How Gross Is Your Training

If you follow me on facebook or you will know that I have been away for the last 10 days attending seminars and events throughout the UK.

I know some people hate teaching at seminars but I just love having a range of students, styles and abilities, it is a fantastic challenge.

I tend to find that children always ask the best question, their thirst for knowledge can be awe-inspiring.

So let me set the scene..

It’s my turn to teach and, as always, I ask the students if there was anything they would like to see.

One adult puts his hand up and says that he had seen me before and would like to ask a question about the techniques I had previously taught.

Now I’m not like some instructors, you know the ones that seem to teach the same techniques at every event.

My students find it funny that, with all my years of experience, I often don’t know what I am going to teach until I walk out onto the floor.

So I literally had no idea what I had taught and asked him to explain further.

He said I had taught self-defence and talked about the need to use only “Gross Motor” techniques. He said that I had left him with more questions than answers, he’d looked into it online and was now doubting all validity of the techniques he’d learned for his black belt.

As a teacher I have always liked the quote..

“I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.” – Lily Tomlin,

On one side, I was flattered that my lesson had such a profound effect and was glad that the student had taken my lesson on board.

Afterall making people think outside the box or taking them out of their comfort zone is always a good thing.

But on the other side I was concerned that he was now doubting his training.

I looked round there were confused looks from the other students, his question had raised a topic which many didn’t understand, the concept of gross motor skills.

I was astounded, these were black belts not rainbow belts, many who are running classes.

So I sat them down and did a quick lesson on combat stress, the need to understand adrenal dumping and the effects of adrenaline on the body.

When I had finished, many of the students came and asked me where they could find more information.

To me, this story highlights a lack of knowledge in the arts and more instructors should have an understanding of:

– How the body works
– The effects of stress
– The difference between Martial Arts and Self-Defence
– The need for gross motor skills training

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else” – Albert Einstein

If you don’t know the “rules” that affect your body how do you expect to win?

For more info about any of the above, send me an email to

Speak to you soon



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