When I started the martial arts 35 years ago I didn’t know what I really wanted or what to expect. There was very little to go on – no youtube, no media, no information but only a couple of magazines on the news stand to give some information if my chosen martial art was the correct choice. In those days (especially being young) decisions were usually based on the locality of the school, price and whether the Instructor looked liked he knew what he was doing or you just got it by word of mouth. Of course, today, people can now make more informed decisions because of advanced technology and global communication.
We’ve come a long way since then but there were stages during my martial arts training that I would’ve been ahead of times but soon everybody caught up and now doing what I was doing back then. I remember one of my Instructors, in my 13th year of training, who absolutely fascinated me with what he was teaching me but I look back at it now and say ‘that’s old school’. This is no different to the first computer on the market – how impressive was that! If you look at it now, I would be too embarrassed to tell anyone of today’s generation that I ever owned one of those. Just to keep up with times I have to constantly refine and update my skills by cross training and working out with persons who are specialists in their fields eg Richard Norton and John Will; they are ahead of their times.
Martial arts schools can get very stale or stagnate in their training. A good school’s programme has to constantly update and keep up with the times. Your computer automatically does that with little messages on screen, ‘click for updates’. It’s not necessarily about replacing techniques, it’s about updating!
If an Instructor or school does not introduce new techniques, methods or skills, then the student does not have the opportunity to advance. Wouldn’t it be nice if we can just hit a button to download updates.
On another note, another great weekend with Shihan Richard Norton for some more training. It does get better and better. The 43 degree heat may have kept some people away but not Damien who drove down from Canberra so I won't be taking any excuses from absentees please! A big welcome to our new BJJ students, Alex and Pedro, to their first seminar.
A special acknowledgement and thanks to Gary Davis, who is a 5th Dan in Japanese Jiu Jitsu, for organising a couple of seminars at the Burwood Police Citizens Youth Club which he manages.
I will keep you updated.