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Ah were to begin?… Well at this time of the year in the Southern hemisphere it is Winter, this means the further south you go the wetter, colder and harsher the elements become. We live, teach and train in Tasmania, Australia, and as such our Winters can be a bit harsher than most (possibly on par with NZ). Training and keeping motivation in the colder months can be a struggle as well as finding enough dry ground and sunshine if like us you train outdoors (we do not have a permanent location as yet) then we are very dependent on the weather. So what to do? For us we try and train indoors but even this becomes a problem if trying to work on your stick drills, one thing to remember that as we train with weapons they are transferable to palm sticks/dulo dulo/Kubotan and then to our hands.
So as the Winter weather is hitting it’s peak in our neck of the woods we are forced more and more inside for our training, to combat cabin fever and to get our muscle memory repetitions up (we are aiming for 10K reps) we have begun working on our flow drills and our hubud lubud drills. This may be for as little as 20 min to several hours depending on our current motivational mood. The biggest hurdle/concern for us is the motivation when kept inside all day for several days (Lots of rain here in Tasmania), as we have a Large family we also need to keep in mind the little trolls…. ahem children and their needs. So we try and incorporate them into our training days, this is also in the form exercises like push ups and sit ups. If this fails to inspire or keep them and us busy enough we look over training footage from previous training sessions as well as other Instructors/masters from around the world in which we live. I have the pleasure of being able to chat with my Guro’s/Mentors/Instructors through the use of the internet so this also helps in the darker months of the year when daily training may not be so easily achieved. Being able to talk to them about techniques, new drills both theirs and mine is a help and as always we are able to find new avenues for progressive training.
Having this network of Martial Artists to talk to, share my life with and have them share mine as well is a blessing never to be taken for granted. The bonds we make throughout our years in all aspect of our life for good and ill define and shape who we are and will become, things happen for a reason even if we can not yet see the Why! It are these thoughts that run through my mind of a Winters evening here at the bottom of the world, a time for self reflection and a time for the setting of goals for the coming warmer months.
So remember no matter the weather or situation, keep doing what you love and if the weather gets too bad to physically train, remember there are other forms of training that will still help your progression the Martial Arts, the mind is more powerful than we give it credit.
As a parent and a Martial Artist I always worry about passing on my knowledge to the next generation. It is every parents responsibility and also every teachers responsibility whether you are teaching Martial Arts, in public/private schools or in another profession. To pass on the knowledge we have gained throughout our years on this planet. The worry part comes from now knowing if the person receiving the information I have to share is even interested or wants to learn it, in regards to my own children that worry turns to concern that I am pushing my own direction for their Journey and in the end push them in the opposite direction. I know I am not the only one with these concerns and I even now of some parents and Mentors/Teachers who have had this very thing happen to them. In the end we must let each person walk their own path regardless of what we want for them. Our students all learn for different reasons which makes each of their journey’s unique to each individual and as such we must teach each student differently to allow our knowledge to sink in and be processed by the student, this is one of the basis for why we do not grade by a time frame or by how much $$$ a student spends.
All of the worrying aside I have been helping out my Guro in his system METFMA-HFS with his youth class, which is the real reason I write this blog today 🙂 It is a great pleasure and privilege to work with Guro Edward Dockrill but even more so are the little humans we are able to engage with and pass on our knowledge to. They are picking up their foundation at a very good rate, I see their eyes open wide in wonder at what they will be learning next, I see their excitement and joy when they finally get that move they have been struggling with for so long. The bonds they make with the other students and us as Mentors are bonds for life, to be a part of their formative years in such a way is very humbling.
I could not ask for a better office or profession than that of passing along the knowledge I have worked so hard for over the years and seeing it being soaked up by the next generation. Here a some of the students I have the privilege of Mentoring.
It has been a long journey which began many years ago, but with perseverance, dedication and commitment it is finally becoming a reality. MAD Systems is finally born, born of a love for varying styles of martial arts and self defence systems and a drive to find a system that worked for myself and hopefully others will find my system rewarding for both mind and body but for self preservation and safety. I have been given the blessing from my mentor and Guro to forge ahead and take what I have learned through his own system and what I have studied through my own journey.
A combination of Karate, Bunjinkan Taijutsu (Ninjitsu), Kung fu, Boxing and Kali/Arnis/Eskrima/Silat is what makes up MAD Systems. Through on going training and with the support of my instructors and mentors over the years I have been developing a whole body complete system that not only incorporates self defence but also street smarts, physical conditioning and a mental attitude that will not only redefine the way you look at the world but also in the way in which you Interact with the world and its inhabitant’s.
So I would like to warmly welcome you all to MAD Systems (Multi Art Defence Systems), and I hope to help you on your own journey in self defence and martial arts.
Lead Instructor Damien Crompton