News Update Monday 25th January

Training Focus

This week is Grading week, so the daily focus will be Curriculum training. Here is the module schedule for the week.

Monday: Jo

Tuesday: Tanto

Wednesday: Self Defence

Thursday: Sword

Friday: Ukemi

Saturday: Dynamic

Kids Grading Modules

Just a reminder of the what we will be grading the kids on this month.


Little Dragons

Style Vs Style Pt. 2

Sport, Science or Art

Of course, the longer you study martial arts — any style of martial arts — the longer you practice, the more apparent it becomes that it is so much more than fighting. In fact, the ability to fight effectively is a mere consequence. Let’s analyse it. If the objective of martial arts was just to successfully compete in contests of skill, then wouldn’t it be called martial sport? If the objective was to hone an efficient means of fighting technique, then shouldn’t it be called martial science? Wouldn’t we be martial technicians? But no, this has always been designated and referred to as an art. What does it mean to be an artist? While mastery of technique is necessary; and desire, will and execution are expected, ultimately, artists act to express themselves, to produce or arrange sound, colour, form, movement, or other elements in a creative manner. It may not make for an exciting action movie, but martial arts is about creating something of unique aesthetic value, not about destroying your enemy.

Look at the names of several traditional styles. Judo is translated as the gentle way. Kung Fu means achievement through effort or wisdom through skill. Karate translates as empty hand, although some masters say that the original characters meant using the hand or body to empty the self. Aikido means the way of harmony. All of the great masters, from Tamo Bodidharma (founder of Kung Fu) in the 6th century on, have stressed that martial arts is a path of personal transformation that ultimately leads to self-realization.

Ego Enhancement is the Antithesis of Martial Arts

From this perspective, the question, which style is the most effective? is meaningless. What reason would two martial artists — serious martial artists who practice their art diligently and passionately — have for fighting with one another? Through practice, they develop the discipline and self-control to be able to deal with most situations without resorting to blows. The thrill of competition? If the essence of martial arts is personal transformation that ultimately leads to self-realization, then practice is designed to minimize and ultimately destroy the ego. Entertaining concepts of victory and defeat is counter-productive.

Unfortunately, today there are far too many people claiming to be martial artists who are perpetually training for the enhancement of their egos, for the pride of victory, boasting that they are the toughest or that their style is the best, ready to fight anyone that challenges them. Although these people may be great fighters, they have not yet realized that, in martial arts as in life itself, the real battle is within.


“Even the greatest was once a beginner. Don’t be afraid to take that first step.”



Sensei Matt Thurman – Aikido Nottingham

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News Update Monday 11th January

Training Focus

Monday: Hijiate & Self Defence

Tuesday: Tenshinage & Sword

Wednesday: Nikkajo & Ukemi

Thursday: Kotegaeshi & Dynamic

Friday: Shihonage & Jo

Saturday Shomen Iriminage & Tanto

Style Vs Style Pt. 1

Martial arts has always had a very broad meaning. Martial arts may refer to karate, aikido, judo, ju jitsu, kung fu, tai chi, tae kwon do, hapkido, kendo — in fact, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of styles of martial arts. Some are well-developed, well known styles taught in schools internationally, while many styles are indigenous to a specific rural village, taught and practiced only there for centuries and unknown to the rest of the world. Some arts specialize in kicking, while other focus on hand strikes and trapping. Some are throwing arts and others grapple — concentrating primarily on ground fighting. Although these styles and systems vary in origin — coming from China, Okinawa, Japan, Korea, as well as from other countries throughout Asia and elsewhere — they all teach martial technique, either empty handed or with a weapon.

Only a small number of these styles have successfully migrated to America, and only a fraction of those have come to the general public’s awareness. A particular style gains popularity almost exclusively through the media — specifically movies and TV — quickly gains a small following and grows in popularity only when it is successfully marketed or championed by a Hollywood star or professional athlete.

Modern History

The popularity of martial arts in the West over the past 50 years has its roots in the experiences of military servicemen returning to the U.S. at the end of the Korean War in the early 1950’s. Exposed for the first time to traditional Asian forms of empty-handed fighting and self-defence, these combat-trained soldiers were as fascinated by its efficiency and effectiveness as they were by its grace. Returning servicemen were among the first westerners in the U.S. to open martial arts schools.

The relative popularity of various martial arts styles has risen and fallen with the times. Throughout the 1950s and 60s, the Judo craze mesmerized audiences with throws and locks. By the late 1960s and 70s, we saw the rise of Karate, a powerful striking art, and Kung Fu, popularized by Bruce Lee and, later, by the American TV series of the same name. Hundreds of thousands of students throughout the U.S. flocked to dojos to learn these mysterious new fighting arts. Words like ninja and sensei entered the general English vocabulary.

In the 1980s, a Korean art – Tae Kwon Do — burst upon the scene. One master was asked, “How did Tae Kwon Do become so popular?” His reply? “If I break a brick with my hand, it looks good, but if I throw a brick in the air and break it with a kick – that looks more impressive. Americans want to be able to defend themselves, but they also want to look good doing it.” Martial arts-inspired fight scenes became more and more prevalent in mainstream Hollywood movies. A whole generation of kids grew up watching the animated TV show, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

No-Holds-Bared Competition

In the 1990s, the popularity of Brazilian Ju Jitsu coincided with the introduction of Ultimate Fighting, a contest that claimed to settle the age-old question, “Which martial art is the best?” Ultimate Fighting promised to end speculation, conjecture and arguments; it would all be settled in a cage. And, after winning match after match, Brazilian Ju Jitsu, as practiced by the Gracie family, consistently came out on top, appearing to be the style to beat. Ten years later, Ultimate Fighting has become an international sport, watched by millions around the world. Top competitors train hard, and Brazilian Ju Jitsu is just one successful style among many. Today, there are as many knock-outs as tap-outs. Grapplers are punching and strikers are grappling. It can be said that the lasting legacy of the Gracie family was to make the martial arts world address the issue of what to do when you are taken to the ground. Ultimate Fighting has become much less a contest of style vs. style, and much more a test of one particular fighter’s ability vs. another’s.

Given this history, it is easy to understand that people who have never studied martial arts see the entire practice as fighting. It’s only natural. Martial arts were introduced to the West in general and to the U.S. in particular by former soldiers who viewed the art as an effective mean of self-defence. And, if you view these as fighting arts, then it’s no surprise that the question arises, “If one style fought another, which would win?”

If you think about it, you’ll see that the question itself is beside the point. All authentic styles and systems teach self-defence skills necessary to take a confrontational situation under control or allow you to defend yourself if attacked. But people are rarely attacked in everyday life by professional fighters, or by trained martial artists. Most attacks are perpetrated by a punk or thug with a quick temper, often under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. So, which style is the most effective? From a self-defence perspective, virtually all authentic styles will work.

Part 2 next week.

Weekly Quote

Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.

Jack Canfield


Sensei Matt Thurman – Aikido Nottingham

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News Update Monday 11th May

Training Focus

Here is the training focus for this week’s Adult classes.

Monday: Shihonage & Ukemi
Tuesday: Nikkajo & Dynamic
Wednesday: Hijiate & Jo
Thursday: Tenshinage & Tanto
Friday: Kotegaeshi & Self Defence
Saturday: Shomen Iriminage & Sword

Bank Holiday

As usual, we are closed for the Bank Holiday on Monday 25th. If you would miss out on one of your usual classes please make sure you get your catch up class!


Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.”

Les Brown


Sensei Matt Thurman – Aikido Nottingham

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News Update Monday 2nd February

Training Focus

Monday: Sokkumen & Free Practice

Tuesday: Shihonage & Jo

Wednesday: Yonkajo & Tanto

Thursday: Sankajo & Self Defence

Friday: Nikkajo & Sword

Saturday: Ikkajo & Dynamic

Kids’ Grading Modules

This month the kids are grading on Module 4 of their curriculum.


Little Dragons

Kid’s Mat Chat

Here are the topics that we will be dicussing with the kids this month.

Quote of the week

If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not working on hard enough problems. And that’s a big mistake.”

Frank Wilczek


Sensei Matt Thurman – Aikido Nottingham

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News Update Monday 5th January

Hello everyone and welcome to 2015!

The start of e new year of training, what goals are you going to set for your progression this year?

Here is the training focus for this week.

Monday: Yonkajo & Tanto

Tuesday: Ikkajo & Self Defence

Wednesday: Shihonage & Sword

Thursday: Nikkajo & Dynamic Practice

Friday: Sokkumen & Free Training

Saturday: Sankajo & Jo

Kids’ Testing Module

At the end of this month the kids are testing on module 4 of their curriculum.


Little Dragons


“Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them.”

Jack Canfield


Sensei Matt Thurman – Aikido Nottingham

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News Update Tuesday 11th November

Training Focus

Here is the training focus for the rest of the week:

Tuesday: Nikkajo & Tanto

Wednesday: Hijiate & Self Defence

Thursday: Tenshinage & Sword

Friday: Kotegaeshi & Dynamic Practice

Saturday: Shomen Iriminage & Free Practice

Kids’ Modules

In the month of November the Kids are being tested on Module 2 of their curriculum


Little Dragons

November Mat Chat Themes

Event Updates

Outdoor Self Defence

We need an idea of how many people are going to be attending the event! If you are going to be coming along and if you are bringing friends please let us know as soon as possible.

Dog Walk

The dog walk is CANCELLED!


Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.”

Harvey Fierstein


Sensei Matt Thurman – Aikido Nottingham

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Free Family Fitness Day !

Saturday 11th January 2014 10.30am -11.30am

37 Haydn Road, Sherwood, Nottingham, NG5 2LA.

A free family event to promote an exciting, low impact,fun and effective program with a martial art twist! Bring along the grandparents, parents,friends,brothers, sisters and children !!!

The program has been organised in a way to make it more accessible to people who may sometimes find it difficult to find the time to exercise.

Classes will start at 9.30am on three week day mornings weekly. Aiming to give parents time to get children to school. With an early start it also means an early finish. Allowing plenty of time to tend to other commitments. For those who have children who are not yet at school age we have come up with a way for you to exercise whilst supervising your children. We have he facilities which allow you wheel your pushchairs into the room in which you will be exercising.

You will also have the option of following a healthy eating plan as well as optional confidential weighing.

Please share this with your family and friends. Lets make this a fantastic event !!

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Balance Through Discipline

External discipline

One of the greatest benefits of studying martial arts is greater self-discipline and self-control. From birth, discipline is a part of the human experience. Imposed on us by caring parents and relatives, discipline teaches us to make wise choices. Teachers, coaches, law enforcement officials, and other authority figures soon add their influence. External discipline is used frequently to obtain compliance in the military, prisons, religious orders or any regulated environment requiring specific behaviors. It canbe an effective method to control individuals, but when the authority figure or consequence  disappears, often we realize that the behavior was just being controlled rather than transformed, or repressed rather than rehabilitated.

Freedom is born of self-discipline. The undisciplined man is a slave to his own weaknesses.

Internal discipline

As we mature, we realize the importance of self-imposed discipline or internal discipline. For example, eating well and exercising usually maintains our health. Building a successful career demands discipline of our time. Financial success requires the discipline to save and invest regularly. In our culture, certain holidays and rituals inspire us to become more disciplined. Birthdays, our annual reminder of the passing of time, can be an opportunity to acknowledge what we have accomplished, as well as what we have not. Without a doubt, the most popular time of the year for assessing our lives and vowing change is January 1st. The beginning of a new year gives us a fresh slate for new resolutions, and millions of people participate in this annual ritual. But well over 90% of us give up on our sincere and heartfelt visions within months. This confirms the need for commitment, follow-through and good old  fashioned self-discipline.

Continuous action

Start investing the time and energy needed to design the life you desire in great detail. Then take continuous action on that design, never stopping until you reach your goals. If you are thinking that this seems really hard, you are right. However, everything in life is hard. Being poor, sick or uneducated is difficult as well. You have a choice: Take control of your life, making it satisfying and rewarding, or allow circumstances and outside forces to determine your future, and ultimately, your life.

We must all suffer one of two things: The pain of discipline or the pain of regret and disappointment.

Discipline will keep you training when the going gets tough, when things get repetitive. Discipline will keep you moving forward in your practice. Discipline will get you to Black Belt and beyond. The journey to Black Belt will change your life.

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Breaking through your limitations

A wise phrase reads, “No one who has led a life of ease has a name worth remembering.” The lives of some of the most remarkable martial artists are woven with stories of great personal struggle. One of the qualities they all shared was relentless enthusiasm and optimism. We can all admire and learn from their unwavering positive attitudes. I don’t mean that we should adopt a “Pollyanna” attitude, and claim that the glass is half full when it is really empty. Instead, like these great martial artists, we could all benefit during our difficult moments, if we remember that, “this too shall pass.”
Control your reactions
Life always contains cycles of good times and bad. During either period, we only have control over one thing— our own behaviour—specifically, our reaction. Realizing this truth, great martial artists choose to develop habits, which lead them in the directions they wish to go. Once they determine their path, they stay diligent in their disciplines and choices. Everyone has heard the phrase, “attitude is everything,” but nothing sums up this concept as succinctly as the Japanese phrase, “Kaizen.” More than just a word, Kaizen represents a philosophy of commitment. The person makes a resolution to never stop improving.
Use your practice as a tool for disciplining and developing your body, as well as a means to building a strong and powerful attitude.

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News Update Monday 9th September

Training Focus

Monday: Shomen Iriminage

Tuesday: Kotegaeshi

Wednesday: Tenshinage

Thursday: Hijiate

Friday: Nikkajo & Jo

Saturday: Shihonage & Bokken

Anti Bullying Week

By now most of our kids are back at school and having a great time. Like us, I’m sure you want to keep it that way and the concern of bullying is never far from your mind.

All this week our classes will include a section of bully prevention techniques, including avoidance stratagies and physical defence. Our students are encouraged to bring as many friends to class as posible this week so we can share the skills required to live a happy and outgoing life withoutthe threat of bullying.

Parent Session

In addition to the sections in the children’s classes we are giving a presentation to parents and carers on what they can do to help their child if they are being bullied. This presentation will take place on Tuesday 10th September at 17:00 here at our academy.

Pizza Party!

Saturday 21st Sept.

At the end of the month we are hosting a VIP Pizza Party! If you want to get in all you need to do is get yourself a red wristband.

To get a wristband bring a friend to any class and you will both recieve a wristband! It couldnt be more simple!


“A life without cause is a life without effect.”



Sensei Matt Thurman, Shudokan Black Belt Academy – Aikido Nottingham

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