Master Chef

 Next time you sit down in a decent restaurant and you order off the menu, think about what it would take to do the cooking yourself.  You first drive to the shopping centre and visit your green grocer, butcher, fish market and liquor shop to buy all the stuff you need.  Bring it all back and prepare it before you cook and eat it.  Then weigh up the countless hours and effort to make it happen (most of us will agree that is too much hard work).

Think of the seminars as restaurants!!!  Everything is table service and brought to you on a silver platter.  You don't have to go wondering around from school to school and from country to country to pick up what you need.  Leave it to the Master Chefs, Richard Norton and John Will who have already done the hard work for you, with over 60 years of combined experience and travelling from country to country. 

The best part of it all is there is no washing up afterwards!  Those who think that can get away with McDonald's (the cheap way out), are only going to get what they pay for.

Ticking away!

The main fascination of the martial arts is about the many things and techniques we come up with.  Realistically, we are not going to be able to use everything we learn nor would they be useful in most street situations but we like to indulge in our arts by training our minds and bodies to achieve the wonderful moves we might think not possible. 

When we see martial artists perform a fantastic kata or others putting on a good wrestling bout, it gives us reasons to continue what we do.  None of this is achievable without the hard work.  It is interesting to note that we try to attain these results in the best achievable manner and everybody has a different way of doing that which is what makes it all that interesting. 

Sometimes, we need to separate ourselves from the practical stuff and accept the many things we do in the martial arts are purely for personal pleasure.  Martial arts is a clock and moments are ticking away.  If you miss classes or opportunities it is not possible to recover those moments.  One student told me yesterday, 'I wish I had started training with you 10 years ago.'  I said, 'What about me?  I wish had started some of the things I am doing now at 37 and not 47.  At least it is better to start later than not at all.'  He liked that answer.  Unfortunately, there's re rewind button.

The quitters who return are usually those who will quit again.  They've done it once before and they will do it again.  Remember, 'a Black Belt is a White Belt who never gave up' and 'a Black Belt who gives up is still a White Belt.'

Time out!

Another Norton Weekend

I am fortunate enough to spend every moment with Richard Norton when he comes to Sydney.  It was hard work but it was great clocking up 6.5 hours in BJJ and 4.5 hours MMA with the undeniably best all round martial artist in the world this weekend! 

Saturday was a treat for our school at West Pennant Hills with some particularly good friends and top BJJ/MMA martial arts instructors attending – Richard Sargeant, Rob Naumoski and Simon Farnsworth.  It was a great atmosphere particularly for most of my students who had trained under Richard Norton for the first time.

What I notice with these big weekends of learning is you have to go back a couple of steps and revise some of your material and forward advance again.  Richard Sargeant said to Victor ‘there shouldn’t be anyone in this room who did not learn anything’.  How true is that?  It is easy to say ‘I will give this seminar a miss’, but the many who did turn up, were truly inspired which was evident by the numerous emails, sent to me. Sure, there is always a next time but this one has gone.

Time might be an excuse for many, but for me, it is a limited commodity and I try tol use it in the best way I can.  I was virtually away from home commencing 9am Friday morning and did not get back until Sunday 6pm.  I also got to upload my photos and videos, and write a blog.  Please, don’t anyone tell me they don’t have time. 

Victor and I are planning for another visit toward the end of the year.

Wax on, Wax off!

There is not a single person on this earth who would not have heard the famous cliche, Wax on, Wax off – straight out of the original Karate Kid movie.  It got me thinking in class yesterday whilst teaching Richard Norton’s Black Belt Complexes to my students.  I passed a comment that the moves might not make much sense or be useful to them at this stage.  One student drew an analogy and said, ‘this is a bit like wax on, wax off.’  The Karate Kid had no idea what and why he was waxing cars and whether he was going to learn martial arts at all but, at long last (as the movie goes), he knew enough, just in time, to beat up the bad guys at the tournament.

The Black Belt Complexes need persistence and commitment and, within time, students will understand them and they will become useful.   These techniques look impressive and there are many Black Belts who are willing to try them but none that I have seen, have made the committment  They can be ‘painful’ and complex (pardon the pun) but once you are over the 50 per cent mark, they are really gratifying which will take you to another level in the martial arts.  It is even better when you finish them! 

I get a natural ‘high’ moving at speed with those moves.  It has certainly changed the way I train and think in the martial arts.  When others make the decision not to do them because they are too hard to learn only makes me feel more determined.  There is something easier for those who don't like to indulge – take your jacket off, hang it up, put it on the ground and then pick it up.  Enjoy!