12 Months of Hard Labour

Happy New Year everyone!  Looking forward to another great 12 months with friends, students and hard martial arts training.   

At the beginning of each year we look back at the changes and improvements over the years.   As a young Rookie, I only had to carry a revolver, a spare ammo pouch and handcuffs; how is  easy was that?  Twenty nine years later, I am bombarded with so much stuff to carry around; a box trailer would be nice!

Technology is the cause of all this.  Who would’ve ever thought you would be able to carry a phone in your pocket and call from anywhere around the world or own a computer a trillion times more powerful than that first black and white Wang computer of the 80’s?  Now we have cars that reverse park by themselves!  Nobody can resist technology or catch up with it.  Technology is about constant improvement based on the demands and expectations of the world.

Fight technology is no different.  It has to keep up with the demands of the times and the demands of people.  The martial arts also have to advance or evolve.  When I commenced martial arts training 35 years ago, our floor exercises were just push-ups, and sit-ups – even those were done the wrong way.  Strectches were just based on the forward and side splits (that was it).  Today, there's a lot of material out there.

Kickboxing in the early 70’s – what was that?  Boxing with kicks?  How stupid, that will never work, we thought.  Ground fighting in the early 80’s?  That was also stupid, who wants to get on the ground and get their clothes dirty!  

If you try to resist technology it will only be for a short time.  Look at the people who said they will never use the internet or carry a mobile phone.  These are the same sort of people who said the same thing about BJJ and Kickboxing.

Shihan Richard and I were talking about how wonderful it would've been to have the technology of today available when we were young!

(B)logging off for 2009

Yet, another 12 months have passed and I often look back and think, have we done enough?  I don’t like to waste time because, once gone, you can never recover it.  Just think of the wonderful hours of hard training and time put into something you like.  Clearly, the results are shown from what you have learnt and how you look and feel.

This is the final blog for this year.  This is the time of year you can put aside your differences and enjoy the company of your family and friends.  Most of us will not see each other for almost 4 weeks but it is very comforting to know that we can get together for another year and do what we like the most. 

On behalf of all the Budoshinkai Karate Instructors I thank you for your support and wish you all a Merry Xmas and a very Happy New Year.  I also wish the same to my very good friends and Martial Artists if I don't catch up with them before then. Over and out! 

Right on Target!

Tonight's the night!  Right on target – 550 hours in BJJ.  About mid October I had logged 500 hours training and I thought to myself ‘wouldn’t it be great to log up another 50 hours before Xmas’.  I had to push it a bit but that was the challenge.  All I need is more experience to compliment the hours clocked up.

It wasn’t that easy spending those extra hours on the mat.  I had to put up with the likes of Richard  Sargeant and Dr Chris;  getting choked, armbared, figure 4’d and leg locked.  I could've sworn I saw the ‘white light' when Dr Chris crushed me with that kneeride yesterday.  But I have found a solution; the Taser Gun is just what I need.  Seriously, I have to be grateful to Richard and Chris including Steve Perceval and Rob Naumoski who spend countless hours with me.

I know Mr Norton is doing some serious training with Jean Jacques Machado because he wants to be ready for me when he’s back in Australia.  He said he is going to reincarnate me!  I’ll make sure my Taser is fully charged.


 The picture is of Johnny Player which was advertised on billboards of a TRAIN DRIVER'S WORST NIGHTMARE about young people getting hit by trains whilst illegally crossing tracks.  The JPL (Johnny Player look) has become cultural within my circles (especially at work) because it is the look of despair, unhappiness, misfortune, which happens to everyone of us and even seen it a number of times.  My blogs may have a habit of doing that because of my controversial material but I believe people take on board what I say.  One more JPL for this year about self defence: The more complicated the technique, the more time needed to get good at it and remember under pressure.  The techniques we’d like to see work are more for training purposes to develop our knowledge and skills in the martial arts.  However, a different approach is needed when training to deal with real opponents.

The biggest challenge in teaching reality based self defence is convincing the martial artist to put aside what they know and be open to the simple and most effective techniques which are usually alien to their martial art.  Instructors will teach self defence in scenario form with techniques prevalent to their particular martial art ie Tae Kwon Do (kicks), Wrestling (grappling) etc.  But nobody really knows if these techniques will work?  Scenarios can be misleading because, like choreography, everything falls into place like in the movies which is not a true indication of what will happen out there.

Many of don’t us want to fight nor should we.  Fighting means two or more persons are exchanging blows; that’s not self defence!  It is a competition of who will come out best and it is not always the martial artist.  Self defence is about getting it over and done with and walking away, hopefully, unscathed.

The approach to any confrontation should be the same every time so we don’t have to fumble through our minds to figure out what’s best for that situation saving valuable time, even if it’s a quarter of a second.  In most cases you won’t know who it is standing in front of you and what they might know (karate, wrestling, boxing, streetfighting).  The answer is to use what needs to be done not what you would like done so you might just have to lay down your side kick and shoulder throw; these may work when you have weakened your opponent.   If you get hit (especially if it is a good one), your plan plan is now out of action and you will do whatever it takes to get you out of trouble.  This is where your martial arts training will come in handy.  Good time to cash in on the MMA dividends!

Many schools have great self defence moves but they involve gross motor skills ie they require too much thought process and body movement to execute the techniques.  They are great for training but not the answer to getting you out of trouble. 

Instructors should forget about which is the best martial art or style and concentrate on solutions that will help the student in time of need.