News Update 15th September

Dates for the Diary

We have a series of events in the upcoming month. See below for details and dates.


Kids’ Bring a Buddy Week

All through next week the Dojo will be open to guests! Invite your school friends come along and join in with the class to see what we do here and have a great time with us. Aiki-Yen will be awarded to students for bringing friend, and since its all week, you’ll be able to bring a new friend each day.


Junior/Cadet Clan Wars

For the month of October we will divide the Juniors and Cadets into differnt ‘Clan’ groups, much like school houses.

During the month students will earn their Clan points by performing great techniques, answering questions, bringing in friends among many other things. But remember this, any bad behaviour, laziness and cheating and you will loose your Clan points.

At the end of the month the members of Clan with the most points will win themselves a great prize and the main achievers of the Clan will be recognised and awarded!

Sensei Mustard

OnThursday the 6th of October Sensei Robert Mustard will be running a class at the Dojo. This is a fanatastic opportunity and not to be missed. Sensei Mustard is a 7th Dan Yoshinkan Sensei and his Aikido is awesome. His lessons are just as valid for begginers as they are for advanced students, and vice-versa, and whatever grade you are you will learn loads and have a great time.

It is only £15.00 to take the class and the class will last for 2 and a half hours, from 18:30 to 21:00.

Out-Door Self Defence

On Friday the 21st of October we are going to run an Out-Door self defence course. This course is free to attend so please bring guests (Family, friends, work colegues etc).

These in-location self defence session are incredibly valuable because they provoke questions that would never be asked in a Dojo self defence class, they help you to get used to applying your Aikido training outside of the Dojo and they break down the barrier caused by ‘I have never done this before’.

Junior/Cadet Aiki-Auction

The Aiki-Auction will take place on Wednesday the 26th of October. To take part in the Auction, students will need to earn themselves Aiki-Yen. Yen will awarded in class for great performance, guts, effort, technique, knowledge, manners the list goes on. In short, for displaying any aspect of Bushido, the students will be rewarded with Aiki-Yen.

Kids’ Halloween Party

On Monday the 28th of October we are holding a Halloween costume party for the Little Dragons and the Junior/Cadets. The theme of the party is Zombie Ninjas Vs Vampire Samurai!Pick you side and come along to wag war on your deadliest enemies.

If you have any questions about any of these events plese call the team on 0115 9856504


Sensei Matt Thurman, Shudokan Black Belt Academy - Aikido Nottingham

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News Update 25th August & Acheiving Perfection

Bank Holiday Closure

We will be closed on Monday 29th August due to the Bank Holiday. If you would normally train on the monday class don’t miss out on your tag, make it up during the week and take your catch up class.

Holiday Competitions

Holiday Kamai

Time is running out to submit your Kamai Photos. We will anounce the winner on the 9th of Septemeber so get your photos to us by the 4th to enter the draw.

Clic Sargent fund raiser

7 days left to bring your completed Peel 2 Save order forms back to us.The last day you can submit your form is the 31st of August so don’t delay if you want to win!

Do What You Can Do-Perfectly

Pt 1

Most people would agree that one of the best ways to improve in martial arts is to practice hard. But what does practicing hard mean? By performing techniques with as much speed and power as possible, most people would believe they are practicing hard. The workout is vigorous, and they leave sweating, sore and smiling. Although I subscribe to the ‘sweating-sore-and-smiling theory’, practicing hard involves more than just throwing technique with power.

Perform every action with conscious intention

Practicing hard means to do everything that you are already able to do, perfectly. Maybe the word ‘perfectly,’ brings to mind the idea that no one is perfect. This might be true, but everyone can do some things perfectly… every time. Some skills and concepts are quite easy to learn, and having a specific fitness and flexibility level to perform them is not necessary. For example, everyone can stand in a perfect attention stance with heels together, back straight, eyes looking forward, and hands sharply by their side. Each time, when standing in attention stance, everyone can bow deeply and respectfully. Everyone can remember to wear a uniform to class, to line up straight without gaps in the line, to re-cock or chamber the leg after kicking, to make your fist tight when making a fist, to keep your knees bent when they are supposed to be bent, to keep your hands up when they are supposed to be up, and to keep breathing through class. The list of other moments of possible perfection can go on and on. Believing that these are little things and that they don’t really matter is not the correct attitude. Remember the saying, “If you take care of the little things, the big things will take care of themselves.”

Success lies in the details

As a beginner, this is one of the most important lessons to learn. The essence of practice, and often, the success of any technique lie in the subtle details. If you watch a beginner, an intermediate and an advanced student, and compare their basic techniques, undoubtedly, the differences between them will be in the subtleties, not in the gross movements. To discipline the mind, increase awareness, and develop a strong body and strong technique, you must realize that mindfulness of each detail is crucial.

So, if we are capable of performing specific learned skills perfectly, why don’t we? Because our wandering mind is distracted by other thoughts and is too busy to notice mistakes. We must be aware of mistakes before we can improve them. So, how can a person become more aware? He must develop self-control and discipline of the mind, so that the mind stays focused. At the deepest level, the art absolutely demands total awareness and concentration, helping you to stay in the moment


“You are not here to try to get the world to be just as you want it. You are here to create the world around you that you choose.”

Rhonda Byrne


Sensei Matt Thurman Shudokan Black Belt Academy - Aikido Nottingham


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News Update 18th August

Junior/Cadet Summer School

The Junior/Cadet Summer School was great fun. A big thank you to everyone who came along and helped make this event possible. We covered loads of topics from flipping to sword work and even making up and filming fight scenes.

We’ve got loads of ideas for next year’s Summer School so keep your eyes peeled and ears open for news.

Back to School

Give your child a confidence boost before the new school year starts. Going back to school can be a nerve-wracking experience so the ability to walk tall and act with confidence is not to be underestimated.

By using our system of recognising achievement and setting goals we make confidence a skill that effortlessly trained and honed.

Peel 2 Save

We are still a long way off achieving our target of raising £2,000 for Clic Sargent by selling Peel 2 Save discount voucher cards. Each card contains 64 vouchers and at £10 a card will pay for itself in just 1 use. There is a potential savings of £300 with these cards so if you go out in town or would like to go out more then you really cannot afford to be without one of these cards.

“Don’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream the farther you get.”

Michael Phelps


See you on the mat

Sensei Matt Thurman
Shudokan Black Belt Academy – Aikido Nottingham

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News Update 4th August and Advice on Breaking Through Your Limitations

Battle Re-Enactment Training Day

Today is the day we train our Juniors and Cadets in the art of war! All being well and weather permiting the battle will take place on Thursday 11th August at Bestwood Park.

After training today the Students will be given some materials to take home and use make themselves their own shield for the big day.

We will also set some homework for the Students, asking them to write a short essay, about half a side of A4, on The Spartans, their way of life and the sprirt of a warrior. Essays that meet all 3 points will earn the writer the Heritage Badge.

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.

Seize every opportunity

A person with a weak will might hear about constant never-ending improvement and immediately think, “Nothing will ever be good enough. No matter how hard I try, I will always have to improve.” This same idea would have the opposite effect on an optimistic and enthusiastic martial artist. He understands the philosophy as an opportunity to continuously grow and strive for his fullest potential. He doesn’t judge or get frustrated by errors. Optimists correct and improve their behaviour, and perceive this as an opportunity. Pessimists see this same act, as proof that they are failing.


See you on the mat soon,

Sensei Matt Thurman Shudokan Black Belt Academy - Aikido Nottingham

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Achieving mastery in 7 steps

This week, steps 1 & 2


1.       Find a good teacher

The first step to take after deciding to pursue the study of any subject should be to find a person who has already accomplished greatness in that field. Do not waste time trying to, “reinvent the wheel.” You can learn many topics from books, videos, the internet, etc. To effectively study martial arts, though, you must be face to face with a teacher. The other resources can supplement the process, but real learning happens on the floor, through trial and error and personal experience.


A strong body plus a strong mind

equals a strong future.


Because this is such a logical first step, why don’t most of us first consult those who have walked the path ahead of us before starting a new endeavour? The biggest reason is we are excited to be starting something new. We can’t wait to begin. Another reason is that we fear that by consulting others, our creative juices will be stifled. Lastly, we just don’t want to share the credit for the accomplishment. We want to feel like we did everything on our own. Our ego makes us believe that climbing a mountain with a guide cannot possibly be as satisfying as climbing solo.

A great teacher enhances learning, helping you to get the skills you need as fast as possible. With enough practice, you will reach a point where you no longer struggle with the basic techniques. When you have mastered technique, you have the freedom to become an artist. Remember, you must be a great technician before you can be an artist.


2.       Patience

After you have found a great teacher, the next requirement is to be patient. Our society demands immediate gratification. The quicker the better! We have blazing fast internet connections and powerful microwaves to cook our food faster. We can even buy peanut butter and jam in the same jar, to optimize our sandwich-making experience! Impatience is an epidemic in our culture.


If you are not living the way that you want to live, what must you change to make your life exactly as you want it to be?


We despise slow beginnings, but the true study of martial arts takes time. You must be patient; you are not going to master your techniques quickly. You won’t get into shape overnight. Impatience is the number one reason why people quit their practice. We are a society with short attention spans. People quit activities at the drop of a hat. In any field, find the person who is at the top. The master of any discipline has immense staying power. They could not have reached the heights of greatness without patience.


Next week, parts 3 & 4


Sensei Matt

Shudokan Black Belt Academy - Aikido Nottingham

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