How was class?

As it’s a New Year and we have so many new students, I thought I would take a little survey of what students think of our classes.

So I messaged all our students, even ones who haven’t attended in a while, to ask what they thought about class. What they like and/or dislike.

The responses I received was, on the most part, positive. Although there were some constructive criticisms and issues that I will be looking into.

I was shocked by one student, they posed the same question back.

I hadn’t really thought about it, should I have any expectations of students?

As an association, we are the ones providing the service. We should be concerned about the products we sell, customer service and value for money. That’s what modern marketing teaches us, it’s all about the purchasing experience.

But learning martial arts is different from buying a pair of shoes or a burger.

So my student asking me a question has left with two topics to discuss:

“Expectations of an Instructor”


“Expectations of a Student”

Watch this space..




Time for a little one..

The New Year has come and gone.

How many of you have been to the gym, changed your diet or made the changes you said were coming in 2017?

We are now in February, 31 days have past, one twelfth of the year gone already.

How many of the promises that we made ourselves are already broken?

Now I’m not criticising or pointing fingers, I’m just as guilty as anyone else.

Last year I promised that I would put more effort into writing my blog.

I promised and then didn’t.

It’s so easy to make plans, but unfortunately life often gets in the way.

Please don’t think I’m moaning, last year was amazing.

Loads of work, courses and trips away.

From teaching seminars throughout the UK and Northern Ireland to teaching at the “Last Man Standing” event in Texas.

It’s was arguably the best run event that I’ve ever attended. Texas is definitely a place to see and I’m looking forward to my next trip in August.

So as the title says, this is just a little one to get me back into the swing of things.

Watch this space..


Martial Arts – 6 Reasons to Learn

I know it’s been a wee while since I’ve posted, 2015 was a busy year..

I have been involved in the martial arts for over 30 years, that’s longer than I have spent working in any single job or career. It is a passion, as anyone that has met me in person can testify too.

I have learned a lot through the years, met some amazing people and travelled the world.

But why am I writing this post?

Well it’s 2016 and many people are looking for the “New Year, New Me” or at least that is what they are saying on social media.

I hope that I can either inspire a beginner to look at the martial arts and the benefits they can gain from training or re-kindle the spark in a lapsed student who is looking for an excuse to get back on the floor.


The world we live in has changed greatly in the last 30 years, we now live a more sedentary life than at any point in recorded history. Our lives are ruled by our media access.

Hours spent watching computer screens, TVs and mobile phones.

Obesity is on the increase, this affects not only the individual but also our society and we need to address this before things go too far.

Why should I go outside and play when I can play on-line with our friends?
No matter your current level of fitness, martial arts will change your lifestyle.

You will lose weight and look better.

It helps you improve your flexibility, stability, endurance and strength. Training on a regular basis also helps change your attitude to life, making you more positive and outgoing.

It can even reduce the need for medication.

Reason two – SELF-DEFENCE

Violence is on the increase, knife crime is on the rise and everyone knows at least one person that has been physically attacked at work.

Whether it is due to the current economic climate or from fear of zombies, it is becoming more and more important to be able to protect ourselves, our families and property.

The Martial arts were designed around the need to survive and therefore they are the best resource available for learning self-defence. They have been tried and tested.

Instructors will teach you to defend yourself against both armed and unarmed attackers in a safe and controlled environment. As part of a class, you will get to train with attackers of different sizes and shape, giving you the chance to see what works best for you.

Dealing with confrontation and understanding the psychology of violence is a skill we all should learn.

Experiencing a situation before it happens for real, through class based scenarios, changes the way you will react. It can reduce the effect of fear and give you an advantage.


It is a sad fact that many people are lacking in self – confidence. They have a complete lack of belief in their own abilities, qualities and judgement. Learning martial arts can help you to overcome your fears.

The physical training will change your fitness and make you feel or look better.
Conflict management training will help deal you with confrontations and build self-esteem.

You will learn to work on your own and with others, helping you get over shyness or social anxiety.

You will learn to accept difficult situations and challenges, nothing is easy and you will need to work hard to progress.

You will get to see your own potential, too often we aren’t able to see what we could achieve.

Martial arts will teach you that success is earned by hard work and dedication and not due to luck.


Being disciplined in life is important. We need to control our words and actions to fit into society.

Many people are short tempered and lose patience which becomes violent at times. Martial arts training helps you to control your inner self and be in peace.

Martial arts will teach you not only about your body but also about your mind.
As instructors, we focuses on teaching you to respect and motivate others.

Controlling your base emotions like fear, anger and jealousy, will have a positive effect on your life. Once you start training, you will be able to feel the real calmness in yourself.

Self-discipline not only provides you with the ability to make choices, before defending yourself you need to defend your inner self by controlling your emotions, making you more accountable for your actions.


Nowadays there is an over emphasis on team work and while that is important, we sometimes forget that the individual needs to progress too.
Martial arts, is not about teamwork but about improving your individual personality.

No one else can do the work for you, no excuses the buck stops here.

When we talk about progress, people tend to look towards the end of a task to gauge their achievement.

Again martial arts is different, we focus on the distance you have travelled.

We look at the development of the individual, the changes to their technique and attitude. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Modern education tends to focus on the learning of facts and knowledge rather than principles. This means that most people have missed out on learning important life skills.

Martial arts will teach you these skills, you will learn about respect, courtesy, setting / achieving goals and how to focus on the job in hand in a complicated world.

If you learn and develop these skills you will be ahead of the pack and achieve success.

Thank you for taking the time to read this lengthy post.

Martial arts classes can be found in every city and town, find one that is near you and give it a try.

I look forward to seeing you at the top of the mountain, whichever path you follow..

Speak to you again soon..



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First Aid provision..

My last post was on the new concussion guidance and it sparked a fair bit of interest. Personally, I think it is important that everyone has first aid training. It should be taught in schools and everyone should have a first aid qualification by the time they leave school.

I want to continue with first aid provision for employers.

Under mandatory legislation, all UK businesses must provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work.

These provisions were laid out in the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 and apply to all workplaces, including those with less than five employees and to the self-employed.

The 1981 act also sets out that all training would need to be approved by the HSE.

The law on First Aid changed on the 1st October 2013.

Since then, the HSE no longer approves first aid training, Training Providers or Qualifications.

This has caused some confusion for employers as to what is compliant and what isn’t.

In theory, this should give businesses more flexibility in how they manage their “provision of first aid in the workplace”.

In practice, it has opened the door for some trainers to sell low-cost, low quality training, which looks very attractive to businesses in the current financial climate.

Unfortunately, this cheap training often falls short of the needs of the employers First Aid Risk assessment and only comes with an “in-house certificate of attendance” issued by the training provider.

It is now the employer’s duty to ensure that all training, provided by an employer, is fit for purpose and that the training provider used is qualified and competent to deliver that training.

Failure to purchase quality training would leave the door open for both criminal and civil prosecutions.

Depending on your choice of provider, you will need to undertake varying levels of due diligence into the course content and how the provider will deliver the training you require.

Please note some providers are still using their unique HSE centre number on their stationary. These are no longer valid and are not proof of competence. Just because a training provider has, in the past, had HSE approval and carried out your training in the past, that does not guarantee they are fit for purpose under the new regulations.

The HSE website has free guidance and a check list for employers to help them with selecting a training provider.


The guidance suggests that the easiest way to prove your diligence is to use a provider offering certification from an awarding body, as these qualifications are controlled by the qualification regulators – Ofqual (in England), the SQA (in Scotland) and the Welsh Government.

All our First Aid courses are awarding body regulated and come with nationally recognised qualifications, a full size certificate, a wallet sized laminated certificate and a certified CPD statement.

For a free consultation on First Aid Regulations, Firstid Risk Assessments or info on our upcoming HABC Level 3 in First Aid at Work (QCF), email

Check out our video here,,

Speak to you again soon…



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Leading the way..

Scotland seems to be leading the way on a lot of things just now.

We put in place a lower drink drive limit and it looks like the rest of the UK will follow suit.

Now we are setting the standard by becoming the first country in the world to introduce standard guidelines for dealing with concussion in sport.

I posted about this on Facebook this morning and have had a few people contact us for advice or just to comment..

Firstly, at present, we have no further info on the new guidelines but as soon as we have I will post an update to our mailing list.

If you would like to receive a copy, please register using the link below.

Secondly, I am shocked at some of the comments I have received.

People commenting that we are becoming a granny state, it is just another way to get money out of clubs and probably the worst one yet “It won’t change what we do”

I won’t name or shame but really if I was a parent with my daughter going to that class, I would be moving her somewhere else.

So I’d like to address the comments in detail..

I have never had any of my students die as a result of our training but,if I did, it would have a profound effect on me.

If following a piece of guidance on first aid can save a life, then I’m all for it, granny state or not.

As I’ve said, I haven’t seen the guidance but as a business in the UK, you should already have in place a risk assessment for first aid.

This should look at the injuries you could expect, from the nature of the business you carry out. Sport and concussion go hand in hand and this should have already been highlighted.

From a martial point of view, we should already have personal protective equipment and training in place to reduce injuries.

maybe we need to review the level of kit that the competitors wear and the training our staff get..

First aid is a must but better teaching, coaching and refereeing courses will help.

Unfortunately most sports clubs and associations won’t have completed a first aid risk assessment or due to cost, opt for a short, 1 day level 2 – EFAW or Sports First Aid, which doesn’t cover head injuries.

When asked, we recommend that all coaches/instructors have a full 3 day level 3 awarding body qualification in First Aid.

All our instructors are Level 3 trained, sure it costs more but I can sleep better knowing that I have provided the best level of cover for my staff.

And if you are one of the “it won’t change what we do” crowd, I hope you lose everything as your negligence could kill.

Need more information or advice on first aid issues?

Contact us today for a free consultation..



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Got to love those memes..

Memes are everywhere..

No matter where you go on the internet or social media, people are expressing their views with funny pictures and quotes.

Every now and then, one will make you think or stir you into action.

I saw this one on Facebook today..

no excuses
I shared it on my wall, got a few likes and a couple of private messages.

The meme says there are no excuses but if you consider:

– Family

– Work

– Relationships

– Money

– Time

– Age

– Fitness

I’m pretty sure we could all find a reason for skipping classes or a big enough excuse to quit.

Personally, I’d be lost without my training.

It’s my training that defines me as a person and, a part from the love of my parents, has been the single biggest influence in my life.

I’ve been lucky enough to travel, meet and train with people from all four corners of the world.

But nothing is for free, I couldn’t count how many nights out and family events I’ve missed or how much I’ve spent over the years.

No excuses.. No regrets..

I wouldn’t change a thing, I wonder how many people can say the same??



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No such thing as a free lunch..

No such thing as a free lunch..

Just getting ready for our TAMMAA VI trip and I thought I take a break from the preparations and write a quick blog.

For those that didn’t know, I hold the position of “Director of Training” for TAMMAA and on the Friday night of every TAMMAA event, we offer open lectures on both Self-Defence Law and Business Start up and Governance.

These lectures are free to attend, yes FREE, to anyone that is interested. There are no requirements to attend the full event, no terms and conditions, no small print or catches. Hell, you don’t even need to buy us a pint!!

The first lecture starts at 7pm and lasts about and hour. We will look at self-defence law, the legends and the urban myths. Now I might be wrong but this should be of interest to everyone who trains in martial arts. We will also have time for a short Q & A session.

The second lecture should start about 8.15 and will deal with starting your own business and the laws that you need to look at when running a business in the UK.

Obviously this will be focused on martial arts and is suited more for club instructors or people looking to run clubs in the future. But it will have all the information needed for anyone looking to start up a business, regardless of the sector.

Again there will be time allotted for a short Q & A session.

Now for the title, “No such thing as a free lunch…”

As much as these lectures are FREE, you will not learn anything from them if you don’t hear them. So the cost is your time..

There are 24 hours in a day, that is all the time we have, nothing we do can change that.

It’s how you spend the time that counts.

So, will you “invest” your time and join us for the lectures and maybe learn something that could change your life or will you “spend” this Friday night like millions of others, in the pub or sitting on the couch watching TV..
Hopefully see you soon



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