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 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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News Update 18th October

Training Focus

This weeks focus is Curriculum practice, getting ready for earning that promotion next week. Get on down here and grab your tags.

Outdoor Self Defence

Friday 21st October. Meet at the Dojo, ready to leave at 18:30 to head to the venue. We will be training behind Garth’s Gym on Haydn Rd.

Clan Wars

Currently is Sensei Hezie’s Reds that are in the lead, followed by Sensei Wayne’s Yellows and Sensei Matt’s Blues.

Remember that the team that has the most points by the end of the month will have a private party thrown in their honour at the Dojo.


The pile of prizes is slowly mounting up but the easiest way to earn more Yen is still to bring in more.

The Auction is on Wednesday 26th October and will start at 17:30. Class will start at 17:00 as usual and at half past we will start the bidding. The Auction will go on until the bidding stops so be prepared.

Halloween Party

The parties will be during the usual class times.

16:30 to 17:00 for Little Dragons.

17:00 to 18:00 for Juniors and Cadets.

This year’s Halloween Party has a costume theme of Zombie Ninja Vs. Vampire Samurai. Prizes will be awarded for the best costumes and there will fun a-plenty for all.

“We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training”


Sensei Matt Thurman, Shudokan Black Belt Academy - Aikido Nottingham

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News Update 15th August.

Focus for the week.

The focus for the week is curriculum training. This week’s weapons will be Jo on Friday and Bokken/Shinai on Saturday.

New Team Member

Today we officially welcome our newest addition to the Shudokan Team. We’re all very excited to have another instructor in the building, Sensei Wayne Thomas will be joining us as a full time instructor so everyone be friendly and play nice.

Bar Room Brawl.

The big fight is drawing ever closer. On Friday 9th of September we will be running a self defence course at the Horse and Groom pub on Radford Rd. Self defence training is an invaluable exercise and these courses are opportunities that should not be missed.

Junior/Cadet Holiday competitions.

Holiday Kamai.

To enter the competition all you need to do is get someone to take a photo of you standing in kamai, bring it in to the Dojo and give it to one of the Sensei. We need all the photos by the 4th of September and the winner will become the proud owner of an awesome prize.

Peel 2 Save.

Here at the dojo we are trying to raise money for Clic Sargent, to do this we are selling discount voucher cards called ‘Peel 2 Save’. The competition is this;

We are offering a complete weapon set (A Bokken, Jo, Tanto and weapon bag) to the student who can take the most orders from friends and family for Peel 2 Save cards. We are handing out order forms on the front desk and all requests must be recorded on the form. The cause is true, the prize fantastic so what are you waiting for? Come and grab an order form today.



“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”

Winston Churchill

See you soon,

Sensei Matt Thurman, Shudokan Black Belt Academy – Aikido Nottingham


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Peel2Save is in dojo now

Training focus week commencing 8th Aug

Monday - Hijishimae

Tuesday - Sokumen Iriminage

Wednesday - Ikkajo

Thursday - Nikkajo

Friday - Sankajo followed by Bokken

Saturday - Kotegaeshi followed by Jo

During each class this week we will also be doing a little more Summer School consolidation.


Peel 2 Save in the Dojo Now

Please do what you can to help us raise £2000 for clic Sergeant. This body does some very good work helping children with cancer, clic sergeant has no government funding at all, the NEED our help. I would ask to please give generously but actually in buying a peel2save card you will be saving far more than you will be spending so please do purchase a card. There are some great offers on the card that you can take advantage of.

To raise £2000 we need to sell 400 cards so we will have to try to reach people outside of the dojo. Please purchase a card and show it to friends and family and ask if they would like to take advantave of one while contributing to a great cause.


To sensei Tom and Kate who were married in Cardiff yesterday. The wedding was amazing - have a great honeymoon.

50+ Martial Arts

Planning to run the first class on Tuesday 6th Sep at 13.00. Classes will also be held on Thursday at 13.00 and Friday at 6.30 in the downstairs dojo. We already have a number of people training who are over 50 like ermmmm………. me!! This class is not really for you, unless you want to of course. This class will have no punching rolling or falling, its a completely safe way for more mature students to remain active in mind and body. If you know of anyone who may benefit from this class please help spread the word, speak to parents or grandparents, it would be great to get this class off to a flying start.


Happiest are the people who give the most happiness to others.

Dennis Diderot.



See you on the mat

Sensei Ken - Shudokan Black Belt Academy - Aikido Nottingham

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Post Summer school update

Summer School

This was No 18 and I have to say it was by far the best. The venue was much better, thanks to Sensei Phil Musson, and our guests were on top form. The date for next year will be around mid June so as not to clash with the Olympics, as soon as I have a date I will publish it. A BIG thanks you to all who supported the Summer School, without you events like this are not possible.

Training focus

The training focus for this week is:-

Monday - Sokumen Iriminage

Tuesday - Shihonage/Tenchinage

Wednesday - Sankajo

Thursday - Kotegaeshi

Friday - Hijiate followed by Jo

Saturday - Iriminage followed by Bokken


“Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.”

Albert Einstein


See you on the mat

Sensei Ken Robson - Shudokan Black Belt Academy - Aikido Nottingham





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Summer School just over a week away

Focus for the week

Training focus for this week is curriculum. Testing starts on Monday 25th but due to summer school we only have 3 days of testing as the dojo will be closed on Thurs Fri and Sat. So do what it takes to get the black tags you need. The Friday weapons half hour is Jo with bokken on Saturday.

Summer School

The schedule has yet to be agreed with our guests but broadly speaking will be starting at 9:00am (this may slip to 9:30 am) and we will do 3 x 1 hour lessons in the morning and same again in the afternoon. Black Belt testing will take place Thursday the time has yet to be confirmed. On the social side of things we may have some celebrations on Thursday evening and on Saturday we will have the summer school party. This is being held at the horse and groom pub on Northgate, maps will be provided. We still have a few places available so DONT HESITATE book now.


“One who fears failure limits his activities. Failure is only the opportunity to more intelligently begin again.”

Henry Ford


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Sensei Ken Shudokan Black Belt Academy - Aikido Nottinghyam

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News Update 14th July & Some Wisdom From Sensei Mercer

BBQ & Open Day

We are holding our Open Day this Saturday. The fun starts at 13:30 with Sumo Suits, a raffle and BBQ to add to the festivities. Bring along guests, it’s an open day after all!

Summer School

Summer School is now only a matter of weeks away. Some places have now opened back up so to those of you who were on the fence before I say this.

I remember the feeling of overwhelming excitement before my first Summer School. Knowing that I would be seeing instructors that were as much celebrity to me as singers and actors filled my every waking thought. Now I have been training for roughly 6 years and guess what, I am still just as excited about the upcoming seminar as I was  all those years and belts ago.

I have heard people say, and high grades at that; ‘It’s always the same stuff’

To those people I have two things to say;

  1. I know that the same lesson will always mean a different thing to me because I have moved forward and developed since the last time I received it. When  I understand one aspect of what the instructor is saying the rest of lesson has a different meaning. This alone means that I will never take the same class twice.
  2. We are martial artists. For anyone to develop at anything repetition is not advised, it is necessesary!

So if you think you have heard it all before, maybe you have, but I guarentee that you will not have understood or mastered more than a tiny grain of the knowledge these Sensei have to offer.

On Rights and Responsibilities; By Sensei Mercer

Sometimes I feel we live in a world that thrives and relies on Rights.  But, Rights are without means, they have no substance and on their own can do nothing.  If one has the Right of self defence, that in itself does not protect  one from an attack.  The Right alone has no means.  In order to exercise any right certain responsibilities have to be met.  In the case of self defence some training or ability needs to be nurtured in order to be able to exercise the Right.  Often I think individuals do not understand their responsibilities yet are very keen to exercise their Rights believing that it is other people’s responsibility to provide them with the means.  I can not help but think this is wrong.  In the dojo we all have the Right to learn and progress but this comes with the responsibility to work hard, listen and respond to instruction which is the means by which we achieve this.


See you soon

Sensei Matt Thurman Shudokan Black Belt Academy - Aikido Nottingham

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Summer School 18 days away

News Update

Training focus for the week

Monday - Hijiate

Tuesday - Kotegaeshi

Wednesday - Hijishimae

Thursday - Sokumen Iriminage

Friday - Shomen Iriminage then 30 mins Bokken

Saturday - Kokyu Ho / Kokyunage then 30 mins Jo

Summer School

Only 18 days away now. Please could the Nottingham students pay the balance before Thursday 28th. Also some places have become available so if you would like to attend please let us know ASAP. Summer school is very appropriate for beginners as well as advanced students.

BBQ and Open day

This Saturday 16th. BBQ, Sumo Suits, Raffle, Supervised children’s play area. Starts at 1.30pm. Bring your own drinks please. Friends and family welcome.


“The big lesson. The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.”

Michael Dlouhy


See you on the mat

Sensei Ken

Shudokan Black Belt Academy - Aikido Nottingham

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News Update 30th June & How to work Together

Open Day

The open day is still scheduled to go ahead on the 16th of July. To help us get the message out please talk to Sensei Hezie about taking a flyer to put up at work or your local community centre.

Bar Room Brawl 12th August

On Friday 12th of August we are going to carry out one of our famous Out-of-Dojo self defence training sessions.

We’ve done out-doors urban, we’ve trained for out-doors rural, But never before have we trained in the place where it all kicks off, the pub.

We will be using a private room in a public bar to run our simulations, so the atmosphere could not be more realistic. With a number of different situations and scenarios to play out you’ll be sure to have both a great learning experience and a fantastic time.


Partners, Not Opponents; A New Way of Thinking

The words we use are very important. Words are the tools that convey thoughts and feelings to others. Some words can be interchanged without affecting the intent of the message. ‘Partner’ and ‘opponent’ can both be used to describe the relationship between two people who practice martial arts together, but their meanings are vastly different. The term you choose, ‘partner’ or ‘opponent’, reveals your attitude and fundamentally shapes your approach to practice.

“To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person.”

Bruce Lee

Opponents in Practice

What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘opponent’? You might think of victory and defeat, winning and losing, or keeping score. ‘Competitor’, ‘rival’, or even ‘enemy’ also come to mind. Imagine a dojo where everyone adopts an ‘opponent’ attitude. In every class, people pair up, and try to beat the stew out of each other. Each tries to throw harder and faster techniques, and the sparring is intensely aggressive. ‘Aggressive’ is the key word here. An opponent mentality promotes rivalry in practice. Most surely, the environment is split, and not down the middle. Very few people can handle such a tough challenge or thrive on this level of competition. The strong take advantage of the weak. Injuries are frequent and severe. The majority will quit early in their practice, never realizing how martial arts could have changed their lives.

Adapting an opponent attitude is futile; your struggle is always with yourself.

Opponents in Life

Maybe you’re thinking, “Only the strong survive.” But is the goal to survive, or is it to grow and use the practice to evolve? With an adversarial attitude, the only thing growing is the competitor’s ego. This mind-set migrates into everyday life. In defence, you could say that a person who takes on the world by storm usually accomplishes a lot. In reality, they are often over stressed, tend to be perfectionists, and are sadly unfulfilled. They overlook their successes, because they are too busy trying to conquer the next frontier. They focus on the next trophy, the next relationship, degree, job, or bigger house. They seem to always be pushing themselves, fearful that someone will catch up. At the end of life, despite a long list of accomplishments, they are still not satisfied. Happiness and contentment, obtained only through inner peace, remains elusive until the end. The earlier in our life we learn this concept, the better: Adapting an opponent attitude is futile—your struggle is always with yourself.

If you are only concerned with victory and defeat, you are a narrow minded and selfish individual.

Partners in Practice

A great martial artist said, “If you are only concerned with victory and defeat, you are a narrow minded and selfish individual.” Think of the difference in your practice, when you view the other students as your ‘partners.’ Your potential, and that of your partner, is virtually unlimited. A good partner is just as, or even more, concerned for the progress of the other person. As you practice, no longer is every man out for himself, or one person pitted against all the rest. Instead, each person works on his own skills, while helping the other students to improve theirs. The environment becomes one of increasing progress, a partnership, rather than a mindset of kill or be killed.

The power of practicing with a partner

A great partner is like a chameleon. He has the sensitivity to recognize the skill level of the other person, and sets his level of intensity at, or just above, that of his partner’s. At all times, he encourages his partner to work towards his greatest potential.

Some might fear that by practicing with this attitude, they will lose their competitive edge, which they believe pushes them to practice hard. On the contrary, pushing and challenging each other should be vigorous and exciting. As you build greater trust, the practice will become more intense. This allows everyone to work on their weakest as well as their strongest techniques. Skill levels of both partners, and enjoyment of practice grows in every class.

Senior students recognize that partnering with beginners gives them a chance to correct poor technique. They also get to practice against techniques that aren’t as clean, straight and crisp, perhaps more like a real confrontation on the street. When senior students work together, they can practice advanced techniques with speed and power, because they have developed control and trust.

“Softness triumphs over hardness, feebleness over strength. What is more malleable is always superior over that which is immoveable. This is the principal of controlling things by going along with them, of mastery through adaption.”


Be a better partner at home and at work

Taking this concept into your everyday life will dramatically affect your personal and professional relationships. At all times, try being a partner at home, rather than an opponent. Your family life will be happier and more rewarding. Remember the saying. “Would you rather be right, or happy?” Often ask yourself, “What can I do to help?” Try not to harbor resentment or feel victimized.

Whatever the service or product might be, customers want to do business with people that they like. Always strive to be a partner, helping wherever you car. Be a problem solver, and you will be successful.

You will become a better partner, and everyone in your home will be happier. At the office, this concept can turn salesmen into trusted advisors. Your new facilitating role could lead to more and much larger sales. Your clients will feel like they are in a win/win situation. Nobody feels as if they’ve been cheated, and your clients will want to return to you again and again. Remember, both in and outside of the dojo, everyone wants to work with a great partner. So develop your sensitivity and partner skills.


Here’s a short story;

A business owner; plagued by lagging sales figures and negative employee attitudes, hired a consultant to bring new energy into the company. The consultant quickly realized that the cause of most of the problems related to the pay structure of the sales people. They were forced to compete against each other; rather than working for the good of the company. The cutthroat attitudes made life at the office almost unbearable. He suggested that the owner not only restructure the sales department, but implement a bold new bonus plan to inspire greater teamwork.

At the end of the year, each salesperson would receive a five thousand dollar award to be passed along to the co-worker who helped him the most in the past year. The sales department embraced the new idea with enthusiasm. With inside competition eliminated, people worked happily on their assigned accounts, and the environment became quite pleasant.

“Do every act of your life as if it were your last.”

Marcus AureIius

One salesman, Trevor, seemed to thrive in this atmosphere. He had always enjoyed selling and often attended outside sales training courses to improve his techniques. When a technique worked well for him, he shared it with others in the office. He generated many leads, sometimes more than he could handle in a timely manner, so he passed along extras to the other sales people. Although he lost some commissions, he felt that a happy client was better for the company. His friendly attitude was infectious, both inside and outside of the office walls.

At the end of the year, the company’s sales figures were at the highest levels ever. The happy owner distributed the five thousand dollar bonuses. As agreed, the co-workers began passing the special awards along to those who had helped them the most. To his astonishment, Trevor received 80% of the special awards. Although he had missed a few commissions, he had the best year of his career.

Whatever the service or product might be, customers want to do business with people that they like. Always strive to be a partner, helping wherever you can. Be a problem solver, and you will be successful.

“It is one of the most beautiful  compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Sensei Matt Thurman Shudokan Black Belt Academy - Aikido Nottingham

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