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: www.blackbeltacademy.info/forum 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