Poems, Uncategorized

Old Man On A Bench


Old Man On A Bench

Made me jump.
I thought he was a statue;
Just sitting there staring into time;
People reach that age where they become invisible;
Not fitting into social norms….

He was bolt upright.
Neck firmly against his collar;
Back ramrod straight;
Breathing imperceptibly;
No wonder I thought he was made of stone..

I was transfixed.
I wondered what his life had been;
What had he done?
What had bought him to here, now?
What could he teach us?

We used to revere age and experience;
Now we worship youth and stupidity;
Dignity is sadly a thing of the past;
The grey hair is often dyed, the wrinkles botoxed;
Many now ironically wear their arse fat on their lips…

Yet here was discipline;
Stillness, posture and focus;
Experience worn with grace;
Ready to pass away without passing on;
No-one stopping to learn.

Everyone has a story;
Something to teach;
Life’s scars give experience;
The aged have much to give;
But humanity has lost their ears.

Soon there will be a space.
No human statue on the bench;
Experience and knowledge yielded to the ether;
People dancing and Snapchatting;
Whilst another library burns to the ground.


Articles, Uncategorized

What’s In It For Me?



I hate the ‘what’s in it for me’ people.
I love the people that support their family, club, association, charities and community.
I love the students and instructors that support seminars, tournaments and courses and enjoy both the learning and social aspects of the gatherings.
I love the Instructors that take all the right qualifications and continue their professional development.
Those that register, licence and insure their students and are confident enough and not afraid to let them attend association and other seminars to widen their perspective.
So many are happy enough to take their student’s money but are too tight to invest in both their own and their student’s development.
How short sighted is that?
The best way to get support is it to give it.
The happiest people contribute to a community without always looking for payback.
Don’t be tight – don’t be stingy – don’t restrict your own development – don’t restrict others.
Encourage support – encourage development in the broadest sense, not forgetting your own – invest in people – invest in the community.
You think people don’t notice when you don’t pay your dues, in all senses – believe me, even if they don’t say anything, they do – and if you don’t – that’s why you ain’t got no close friends.
Students – does your Instructor encourage you to develop and progress in this way or is he/she too tight and scared to expose you to the bigger martial arts world?

Articles, Uncategorized

Teaching Older People



Many of us these days teach people in their 70’s and above and it’s important for us to understand that even if their memory and body is breaking down, they are still a senior citizen and should command respect.

Don’t talk to them like they are a child, don’t get frustrated with them, be courteous, polite and break technique down until you find that which they are comfortable with.

They deserve dignity, they have often served their country, bought up families and paid their dues. Don’t put your ambitions and expectations on them, often they only want to stay alive, keep moving and mix comfortably with people of all age groups instead of sitting in an old people’s home singing ‘if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands’.

Have patience, kindness, tolerance, compassion, courtesy and respect. Inside that arthritic, aged body and forgetful mind is often a person still as sharp as a razor with more to teach you than you can teach them.


The Learning Process

Dennis teaches 2

The Learning Process

The learning process of the mind,

Is a specific process,

It is important to understand,

To be able to learn effectively.

Shi Kon use a mnemonic acronym,

As this is the best way to remember,

If you refine this process,

All learning will be easier.

The acronym we use is ATARC,

This is a specific order,

One cannot be done effectively,

Without the preparation of the other.

A is for attitude,

This is the most important,

Unless this is in the correct state,

Everything else will be wrong.

Attitude is emotional intelligence,

Putting nothing in the way of learning,

If you think you can’t, you can’t,

And if you think you can, you can.

Bowing as you enter the training area,

Is the most important task,

Clearing the mind of all its junk,

And preparing to learn without hindrance.

T is for thought,

Taking in the correct information,

Then planning the movement,

Planning and preparation mean you know what you are about to do.

A is for action,

Action is the result of attitude and thought,

In itself it is pure,

And unhindered at the time.

R is for refection,

Looking back to see if it was right,

Applying attitude and thought,

Were they physically enacted?

C is for correction,

It is easy to make it worse,

Correct attitude, thought or action,

By changing the correct thing the correct way.

The chain is a powerful tool,

If you understand its use,

Developed as a learning process,

It empowers and corrects itself.

Learning how to learn,

Putting nothing in the way,

And understanding the process.

Changes everything forever,