Training through exams, why it makes sense and completely adds up​!

Lots of people think that when exam time comes around they should ditch training to give some extra time to revise but is this realisitic and the best use of time. I was at university until I was 30yrs old acquiring three degrees including a PhD on the way and have done a ton of exams, my wife who is a medic did exams every 6 weeks until she was 25 or so. In our household we know a lot about exam pressure and how to cope. We both started training martial arts at uni as under grads and trained all the way through all our respective examinations. We found training a great way to de stress and leave the books behind for a few hours a week giving our brain a rest and our body a work out and overall leaving us happy and healthier for our important tests.But how can this be. Well in my opinion to succeed in exams you need three basic things; preparation/revision,good mental stategetting enough good quality sleep The quality and length of our sleeps is directly related to our stress levels and physical training is directly linked to reducing stress levels in the body. Therefore doing regular exercise in exam periods and giving your mind some complete down time not only allows your brain some needed time off but when you return to study you are in a revitalised and refreshed state. It is also widely acknowledged that exercise not only has a positive impact on our physical health, but it can also increase our self-esteem. Regular physical activity has been shown to have a positive influence on our self-esteem and self-worth, enriching our mental state and giving us that can-do attitude, which is so beneficial when facing any test. Lastly to consider is time.  Students (and parents) look at the time training takes away from prep and revision but is this just a flawed unrealistic view, let’s look at the science. In a week there are 168 hours. Of which 8 per day on average you should be asleep (56 hours/ week). Therefore, we all should have 112 hours to eat/ exercise/ do anything else we need to do and yes revising is included.Now if you train 2 hours a week that’s only just under 2% of your waking week.Is giving up exercise over exam periods and getting this 2% really going to make time for more quality revision? Especially when you look at the benefits of physical exercise with regards stress levels and better-quality sleep and also mental state and self-esteem. As my American friends and colleagues say ‘do the math’ and don’t lose the mat over exam time as it just doesn't add up.​

JUDO is back

We are pleased to announce the Judo club at EMA is back after temporary closure over the summer. The new class time is Saturdays 4-5pm and whats better still is mat 1 is available so lots more room for randori practice. If you haven’t already booked a FREE taster class now is your chance.Beginners are always made to feel welcome. Just call 01392 663000 or book on our website.See you on the mat  

Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year 2017​

With the classes in the gym starting back for this new year its good to look back on what we did in 2016. It was a massive year for us and our members.We raised a staggering £33,000 for Cancer charities Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and Exeter Leukaemia fund (ELF) cancer charitiesOver 600 people moved forward by grading  in Kickboxing, Jiu Jitsu, Thai Boxing, Ken Jutsu (sword), Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Notables where: Mark Woodland – 3rd Dan in JudoLaura Ibarra Hempel – 2nd Dan in Jiu JItsuDamien Gaucher – 1st Dan in Jiu JitsuZak Reed – Purple Belt BJJRichard Catterick – Mokuroku in Sword We held some awesome seminars with world renowned martial artists here in Exeter too:Tom Barlow, Ben Hall, Ben Jones, Paul O’Callaghan,Nish Soni, Sidney Silva –and also  hosted the National Jiu Jitsu championships and the Seishin Summer schoolSo much good stuff. However with change there is always a yin and yang / in  and yo. As some of you will know we lose an EMA stalwart instructors Tom Rogers and Shogo Miyakita. Shogo and Tom  are brilliant martial artist who started their training journeies with me 8  years ago at Exeter University and Exeter College jiu jitsu clubs respectively. They both have a good training ethos and have achieved a great standard. They have been involved in not only achieving their own martial arts goals and ambitions but have also taken the time to help teach the next generation of martial artists in Exeter. They move to London to further their careers but their  plans include adding their considerable knowledge and skill to our London Jiu Jitsu club and we hope to see them at training events throughout the year. We wish them best of luck in London, its been a pleasure to share the mats with you both.  Well what about  next year well all I can say is we have changed and grown this year and next year is looking already like it will be our biggest yet on all fronts with Combat sports with lots of ideas for development and getting those that want to compete literally on the cards and the traditional guys moving forward in breadth and depth. Its going to big one and am  so happy to share my goals and dreams with all of you by experiencing, achieving and excelling in all Exeter Martial arts has to offer and  as a thank you to our members in January we are offering £20 cash for introducing a friend to Exeter Martial Arts. See in the gym for details.​

Sidney Silva at EMA

Sidney Silva at EMA​

Sidney Silva  who is 2nd degree Black Belt  (Rickson Gracie lineage) will be at the gym at the end of the month conducting both a gi and no gi seminar, plus gradings and privates. This is an fantastic opportunity not to be missed  to train the with not only a pro MMA fighter but also a great guy who has so much grappling knowledge. The seminar is open to beginners and advanced students and if you haven’t already confirmed your place do it soon before they run out. He is only in Exeter for a few days so if you want a private (one to one or small group) class with him again speak to the coaches or at reception in the gym. See you on the mat ​ https://www.instagram.com/sidney_silva_bjj/

Big Fight coming up for EMA stalwart.

Big Fight coming up for EMA stalwart.

Big fight coming up for EMA’s very own Liam ‘The Lima’ Clatworthy on Saturday 22nd October at the new UNFC promotions inaugural show at Riverside in Exeter. Liam said he is quietly confident’ and is ‘just looking forward to it’ now the hard training camp is behind him.The ‘Lima’ has been a fight team stalwart at EMA for the past 5 years and always shown great heart in his fights. There are still tickets left and he would like as much support as possible on the night from Exeter as his opponent is bring a big support from his gym in Plymouth. Just ask in the gym if you haven’t got your ticket yet.  

Seishin Mizu Ryu (the Japanese Jiu Jitsu style we practice at EMA)  is an holistic martial art comprising of many different facets for example on its simplest level: throws, break-falls, strikes, locks, holds, weapon defence, disarms and use of staff and sword to name but a few. With regard to training (as in life), it is all to easy to pay extra attention to what we are good at or what we excel at, and not spend time on what we have difficulties with. Training goes on and everything is fine until we are put to the test and we find that what we had thought was unimportant becomes critical. An example of this could be a Jutsuka who enjoys throwing and break-falling but who thinks locking and striking are boring/difficult until they find themselves in a grading, or unfortunately in a difficult situation outside, where the need for a strike or lock could set up their favourite throw and get them out of trouble.  On the flip side of this are the things we are not so good at which tend to pray heavily on our mind. Quite a lot of you will be new to training and as happens every year falling, in general, is the facet you will find hardest to grasp. It is very easy to let your mind convince your body that you will never be able to get falling and thus be rubbish at Jiu Jitsu and thus the unenlightened may stop training even though they are good at the other elements  ie kyusho, locking etc.  This process is all to do with the mind. In martial arts term we call training ‘the way’, and the way is a path on which you walk each time you step inside the dojo with your sensei as your guide. The Japanese term ‘Sensei’ is often translated as ‘teacher’. However it has a more literal meaning of ‘one who has gone before’, in so much as they have walked this part of the way when they were at your level, guided by their sensei. They know what it is like to have the feelings you are having and it is often wise to ask their advice and really listen to their response.   Now the way is never straight and it is invariably not an easy road. It is filled with traps and pitfalls. A recurrent trap for a student is one where we spend too much time focusing on one particular facet either positively or negatively thus drawing us away from the rest of the art. Later as a sensei you will revisit this trap with your students and learn and understand more about its meaning.  In summary no matter at what level you are in the Ryu you will find that you have favourite elements/facets/techniques and these will change over time. My favourite throw when I started training  going on for 30 years ago was O Soto Gari, then it changed to O Uchi Gari, Ippon Seoi Nage, Uki Goshi, Sasae Tsuri Komi Ashi etc.   With the changes I made my weaker throws became my stronger throws for in training it is always good form to work hardest on what you are weakest. So like the chain all of your links become strong overall.   My final thought on this is to imagine the chain being a circle and so the process continues on Once you have strengthened your weaknesses in each of the  facets, its time to begin strengthening the new weakest again, such is the nature of training and life.

Weaknesses, Strengths, Training and Life.​

Seishin Mizu Ryu (the Japanese Jiu Jitsu style we practice at EMA)  is an holistic martial art comprising of many different facets for example on its simplest level: throws, break-falls, strikes, locks, holds, weapon defence, disarms and use of staff and sword to name but a few. With regard to training (as in life), it is all to easy to pay extra attention to what we are good at or what we excel at, and not spend time on what we have difficulties with. Training goes on and everything is fine until we are put to the test and we find that what we had thought was unimportant becomes critical. An example of this could be a Jutsuka who enjoys throwing and break-falling but who thinks locking and striking are boring/difficult until they find themselves in a grading, or unfortunately in a difficult situation outside, where the need for a strike or lock could set up their favourite throw and get them out of trouble.On the flip side of this are the things we are not so good at which tend to pray heavily on our mind. Quite a lot of you will be new to training and as happens every year falling, in general, is the facet you will find hardest to grasp. It is very easy to let your mind convince your body that you will never be able to get falling and thus be rubbish at Jiu Jitsu and thus the unenlightened may stop training even though they are good at the other elements  ie kyusho, locking etc.This process is all to do with the mind. In martial arts term we call training ‘the way’, and the way is a path on which you walk each time you step inside the dojo with your sensei as your guide. The Japanese term ‘Sensei’ is often translated as ‘teacher’. However it has a more literal meaning of ‘one who has gone before’, in so much as they have walked this part of the way when they were at your level, guided by their sensei. They know what it is like to have the feelings you are having and it is often wise to ask their advice and really listen to their response. Now the way is never straight and it is invariably not an easy road. It is filled with traps and pitfalls. A recurrent trap for a student is one where we spend too much time focusing on one particular facet either positively or negatively thus drawing us away from the rest of the art. Later as a sensei you will revisit this trap with your students and learn and understand more about its meaning.In summary no matter at what level you are in the Ryu you will find that you have favourite elements/facets/techniques and these will change over time. My favourite throw when I started training  going on for 30 years ago was O Soto Gari, then it changed to O Uchi Gari, Ippon Seoi Nage, Uki Goshi, Sasae Tsuri Komi Ashi etc. With the changes I made my weaker throws became my stronger throws for in training it is always good form to work hardest on what you are weakest. So like the chain all of your links become strong overall. My final thought on this is to imagine the chain being a circle and so the process continues on Once you have strengthened your weaknesses in each of the  facets, its time to begin strengthening the new weakest again, such is the nature of training and life.   

Massive Week for EMA​

Wow what a massive week we have had in the dojo. Its started last Saturday  at the Uni freshers fair where we met a whole load of new people and I think most of the uni signed up to the Uni Jiu Jitsu club. Will tell you how that first session went later on. Our talented Brazilian Jiu Jitsu team headed up by coach Zak Reed came back with a clutch of medals in both the adults and kids section from the Hereford open on Sunday. Well done on everyone who made the podium and if you didn’t don’t worry your time will come soon  Next our new stationary arrived which looks amazing. Thanks to Craig, Aldo and Helen for making this happen. On Tuesday we hosted a free beginners taster in MMA where almost 50 people showed up. Unfortunately due to space we could only sign up 30 for the new beginners course and I think all places have now gone. Next one will be in January so let us know if you want a place as they always go fast. ​Wednesday we recruited almost another 50 to our Exeter College enrichment Jiu Jitsu programme. We are the largest enrichment activity on the college campus and are proud to have them as a business partner where we can offer top quality self defence for all their students. Moving on to Thursday we are back at the Uni to teach 80 of Exeter University finest in their first Jiu Jitsu while here in our lovely city. The session was a huge success. As you may know, I  have returned to the club I started when I first came to Exeter in 2006. Fittingly one of the students that day ten years ago was by my side teaching the class – Jaimie Smallwood. Obviously this was a proud moment for me after sharing 1000+hours with this talented black belt.  Also in the last seven days I had a meetings with the new Exeter College Martial Arts Academy students re classes starting up next week  and the Ultimate Boxing championship lead Pindi Madahar and the boxers for the show coming up in November. Tonight sees more of our boxers in action with culmination of the latest season of boxers fighting and raising money for Cancer Research. Good luck to them all and our boxing coach Chris and his teasm who are cornering at Riverside Leisure Centre. So you can see its been a super busy week for us all on top of teaching our regular awesome classes in the gym which have been jam packed with new people coming in and trying FREE taster session and taking advantage of our membership deals. Big thank you to the staff and instructors at EMA who have put in the extra.  What a week !! , See you on the mats.  

Students Welcome​

We have had a really busy few weeks here at EMA teaching massive  Jiu Jitsu fresher sessions at both Exeter College and Exeter University bring our martial art to the next generation which is fantastic. We have also welcomed back our 2nd and 3rd year students members who have been on summer vacation coming  back with some wonderful stories of their adventures around the globe. Plus we have had loads of new prospective students members coming in to our city centre gym/dojo, which conveniently only a 4min walk from campus, to try FREE taster classes in the wide array of martial arts classes we have to offer and take advantage of our superb FREE MEMBERSHIP FOR STUDENTS deal in September. If you haven’t already booked a FREE taster class nows your chance. Beginners are always made to feel welcome. Just all 01392 663000 or book on our website.See you on the mat  

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info@exetermartialarts.co.uk

01392 663000

Exeter Martial Arts