A simple list of must-read books if you’re interested in performance and improvement for self and others.
By no means complete, there are many many others
Carol Dweck- Mindset
“Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area.”
Matthew Syed – Bounce
‘I love this book. A must-read if you have ever wondered what sets the super-achievers and the rest of us apart – in any field, not just in sport. I only wish I had read it when I was fifteen.’Gabby Logan, BBC presenter and former international gymnast
Daniel Coyle – The Talent Code
Talent. You’ve either got it or you haven’t.’ Not true, actually.
Daniel Coyle – The Little Book Of Talent
“The Little Book of Talent” should be given to every graduate at commencement, every new parent in a delivery room, every executive on the first day of work. It is a guidebook–beautiful in its simplicity and backed by hard science–for nurturing excellence.”—Charles Duhigg, bestselling author of “The Power of Habit”
Malcolm Gladwell – Outliers
Why do some people achieve so much more than others? Can they lie so far out of the ordinary? Malcolm Gladwell looks at everyone from rock stars to scientific geniuses to show that the story of success is far more surprising, and inspiring, than we ever imagined.
It can seem overwhelming at times. You don’t know what to do first, is it correct and how do you know?
Let’s look at nutrition, it’s a minefield out there, where to begin?
Making Changes – What’s your output?
First off what are you outputting? Are you running three marathons a week or sofa surfing?
I’ve seen many people crash and burn who train hard then ramp up the routine. Say for a competition, they often neglect the nutrition which of course needs to meet training requirements.
So if you’re training as a hobby 2-4 hours a week. Then simply clean up your food, eat non processed food and cut out the rubbish, you know what that is.
Making Changes – Fuel source
Let’s be clear, I’m no expert though I do deal with lots of people training hard and helping them find the correct balance. We do ok.
I always start with this. What are your ratios of carbs, protein and fat?
We work on this for some weeks until we find good energy levels
Then we add fasting, super simple. Don’t eat after 6-7pm and breakfast 9-10am
Making Changes – Repair time
So while your fasting/sleeping your body has time to recover. This is when the important work is done.
Increase in muscle mass from fasting has been well documented and the evidence is available on that.
While fasting/sleeping your body goes through various stages of repair and recovery that are important if you are training hard. Even if you’re not, it’s important.
Making Changes – Takes time
This is where most fail. It takes time.
Let’s say you have been living in doughnuts and coffee for 10 years. Then every cell in your body has been created from that fuel source. It’s going to take time to change and the effects will be small over time. Sometimes so small you won’t feel it. That doesn’t mean it’s not working.
Every single cell in your body will regenerate in the next seven years. You are physically a completely different person. Eating well and looking after yourself is not a quick fix. Eat well for the next 10 years and every single cell you are made of has been made on a different fuel than the doughnut 10.
Hopefully you feel amazing, either way, you are building a Formula 1 car not a banger racer that you scarp after one race.
How Gradings Work – At Function First Martial Arts
Every now and then a student will ask about gradings. Or why there are people in an advanced group and they are not. We figure if one is asking then many more are thinking the same. So we feel we’re not getting the message across well enough.
Heres an attempt to address that
How Gradings Work – Process
Grades are every three months
Year 1 = Yellow – Red – Orange – Green Grades
Year 2 = Blue and above grades
Little Vipers age 5-8. This is nice and simple, we don’t pressure the kids at this age too much. Vipers need to complete twelve classes, so once a week between grades.
Cadets aged 9-14.
Year one is like the little vipers. Once a week meaning twelve classes between grades is sufficient.
Year 2. Now we ramp up the pressure a little. In year two cadets really need to be training twice a week and averaging 24 classes between grades. Kids who train once a week at this level struggle to retain the information so we grade them every 6-9 months. Unfortunately they fall behind a little, and this often develops into a defeatist attitude. They often seem to lose interest and leave. If we look at all our year three cadets virtually 100% of them train two or more times a week. Those who stick with it the longest are the ones who experience the growth and benefits.
Adults. All adult classes require a minimum of 2 classes a week to grade.
It is worth pointing out that those that train twice a week develop the skills at a much faster rate than those who train once a week. We have some kids that train 6 hours a week and compete, I think it goes without saying. Their confidence and attitude are unlike other kids of their age. They are formidable capable young people who walk shoulders back and head held high.
How Gradings Work – What counts?
Class attendance is important as it develops good habits. Though this alone is not enough, we grade on attitude and work ethic.
In year one for all our students, we are fairly relaxed. We want you to figure out if this is something you wish to take seriously. The work becomes more complex in year two and one class a week is no longer sufficient to remember the work.
Now we understand that some simply cannot make it in more than once a week. If it’s other hobbies getting in the way or were getting in the way of other hobbies. Then we advise picking one and studying deep as the benefits are profound if you allow them to be.
Of course one hour a week is better than none, though two hours a week is a 100% improvement. Twice the growth in a year, well actually it’s like compound interest. It exponentially develops so you end up accelerating your learning at a much faster rate over time.
Exactly the same as if you put £100 a week into a savings account and I put £200 in. After one year I would have more than double because of interest, over time this makes a massive difference.
A £10,000 investment with a 20% return each month over 3 years earns you over £20,000,000 yes 20 million pounds.
Martial arts repetitions are exactly the same.
How Gradings Work – Don’t grade?
So if you don’t grade then you stay in year one of our syllabus and repeat the same work. This, of course, is fine, it just means you never get to progress to the more complex work and close quarter clinch work of the kickboxing for example.
Once you have completed all four grades you move into the next group and cover the more advanced work from the syllabus.
Its an old cliche but there is some truth to it. Jack of all trades master of none.
Master one and you have insight into the self that others do not. You grasp concepts and see patterns that give you an edge in life.
Heading Which Way – We are strange complicated creatures us, humans
We go to see our doctors when ill but only 60% of us take the pills prescribed. Out of that 60 %, most take them badly, finish the course to soon, drink alcohol on them and so on.
Its well documented that many people waiting for a liver transplant will not take the pills required for the body to accept the new liver. Think about that, they have been waiting for a donor and going through the blood cleansing process of dialysis. Yet when an organ turns up many don’t take the medicine required for the operation to be successful.
Heading Which Way – What is it?
We will queue up in a supermarket to buy cigarette products we know are killing us. To make it worse the death we might suffer is graphically depicted on the packet. They roll up the shutter door and you can choose from lung cancer, mouth cancer or a stillbirth.
Now I’m no monster. I understand addictions to some degree.
I’ve lost a few friends growing up at a young age. My best friend died after years of heroin use, so did his wife and so did many of my others I know.
Heading Which Way – Cycles of destruction?
I have friends who watched their parents die from alcohol abuse, it tore them apart. Yet they continue the cycle. It seems having kids of their own doesn’t seem to be enough of a responsibility to snap out of a self-destructive lifestyle.
I’m not judging anyone here, it’s not fun watching your friends kill themselves. Which is why I chose another path away from those influences.
Heading Which Way – A way out?
You are either heading up or down, I guess its possible to maintain a state of being but I’d argue that’s going down. Down to hell or up to heaven the religious would say. Or if you would like to read some fascinating studies and thoughts on these subjects. Then check out Jordan Peterson, possibly the man leading the world in a philosophical battle of good and evil right now.
Some simple things he points out resonate with me such as
Is your life improving slightly day by day
Is your health, are you working on it
Your relationships too
Tidy your room, if you cant organise your room, then your house. Then how can you organise anything, anyone? How can you offer advice if you can’t keep your house tidy? I’ve oversimplified it, you really need to read it.
If the little things in your life are not improving. Let’s say they are getting worse. Like the washing up is piling up, your getting fatter, your health is deteriorating, your alcohol consumption is up and up.
Then you are on a downward trajectory
He goes into great depth on many subjects and he offers some solutions. This is not a preachy judgmental book. He has helped tens of thousands of people pull themselves out of hell and to walk tall with their shoulders back.
Heading Which Way – 10 % happier
We can all imagine our own version of hell. It’s easy to grasp awful ideas.
But we don’t know how happy and how much meaning our lives can have unless we aim towards it a little every day though.
You can improve every single aspect of your life, it just takes effort. Head up.
We’ll smoke the ciggies, we’ll snort the coke, we’ll drink until our kidneys hurt and we’ll do it all tucking our kids into bed.
Why do we find it so hard to eat well, sleep well, keep fit and engage in life?
Possibly because the effects are not instant and possibly because we are ashamed of ourselves?
“I wish you all a life free of unnecessary suffering and anxiety, a life full of love and compassion, joy and happiness, peace and calm and one full of meaning.” Matt
Firstly thanks to Fightstar and thanks to all the opponents we matched up with.
The team were out at the weekend sporting the colours and representing well.
Six of the team competed in both K1, MMA and grappling
Ash, currently our youngest member had a great fight with a good matchup.
Kickboxing Fight Team – Mixed Martial Artists
Most of our team compete in various arts and Sunday was a great example of that.
Jumping from a Kickboxing K1 comp into an MMA comp or from a Grappling comp into a K1 comp is pretty normal for our crew.
The team were also willing to stand in at any opportunity for fighters that had no match ups which as a coach makes me very proud. Its all for the fun of the sport, no ego’s just fun and the pure enjoyment of combat and testing oneself.
Kickboxing Fight Team – Missed Opportunities
Think about it, your learning to fight and your in a room with 150 people looking to do the same.
If you get offered the opportunity why would you say no?
Of course, if you’re injured then take a seat. But if your fit and no excuses then take them when you can.
Were talking interclub level here, so the set up is geared towards learning and competing safely. These are not Rocky Balboa car crashes.
Kickboxing Fight Team – Sparring sessions
The interclubs we take our novice fighters to, like this one Fightstar, a well run show aimed at giving novices some experience. The idea is to build confidence and not destroy it on your first outing.
The interclubs are like sparring session that you would normally do in the club., But you are in a new town, new faces, a crowd and an opponent you have never met.
2018 White Collar Boxing at Function First Lincoln
2018 White Collar Boxing – The bar has been set
So in 2017 we received the above certificate from Cancer Research UK. It was a fantastic year for the white collar boxing in Lincoln. With £31,000 raised for the charity in one year, we now have a new goal to meet, the bar has been set.
2018 White Collar Boxing – Season 1
The first event this year has been scheduled for Saturday 14th April at the Deans leisure centre on Monks road.
Were expecting to be busy with upwards of fifty lunatics making it through to the end and fighting for a great cause.
2018 White Collar Boxing – Get Involved
If you’re interested in a new challenge, something to really take you out of your comfort zone then get in touch with the UWCB organisation and secure your place for this seasons event.
You’ll meet lots of inspiring people going through the same doubts and worries as you. The fight is the 8 week journey to the show. The event itself is over in minutes. But the entire journey can have a positive impact on your life forever if you let it.
2018 White Collar Boxing – Who’s this for?
If you have never boxed before, never even put a pair of boxing gloves on. Then you won’t be alone, it’s mostly people like you.
Boxed before? great, you know what to expect.
There’s a great mix of people from young to not so young. From athletic fit gym bods to never left the couch and love pizza. Everyones on those mats for one reason, to raise money for a great cause, no one is judged, no one is left out.
2018 White Collar Boxing
Make 2018 a year to look back on, do something uncomfortable.
Self Defence Lincoln The Un Real Deal – We hear it all the time
If you train self-defence then you have heard this a million times
“My self-defence is the most realistic”
“Insert system here, is the best self-defence there is”
Self Defence Lincoln The Un Real Deal – Question
So yours is the best, exactly how many systems have you trained in and how do you actually decide?
It’s like every coffee shop in the world has the poster in the window
Its true i tell you
Self Defence Lincoln The Un Real Deal – Tested
So every other sport pretty much has a league or a title belt or a gold medalist etc. We have measurement systems in place to decide what actually is or who is the best in the world and it’s as good as it gets currently. Like it or not there are winners and losers and there are ultimate champions and to take that belt, the trophy from them you have to beat them.
Self Defence Lincoln The Un Real Deal – Be nice
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dissing other systems. I love most of the other arts that are about, I’ve trained in many. Though when i hear thee statements, it’s like saying “I have the greatest toenail clipping system in the world, I’m the best there is” It sort of means nothing in the grand scheme of things.
Self Defence Lincoln The Un Real Deal – Enjoyment
If you are enjoying the training, breaking a sweat and having fun then you’re onto a good thing. Building friendships and camaraderie are important and much lacking as adults.
So don’t try to measure the unmeasurable, be happy your active and humble
If you really want to find out what works simply apply to compete in “name an art” and see how you do, win or lose it’s all good.
The international boxing commision say concussions went down 43% when they removed head guards
Headguruards in Boxing and other martial arts are mainly used for stopping cuts and the clash of heads. This is actually a great use for them, but the myth seems to be that they stop head trauma.
This is not true, if you punch someone hard in the head the brain still moves around with or without a headguard on.
In fact many experts believe the headguard actually increases the brain movement, see the video below.
There you go, that’s it. Now let’s look at why and how to train safely
Boxing Headguards – Train Skillfully
So this is how we train Boxing at Function First Lincoln, in fact, all our martial arts are trained like this.
We decided many years ago to adjust the way we train and the school of hard knocks is just not our way. Don’t misunderstand that last statement, we train hard and we go hard especially when prepping for a fight show.
One thing is this though, once you get used to being punched in the head then there is little if any benefit of being punched in the head any more.
Boxing Headguards – Schools of thought
There are different schools of thought on this. Some professional fighters don’t spar at all and some go 100% every session.
We work on a 100 to 1 ratio and we alter it a little when you have a fight coming up.
100 sparring sessions where you train technique and skill to one heavy session.
Boxing Headguards – Skill over Power
We believe its much more useful and safer to develop skill and control of your strikes. Find your targets while skillfully tagging your training partner means you can go to work the next day without looking like you have been in a car crash. In fact, you don’t need to feel like you have been in one either.
Boxing Headguards – See This Video for some information