Project Aspire

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A few years back I was wondering how I could reach a wider range of students and provide classes based on Karate for their benefit.  My idea was to create an inclusive club where everyone can participate and find something for themselves regardless of their status, ability or age and improve their wellbeing both physically and mentality.

This idea was supported by a very special group of people led by Ms Samantha Hutchison, with the involvement of community wardens Tracy James and Garry Jones.

FB_IMG_1561027606419They have all patiently listened to my ideas and explained the procedures for applying for funding along with all of the terms and conditions. All of this work resulted in the award of two grants from Project Aspire – one for a senior exercise club at Merrow and the second for an inclusive Karate club at Queen Elizabeth Park.

imageWith the support of Project Aspire we have managed to start up and build not only exercises groups but community hubs for a vast spectrum of people. Members of these clubs include adults of all ages from 18 to over 80, with all enjoying the beautiful art of Karate. Students with autism, multiple sclerosis, hearing impairment, physical disability and ill mental health are reaping the benefits of physical activity in a non-judgmental environment improving their skills, confidence and self-worth.

Thanks to the openness and good will of the Project Aspire team these clubs have been able to improve social interaction and provide support to the community within Guildford, promoting a healthy lifestyle. This demonstrates that with a little support from local authorities at a grass roots level direct help can be provided to people improving their quality of life and creating a sense of community.

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Adapting Karate

Big part of my karate is teaching, I teach many different people. Some of them have disabilities, autism or  not so young. In order to provide a quality sessions i have to adapt program to specific needs. Through the years of working with different charities I have developed my own specific way of modifying Karate. I’m happy that there is more recognition for my work and there is an interest in seminars with me.

For those who asked me about teaching more about Taiso project,  I have planned for next year few seminars on the subject. Please have look below on sample clip of how I modify Kata . In this case both ladies have problems with balance making Seienchin Kata very difficult to perform standing.

Kind regards

Les

Tegumi – Karate’s Grappling

Short clip of our Tegumi (grappling) based on techniques found in kata, from Pinan series to Seipai. Throws are not performed correctly due to lack of soft floor. If you like the clip please Like, Share and Subscribe.

To learn and practice this application please seek instruction under the supervision of a qualified Sensei.

Thanks for watching!

https://www.shinaidokarate.com

Kind regards, Les

Anxiety effects on Kata performance – Naihanchi

Hi all,

It was a while I joined in  conversation due to busy family life, last week I thought i will record some kata at the dojo.

That night was sleepless due to baby not well, day was not great either -toddler become a terrorist and did not cooperate at all, our baby girl was not well and grumpy all day. i was tired and frustrated, also my anxiety kicked in (which you can see on the clip, nervously looking around).

My perfect Naihanchi never happened, more I tried more mistakes I made. My performance dropped about 60% (personal opinion) best what I could do is to stop and let it go, with the plan to do better next time.

What coping strategies you guys and girls have i this type situations?

Kind regards

Les

Pinan kata at the new Dojo

Hi all,
 
So our new dojo open, I decided it would be great to record some training in new surroundings.
 
Clip below is a result of that session where we went through dissected flow drill for our Pinan Sono Ichi.
 
Camera used t record done some weird stuff with lighting so my apologies, but I think that over all new dojo looks and feels so much better then old one.
 
Hope you will enjoy this short clip
 
 
Kind regards
 
Les

Moving Club to Guildford

After few good years at the St Mark’s Hall it is time to move to new lactation. Considering all the options I decide that new location have to be closer to home, this decision was dictated by new member of the family arriving in March. New cub will be at the Queen Elizabeth Park on the ground floor of the QE Park Centre. This hall is nearly new with excellent wooden floor and bright light, having a good feel to it. 26952156_1990748001163412_3991770896776039895_o

First class will be held on the 8th of January 2019 at 8pm, everyone is welcome, our club is oriented to include everyone no matter their ability, we are involved in supporting people with mental health problems, autism and other physical disabilities. Our sessions can be modified and adjusted to the individual needs.

Looking forward to starting this new stage in our club, see you at the dojo.

Karate as a tool.

It has been a long time since I have written here, family life took over. All of the side projects had been put aside. Today I have a few hours of spare time while I am traveling to Poland, so I have taken this opportunity to write few words about a Karate project that I was asked to participate in as a teacher.

Anxiety and depression in children and young people are on the rise, more and more of school children are negatively affected by pressure both educational and social. Nowadays bullying does not stop when leaving school walls. It is constant through the social media, young people are always connected and attached to their phones or computer. These youngsters are not able to detach and break the cycle of stress, it seems that the education system does not have a strategy to cope with this problem.

For few years now, I have worked with a mental health charity running Karate classes for them. And after gaining control over my own huge anxiety problem via Karate training I have been asked to run classes for children in order to boost their confidence and feeling of self-worth. Karate as a tool is great for this task as it has a structure and system for development in place where students can see their progression through goals. Both short and long term, these goals are achievable and measurable. For this purpose, we use a belt system with technical requirements and time frame. Students going through sets of challenges are learning the techniques and getting confidence so that they can perform and accomplish given tasks. As it takes time and effort (things that are not so common in today’s instant gratification world) young people learn the importance of adherence, hard work, and discipline which will benefit them in adult life.

Also, being guided through the failures which are a part of learning in martial arts, students learn and train their mental resilience and toughness which helps them to deal with stress. Meditation incorporated in the lessons helps to improve their focus and mental calmness, which results in helping to be more efficient in studying at school. A big role in Karate training for children is physical fitness. Fit people are more confident, have a better opinion about themselves and are healthier. In training children there is not so much focus on pure Karate but the development of ABC skills which are transferable to any other sport or activity. ABC stands for Agility, Balance and Coordination. All three are essential for a human development and Karate can help with that via sets of coordination drills, quick directional changes and the unpredictable demands of sparring.

As karate is mainly an individual art, teaching students that all is in their hands, and how much effort they put in controls how much they will get out of it. We cannot forget about their communication and social skills development, therefore in every session we have games and challenges where students need to work together in order to solve problems or challenges. As in adult life there are winners and losers, so we let students fail. It is very important for mental development to experience failure. If we can allow students to fail in controlled environment we can boost their resilience and change their outlook from stress to being motivated to work harder and learn from their failure which in future will help them achieve their chosen goal without being discouraged by difficulties. In my class I like to go through some philosophical aspects and talk about how some behaviours are affecting our life, on a way towards who we want to be.

Below is a very short and nonspecific session program:

  • – Seated meditation (mental preparation for class).
  • Introduction to topic of the class, key safety points.
  • Warm up (joint mobilisation, specific exercises, games).
  • Karate specific training (working on ABC).
  • Cool down (calming down exercises, stretches).
  • Philosophy (encouraging proper behaviour).
  • Seated meditation (mental cool down and relaxation).
  • Feedback.

All of the above is making karate training a very powerful tool to make a valuable society member. In my opinion the pillars of society are strong and caring people and Karate helps to cultivate them.

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About the author: Les Bubka is an experienced martial artist, personal trainer and therapist who specialises in posture, mobility and Karate.  Les works with a wide variety of clients including martial artists and athletes as well as those suffering with postural dysfunction or those who wish to improve their fitness and wellbeing.