Final grading preparations today, another read over the Black Belt submissions etc.

Best of luck to everyone testing tomorrow, especially the Black Belt candidates. This is a very special day for them, representing the final stage of their ‘apprenticeship’ and the beginning of the journey to mastery!

Whatever the results tomorrow, remember in the martial arts you’re automatically a ‘winner’ every time you show up to train. The only way you can ever ‘fail’ at martial arts is to give up. 

Perseverance is the key, remember “A Black Belt is a white belt that never quit”

From Parenting magazine:

Activities like tae kwon do, kung fu, and aikido are a fun way for both boys and girls to achieve fitness and focus.

Some parents may think they also promote violence, but that’s a myth, according to experts. The martial arts actually help teach self-discipline and socialization skills.

In fact, many parents whose children have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) report great success with these programs because self-control and concentration are exactly the skills underdeveloped in ADHD kids.”

But, say experts, it’s the respect kids learn, whether from bowing or standing still and waiting for the next command, that can be the most important benefit: It often carries over into school, helping to improve behavior and even grades, according to recent research. “Six is usually a good age to start classes,” says Mimi Johnson, M.D., a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Sports Medicine and Fitness. By that time a child should have enough muscle control to punch and turn properly and safely  — essential to getting a real kick out of the martial art he chooses.

Why not find out more for yourself and try 30-days FREE membership as our VIP guest!

Don't say can't

Every time you say you ‘can’t’ do something you’ll tend to believe yourself… Your subconscious will interpret it as a definite CAN NOT BE DONE, which is incredibly debilitating as it will stop you from even trying..

Think just how much more powerful it is when you switch that around to ‘how can I?’ instead. When you think that your mind immediately goes to work on looking for solutions, ideas, things to try. Has anyone else ever done it? What did they do? How could I get started? etc.

I know which I’d prefer. How about you?

Dillon Callinan

When we first met Dillon he was really shy, and you’d be lucky to get a few words out of him even if you asked a direct question.

How amazing then to see him a few years later where he stood up in front of his whole school and gave a 20 minute presentation about his martial arts to well over 100 people! Such a huge improvement in his confidence since he began training at the Academy. 

Well done Dillon!


Sometimes life throws us a curve-ball and we have to miss a few classes.

“The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure”

When that happens it’s easy to feel a bit ‘out of the loop’ and though it really shouldn’t be a problem, sometimes our subconscious takes over and starts playing silly games with your confidence, and it seems to get harder and harder to get back in the dojang. If you’ve ever been in that position, I bet a few of these thoughts have gone through your head:

“I’ve not been for ages, I’m so unfit it’s going to hurt when I go back”

“I’ve forgotten everything!”

“Everyone else has learned a load of new stuff and I’ll look daft because I can’t do it”

“They’ll all think I’m useless for not training”

Trust me, we’ve all been there, and I’ve heard all these B.S. excuses a hundred times over the years.

The simple fact is thats just our silly subconscious talking. The same one that makes us procrastinate about all sorts of things.  Sure, you may need to take it steady for a couple of classes to ease back into a routine, but other than that you’ve got nothing to worry about.  Worried about what others are thinking?  Think about it, how much do you worry about other people’s training?  The simple fact is, we miss you when you’re not there, and the only thing we’re likely to be thinking is “hey I hope they’re ok and back training soon”.

There’s a very simple solution if you’ve missed some training and want to know how to get going again.  Take a top from Nike and JUST DO IT!  All you need to do is take that first step back into the dojang and you’ll soon realise that you had nothing to worry about.

We’re looking forward to seeing you soon!

Hey team,

Wow, the past year has flown by, it doesn’t seem like five minutes ago I was writing ‘happy new year’.

Did you make any goals last year? Maybe you set some new years resolutions. If you did, did you stick to them? I’m guessing for a large group of us probably not, but rest assured you weren’t alone!

Do you know why most people’s new-years resolutions fail?  It’s because as a society we’re conditioned to the fact that “nobody sticks to new years resolutions”, or “they’ll be forgotten by the end of january” etc. If your whole life you’ve heard things like that it’s going to be pretty hard to break the mould isn’t it?

Japanese Kanji characters for KAIZEN

So, instead why not try a different plan this year, and don’t just make short-term resolutions, but instead commit to one simple principle of Kaizen– aim to just make small improvements every day.  If every day you do one small thing to improve your health, a small ‘chunk’ of time on a project, one good deed for someone else etc. after a while they all add up.  You couldn’t jump to the top of a mountain in one step, but you could climb it one small step at a time..

Now I know I rattle on about it a lot, but how about trying one thing, spend a bit less time on Facebook and try visiting our discussion forum instead!  At the last count there were over 11,000 posts in 700 topics with some really interesting discussions about all kinds of topics relating to martial arts, fitness training and personal development.  Everyone is welcome to join, it’s free and it’s a great place to keep in touch and share in your passion for the martial arts.  Parents are welcome to join too!  We would love to see some contribution from you guys on there :-)

Check it out at: If you’re not a member yet just click on the ‘register’ link at the top, pop in your name and email and we’ll get you online right away!

As we’re approaching our christmas break I’d just like to take a moment to express my gratitude to everyone for their support over the past 12 months.   Firstly, thank you to everyone who contributed the very touching testimonials which led to two very special awards for me at the GIMA training weekend, promotion to 6th Degree Black Belt and GIMA Instructor of the Year.

I would especially like to thank Shirley Williamson and Robbie Hirst for their fantastic support in class. They really are the unsung heroes of the Academy that keep things running smoothly behind the scenes and allow me to focus on the teaching. If you’ve not done so recently, please take a moment to thank them personally.  Thank you also to all the parents who support their children and ensure they’re in class nearly every lesson, to the adult members who turn up regular as clockwork and even those who can only make it once in a while, you all inspire me every day, and you are the reason I do this.

Until next year, KAIZEN!

Master Olpin  관장님 리차드

We’re currently beavering away behind the scenes on a major re-write of the Academy website.

The main goal is to bring it up to date with some modern features, in particular better compatibility with the way people use the web these days. Most people tend to do their casual browsing on smartphones and tablets etc. so we’re rebuilding from the ground up with a modern ‘responsive’ layout that will automatically scale itself and show content which is suitable for the device you’re running on.

We’re also building in a proper blog based on the worlds best blogging platform ‘WordPress’, which will enable us to keep you updated much more regularly with news and special offers.

Finally, we’re integrating a properly managed mailing list provider which will enable us to have automatic sign-ups to the mailing list, and to provide instant, automatic updates with information sent automatically to new visitors etc.

Trident - Personal Safety Trainer

On Sunday 24th February, Master Olpin attended certification course with Steve Timperley of Trident Safety and Intervention Systems and is now certified with TSIS as a Personal Safety Trainer within the organisation.

We’ll soon be offering an introductory personal safety workshop as a service to schools, businesses and groups within the local community.

Contact us for further information

Finally back from the printers!


“It’s like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none. None more black.”