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Darryl Canham – Blog..

By Darryl Canham – Chief Instructor

Martial Arts for life long health.

Although rooted in history, both Asian, European and beyond, martial arts evolve in line with their time and their audience. Many are steeped in tradition and are happy to stay there, some are born due to circumstance and environment and others have grown into modern day gladiatorial events.
All types of martial arts can be great. Principally the idea, concept and the journey through martial arts is a profoundly good one..
With a recent influx of more mature students at the dojo, I thought it time to put a few words and thoughts down on either their beginning or continuing the MA journey through the middle ages and into seniority..!

Here’s an empowering thought to get you started: I was talking to a physiotherapist I know the other day, who’s off to the Olympic Games in Rio. He attended a course about the maintenance of an athlete’s high performance body. During a lecture, they were told that recent studies and research shows that the number one activity that promotes personal longevity, not just of athletes, but of everyone, is load bearing exercise, i.e. gym/weight training.

The body supports additional loads, works through a variety of different ranges, can work concentrically, eccentrically and isometrically, it utilises it’s natural structure to the best of its ability and ‘fires’ all muscle groups and works the neural system.
An avid martial arts fan and practitioner, my physiotherapist colleague, discussed with the sports scientist whether the practice of martial arts could act just as well as ‘lifting’. Discussing the finer point and merits of martial arts training between them they concluded that MA practice and its training requirements could very well act as key contributor to life long health and longevity.. So that’s good news for anyone who spends a few hours a week in the dojo, gym, octagon, or wherever..

Like any physical game, it’s not just the training that’s important, it’s the recovery… Note Andy Murray’s recent Wimbledon celebrations in an ice bath, and his regime of minute by minute pre and post match preparations and reparations.. It’s a personal science thing..

When you’re young, often the body is taken for granted, it recovers quickly and bounces back. For those hitting the mat, in their 40’s 50’s and above, perhaps a little more attention should be paid to ‘the temple’!

If you’re a hobbyist martial arts practitioner, then be aware that the body you’re using, is the one that’s going to be serving you for the rest of your life. And that it will need more care and attention in readiness for its training. Body composition, muscular mass and bone density all can shift negatively with age, and allowances should be made in the times and spaces between official training sessions to work on joint mobility, core stability, muscle flexibility etc.. If you’re heading to the dojo, once, maybe twice a week, ensure you find some personal training time to add some lower intensity physical foundation work.
Add an insight into better nutrition, hydration and actual physical rest, and sleep, you’ll hopefully feel a few years younger and perhaps move like it too!

With a little more care and attention, the body will maintain a youthful ability to move confidently through range, will be able to create power and generate speed, whilst being stable and dynamic. Thus avoiding, that shoulder injury when you hit the heavy bag, your back won’t twinge when sending a kick and the hernia doesn’t pop when you’re throwing the big guy…!

Just a few things to think about, and if you take a few of these on board for your training, you’ve already moved from being a ‘hobbyist’ to a ‘enthusiast’ martial artist.. And as I mentioned earlier, thanks to the new research, that could stand all of us martial artists in good stead towards a long and healthy life..

Train hard, train well..

DC

The resurgence of martial arts….. And what it takes…

There will always be a fascination with the world of martial arts. It continues to evolve through the generations and their movie icons. New genres appear instilling excitement in the young and maintaining the enthusiasm of older generations. Birmingham has the lot, varied martial arts styles rooted in Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Brazilian beginnings.. It’s then, just a matter of choice and preference.
But you have to get involved..

APPkido is not a style…!

Lives are lived in technology these days.. A day doesn’t go by, when we’re not organising our existence through our PC, tablet, phone or now even our watch…
There’s an App for almost everything.. They can help you get fit, provide you with training ideas and options, monitor your calorific intake, even have videos showing you what to do…

But you gotta do it!

The martial arts, all of them, are participatory events. Not virtual events.
To be involved, you have to move.. Not just a thumb across a screen, but your body and your mind…
You’ll not capture the spirit or any ability in the martial arts by using an App…
Becoming more aware of its spirit and becoming potentially a great exponent, can only happen when you practice physically and with intention..
Practice also comes in many forms…
It can be holistic or dynamic… It can be self improving and can bring varied skills, fitness, confidence, security, coordination, and self learning together in an environment of respect, honour and camaraderie. No wonder, more people are discovering that there’s more to it than just ‘whacking’ things… So often the view of those, who have never taken a step inside a gym or dojo..
And… there is a genre for everyone….
Like an Italian suit seems to fit a certain body type, the Gi/shorts/uniform that you choose will be one that suits you best and fulfils your motivations for embarking upon the martial arts journey..

But when you’ve decided your art… Get involved..
Learn from your instructor, turn up for starters and do it regularly, put your training and personal development somewhere in your weekly or daily agenda. It doesn’t have to take first place, yet if you have the dream to be a great martial arts athlete, you must make sure that your efforts, at least match your ambition..
Some cliches are true, …there’s no substitute for hard work…
If there’s talent already there… Hey, you’re lucky.. But talent alone is rarely enough, it gets you to a level, but to progress into the higher echelons of ability, you have to really put the work in… But that’s the fun!

From what we can see here at Bujutsu Academy, there is a blossoming interest in combat sports and martial arts in all their forms..
So, if you’re already a practitioner.. Keep on enjoying.. Put the graft in and be all you can be…
And if you’re thinking about having a go…. Find a style that ticks your boxes and go get stuck in….
Enjoy..

There’s no end to learning..

What’s great about martial arts, is that the subject, when seen as an entirety is truly a journey of self growth and development.
Our city, Birmingham seems to be undergoing exactly that, regeneration, expansion, development of our transportation infrastructure and self reinvention. It has come a long way from being a small hamlet over 1400 years ago..!
It’s prospects are great, because it develops not for the time it’s in, but for the time that lies ahead. It becomes the architect of it’s own future..

Martial arts can be viewed in a similar way.
For many, their practicing days end with middle age, perhaps the ‘edge’ isn’t what it used to be.. But there is so much more to learn!!
Beyond the physical exuberance of youth, lies potentially a greater depth of understanding, the perfection of technique and the development of the spirit that draws people to martial arts and keeps them practicing for decades..
The old masters, became the experts, perhaps not because of simply ‘natural ability’, but because of ‘time on the mat’ and their quest for self betterment, their daily practice and the transmission of their learning to others.

A martial arts exponent, should always seek to grow, to exceed their levels and get to grips with extensions of their favoured art.
Every martial art form has it’s pioneers, who move it on and innovate, evolving the art into new areas and in tune with the potential of it’s future.
Celebrate the birthplaces of all combative arts, all of those centuries ago and pay homage to those that began the process of forming systems, kata, training formats etc. They had a lot less to work with, in comparison to what is available today. Physics, biomechanics, sports science etc, bring the pursuance of understanding closer to the individual. Still, instinct, gut feel, experience and an enquiring and creative mind can bring huge leaps forward.
There is no winning formula, simply trial and error. And that should be an ongoing journey, nothings stays still in this world and each art should evolve in line with it’s future purpose. That’s enough to keep any sensei busy for a lifetime..

Martial Arts

Martial Arts all comprise a variety of training styles and formats. From practice of technique, partner training, hand a foot drills, speed and fitness drills, pad work, physical conditioning etc etc.. Birmingham has many options for martial arts devotees and beginners..

Some are purely physical, some are very holistic, and the rest fall somewhere in between, whatever their approach, they will bring much benefit to the practitioner or athlete.

Aside from the self defence and confidence building attributes of most martial arts, many students and teachers in Birmingham are finding that in the current economic climate and under increased work pressures, that the practice of the combative arts, Aikido, Karate, Aikijutsu and many others are (pardoning the pun) ‘combatting’ stress levels, improving health, work/life balance and productivity!

Indeed, physical exertion. combined with focus and intent, and a will to improve, has proven time and time again, to be an amazing stress buster. It invigorates the body and mind, and should a great training session should send you home sweaty, with clarity of mind and a fresh enthusiasm for everything. From losing yourself in the practice of kata, to enjoying the workout of your life on the pads, you’ll find martial arts can bring a little peace, excitement, and positivity at the end of a turbulent day!!

Welcome to the new Bujutsu Blog..

..and our new website, we hope you enjoy..

Bujutsu is not new to the martial arts scene in Birmingham, and brings diverse experience to a full time city centre dojo in the Jewellery Quarter..

An Aikijutsu style based upon the arts of Karate, Aikido, Judo and oriental weapons, alongside progressive self defence systems and concepts, it keeps an enthusiastic group of sensei and practitioners working hard and learning lots..

For so many, martial arts becomes a life journey of continuous learning and personal development. It requires discipline, focus, ambition and hard work, so it’s not surprising to see personal success in a dojo replicate itself in life outside. Self confidence shapes self perception and we’ve known careers to improve and comfort zones to have been expanded simply through the practice of martial arts..

Trace many martial art forms back to their roots and not only were they a steadfast prerequisite for self defence in their era, they became an art form for growth and understanding. We must train and train hard, but also learn and seek knowledge within the art itself.. Then the subject takes on a holistic nature, that only benefits the individual practitioner, ..improving skills, attitude to practice, training intensity, which will lead to the reason you started in the first place. To be a great Martial Artist!!