 3 hour grading which included padwork, body evasion, knife defence, sparring, forms and teaching for the higher grades, I’m pleased to say that all of the adults passed and some are now ‘looking forward’ to their own Black Belt examination in the next year or so with some advice on things to concentrate on in their own practice.

Mention should also go Rob McDade who double graded.

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Unsung heroes – Caroline Halil secures a team of 75 at Race for Life

Written by bryan. Posted in Events, News

Caroline Halil is a great friend, a super mum, a fantastic Bodycombat coach and moreover an inspiration to all of us. Every day you meet her, you can’t help but become affected by her vivaciousness and bubbling personality. In Caroline’s case it really is true that great things come (as she would put) in wee packages.

This is the story of how one woman from Basingstoke can help to make a difference.

Caroline, simply THANK YOU. x 

 

Bodycombat, les mills, bts, race for life basingstoke, fitness classes, cancer researchA Sherborne St John woman, who was told she wouldn’t be able to have children after battling cancer as a child, has amazed doctors by having four.

Now Caroline, who had to fight for life through emergency surgery for a very rare form of cancer, is the proud mother of Rebecca, 12, Lewis, 7, Reiss, 6 and Samuel, 3.

She says: ““I am very lucky to be here and I want to share my story to give others hope”.

Caroline’s inspirational story has already prompted over seventy women and young girls at the Shin Gi Tai Martial Arts Academy at Basingstoke – where she teaches – to get behind her for this year’s Tesco and Cancer Research UK Race for Life.

She is hoping others will join up for the event at Down Grange Sports Complex at 11.00am on Sunday 26th June to raise money for vital research which is helping more people like Caroline to not only survive cancer, but go on to lead normal lives.

Caroline, who is now 38, was diagnosed with cancer in her kidney on her 10th birthday. She was living in Edinburgh at the time and she had been ill for around two years.

She said: “I had been suffering horrific stomach and back ache but nobody knew what was wrong. I had a hugely bloated stomach and I was eventually taken to hospital where I was immediately sent for emergency surgery to remove a tumour and one of my kidneys.  

At one points her parents were told there was only a 50-50 per cent chance of her surviving the nine-hour operation.

 

However, the cancer had spread and Caroline then faced two years of intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She was told having the treatment as she approached puberty would prevent her from having children.

She said: “It took me months to recover and losing all my hair at that age was a horrific experience. I was told exploratory tests had confirmed I would never be able to have children”.

Caroline and her husband, Spencer, 40, accepted they couldn’t have children when they got married and were therefore stunned when her first pregnancy was discovered when she was in hospital being treated for something totally unrelated.

“A check-up found I was three-months pregnant with Rebecca. I was advised for my own health not to continue with the pregnancy, but I decided to take the chance. It was a complicated pregnancy, but we both survived”.

Her fourth pregnancy was also discovered during an unrelated hospital check-up, although the pregnancy itself was relatively straight forward.

“I am currently very well and feel very lucky that we have proved everyone wrong who said I couldn’t have children”.   

Caroline has been an active fundraiser and has raised several thousands of pounds for a variety of charities since she was a child.

“I have taken part in Race for Life with Rebecca for several years but wondered if I could encourage some members of the martial arts club to join us this year”.

Seventy-five women and young girls from the club’s 400 members have joined the team in support of Caroline **.

Lea Blake, the Basingstoke Race for Life organiser, said: “We are very grateful to the ladies from the Shin Gi Tai Martial Arts Academy for making up such an impressive team.

“However, this year recruitment for the Basingstoke event is significantly lower than anticipated. With just 7 weeks to go, over 1500 women have already entered but there are still 2583 places to fill.

“Some women think they won’t be able to complete the course but in face most are able to walk 5k in an hour. In that same amount of time around five people will be diagnosed with cancer in the South.*

“If fewer women take part there will be less money to fund research, which in turn means fewer lives saved in the future”.

Women in the South can enter Tesco and Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life at www.raceforlife.org or by calling 0871 641 1111.

For media enquiries please call Helen Johnstone of Cancer Research on 07768 987 925

Ends

 

* All cancers (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) diagnosed from 2005-2007 in the South East Government Office Region.

 

** To find out more about the Shin Gi Tai martial Arts Academy please go to: www.basingstokekarate.com or telephone 01256 364104

 

About Race for Life

 

  • Tesco and Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life 2011 is the UK’s largest women-only fundraising event series with over 300 events around the UK from May to the end of July.
  • Women of all ages, abilities, shapes and sizes from all over the UK join together to walk, jog or run 5k to raise money to help beat cancer.  
  • 2011 is a very ambitious year for Tesco and Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life.  The goal is to raise £80 million to fund Cancer Research UK’s life-saving research. 
  • In 2011, women will have the opportunity to take part in the traditional 5k or opt for a10k route, without having to pay an additional entry fee, at 42 venues across the UK.
  • Race for Life started as one event in 1994 at Battersea Park with 680 participants.  In 2011 it is celebrating its 17th birthday.
  • Since it started, an incredible 5.4 million participants across the UK have raised over £362 million to fund Cancer Research UK’s vital work.
  • Entry fee is £14.99 to cover the costs of staging the event series.  All money raised in sponsorship will go directly to our work to help beat cancer.

 

About Cancer Research UK

 

  • Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research
  • The charity’s groundbreaking work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.  This work is funded entirely by the public.
  • Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates double in the last forty years.
  • Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.
  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK’s vision is to beat cancer.

 

For further information about Cancer Research UK’s work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 020 3469 6699 or visit www.cancerresearchuk.org

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