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Modern Martial Arts
RESPECT
ACHIEVE
BELIEVE
Gen Dai Bu Jutsu
by The MMA Team on December 8th, 2015

Okinawa Peace Park at Ottoman

With the recent happenings in Beirut, France, London and many other parts of the world, we thought this was an apt post to make. There can never be enough hope in the world and if we all hope for peace, maybe, just maybe, we may get it one day.
 
As part of our adult lounge, we have decided to make a piece of art that is solely dedicated to peace around the world. It has Buddha with the responsibility of peace on his shoulders and the open empty hands of Karate (we practice Wado Ryu - the Way of Peace) encaged by the barriers of everyday life.
 
This piece of art was inspired by the Okinawan Prefectural Peace Park in Ottoman which has an iconic white tower that can be seen f...or miles and inside it is a giant statue of Buddha. People from all over the world send messages of peace to this statue and they are usually in the form of folded origami paper cranes. Literally hundreds of thousands of them adorn the base of this impressive statue.

The inspiration of the paper crane representing world peace comes from the story of a young girl who was caught in the blast from the bombing of Hiroshima in World War II.
 
She later developed leukaemia from the radiation of the blast and ended up in hospital. Her best friend visited her in hospital and brings her golden origami paper and tells her of the legend of the 1000 cranes. Anyone who folds 1000 paper cranes will be granted a wish from the crane. She tells her to use it to get the wish of health.

The young girl starts folding the cranes and uses scraps of paper from around the hospital. She changes her mind about her wish at some point in her illness and wants to use the wish to wish for world peace instead.

She completes crane number 644 and this is the last crane she is able to make, and sadly she passes away on October 25th 1955 aged just 12.

At her funeral, her classmates surround her with 1000 paper cranes after folding the remaining 356 cranes and they are buried with her. Around the world she becomes a symbol of world peace.

The little girl is Sadako Sasaki and this is a summary of her story....

There have been many tributes to the memory of Sadako over the years, but the best known memorial to this brave young girl was created in 1958. There is a statue in memory of Sadako Sasaki at the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park in Naka-ku, Hiroshima, Japan. Sadako is holding a golden crane and there is a plaque with an inscription that says,

"This is our cry. This is our prayer. Building peace in the world."

If you are interested in the story of Sadako Sasaki, then you can read the book; Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.

The statue of Sadako


by The MMA Team on January 6th, 2015

Helping us to help you...

So. MMA has gone Direct Debit only and its mandatory. What's that all about? Well let us first say, that we have met with some resistance to say the least from some of you all about this and we completely, totally understand your concerns and worries. We really do.  

We understand you want total control of your finances, we understand you don't like giving out your bank details and all the other reasons you haven't wanted to make this transition.

Please bear with me though and I will try to explain things from our point of view, so maybe, just maybe we can see eye to eye and let you see why DD is a good thing. Firstly let's look at the positives in general.

Its totally safe. We use GOCARDLESS as our DD service provider and they operate a 100% secure server site that will not put your money or details at risk at all. 

You need control of your money? Well DD gives you complete control over your finances as you know your bills will be paid on the date they are due.

Theres no problems of not having any money or card on you when your subs are due and the embarrasment of not being able to train as your subscriptions are effectively out of date and your membership is invalid. 

These are just a few of them. However there is one other one. It ties in with all our hard work of late at automating the systems here at MMA. 


'Once upon a time there was a small dojo that offered one on one time with every member in every class.  This Dojo grew in popularity and in size.  But unfortunately, so did all the responsibilities of the teachers and they soon found themselves caught up in the mundane tasks of running the school instead of teaching in it.  Chasing payments, answering payment queries, signing people in, keeping registers was now normal life'


Ok. You get the picture?

We want to automate ALL our systems and make them effectively run themselves. Automatic log in with a key fob, automatic registers and attendance level records at our fingertips, no worrying about who has paid and when.   So for the last couple of months, we have been putting systems in place to achieve this and we are about to launch our exciting new software program that will enable us to offer you the above things and more. 

Imagine wanting to order something from our Pro Shop? 

How about scrolling through a really simple menu system and picking exactly what you want, paying for it and it arrives in a few days? even straight to your home if thats what you desire?

A quick flash of a keyfob on a barcode scanner and you are logged in for your class. Youre also logged in as an attendance for your grading total. 

Everything as simple as that.

'And the people of the land rejoiced as the teachers, free of their shackles went back amongst the people and taught. Not to them all. But to each of them'

Seriously, all we Instructors want to do is teach you. confident that all bases are covered and everyone can get on with doing the job we love. Teaching you. Please support us in this move forward and help us make it as seamless as possible. 

Thanks for listening and please leave any comments on this blog post or get in touch with us with your comments.  We love to hear from you. 

The MMA Team

Hopefully next week we will be releasing these keyfobs for you to use. More info as and when. Oh and you'll be getting your photo taken too. so SMILE :) 

by The MMA Team on December 30th, 2014

The Belt System here at Modern Martial Arts - 2015


by The MMA Team on December 7th, 2014


Darrel here. Resident karate geek and personal trainer.  I have a little knowledge of the human body too. I did nutrition years ago when I was studying to be a nurse and I keep a keen interest in it these days, from an health and fitness perspective.  There is so much going round these days about this food and that supplement etc etc, thats its hard to keep up. SO....

I decided I am going to ocassionally post on the blog to try and break some of all this techno blabber into laymans terms. Heres one of my first posts.  Its a small part of why i hate 'diet' or 'low fat' foods, which branches off into many other things, so for today I will keep it nice and simple.

Probiotics... ok so what are they?

Simply put they are organisms such as yeast or bacteria. However unlike most peoples perception of bacteria, these guys are helpful and help us keep healthy and well. The digestive system has around 500 different types of bacteria and they all perform functions such as keeping the intestines etc health and allow us to digest our food. They basically help and form part of our immune system.

Hence forth, the probiotics are good guys.

So low fat foods are good too right?

Well layman terms are now going to come out.

Sugar.  Your body is designed to utilise, assimilate and break down sugar. Cool, right?

Yes, very cool. So why do more and more people tell us to cut it out of our diet? Well in moderation, the human body needs sugar, basically to 'fuel' us. To supply fuel to our muscles and brain. However in excess this sugar is stored (if too much is present for the body to use) and can eventually be stored as excess weight and lipids (fat). Not cool...

So we have all these 'low fat' food choices and 'diet' foods that are low in fat and sugar. So thats got to be a good thing right?

wrong...

These foods nearly all use 'processed' sugars or chemical alternatives to sugars that claim to have little to zero calories. That sounds amazing. Except when you realise that the human body is designed to utilise and convert natural enzymes, proteins, sugars etc. It was never designed to utilise chemical alternatives.  This includes such things as tea and coffee sweeteners.

Firstly lets look at a few reasons why and then lets go full circle and get back to those probiotic fellows.

WEIGHT GAIN
Everytime you eat or drink something that contains natural sugar, your body recognises the calories and starts up its internal fire (thermogenics) in order to burn these fuels and convert them to a useable state.   If the body does not recognise these calories (as there are none in artificial alternatives) then it wont heat up or burn any calories. Thus you wont feel 'full' and you will usually overeat all this wonderful diet food as its got next to no calories in it...

TIME
Your body is designed to digest and utilise sugar in 24 hours, but when it comes to these artificial alternatives, that can be as long as 4 days as your body simply cannot digest this chemical additive.  If you eat this kind of food regurlarly you will notice a change in toiletry habits and a massive strain will be placed on your digestive system over time.

OK so two good reasons. What about these probiotic chaps?

Well heres another reason..

CHLORINE
You know the smelly substance they put in swimming pools that stings your eyes when its a little over zealously put in? Thats chlorine, a kind of bleach that kills bacteria.

Hold on? Arent probiotics bacteria?

YUP!

So artifical sugars and sweeteners are actually helping to KILL OFF these probiotic warriors and weaken your immune and digestive systems...

What else contains chlorine? Council pop. Or TAP WATER. Do you have a chlorine filter on your tap?  I do. I have one of those large fridges that has a water and ice dispenser on the side and its got an inline chlorine filter fitted by moi. This helps filtrate the levels of chlorine that I get in my glass when i pour myself a drink and protects my tiny minute Probiotic champions so they can get on with their important job and keep me healthy.

So think before you turn that tap next time or pick up that 'healthy' meal....

Peace, post soon.

Darrel


by The MMA Team on November 25th, 2014

The new timetable is now online. PLEASE NOTE THE TIMES ARE EFFECTIVE AS OF THE 1ST DECEMBER 2014. 

We are reverting back to our old start time of 5.15pm for Little Champions. This is the time we will be keeping from now on after researching and getting feedback for the last 6 months about our revised start times of 4.45pm.  It would seem we are upsetting someone whatever time we start, so we have to make a decision and for staffing levels and ease of people to get to classes the old start time has come up trumps.

Please familarise yourself with the schedule. All the classes marked with an '*' are new classes to the timetable and they will be phased in gradually by the 1st of January 2015.

As usual any questions or comments, please direct them to a member of the team at an appropriate time or email us on enquiries@modernmartialarts.co.uk or message us on FB or twitter.  (if using social media PLEASE make sure it is a private message and not a post or tweet as we could easily miss them)

Regards,

The MMA Team

by The MMA Team on November 13th, 2014


As we are moving to Direct Debit only from the 1st December, we have put together this little guide for you to alleviate all those concerns that people have. We really have made the whole process as painless as possible, but we would say that wouldn't we?

But seriously to show you just how easy this really is, have a little look at this little step by step guide...
 

This is what the email will look like when you receive it (obviously with YOUR details on it) and all you have to do is click on the link (shown in blue)

This is the page you will be taken to. Firstly, note the SECURE PADLOCK ICON in the address bar, this shows you that this is a SECURE CONNECTION and your details are completely safe.
Secondly, make sure the payment details at the top are correct for your monthly payments, if you believe they are wrong then please contact the Dojo at your earliest convenience so that we may look into it for you. However if all is as it should be then check that our email address is correct and then make sure you select the option

'I don't have a GoCardless account'

Then enter your first and last names.

NB!!  PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU ENTER YOUR FIRST AND LAST NAMES AS THEY HAVE BEEN PRESET TO THE STUDENTS NAME AND THIS MIGHT NOT BE YOU (FOR EXAMPLE YOU ARE A PARENT OR GUARDIAN)

Do NOT select the option

'I'm paying on behalf of an organisation'

Enter your billing details.

Fill in the rest of your billing details and ensure you put the SORT CODE and ACCOUNT NUMBER in correctly.

Choose yourself a password and confirm it and then press CONTINUE
You will then be presented with a screen like the one above for you to check your details are correct before you click 'confirm'. (and these details are NOT correct before you all start trying to hack that account...)
If all is well with your details (it will tell you if it is not) then you will be presented with this screen, which means everything has gone to plan and you are now setup for your payments to be taken out by Direct Debit every month. Sit back and relax.  Should there ever be any problems with your payment, we will notify you as soon as possible.

We hope this little guide has helped to alleviate any concerns and should you have any futher questions, please do not hesitate to contact a member of staff at anytime or email us.

Regards,

The MMA Team

by The MMA Team on October 29th, 2014


After my return from Okinawa in October 2013, I realised the the Dojo was missing something. Something important. I couldnt place my finger on it, but it truly feeled like the building was missing a 'soul'? The building has always been a social hub for people, but where was the centre?

Then it hit me.

Shomen..

We didnt have one. So I decided to change that almost immediately.

This area is where i decided Shomen would go, I only had three pictures of Chosin Chibana, Chojun Miyagi and Uechi Kanbon.

behind the wall was some dead wall space, that would need addressing to enable a suitable Shomen to be made and included. I would be cutting a square hole in this, so I had the middle wooden prop to consider...
Here is the area I want to cut out marked on the wall, ready for the jigsaw to kick into life
and here it is cut out showing off that lovely corrugated wall behind and that great middle pole....
one saw later and the middle prop is gone so I start to make a frame to hold the Shomen recess, using the piece I cut out as the back wall of the Shomen.

Once the frame started to take shape, I tried the fitting of the Tori inside the frame. The Tori is simply an old belt rack from Blitzsports that I took apart to resemble an original Tori gate.

with the recess taking shape nicely, I started the second phase of my Operation Shomen, which was to get some wooden panelling onto the wall to give it a more authentic feel.
The wooden cladding continues...

With a second external Tori added and some decorative features, along with some varnish, the finished item is pretty impressive!

With a second external Tori added and some decorative features, along with some varnish, the finished item is pretty impressive!

'GenDai BuJutsu' our Dojo name proudly displayed in traditional Okinawan Calligraphy!

I chose this statue of Buddha for two reasons.  It belonged to my dear late mother and also it shows that Buddha is a man and not a God and therefore I am not asking for any religious show of hands when we all bow towards Shomen, something I feel is very important,

Posted on February 16th, 2014

HOW SHOULD I CONDUCT MYSELF IN MY GRADING’S?

Original Blog date - November 24, 2013 · by modernmartialartz

We have decided to write this article to advise people of the correct ‘way’ to conduct themselves in a grading situation.  These guidelines are to be followed at all times and are the correct course of conduct for every class you train in.  However for Grading purposes, if you do or do not follow these guidelines where appropriate you will find yourself losing a lot of marks and even failing your grading in severe cases.  These cases include, but are not limited to poor etiquette, bad sportsmanship or lack of self-control.

Right then, so what SHOULD I be doing in my grading?

If you receive a letter from the Chief Instructor and you do not attend your grading, then this is classed as a FAIL and will be entered onto your record and in your licence as such.  If you cannot attend your grading for a genuine reason such as work commitments, then you MUST inform the Chief Instructor as soon as possible, BEFORE the grading.  There ARE no exceptions, as of January 2014, any persons failing to comply with this request, will be marked as having FAILED their grading in their licence.  You will NEVER be invited to a Grading if you are ‘not ready’.

When you arrive for your grading, please be on your best behaviour, be prompt and be clean and smart, with a clean, pressed appropriate uniform.  If there is a problem with you having the correct uniform, the Chief Instructor must be informed as soon as possible.  The correct way to wear your uniform is as follows.

Kickboxing  FULL CONTACT SUIT. The tunic must not be worn OVER your pants. It should be tucked into your contact trousers.  The belt should be worn around the ribbed top of the contact pants and the tunic top ‘bagged out’ over it.

Karate  FULL WHITE DOGI. The Gi must be worn left to right wrap over with all strings and ties concealed within the uniform.  The belt worn around the waist (not the hips) keeping the ties from view.  Ladies should wear a full round neck white T-Shirt under their Gi top (no exceptions) and males should wear nothing under their GI top (no exceptions).

Should you feel the need to ‘straighten’ your uniform/Gi whilst in the grading, then you do NOT need to ask permission to do so, you simply bow and turn AWAY from the Grading Panel and redress yourself as quickly as possible, turn back, bow again and resume what you were doing.  Should you need to re-tie your belt or adjust it, then you need to do the above, but upon tying the final knot, you should lower to one knee (the right knee will be on the floor).

If you have T shirts and Hoody’s please feel free to bring them with you to your Grading.  The Chief Instructor will notify you when it is ok to wear such items of clothing, dependant on the weather.  For outside running, these will be standard attire.  You will also remove your belt should you need to run/train outside the Dojo grounds.

Be polite and respectful to everyone, including other students and staff who are there on the day, not just MMA Instructors or the Grading Panel Members.

The minimum requirement for equipment is a gum shield (for everyone) and a groin guard (for males).  If you do not have these with you on the day, you may be asked to stop your grading and you will achieve a FAIL pass mark as you were not suitably prepared.  You SHOULD have full equipment for sparring in normal circumstances.  However we appreciate this can be expensive and take some time to acquire, so ensure you have the basics listed above at every grading.

Please go to the toilet BEFORE your grading, as toilet breaks impede the grading for everyone and can lose you marks depending on what you are being assessed on at the time.  If you really MUST go to the toilet, please try to choose a suitable opportunity to ask the Panel.

Upon entering the room, bow to the room AND the Panel members and line up.  Stay silent and resume a ‘ready’ position.  For Kickboxing this is a shoulder width stance with hands behind back.  For Karate, this is your standard ‘Yoi’ stance.  Stay in this position until you are asked to change it, for example ‘left fighting stance’.  Please remain silent unless spoken to by a Panel Member.

Refer to ALL Panel members as Sensei (Sen-Say) or their appropriate title.  For example a 5th Dan would be referred to as Shihan (She-han) when you speak to them.  Please address them in ALL conversation with this title.  You will be notified at the beginning of the grading of their rank.  Should you forget these titles, do not panic, simply use ‘Sir’ or ‘Miss’ in the interim.

To address a Panel Member, raise your hand and wait until acknowledged.  Address them correctly with their appropriate title and upon completion of your query; ensure you bow to the Panel Member you have been addressing.  Then resume whatever you were doing before you spoke to them, or whatever the other students have been told to do whilst you were speaking to them.

Notify the panel of any and all injuries and medical conditions on the day.  If you have medication that you may require in the course of the grading, you MUST provide it on the day and you MUST leave it on the Panels’ table at the front.  If you need to use it, quickly address the Panel and walk AROUND the assessment in progress and not THROUGH it to get to the table.  Use the medication and resume your grading as quickly as possible.  Do not take liberties with this reason as the Panel will know this.

Remember your intitial position you are asked to stand in and return to this at all times you are asked to ‘line back up’ or ‘straighten your lines’.  Should you be asked to ‘straighten your gi/uniform’ then observe the rules above for doing so.

Once the grading starts, ALWAYS work to your highest standard at all times.  Should you be fatigued, do not stop, sit down or refuse to carry on.  If you do then you are liable to fail your grading.  If you are tired, take a deep breath and control your breathing at all times.  Proper breathing will ensure you get through the ‘tough parts’ of your grading.  It is YOUR responsibility to ensure your fitness levels are high enough for the grade you have been invited to attempt.  If you feel the need to rest, remember this is an assessment.  You need to control your breathing and ‘get on with it’.  Should you feel dizzy, lightheaded, faint or develop pain in your head or chest, then you should advise a Panel Member as soon as possible.   They are all trained First Aiders and they will assist you, should you require it.

If at any point in your grading you are unsure of something, then put your hand up, address a Panel Member appropriately and ask them again.  You will NOT lose marks for this.

If you forget something, then you need to bow and kneel down until a Panel Member addresses you to enable you to attempt it again/or give you some assistance.

If you are ‘in the way’ of another student, then make room for them.  If you are attempting to move past another student and they are still in the way, then wait for them to move.  If they do not move, then adjust your position until you are in a better one to carry on with your demonstration.  Do NOT at any point make contact with that student.  You can fail your Grading for this.

Show and exorcise complete control at all times throughout your Grading.  Excessive contact in sparring and lack of self-control in physical demonstrations with a partner (i.e. self-defense or jutsu) are common reasons for failure in Gradings.

So what are the big DON’T’s in my grading?

Do NOT consume alcohol or any other substance on the day of the Grading.  You will be asked to leave and you will incur a FAIL mark on your licence.  You will also be subject to our Code of Conduct Disciplinary Procedures as well, which could result in expulsion from the Academy.  If you have consumed alcohol on the night before and the Panel deem you are unfit to grade because of this, then you will be asked to leave.  This will also incur a FAIL pass-mark on your Licence.

Do NOT eat or drink in the Dojo.

If you have to wear training shoes for medical reasons, do NOT wear outside shoes.  Your training shoes MUST be ones that are only worn for training on the Dojo floor.

Do NOT speak in your Grading unless you are spoken to by a Panel Member/Instructor.  This includes ALL interactions with other students once the Grading had begun.

Do NOT swear or curse in your grading even if you are under physical duress or distress.  Swearing in a grading can result in a FAIL mark on your licence.

Do NOT walk off the mats or turn your back on the panel without good reason.

Do NOT ignore the panel or their Instructions.

Do NOT question any decision or comment made by the Panel.  Accept it courteously and get on with what you were doing.

Do NOT ‘encourage’ other students when you are attempting a Grading yourself.  Get on with your own attempts and leave others to it.  Exceptions to this are when you are attempting your 6 hour Black Belt assessment.  You CAN help others who are attempting it with you so long as it is verbal in nature.  You can also encourage them when they are sparring (and you are watching) to keep their morale up.  If this encouragement becomes a distraction, you may impede their performance, so please keep this in mind.  If you are asked to CEASE any ‘encouragement’ by a Panel Member, then please do so immediately.

Do NOT impede another student’s progress by your position on the mat or your lack of speed to carry out your technique.  Be fully aware at all times of your surroundings and that of your fellow students, to enable you to select a mat position suitable for the progress of everyone.

FINALLY, REMEMBER! The Panel have seen EVERY trick in the book for people trying to gain a rest or reprieve.  They know exactly when you are struggling to perform or remember and they know when you are trying it on.  If you think you will beat them and convince them otherwise.  You are WRONG. Good luck. 

​The MMA Team.






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