Well to me Martial Arts means respect and discipline. I have trained in different Martial arts now for well over 20 years. I have seen lots of people come and go but one thing that I have noticed is the respect and discipline that has changed those peoples perception of life.
Young kids that have started that have been on the wrong side of the tracks, always in trouble and no idea how to respect other kids. Put them in a controlled environment with discipline and fighting and they soon start to understand.
Martial Arts is a way for children and adults to get rid of their aggression without hurting or bullying anyone.
You learn the Martial Arts discipline from the training, the more discipline you have to the Martial Art the better you become. This is a very subconscious area for a lot of people and they tend to start working harder and concentrating more without realising.
The respect comes from the sparring, the harder you hit someone the harder they are going to hit you back, the more you respect that fighter the more they will respect you. This gives martial artists a full understanding of treating others, as you would wish to be treated.
In my years of training I have seen kids that are not doing well at school and always getting into trouble for bullying and fighting. After 6 months of training twice a week, their grades have gone up and they are no longer bullying or fighting. In my opinion Martial Arts teaches children the correct mental skills needed to get them through the turmoil’s of life and do extremely well when they are adults.
Everyone should try Martial Arts one time in their life and feel the release it gives, using every muscle in your body and your mind at the same time.
In 1985 I started Judo and trained until 1988, got to Brown belt before I decided it was not the martial art for me.
In 1989 I started Wado Ryu Sports Karate with Sensei Bob Taylor at Astral Sports Karate in Derby. (Bob trained at the Temple in Birmingham with Clayton Murrain and a full host of sporting stars that he always has stories about)
Enjoying lots of other sports as well at that time in my life I tried to hard in a 400m sports day race and ended up ripped both hamstrings, crouches for a while but not long until I was back training at Karate.
Being only 5ft 5 I always enjoyed the fact that I could hold my own against the bigger lads in all the inter club sparring, there was never anyone my height so you got used to sparring with the bigger martial artists.
Martial Arts got me through my younger life teaching me respect and discipline, helping me get the high grades at school and 6th form and then University. It made me the person I am today, treating everyone as you yourself would want to be treated.
In 1996 after a lot of hard years training I managed to get my black belt. School was very important to me so over the years it was difficult to get all the training in that I needed to get a black belt in the traditional 4 years. Sensei Bob Taylor was always adamant that school was more important than Martial Arts and would always make sure that your school grades were high, asking your parents behind your back and then talking firmly to you about it if they were low..
In 1997 I went to university at DeMontfort in Leicester doing 3D Design, whilst at university I trained in various Martial Arts, Kung Fu, Kickboxing, Karate (different styles) and Taekwondo. Gaining a wealth of experience within each Martial Art.
During 1998 I was starting to realise that martial arts point sparring competitions were not as easy now. As soon as you become black belt you go onto a whole new level . My first competition as a black belt I was fighting a guy ranked number 2 in the world. It all seemed quite easy until then. It seem a life time ago when a spinning sweep was allowed and used quite regularly on solid floors. Now everything is on mats and a lot of techniques are deemed to dangerous.. What every happened to the spinning back fist!
1999 I did my Final year Major Study at university on a Martial arts training device which was shown in the Sunday times and displayed at young designer of the year awards in Islington London. When you are passionate about an area, it makes it very satisfying to come up with new designs and ideas, solving problems and helping people to train within Martial Arts
2000 I got a job as a designer in Leicester and tried training in various different martial arts clubs, mainly sports karate. Never really found one that I stayed at for more than a year. I was lucky that with my background training I could go to any club and instantly get on with the instructor and start training. I remember feeling very honored when the instructors would ask me to stay after classes in order to spar with them.
2004 was quite a bad time, I started having bad dizzy episodes causing weekly bouts of mass dizziness and illness that the doctors said was just a problem with the inner ear and they could do nothing about.
2006 I got very depressed not being able to do any type of martial arts training due to the dizziness.
In 2007 I was diagnosed with Meniere’s syndrome, which had been causing all the dizziness and motion movement. After seeing a specialist and changing my diet, no caffeine, low salt, low alcohol, low sugar, I was then able to start training again and decided to go back to my original club.
2008 I was now doing a 50mile round trip twice a week to my original club in Derby with Sensei Bob Taylor now 7th Dan. It was amazing to be training with friendly faces that I had grown up with. The respect I had gained a decade ago was still there and everyone remembered me. Now with another 10 years of Martial Arts experience, training at different clubs and sparring with different people I was no longer the same person that had left at 19. Robert Taylor Junior now 5th Dan who I had trained with a lot when I was younger was also a very different fighter, now a full time instructor with many a European and World Championship under his belt, I still had a lot I could learn.
2009 I was now sparring a lot more, mainly with one of my best mates Phil Noon (3rd Dan). It was strange becoming friends with Phil as I used to teach him when I instructed 12 years previous. He is now 26 and has achieved more in his life of Martial Arts then I could ever dream off. The student has now become the teacher and I am trying to learn as much as I can from him. Phil has been a Silver medalist world champion in Traditional Sparring, he also competes in traditional Kata and Musical Form.
Phil training in musical form
Phil Sparing at an inter club semi contact competition (spinning hook kick at 1.08 has to be seen..)
Also in 2009 I decided that Martial Arts was my life and as a designer I knew a lot about websites, graphics and had good people skills
From scratch I started Indoor Xtreme. I really enjoy working in the shop, talking with people and sharing my experience is very satisfying.
2010 I met my wife who is a fitness instructor teaching Les Mills BodyCombat, BodyPump, BodyBalance and RPM. I do a lot of her classes as well as the 4-6 hours of WadoRyu Sports Karate a week. Now at the age of 35 I am probably fitter , faster, with better reactions than I have ever had before.
2011 was a hard year, I got married and decided that after being a 1st Dan for 15 years it was the year to work hard and get my 2nd Dan. Moving house, Getting married and training for your 2nd dan all within a 3 month period is not easy!
Hard training session today. One of my martial art buddies came round, started with a 6 mile run followed by 10x2min full on bag sessions, followed by pyramid kick training for a further 20mins, followed by a 10min abs session, followed by a pint at the pub!