Thinking out loud ….

I am considering leaving our current organisation. This is the one that provides student and instructor insurance and acts as a so called ‘governing body.’ I’ve been with them as a student and coach for 20 years.
So why? What is it that they have done?
Well nothing actually, no really, I mean nothing, zero, zilch, nada!!
I once tried organising an NVQ course for myself, having been told that ‘someone in authority’ at this organisation was an accessor.
Forget it. I wasted so much time chasing my own tail.

They (the organisation) will only offer instructor insurance to 1st dan black belts. The assumption being that black belts can instruct … trust me, they can’t. I’ve met black belts that couldn’t demonstrate how to open a tube of toothpaste.
In addition, all black belt instructors need to attend a course to obtain a coaching award. I can tell you now, that of all the various sports coaching courses I’ve been on over the years, the martial arts one was the worst in terms of content, execution and inspiration.
So I have this peculiar situation of having a brown belt, coached by me who is a better coach than many black belts and a black belt who has also trained judo in Japan and who is, without any exaggeration, the most accomplished coach I have ever seen that must attend one of these uninspiring courses in order to qualify for instructor insurance!
I am not amused.
I made enquiries at Sportscoach UK. The principles of coaching are the same across all sports so did they have a generic course covering, how to plan, access, evaluate, communicate.
Their answer: We couldn’t possibly provide a course that circumvents your own associations coaching requirement, what a useless twonk!
I’ve since found an organisation that, along with supplying the required student insurance, will also insure 1st dans without a coaching qualification.
It’ll mean more work for me. But just might provide the help I’m not getting elsewhere ….. we shall see.

Putteridge class Monday 3rd April

Reminder: Monday’s Putteridge junior Jujitsu class is cancelled. In lieu of the cancellation students are permitted to train Tues and Friday or Tues and Saturday or Friday or Saturday ….. apologies for the inconvenience.

A better man than I …

I’ve posted a link below to an event run by my ex landlord’s son, the same landlord that decided he’d steal £600 from my deposit. So, why on earth would I be going out my way to help promote the progeny of such an individual, an individual who, in moments of weakness I would gladly extract my ‘pound of flesh’ from.

A good question, and one that even as I type this, has the circling demons (my demons circle, hover, gather in droves over my shoulder, huddle in dark corners and hide my coffee mug) chattering in disbelief in my ear.

Am I looking to garner karma points?
Alas to do that, my intentions would have to be void of all malice and laced with an affirmation of pure good and benevolence.

While I’m trying to be a good, kindly and a god fearing (fearing? shouldn’t that be loving?) individual, murky waters kinda stop my good intentions from rising to the top, so, while the odd inclination or two manages to bubble to the surface, I’ll lay down my piece and move on.

1) The sins of the father should not be laid upon the son
2) Doing this, means that I am at least trying to be a better man
3) I believe the event might hold interest for some

I don’t think events like this happen much in Luton, could be wrong, but I’m sure there’s enough ‘geeks’ in my field of operations who would find such an event fun and of course the fact that it’s at our old dojo, may provide a little extra interest.

So there it is, I can hear my demons chattering and planning their own pieces of mischief and mayhem for me, but I’m done now.

Have fun, live long and prosper ….

“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”
― Oscar Wilde…/204093738

New Mini Ninjas

ACS MAGFA (Charles St Luton) NEW MINI NINJA classes begin. Wed 26th April 5.30-6.30pm

Please visit this page to register interest:

It’s not me it’s you …


It is with regret [cue digital red crossing out pen]
It is with sorrow [cross out again]

It is with huge disappointment, that we have to announce the cancellation of this year’s presentation evening.

Shock! Horror! Gasp! Has sensei done a Warren Beatty and read out from the wrong envelope?

Nope he hasn’t. Now some £110 the poorer, I’ve decided to stop chasing this farcical aspiration so that my club secretary can devote her time elsewhere and I can stop worrying about trying to fill a hall.

The presentation evening had, and always has had a three fold objective:

1) To reward certain students for their efforts over the year (student of the year etc)
2) To provide funds in support of a charity we choose to support.
3) To have a little get together and some fun

That’s it. There is no Caribbean cruise or DB9 fund, well there is, but as I say, it’s £110 lighter now. So why at the eleventh hour have I cancelled?

Let’s analyse it shall we:

Over 20 students at Lewsey Community Centre, number of tickets sold – 2!
Ticket sales for Charles St and Putteridge combined – 18!

Pathetic? Apathetic? Couldn’t give a rats ****?

You may think so, I couldn’t possibly comment.

Our previous 3 Presentation events raised almost £1000 for the Dreamflight charity and were supported by approx 60 people at each event. We even managed to run an enjoyable quiz night on one occasion.

I’m trying to find reasons why I’ve failed. Why have I not been able to convince those students and parents that this was a just, worthy and enjoyable cause?

After much soul searching, I’ve come to the conclusion that: “It’s not me, it’s you.”

No really, it’s you!

Violence and aggression drives my coaching agenda. How people deal with it without resorting to a physical response is just as important as how they deal with it on an intellectual and physiological level. Part of that psychology, particularly in children is to coach the whole child in terms of confidence building, encouragement, improving social skills, building respect for themselves and others – I don’t believe that many parents buy into this.

It’s akin to the: I send my kids to school, teachers teach them, why should I engage them in their studies at home, teachers get paid to teach not me!

I have had to inform the parents of all the trophy winners that I will be presenting their child’s trophy within a normal class setting. No room filled accolades, no cheering, no loud applause, no chorus of digital shutters recording the moment for family prosperity – how pathetically mundane and uninspiring is that?

To be honest, I’m also a little ashamed. Ashamed that I tried to build this thing into a celebration of commitment and success with an added charitable contribution, ashamed that obviously a celebration of achievement only has value on an insular level, ashamed that all the support we garnered in previous years has gone – and most importantly ashamed that I’ve let those kids down.

The reverse side of all this is that we can save ourselves the bother of organising any back to back competitions (like I told the kids I would) or the ‘No growth in Comfort’ events we used to run, because you’ve proved, as a collective, that you are not interested in these activities or supporting our aspirations outside of sending your children along for 2 to 4 hours training.

Ultimately I am here to serve, the currency I expend is me, my time, my intent, my determination, my humour, my compassion, my tolerance – let’s just say that for the immediate future, you might find yourself a little short changed.

Presentation evening

Ladies, Gentlemen, Boys and GirlsGentle reminder to purchase your tickets for this awards presentation evening (March 4th). Thank you to those who have supported this event in buying yours already (all 20 of you).  

However, due to low numbers of tickets sold so far, we run the risk of having to cancel this.

If you would like to attend and celebrate our junior students’ achievements then please buy your tickets NOW.

For those who don’t know (or don’t believe) all proceeds go to our chosen charity Martial Artists Supporting Children With Cancer.