It’s not about how you look it’s about what you can do

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I’ve written a new post. Please see below for an extract:

There’s a beautiful thing about Martial Arts, an important lesson that I wish to share with you that should be obvious but often isn’t. You can never trust appearances. Looks can be deceiving and rightly so. There is more to you than meets the eye. Whether you are tall, short, fat, skinny, a woman or a man does not reflect your abilities as a Martial Artist. This is why I feel it’s a very important tool for self-development and confidence. It’s an eraser of excuses. I can’t do this because of this, that or the other. I can’t do this until I look like this. Until I’m sure I’ll fit in and won’t draw attention. I’m not big and bulky, I’m not strong and I can’t be a fighter. These are all lies that we tell ourselves. In this millennial age, we constantly worry about our appearance. It begins to define us and what we think of ourselves. But when it comes down to battle, when it comes down to perfecting any skill or craft, this cannot be touched or affected by how you look, it’s about what you can do.



You’re not always going to love working on your passion- Do it anyway, love it in the end

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As many of you know I have moved on to my own site

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My new post is about realising that your passion is elevated and defined by the hard work you put in. It explores the dangers of buying into the assumption that you’re always going to love it because you won’t. But do it anyway!

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Fighter’s Corner: The Martial  Code of Inclusivity

I talked in my previous blog post about the equal acceptance and inclusion of everyone stepping into a place of training whatever their outward appearance. I touched briefly on how this is what defines the martial code in the context of a dojo or martial arts gym and I want to cover this in a bit greater detail now.

Your age, (these days) gender, nationality doesn’t matter. None of this stops you from becoming a part of the martial family. I’ve known every type of person under the sun in that context. From confident city big wigs and intellectuals, to nervous students. Everyone is accepted. Everyone gets to feel they belong in a way that they might not in their day to day life.

This is all true, provided you respect the code.

The code is founded upon the principle of mutual respect and committed devotion to the craft. You will never be respected as a martial artist or indeed as a person if you do not abide by this. That is what separates thugs from skilled practitioners and even a person who has been studying martial arts for years can be classified as a thug if they don’t stick to the code.

In martial arts, in training, you compete with yourself and go at your own pace. It’s a beautiful space where everyone has the chance to shine and feel a part of something great. A family. Because here it doesn’t matter what you look like, what shape you’re in. It’s all about the knowledge, the skill. The refinement comes as part of the process. Like finally getting your very own sword, then getting to sharpen and polish it. I’ve met some excellent Judo and BJJ practitioners with pot bellies. Conditioning is obviously important if you want to compete of course, even more so if you want to be the best in the world. But in terms of learning the skill, it’s all about knowledge and technique.

And that’s what you should focus on. First and foremost. I’ve seen muscle clad, fitness freak, tough guys fail miserably because they had no idea what they were doing. Couldn’t lift their legs up high enough for a simple front kick to the stomach. Couldn’t handle the high intensity of sparring rounds, were so clumsy in their footwork and defences that it was easy for me to find openings for strikes or submissions. Just as it was easy for the fat elderly bloke who had been training for a few years.

Now obviously you’re going to be naturally skilled and naturally clumsy in some areas as opposed to others. Knowing your strengths is important when preparing for a fight. When you need to be tactical not wasteful in your training. I will be covering this in a separate post.

Carrying on from my previous post, what this teaches is acceptance of everyone. It breaks down prejudices and destroys preconceptions. It gives those who are learning these skills and living within this family the confidence of belonging. I don’t know how many people have laughed straight at me when I’ve told them I was a fighter, asked me why I’d want to ruin my pretty face. Comments like these are born of ignorance. People who understand the code judge by action and adherence to the code, not by faces and smart talk.

Knowledge can beat appearance and power. Everyone has potential. Everyone is part of the pack. You earn your keep through showing respect and working hard. Most crucially by not complaining no matter how difficult things seem (I will be publishing posts soon on overcoming adversity, not showing weakness and earning respect) . Do this and you will be whole heartedly accepted into this global family. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. It’s what you do. You are the creator.

A Girl Fighter…..Ha , Why?

Why? I could turn around and smartly fire back why the f*** not?  But ultimately I promise my own theories based on my knowledge of evolutionary anthropology.

So fight or flight is the universal instinct. But for women I believe there is one dominating circumstance where aggression and fighting with great ferocity naturally manifests. Across almost all mammal if not animal species. The maternal instinct. The drive to protect your offspring at all costs. It’s a big investment for us . Nine months off the market, huge investment when born etc. (FYI have no kids and in my mind think I’ll always be too young for them).

Competition for resources as well though gathering saw a bit less action than hunting I reckon.

Being a female fighter and teaching women martial arts is a wonderfully empowering thing. In this day and age, traditional gender stereotypes still exist. When you’re a fighter you have the confidence to know you are there to perform your craft regardless of that. Defying convention. You are an equal. And everyone is human. The big, scary, tough guys aren’t so big and scary anymore. They’re your friends, your brothers and they view you with respect. Because you follow that same martial code. And you don’t have to sacrifice your femininity to conform to what the stereotype of a fighter is either.

I’ve heard it all “aren’t you worried about your pretty face?”, “sure that’s a good idea?”, “why would you want to do that?”, “oh bet you could beat me up”. All born out of ignorance.

I want girls not to feel too scared to pursue something because it’s dominated by men or doesnt fit the image she has of herself. Life is not one size fits all.

That is just as true for boys who fall in love with something in a field dominated by women. JUST AS VALID.

Fighter living is all about not accepting boundaries, not accepting stereotypes.

Accepting everyone. Respect is key. 

Has anyone reading this experienced stereotyping or fear of pursuing people because it’s not what they’re “supposed” to do? It’s not “natural”? Please share your message, leave a comment.

Why Fight at All?

There will be some who argue that there is no reason for it at all. Consciously, yes. But there is a reason why fighting back, fighting adversity is equated to having “spirit”. It’s part of our essence. Denying it is like denying a part of ourselves.

Why? Well by study I’m a scientist. Humans evolve behaviours for a reason. It is key to our survival. I have theories for fighting being very natural indeed.

Most people with a basic knowledge of Biology will have heard of the “fight or flight” response. The response regulated by that well known hormone adrenaline. It causes a number of responses in the body to prepare us either to get away from a threat (Tyrannosaurus Rex, jokz we weren’t around yet), or to fight it. Ultimately this is an instinctive reaction.

But it has far more complex implications than just that. Status, control, communication. For a number of reasons that I will go into further down the line.

When Bruce lee said the famous words:

“Martial arts is a way of truly expressing myself”

(my motto by the way), I believe this was what he referred to. Martial expression of the body is natural and instinctive. Yet this is something which in today’s society is restricted and repressed. It’s ridiculous, terrible, animalistic. Beneath us. Well news flash. We are animals. Strength and power is still revered. A fighter’s philosophy has a place in life. Martial arts can give it expression in its purest form.

Control of that fighting instinct also translates into zen and bushido . The benefits to your body and mind are innumerable which you will come to see, take away with you and hopefully share

It can also have gender specific origins for which I have my own theories.

Why men specifically might have evolved reasons to fight will seem obvious. Aggression in the pursuit of dominance, dominance of resources and mates, competition to secure these and their social position. Primarily against other males and in protection of their home and family.  Not to mention the use of aggression and submission in hunting. The killer instinct so to speak.

But why would a woman want or need to fight? I’m a woman. What’s in it for me? Take your fine self over to the next post and I’ll share my theories on that.

PLEASE do feel free to comment, follow, like and share. Do you think that the concept of fighting has any relevance in today’s world? Or is it obsolete? I’d love to hear your thoughts.