Well it is Saturday morning now and three whole weeks since I last trained, well I half trained at the seminar I hosted with a certain Mr Itay Gill on Monday just gone. I pulled a muscle in my back 3 Saturdays ago and it is now better BUT the head cold that started over a week ago is still there with a newly developed cough. My family and some friends who are staying the weekend have all gone into town to look around and shop so I am alone with the keyboard. Yesterday I sat editing and formatting some video of Monday’s seminar before uploading it onto YouTube, I have said before that I am no Spielberg, it is shaky handheld footage shot on the move in a noisy active environment with bodies going in all directions. Itay is an incredible guy, his seminar was excellent, take a peek:

It was really good that as well as my friends Nic Parsons, Steve English, Lee Roberts and Nick Langham, my daughter Frances (pink top) and friend Jayne Wharf could make it and it seemed they really enjoyed the training, everybody was tired and bruised at the end of three gruelling hours, I had to strap a swelling on Frances’ wrist that next day needed a splint and her arms were covered in bruises, I have not seen Jayne since although she was particularly pleased when somebody complimented me on my daughters, plural, being able to use a blade…… As Itay says it often hurts so we block soft, but there is a time to block hard too, listen to his message, slow it down, find the right angles then pick up the pace.

Many people have emailed, phoned and messaged me on Facebook to compliment me on the seminar, it was outstanding, and to tell me of their aches and injuries. We are a strange lot are we not, we pay good money to go out and train till it hurts and we enjoy this, in fact the more it hurts the more we enjoy, the last few days it has been like receiving feedback from a sado-masochist convention not a knife defence seminar.  One of my friends mentioned how and where he was hurting then said he was glad he was not training with one of the ‘nutters’. He did not mean it in a disparaging way but was referring to the enthusiasm and commitment of many who were there that night, people really went for it and it has been a recurring theme that training hard felt good and many needed to get back to training this way.

I have talked with Itay about me going over to Jerusalem to see the sights but also to train in a way that is different from somethings I have done before, like this.

I have handled firearms many times in the past and it would be great to combine how I train now with some of the techniques in the video. There is no growth in comfort. It is an obvious statement to make, we hear it all the time, we cannot keep battering our bodies each time we train, we will damage ourselves, but we need to put some spark in there occasionally. Taking my training and introducing completely new elements is something I would really enjoy, There is no growth in comfort, I am lucky to train with Abbeydale Ju Jitsu Club, we do just that, it is good balanced training and we are always experimenting and trying new things whist maintaining our core sylabus. I increasingly like the Krav Maga stuff as it works very well with how I teach self defence, it is raw, hard and to the point. I know the attraction started with my visit to Krav Island back in August with the Institute for Krav Maga Scotland, it is direct and fits very neatly alongside my Ju Jitsu training, crossing over at many points. I have to make a conscious effort to stay focused at Ju Jitsu, ask my Sensei, take a look at this clip and you see some great stuff that we do too..

Last night in our lounge my step daughter Kira and her friends Claire, Manu and Avanash, who have all recently joined an MMA club in Scarborough which they are enjoying, were asking me loads of questions and eventually out came the bags and pads and we had some fun. They were telling me of there new experiences, showing me stuff they did and we played around, I then showed them a few neat tricks, you know the kind of evil way you can inflict maximum pain by tweaking a technique we all know like a roundhouse kick to the thigh, the stuff I was doing on Tuesday with Itay in my dining room, the martial mechanics I did with Marc MacYoung recently. We played, it was not a training session, it was fun and we were drinking too by a nice log fire, my wife was crying with laughter at some points. Manu shuffled across the room when I showed him a nice roundhouse kick to the thigh, shield present of course and Kira showed us an interesting jumping knee technique and I think Claire took our pictures wearing the full face helmets from the safety of the sofa. Later we are putting on the body armour, helmets and gloves for some dining room frolics, nothing too serious but most likely before we eat the meat and potato pie my wife is cooking us all, with Hendersons, strong and northern.

So here is a point I train at the dojo, I train at seminars that I organise and that others organise, I train at home, I train in the woods, I train for all sorts of reasons, we all train for different reasons, my step daughter and friends to get fit and do a fun activity together, of course they will learn some useful skills too. Others join to get tough, or to test themselves, or to meet others and how many guys started because they liked a girl at a particular dojo or vice versa? Yes, they liked a dojo at a particular girl, weirdo’s!

So for me training is like a good menu, there should be a good variety of dishes all cooked using the finest ingredients, this menu should offer satisfaction to all tastes and nobody should be forced to eat something they dislike. Monday with Itay was hard, people got stuck in, they enjoyed there meal, then there next session may be more relaxed as they recover but those who have found that they have been getting cosy and comfortable in their training, we have all done it, will need to wake up and smell the coffee a little more often. It’s an after dinner thing after all. Take a look at this clip.

For me it is going to continue to be a mixture of rhythms and beats that motivate my training, hard and soft, fast and slow as I spin off into metaphor land, but you get my point. Whilst all my weekend company are out shopping I get this time to reflect and to write, it is luxury time, downtime whilst my body repairs itself. So those of you who are fit and well keep going and keep enjoying your training, work hard and rest well so that you keep good balance in your life, stay healthy, stay cool and take some time to reflect and assess what you do and how you do it and how this defines who you are. Got to go now, need to sort some mushy peas to go with the meat and potato pie. You guys get to watch a clip I love with Iain Abernethy talking you through some high impact training drills with the awesome Steve Williams and Peter Consterdine. Enjoy, Adios amigos.