What will make the boat go faster?

Ben who?

On Monday 2nd July I had the pleasure of speaking to 650 business people at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in Birmingham. The talk I did was my ‘World’s Only Business Jedi’ presentation which includes elements of my stick-fighting career (I got to hit the MD – he had armour on!) and brought together the elements of business, philosophy, martial arts, kinesiology ¬†and the different psychological disciplines I have learnt. It’s a lot of stuff to pack into a half-an-hour talk. I was the afternoon guest speaker and entertainment. During the morning we had been treated to a presentation by Ben Hunt-Davis. It’s doubtful that many of you will have heard of him, but he is a British Gold medal Olympian from Sydney 2000 – he won his gold the same year that Sir Steve Redgrave won his 5th Gold medal. Ben won his gold in the Mens 8’s rowing; what was so impressive about his talk was how much failure he’d been through before he’d tasted success.

Continue reading

When you’re really scared, step forward

If you run forward, at least you have a chance

Fear comes in many forms and many guises. Do you ever get scared of a particular challenge? Of doing something that will test you physically, emotionally and spiritually? Every year I find a challenge for myself – something that will push me, that will hurt me and which I will overcome. I’m yet to fail a challenge I have set myself, but only because I have planned and been well prepared. Sometimes life doesn’t give you those opportunities, but we have to face the pain anyway and move on. When I first saw ‘Saving Private Ryan’ I sat in the cinema transfixed to the battle scene at the start of the film; I couldn’t believe the ferocity and sat asking myself ‘what would I have done?’ After the film I phoned a friend of mine who served in the first Gulf War and many other campaigns. I asked him ‘what do you do in situations like that ? When you are under heavy fire and you are certain you will die’. He said ‘you have to move forward, it’s the only choice you have. If you stay where you are, you’ll die. If you run forward at least you have a chance’.

Continue reading

90% of life is showing up

The art of turning up.

The biggest challenge to getting good at martial arts, or anything come to think of it, is consistency. The art of turning up. The hardest part of that is getting your butt out of the chair or the sofa. It’s no surprise to me that the busiest classes at UFS are usually the early classes. People don’t get the chance to sit down, they come straight from work and come to a class. Hey, there are even energy drinks at the centre now if you’re feeling a little tired! I’ve been teaching martial arts for over 24 years now and in that time I’ve seen really talented people, some really mediocre people and lots of people with a little talent. The same way I was when I began martial arts in 1981. What kept me going, took me to World Championship finals and competing in so many running races was the consistency. I’m a good trainer. I can be the laziest person you’ve met, but I’m also driven to train hard.

Continue reading