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Withdrawal Symptoms

I’m just home from holiday, and I have a healthy tan. That is about the only thing that is healthy about me however, as I really enjoyed my food and drink on my break, and I’ve now slept two weeks on beds and floors that weren’t my own. I feel pretty broken after the Poland camp and a week of swimming, eating delicious food and drinking the local brew in Spain. But I can’t complain as I’ve enjoyed every minute of the last 2 weeks. That’s actually not true; I didn’t enjoy going through airport security with my sons, but other than that, every minute.

But it’s shoulder to the wheel again tomorrow. I’ll be back in shape in no time I’m sure as long as I keep the head of steam we’ve been building in the gym for the last while. Since we’ve moved premises, the level of jiu jitsu has taken a dramatic turn upwards. There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, the shape and size of the gym has played a part. Believe it or not, a smaller, single purpose room has definitely played a part. Walking into the old gym was distracting. A lot of people were around doing a lot of things; lifting weights, pushing sleds, having coffee. I was one of them occasionally. It was far too easy for people to walk in, have a look at who was on the mat, decide it would be too tough and decide to do some cardio instead. It was far too easy to find something else to do. A bit like studying for an exam- sure the desk is a bit cluttered, I’ll clean it and then I’ll be able to study better tomorrow. Now when you walk into Kyuzo, there’s no turning back. You’re here to train, so get on the mat.

Secondly, everyone who has walked in that small door has had my almost undivided attention, free from the stresses of running a failing business. I’m not trying to overstate my role in this, I don’t think of myself as some sort of genius, masterminding the training. I’ve thought about how I want to coach a lot. I’ve studied and practised and taken notes and watched the results. I’ve looked at other people’s methods and decided that I didn’t want to be like them, and looked at others and seen what’s worked. For me, coaching isn’t about teaching technique or setting up drills, it’s creating the right environment in which a group of committed people can flourish. It comes from coaching, of course it does, but it also comes from having a team ethic and commitment to working hard when you’re there, and feeling like you’re missing out when you’re not. I think, at last, I’ve got the mix right at Kyuzo. But it only took 8 years or so.

Lastly, I’ve decided to take a sabbatical from MMA coaching as I’ve stated before. I’m going to give BJJ my undivided attention for the next while. I’m still promoting The Fight Before Christmas 4 and I’ll still be involved in MMA, but we now have BJJ 6 days a week in Kyuzo, and we’re all reaping the benefits.

See you on the mat! I’ve got some holiday pudge to lose!


The crazy kids from the u-12s class!


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