Obsession or Dedication

There are two things that can happen with people in the martial arts.  Obsession can consist of over zealously, or mania, leading to a lack of efficiency and effectiveness.  The other word, dedication, is more about willing and wanting to learn to get the best out of what they chose to do.  Obsession can lead to undesirable consequences as opposed to dedication.  Everybody admires a person who is dedicated but is weary of a person who is obsessed.

Obsession leads to emotional over reaction in what they do and you will know when you meet these type of people who have nothing else to talk about or do.  This can lead to dire consequences such as self injury, hurting other people physically and mentally, and they will probably burn out pretty quickly.  They spend more time talking about the martial arts than actually doing it.

 During the dark ages a person with an obsession or an extraordinary skill was cast a ‘witch’ resulting in execution.  It was not hard to start up a rumour about someone you didn’t like resulting them being branded a witch without that person knowing about it.  No judge, no jury, just execution.  The Kings would often eliminate anyone who had extraordinary skill or knowledge; this is why this period was called the Dark Ages.  There was no technological progress because anyone dare come up with a discovery or information would be executed.

The best advice if you are doing martial arts is dedicate yourself and not worry too much about what the other person thinks or says.  They are probably the ones who are obsessed and will not be around long enough.  They are not martial artists in the true way of the Budo spirit. 

I think this is a good message to all our students and parents why the martial arts are important to us.  Anybody who has extraordinary skill or knowledge are encouraged to come forward and help others.

Nothing Even Comes Close

Don’t look any further than your local martial arts school.  The biggest thing with losing weight is finding the right activity which will do the job but equally important is maintaining that activity.  Gyms are great if you are self motivated but most people can’t sustain that, unlike martial arts,  where there are incentives to reach targets and achieve grades.  If gym clients miss a couple of sessions or break their routine, they may find it hard to return.  This is how many of the big gyms make their money.  Realistically, they would not be able to facilitate the huge number of members.  They work on a percentage basis on the number of people who will not return which allows room for new clients.  I am not suggesting gyms close down because there definitely is a need for them but I like to point out the situation with most of their members.

The alternative fitness and weight loss activity is martial arts.  Martial arts schools are usually quite different in that they want lifelong members.  In fact, their members are referred to as students not clients.  When you walk in a martial arts school your Instructor greets you by your name, in a gym you usually have to present your ID card before they know who you are. 

Martial arts are the best way to sustain regular training because of the long term goals.  You get a whole lot more out of martial arts than from just getting fit in a gym.  Gyms and sports can get you fit but there is no comparison especially when it comes to sparring and wrestling; nothing even comes close to that feeling!   We all look and feel good in our ‘20’s.  It is from here on what we do about it to prolong that.  Those starting late can still reverse the clock. 

I wonder what the average life expectancy membership is in a gym compared to a martial arts school.


 What a breathtaking view!  But how about a breathtaking story?  Darren Grieve is one of our Instructors who teaches Karate and BJJ on the Sunshine Coast when he is not policing the streets.  Some of his students just happen to be Police Officers who work under him.  Have a read of his email relating to an incident which took place late last year:

Hi George,

I just got a phone call from Rob thanking me for teaching him the cross lapel choke. He was working by himself and had to go to a Domestic. The bloke went for him so he used the double leg takedown and then put the cross lapel choke on him he had a T Shirt which made it easy to apply. He choked him out and then put the hand cuffs on him. His last words were “I can’t #^">%@g breathe.” It is good to know that things work when it comes down to the crunch. He said he originally was going for the armbar but because he was in a doorway he changed to the choke. The grub has a heap of previous for assault police, the last time he bit a chunk out of a copper's arm.



Once again, another win for the good guys!  My guys in Qld had made good use of their skills on more than one occasion.  Now there's another good reason to get back into training if you had second thoughts this year.

Just Do It!

My first martial arts lesson of the year just happened to be on the Gold Coast with my very good friend and one of my first Black Belts in Sikaran-Arnis (Phillipine Martial Arts) in the late ‘80’s.  What was I thinking at the time?  My head spinning, and back used as a shock absorber, from those insane theme park rides, jet boating and go-kart racing. 

How does one get motivated in the martial arts after a couple of weeks of R & R?  'Just do it', I thought (it works for Nike) and went straight to Vincent’s full time Kickboxing and MMA centre.  Vincent is a  professional coach to some of the best kickboxers in the country and has a BJJ Black Belt under John Will.  I walked in and Vince greeted me with a big handshake and hug.  I spent a lot of time with Vince in the dojo and he talked about what I used to say and do in class when I was teaching him.   He would never forget the time when he walked into my school and I told him to put his gloves on and we sparred the whole lesson without warming up (must’ve been a ‘grasshopper thing’). 

In my books, three weeks without training is a lot!  I almost forgot to tie up my belt. When I started feeling the sweat down my forehead I thought I had temperature but then I realized this is what happens when you train.  Great feeling!

The guys at the gym were very nice to me, especially, after Vince's public welcoming speech.  I did a BJJ class with Andre, from Brazil, who is currently teaching some of Vince’s classes.  At the end of a tough roll, they went around the classroom asking for commentary.  To paraphrase John Will, I said the advantage, of Andre not yet being able to speak English well enough meant that I had to really watch and concentrate the techniques he was showing rather than relying on voice patterns which has a tendency to lax visual focus resulting in half attention span.  I am going to gag myself and walk in and teach one day.

Anyway, it was a difficult decision to train whilst on holidays.  However, it only took me five minutes to get back into it.  Just turn up to your first lesson and if you don't like the first five minutes you have my permission to go home.  I just finished my weight training and exercise bike.  Time to get ready to meet up with Steve Perceval for a tough workout tonight.  Victor is going to have his share of me this Saturday at one of his insane Kickboxing classes.  Anybody else wants to come along, they are more than welcome.  It's on this Saturday 11am at Ryde, then lunch and coffee at Rhodes Shopping Centre.