Worlds Youngest Blackbelt, Trained by AEGIS, Selected to Promote the New Lego Ninjago Movie

We wanted to congratulate our student Jake Frood from our Leeds North Academy for being selected to help promote the new Lego Ninjago movie.

Chosen because of his status as the world’s youngest black belt, Jake has had some great experiences as a result.

He got to meet Olympic Gold Medallist Jade Jones, even getting to do a seminar with her and spar with her as well!

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The Law of Outcome

The second of the laws of life is the Law of Outcome. The law of Outcome states that ‘if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there’ it is the goal setting law available to us only when we have set our attitude to the point that ‘I control my life’. Once we accept that our lives are not based on fate, that our lives are not predetermined and can only be predicted from the point of view that ‘if you keep on doing what you do, you’ll keep on getting what you get’ and from those who know from their personal experience what their actions will lead to.

The law of outcome comes from imagining what we want our future to be: what we want to be and who we want it to be with. Whether we want wealth, fame, successful career, relationships anything, anything that we want we can have IF we want it enough to pay the price and want it more than what we don’t want. For instance you’ll never have true wealth if you believe inside that ‘money is the root of all evil’ as your desire is contradicted by your belief; your conditioning, also known as your habits. One thing I learned is that our ‘habits are thousands of times stronger than our beliefs’ so before you set your goals you must first believe you can achieve them, that you deserve them and understand that much of their achievement depends upon building new stronger habits to support the achievement of your goals. As Napoleon Hill famously said ‘what you can dream and believe, you can achieve’

Once we get practiced at achieving our goals we learn to understand that once we achieve what we want we can set new goals, more specific goals based on the experience of achieving before. Goal setting is a continuous process as we don’t set goals in one area of our lives, but all areas and not just in the distant future but in all our futures.

So what do you want your future to be? Sometimes it can be hard to tell what we really want and the rule is if in doubt of what you REALLY want, set a goal for what you think you want and when you achieve it see if it feels right. If it doesn’t feel right, set another goal. However, there is another way and that is to write your own obituary which may sound a bit depressing but it’s a great way to imagine what you have done with your life and how you would like to be remembered. It doesn’t have to be after a long life either you could write it as if you died suddenly say, 3 years from now. Think about what you would like to be remembered for, what you would like to have achieved and what legacy you would like to leave behind you.

By doing this, and you may have to do it several times to get a feel for it, you will reveal your passion, your true motivation. You might find that your life is pretty much on track or that it needs a complete re-think. Once you have set your goals, if they are worthy enough you may still have to remind yourself of why and when you want them. There are several ways you can do this and a good one is to write them down, be specific and set a time frame for when you want them to happen. A true goal is measurable and specific so that you know what it is, when you want it and what it will look like when it arrives. If you can’t do this then it is probably not a true goal. For instance if you say to yourself that ‘I want to meet my ideal partner one day’ then this is not measurable or specific. A real goal would be to describe your ideal partner in detail and then set a date that you want them to be in your life by.

Life you will find, is about constant setting and achieving goals both big and small from achieving our daily ‘to do’ list to becoming a multi-millionaire by the time you are 40. Whatever your life is like now and whether you feel ok about it or you want to change it you can have whatever you want as long as:

1. You make it measurable
2. Specific
3. and make sure you REALLY want it

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You Don’t Need More Martial Arts Techniques

My goal over the last few years has to be able to hand over what I know to my instructors so that they can pass on my knowledge and philosophy to the next generations of our black belts. As we have grown more schools I can no longer teach everyone as I once did. I have spent and still spend a lot of my time systemising what I know.

The problem has been that much of what I know, I just know through experience. Whilst I am teaching students directly I can get the gist of what I know to my students but when the message is 2nd or 3rd hand I have found that the message can easily be lost.

So I spend much time and thought breaking down what I know into a method that can be taught at a consistent standard so that we can maintain our systems effectiveness.

Part of this process is separating principles from techniques. A principle responds to a universal law and a technique is a method of using that law. For instance the law of gravity states that what goes up must come down and that applies every time. So if I throw a ball into the air I know it will come back down again pretty soon after. The technique is how we use that law: so that might be how I throw the ball; high, level, curved, long, short hard soft, fast etc.

In martial arts I often hear of students looking to learn new techniques and this is laudable and necessary to a degree. More importantly though is focusing on the principle behind the technique. My own motto is ‘I don’t want more techniques until I have mastered the ones I already have’.

For instance a kick is a technique but it cannot work without adhering to certain principles, such as balance, timing, distance, speed, leverage. Without these principles a kick cannot work. A correct stance for instance can be in many forms but will always conform to the principles of balance and equilibrium. The rule goes if the stance is correct then your technique has more chance of being correct. But if your stance is wrong the technique can never be correct.

Other principles are: Speed, Power, Distance, Timing, Intensity, Leverage, and Alignment to name but a few. Once we begin to understand the principle behind the technique the technique improves immensely.

Some of the principles we have arranged into a series of Laws such as the The law of Speed. Speed in martial arts is more important than power. Why? Well if you have massive power that is good but if you have insufficient speed to hit the target then all that power is wasted. Plus if you double your power, you double your power but if you double your speed you quadruple your power. This is the principle behind our need for speed over power.

Another principle is the law of attack. The law of attack states that ‘attack is the best defence’ this works every time if the techniques used have been chosen effectively. The law states that attack is best and if you know this then you can choose your techniques to maximise the law.

So my advice to you is by all means practice your technique but seek to understand and practice the principles that support those techniques such as balance, Timing, Speed, Distance etc. When you master or at least improve you’re (for instance) balance then every technique will improve as a result – Make sense? I am at present preparing a manual for the instructors based on the laws of combat so keep an eye open for these appearing more in your classes.

Martial Arts Technique - Leeds West, Leeds North, Harrogate, Calder Valley, Driffield, Greengates, Halifax

Martial Arts as a Confidence Builder

I was asked recently by a student ‘how do you fight a big guy?’ Well I had to ask ‘why would you want to?’ and then ‘what are you doing that you are risking having to fight someone?’ Martial arts study is not about being able to fight people, martial arts is about NOT fighting people. Martial arts is about courtesy, respect & humility not proving you can beat someone in a fight.

If we are humble, courteous and respectful the need to use our fighting skills should rarely ever arise. If you are nice to people they are less likely to punch your face in, or want to. Of course there are those who are predisposed to violence but in the main they can be avoided by frequenting places where they don’t go.

Martial arts is about communication. Martial arts study helps us to understand ourselves. If we lack confidence then martial arts will help to alleviate that. If we lack self esteem martial arts will cure that too. Both of these examples; confidence and self esteem are communicated through behaviour and body language. Low self esteem is easy to see in a person and the study of martial arts builds confidence and self respect, not in a ‘look at me, I’m so tough’ sort of way because that is not real confidence that is bravado which seldom is the same inside as out. No, martial arts builds a quiet confidence based on personal achievement and progress. Progress through repetition, the belt ranks, and a supportive instructor will build a strong foundation of self belief – And, deep inside one has the knowledge of how to use physical martial arts if one has to. It is built into the muscle memory, a knowledge that permeates ones entire being and this is reflected in how a martial artist moves and behaves. Martial arts develops a neutral body language that is neither threatened nor threatening. A body language that just ‘is’.

Sustained study of the martial arts alters our whole perception of ‘self’ gradually stripping away our insecurities and fears and replacing them with a solid foundation of personal worth. Training with other like minded people creates friendships based on shared goals without ego or bravado, instead a simple state of being. This is the communication of the martial artist. I have no wish to fight, I do not see life as a fight either, I don’t act tough and the other martial artists I know are the same. If they are not they are probably a beginner and the need to act tough will pass in time?

If you are studying martial arts but still lack confidence or self esteem then I would say this: It’s normal for us all to sometimes doubt ourselves and our own worth. But these feelings are just remnants of a previous life, they are the past and only as real as we choose to make them. Our skill as a martial artist’s is to know that we are not our pasts, how tough we are is entirely relative. Someone is always tougher or weaker, more intelligent or less, better educated or less educated, richer or poorer. Whatever they are does not affect you unless you decide it does. Focus on training diligently and thoughtfully and you will come to realise this in your own time, don’t force it, instead enjoy the journey, treasure every step of the way and confidence won’t matter anymore

Builing Confidence with Karate Lessons in Leeds and Harrogate

Black Belt Graduation

Well it’s that time of the year again. The time where more students will be rewarded for the hard work, commitment and dedication to self improvement. The Black Belt Graduation is one of my favourite events of the year not only because I get to see students of the AEGIS System take a landmark step on their journey, it also reminds me why I love being an Instructor.

Now the reason I became an Instructor in the first place was different, I started because my Instructor (Master Amaya Higo) said she thought I would be a good at it! But my reasons for staying in this profession have come a bit further. As a student of the AEGIS System I have seen it develop from its humble origins to the massively detailed and structured system we now teach, and even through its changes it has given me only good things . It has helped me with my confidence , it has given me a strong sense of focus, the ability to set goals, something to be passionate about and many more things that would take too long to list right now. The AEGIS System has given me so much, I want to share it with as many people as possible.That is why I love being an Instructor, I get to help and guide people to become the best possible versions of themselves! And seeing students achieve a rank of Black Belt just represents a great milestone in our journey together.

I hope to see as many of you as possible at the event on Sunday, just check with your Instructors for tickets and other details.