We would like to invite you all to attend a ‘Martial Arts for Mental Health’ event. This seminar dedicated to raising funds to support wellbeing and good mental health. The event is organised by LB Posture Training. The money raised from the event will go to support the work of The Welcome Project in Waverley. The Welcome Project is a part of Catalyst, a non-profit organisation and registered charity which works with people across Surrey struggling with issues around drugs, alcohol and mental health. The Welcome Project works in partnership with other organisations and volunteers to provide a variety of activities, support, guidance and opportunities for people who feel isolated, have lost their focus, suffer from anxiety or need a change of direction.

Key Event Details:
• When: Sunday 9th of April, from 10:00 to 15:00.
More detailed timings are as follows
o 09:30 doors open
o 10:00 morning session (prompt start)
o 12:00 lunch break
o 12:45 regroup
o 13:00 afternoon session
o 15:00 finish

• Where: Surrey Sports Park (SSP) (for details on how to get there please visit their website here:

• Cost: Entry donation is £10 or more (if you are feeling generous)
Please note that if you are unable to attend this event but would still like to contribute you can do so via our JustGiving page here:

• Booking: As space is limited we would really appreciate it if those who are planning to attend either select ‘going’ on the Facebook event or let us know via email at

• Important notices:
o SSP have a policy of not permitting any food or drink to be consumed on site unless purchased at SSP. Please note that there is a Starbucks and Sports Bar onsite for refreshments.
o Please do not take photographs as we require a SSP permit to do so. If you would like photographs of the event please ask us to take them on your behalf (using our camera).

Martial Arts Represented:
There will be a variety of Martial Arts presented at this seminar including Aikido, Karate and Jiu Jitsu. There will also be a demonstration of Taiso. We are extremely grateful to those who have offered their time to support this event. Please find details of the instructors below.
Confirmed styles and instructors:

Aikido with Hanshi Roger Payne
The Way of Spiritual Harmony. The Aikido we practice includes throws, joint locks and immobilisations, all carried out in a ‘Self Defence’ manner.

Jiu Jitsu with Renshi Jim Rooney
The Myo Shin Ryu Jiu Jitsu system places emphasis on throwing, pinning, and joint-locking techniques.

Jardine Karate with Sensei Matt Jardine
A pressure tested practice covering stand-up, clinch and ground fighting. A synthesis of arts, styles and experiences aimed at helping students define and design their own answers to their unique martial arts needs.

Shin ai do Karate with Sensei Les Bubka
Shin ai do Karate is an all-round full-contact style that inherits from Karate schools such as Goju Ryu and Kyokushin.

Further Information:
If you would like to learn more about the causes we are supporting please visit the links below:

If you would like to know more about the instructors that have dedicated their time to support this event please visit the links below:

If you have any further queries about this event, please contact Les via

Link to the event below:


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.

Taiso through Pam’s eyes


 Taiso Group 

Guest article from one of my friends and “trainee” as she calls herself. I wish I could be as articulate as Pam.

Watching a Taiso class you could be thinking that it’s just a group of people waving their arms about with the occasional punch and kick thrown in; but it’s much more than that. It is a discipline, based on Karate that combines gentle exercise with  better posture, mobility and balance. The consensus of opinion is that learning something new, especially when we get older, helps to keep the brain active. This can be anything, from learning a language or playing the piano, but with Taiso you get a bit of exercise as well.

Each set of movements – or a form as it is called – is carried out in order with a little leeway for artistic interpretation. If the person who is learning has limited mobility, they can still take part; perhaps by sitting and just doing the arm movements. You just complete the sections that you are able to.

Once a form has been learnt, a breathing pattern is introduced to co-inside with the movements. Inhaling (expanding the abdomen instead of the chest) and then exhaling for longer than the inhale, helps to clear the stale air at the bottom of the lungs. This will increase the oxygen in your brain and other organs.

Once this has been mastered, another facet is added. Upon inhaling, introduce a slight stretch upwards and outwards and on exhaling, a gentle relax and slight bending of the knees. This may seem like trying to pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time but with practice it should come. After that, you can add tensing the muscles when you stretch. An arm movement, for example, that seems as if you are pushing out against something solid is enhanced and the muscles tightened. As the arm is withdrawn, the muscles are relaxed. A form can be executed slowly for relaxation or speeded up for a bit of a work out.

You will not get bored either as there are a total of eighteen forms to perfect.

If you like Pam’s writing, please click like and I will ask her to write more…

Kind regards,



Working with wide a range of clients from professional athletes to office workers and from teenagers to seniors I have noticed that a significant number of them have poor balance.  I have always been told that balance issues are more associated with the older generation.  With time we lose our ability to move gracefully due to weakening muscles, worsening sight and the slowing down of brain function.  In my work I have noticed an increasing number of young people who suffer with a lack of balance and coordination and not as a result of clinical reasons. It just seems to me that a lack of movement and physical activity is making people clumsy.

Balance, as any other skill, is fading if we do not use it, in the same way that you lose muscle strength when you do not train it. In our modern times where we spend most of the day chair bound and exercise is only done for 1 hr three times a week it is clearly not enough to keep our natural coordination and balance, which was needed by our ancestors to survive.

In the case of professional athletes the way of the training is too focussed on vision instead on the quality sensory feedback from the body.  In the case of multidirectional sports just relying on vision is not enough to provide enough information to the brain. If the communication centre (the brain) is not sufficiently trained in receiving and interpreting information from other parts of the body balance and coordination will be disturbed.

Lack of balance is leading to an increase in injuries for both athletes and non-athletes. You can actively fight back by doing some activities which improve your balance.

  • Stand on one leg

When brushing your teeth for 20 sec or more, your brain will gather information from all of the sensors around the body and with time will learn how to process it and improve your balance. If you want to make it harder then try closing your eyes.

  • Take up Taiso classes


Taiso has many health and mental benefits, not just working on muscles but on the brain too and helps to calm ones mental state.  Via form training we can improve strength, balance, flexibility and mobility.  Our brain is stimulated by learning new patterns, building new neuron connections and reinforcing them by repetition.  Natural, deep breathing oxygenates blood, relaxes tension and calms the spirit

  • Plyometric / Functional training


This form of training is performed with your own body weight, taking you through different variations of movement in different planes and directions. Improving strength, agility, speed and balance. From my experience this is the best way to improve overall balance in active people.

  • Take up dancing


It is a great and fun way of challenging your coordination and balance, going through dynamic stances your body is getting used to changes in the environment whilst at the same time improving your health.

  • Martial arts

Pad work at LB Posture Training

Martial arts are great for hand to eye coordination and balance as there are often changes of position and alternated use of arms and legs. Performing drills also increases the workout for the brain when memorising a sequence of the moves. Along with all of the health benefits you also learn self-defence and get a boost in confidence.

  • Good sleep

This is very often an overlooked aspect. Sleep deprivation will decrease brain availability to process data from our body resulting in lower balance and coordination.


Test your Balance

Three tests to check out your balance.

  • Both feet test

Stand on both feet with your ankles touching, arms across your chest and close your eyes. Ask someone to measure the time for you. It is normal to sway a little bit when you are standing with your eyes shut, you should stand for 60 seconds without moving your feet. Now test yourself by putting one foot in front of the other. You should be able to hold this position for around 40 seconds on both sides.

  • One foot test

Perform this test somewhere that you can safely grab on to something, for example a door frame. Stand on one leg lifting the other without touching or resting it on the supporting leg. Close your eyes. Depending on your age you should be able to hold the pose for 30 seconds eyes open, 20 seconds with eyes closed for those who are 60 years old or younger. People aged 61 and older: 22 seconds with eyes open, 10 seconds with eyes closed.

  • Ball of the foot test

Stand on one foot with your hands on your hips, and place the non supporting foot against the inside knee of the standing leg. Raise your heel off floor and hold the pose—you should be able to do so for 25 seconds.

If you need more information on how to improve you balance through the use of Taiso, Plyometrics or Martial Arts please feel free to join us on our classes or for private tuition.



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.

What is Taiso

A group of not so young people starts to gather at the hall, buzzing from the excitement, happily chatting about new moves that they are going to do today and which moves from last week they remember.


The hall is quickly filled with a group, with ages varying from 40 to over 80, dropping their shoes in the corner.  Some need chairs to have a rest in between exercises but that is not stopping them!

They talk about Taiso, you know, the art of gentle exercising!

What on earth is Taiso?  At LB Posture Training we are running classes for the not so young.  I call it “Taiso – the art of gentle exercise”.  To create this I have taken and modified kata from our style of Karate and added meditation music.  By doing this I have a set of exercises that can be performed slowly and relaxed in the manner of Tai Chi.  I do not know Tai Chi well enough to use this name but I do know Karate and have experience with kata as meditation,  which is why I have researched and used the name Taiso.  “Taiso = tai (body) + so (hardening) and is a generic Japanese term for conditioning.  It can range from simply stretching to very serious conditioning.” (

I associate Taiso with exercises so my students can come along and experience training in a safe manner, learn Karate forms and enjoy them in the right state of the mind.  These classes are structured with a gentle warm up, followed by learning a form and perfecting the movement. The third part of the class is dedicated to meditation, where participants perform a learnt form in a relaxed state trying to lose themselves in fluent motion.  This group is not only about the exercise it is a great social platform where people can meet and share quality time.  After the workout we gather and have a cup of tea and chat.

This group was born from the need for cheap and non-impact exercises in the middle of the day so it is easier for the not so young.


Taiso Normandy

Taiso has many health and mental benefits, not just working on muscles but on the brain too and helps to calm ones mental state.  Via form training we can improve strength, balance, flexibility and mobility.  Our brain is stimulated by learning new patterns, building new neuron connections and reinforcing them by repetition.  Natural, deep breathing oxygenates blood, relaxes tension and calms the spirit.  The more specific benefits of Taiso include:

  • Movements that strengthen the body which helps to keep strong bones and muscle tone. Gradually students will deepen the stances increasing their flexibility and joint mobility.
  • Regular exercising improves lower back strength helping to reduce any back pain.
  • A frequent change of positions in different directions on one foot improves balance and hand-to-eye coordination, improving spatial awareness and helping to reduce trips and falls.
  • Regular exercise improves memory and increases attention and concentration as well as brain blood flow in the region of memory.
  • Taiso helps to focus on performing one movement at a time. Limiting the intake of information is a key brain function associated with brain health.
  • Meditation reduces stress and improves concentration. Practice increases self-awareness.  It increases happiness and meditation increases acceptance.  Some studies suggest that it slows aging and the practice benefits cardiovascular and immune health.


All of the above, in conjunction with a friendly atmosphere, creates an increasingly popular alternative to what is on offer for the not so young.

If you would like to know more about Taiso please get in touch with me at LB Posture Training