Human Connections

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Human Connections Martial Arts

Human Connections Martial Arts – Babies die without touch, even with good nutrition and we lock criminals in a room alone away from murderers and rapists as punishment.

Human touch has profound effects on our well being and psyche. In bizarre experiments first recorded in ancient Rome by Emporer Frederick. Babies were isolated without touch or communication to see what language they would speak. Frederick believed we were born with a pure language built in, the children all died

King James of Scotland a few hundred years later repeated the experiments, the results were the same

Human Connections martial arts 

In Victorian England, child mortality was extremely high, disease obviously played a part in this. Though the orphanage’s of that era meant children were left alone with no love. No cuddling and little human connections which are believed to of played a big part in the high death rates.

So why am I rambling on about this seemingly morbid subject?

Banana dog. He Likes Cuddles

Human Connections And The Martial Way

Martial arts by nature force us, kids and adults, into intimate human connections. Now I know people are not dying from neglect these days, well in Lincoln anyhow. That’s not my point, the benefits of human connections martial arts are huge.

It’s been proven that human connections martial arts help with depression. It can even ease pain.

In our martial arts classes like our Ju Jitsu, you spend a few hours a week grappling and rolling with other people. Now there are no studies into this that I know of so I’m making assumptions and leaps of faith based on studies in other areas.

I truly believe the effects of grappling and Ju Jitsu and Martial Arts, in general, have profound effects over time. Subtle in the moment but nonetheless important human connections martial arts

I also believe it’s one of the reasons people stick with martial arts, even if they don’t realise it themselves. The euphoric feeling after a class is a combination of intense physical activity, human connections. The competitive pressure, mild suffering, living in the moment forgetting about the outside world for a few hours a week. These things are important and the latter is why monks sit in isolation for decades. This state of mind is difficult to achieve. The fact that most adults even when they have never met before give their training partner a hug when training finishes says a lotI i think

Human Connections martial arts

The fact that most adults even when they have never met before, give their training partner’s a hug when training finishes says a lot I think.

Strangers hugging, what kind of hippy commune is this?

Human connections for children means they grow up well adjusted, it too has been studied and children who don’t or cannot play together develop a whole host of issues in later life. Sadly the side effect of some ADHD drugs which reduces the way children interact and play.

Sparring in our classes forces human connections in a healthy interactive fun exhilarating way, both adults and kids benefit from this type of interaction

Well there’s my hippy ramblings, see you on those mats for some cuddles and parents,

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Martial Arts Lessons Part 1

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Martial Arts Lessons

5 Biggies

Martial Arts Lessons Ive learnt on the mats that have had a profound effect on my life

Martial Arts Lessons 1/ Emotion

Learning to control my emotion on the mats has had profound effects off the mats in my daily life. When sparring and your opponent has the better of you there are two major choices 1/ Get mad and respond with anger or 2/ Stay calm, work out how you got there and try not to let it happen again. When you have been training this for years it’s second nature. Instead of reacting to every drama out there, you see things with a new calm perspective

Now simply apply this martial art lesson to arguments, Facebook attacks, finances and so on.

Martial Arts Lessons 2/  Debate – Go ahead punk, change my mind

When I walk onto the mats I’m an open book, ready to learn, unlearn and relearn. If you’re tapping me out I’m not just resisting the truth and denying whats happening. I’m listening to whats happening and how it happened and I’m learning to adapt and evolve my game. This means accepting new ideas and ways of doing things.

Now transfer this martial art lesson into your next Facebook argument or debate with a friend. Do not enter like a politician firmly fixed and immovable forever defending your idea. Let a better idea take over, adopt it, grow and evolve. Enter with this mindset “Go ahead punk, change my mind”

Martial Arts Lessons 3/ Living in the past

When rolling in Ju Jitsu and ive taken my opponent to the mat with a leg reap. There is a point I need to let go and let gravity and the energy do its thing. If I hold on in some cases it makes it much worse for me, I’m living in the past, I should have let go. There are times when we need to hold onto the past and times to let go. One can lead us to submitting our opponent with a beautiful armbar and one can lead us into being arm barred. Know when to let go.

Living in the past can be like walking through treacle, it’s sometimes useful of course though many stay attached to negative emotions for many many years, learn to let go.

Martial Arts Lessons 4/ Goal setting – Motivation

Having goals helps measure growth in skills and performance as well as something to aim for. Martial arts gradings are a series of goals structured over a 25 year plus syllabus. The early stages are every three months giving students clear goals and skills to develop. This, in turn, motivates people to achieve set goals and builds the habits of virtually every successful person on this planet.


Martial Arts Lessons 5/ Here Now

Martial arts helps develop a mind that remains present, focused and sharp. When performing high-intensity sparring or pad drills, you are forced to stay in the moment. A momentary lapse and drift into whats on TV later will lead to a short sharp shock in the form of a glove on your nose. You can have a truly awful day, stress, work, finances etc. When you get on those mats the world melts away and you are in the moment, all that exists is right here right now.

Life is like a sausage machine, you get out what you put in. 


Revolution Is Internal




Be First

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Be First & Be Last

What Madness Is This?

Be First, It’s a mindset, it’s a disciplined mind.


Discipline is king.

Be First – An Example Of How To Develop This Mindset

In out kettlebell classes currently, we are working Tabata protocols
10 minute warm up
3 minutes intense workout
1.30-minute active rest
Repeat x 5

Now what happens, what is common is this. The bell goes to begin the round and I look around to see a few people holding out before they grab them bells and embrace the suck

This is a mindset that leaks into every single thing in your life. The mats are a microcosmos, they are a reflection of who you are and you cannot hide. Not here, not at Function First, because we are here for you and we will never ever let you choose the path of procrastination.

Be First It’s a fight – Life’s a Fight

So apply the combat rules to all areas of importance to you, Be First Be Last. When the bell goes during kettlebell you’re attacking the routine. Imagine it’s actually a fight, you can’t chill out for twenty seconds then cruise into the round. I imagine an opponent running across the cage and a flying knee coming towards my face.

Keep developing this mindset, do it now. It’s like a muscle. Be first, the more you work it the stronger it becomes.

When the bell is coming up to stop, don’t focus on stopping. Focus on getting more out, rinse the round, squeeze every last ounce if can do out of your body

Be First – Prioritise 

Yoy don’t want to be like this with every single aspect of your life, that would be a bit much. So pick the things that matter to you. Attack them with this mentality, this is one element that leads to mastery

For example, if in your kickboxing class. Your coach has explained the technique and off you go. Now you can cruise into the drill or you can apply fighters mindset, be first.

Do the maths. You first to start and last to stop in every class. So in a one hour class, you get 50 more reps in of a technique.

50 reps in one class multiply by 100 means 5000 reps more in one year if you train twice a week. Now do that for 10 years, that’s 50,000 reps more, now that’s where mastery lies, you were first and last, it’s a mindset. No secrets, just hard work and a disciplined mindset. Be first.

Life is like a sausage machine, you get out what you put in.

Revolution Is Internal


First Aid Certification

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Emergency First Aid Certification Course

Tuesday 8th August 9 am – 4 pm

Emergency First Aid Certification Fully Accredited 


Who is this for

1/ Parents
2/ Coaches, our club and others. Legalise your coaching
3/ Students
4/ Basically anyone who wants to do it

How Much?



At Function First Lincoln

This is Full certification in emergency first aid



Paul Daley Seminar

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Saturday August 7th

2.30pm – 4.30pm


So we have Mr Paul Daley over to host a seminar on striking.

Those of you who know of Paul Daley, well I guess we’ll see you there, no need to say a thing eh.

For those who don’t

Paul competed in the UK in the early days Cage Rage promotions

Then on to the UFC

Now Paul fights on Bellator

Tickets are £25 each

It’s Pay in advance, there will be no pay on the day, commit or quit

It will very likely sell out and spaces are limited so get into action



White Collar Boxing June 2017

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Boxing Charity Event

Huge Success

So after 8 weeks of gruelling training, 40 fighters stepped into the ring and boxed it out for charity

This is our (Function First’s) seventh event working with the UWCB crew and as always it’s been an amazing experience

The event at Deans leisure centre on Monks Rd in Lincoln was, as always a sellout event and from 6 pm to 10 pm we had 20 fights. Some people had never put a pair of gloves on prior to training with us, which is a fantastic achievement.

This event the fighters raised nearly £10,000 for Cancer Research UK meaning UWCB is the largest donor to the charity. At Lincoln alone, we have raised over £50,000 in the last couple of years and nationwide over £8.000.000 YEP 8 Million pounds

The next UWCB event begins in July with fight night early September so get signed up if your interested

Massive respect to all those who took part, some life changing moments for sure




Mediocrity Vs Mastery

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Time & Attitude 

So it’s common to hear martial arts coaches to claim its more than punching and kicking and it is, of course true. Though the usual examples of weight loss, fitness, confidence and so on are really default benefits that happen regardless in most cases.

When we coach at Function First we have a philosophy of “Off The Mats As On The Mats”

  • Multidisciplinary Synthesis: Their thinking process involves linking different ideas from different disciplines. It’s valuable because most of today’s problems are solved by applying not only one branch of knowledge.
    A tip: read more to build a lattice work of mental models.

Now this is is a huge area so in this blog we will briefly cover our time and attitude coaching method

The Stuff Winners Are Made Of

So the average Function First Adult member trains 4 hours a week so let’s look at 1 class or 1 hour of training and break it down

  • Train passive pad feeding and your already down to 30 minutes training in that hour
  • Now add drink breaks, take off 5 minutes, now down to 25 minutes in that class
  • Now add changing pads and gloves over, another 5 minutes. Now down to 20 minutes
  • Now when coach says lets go, you smile and say a few words to your partner and another 5 mins of training gone chatting. Now down to 15 minutes
  • Toilet breaks, coaching talk time, arriving late and on we go

Add it all up and its scary, with a sloppy mindset in one hours training you could actually be doing 10 to 15 minutes actual hard work


With a fighters mindset you make every second count, that of an engineer building a bridge over a 1 mile river. You know, 1mm out at the start and by the time you reach the end you fall into the river.

Time management and attitude can mean more than you think.

Be that person who turns up early, starts hitting the pads immediately, pad feeds like you are fighting, and keep the mind in the arena. 

This way you can treble what others in the same class are doing.

Thats the secret to getting ahead, you both travel to get there, you both spend the same time on the mats but one of you does 3 times the work.

Remember practice does not make perfect but perfect practice does

  • Now think this… They do 1 year’s training and with applied mind in the same time you do 3 years
  • Now think this… They do 10 years and in the same time you do 30 years
  • This is where mastery is hidden

This is how we teach our kids and adults to get ahead in the world, not just on the mats

Now Apply Off The Mats As On The Mats

Anything you care about or value, apply this mindset to it, kids, relationships, listening, finance, sport, nutrition, health and so on

You decide, leave this earth having given something your best shot.



Contenders 25-2-17

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Fight Team Out & About

2 Title Defences & A Debut

So off to Norwich to the excellent run Contenders show we went

Dom & Piotr had to defend their K1 Titles and both fought with style and Alfie made his debut

Dom lost his fight, after 5 tough rounds it was a close call but his opponent managed to connect with a great head kick in round 4 that left Dom a bit wobbly and he couldn’t seem to get it back after that. His opponent landed some great kicks and dominated that area but Dom outclassed him with punches in the first 3 rounds.

Dom & His Opponent

Piotr won his belt back and fought so efficiently and precise over 5 rounds, a true pleasure to corner. After round 1 he came back to us with feedback and we gave him a plan and he executed it perfectly, fantastic communication and delivery. Piotr’s opponent seemed to be having fun, smiling and giving Piotr respect when he landed his spinning heel kicks and some serious punch combo counter punches.

Piotr Retained His Title Belt


Alfie won his fight, he clearly won all 3 rounds, his opponent was a great match and gave Alfie a hard time. At 15 Alfie has a long fight game ahead of him, exciting things to come

Alfie & His Opponent

So another great outing for the Function First fight team

Want to be part of it?

Give us a bell, classes are getting full


Cotton Wool Kids

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Are We Being Socially Controlled

Tut Tut You Let Them Out Alone?

“My child seems so mature and can walk herself to school because I let her walk herself to school”.

Joanna Williams

This woman is fascinating and touches upon some important social issues around children and education.

The reference about communist social control tactics sent a chill up my spine but we all resonate with different aspects, so see what makes your toes curl or inspires.

Once your child can do up their own laces or (BLANK FILL IN), that’s now their job for evermore. By stepping in, you are stealing from them, you are stealing responsibility, you are stealing work ethic, you are stealing so stop thief and allow them to suffer slightly.

My word I’m harsh eh,



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Circadian Rhythm 

Daily Fasting

So a little update on how my fasting is going

It’s still early days but I feel great, I’m averaging 13-14 hours fasting from 7 pm to around 8.30am  the next morning and this is what I have discovered so far.

See the pic below, I’ve been tracking my fasting with this great app, Zero

I rarely feel hungry which is not what I expected, now first thing in the morning I have adjusted to eating earlier than normal or I seem to have an energy crash so a couple of eggs, rye bread and spinach it is.

Later a shake with veg and lots of good fats followed by a light meal salad etc then my main meal by 7 pm.

All my meals are low carb lots of good fats, now Paula has been doing this with me and she is experiencing similar results especially the not being hungry bit.

I’ve dropped a few KG but that’s not why I did this and I’ve not really weighed myself but I know my body and my pants are looser.

Well that’s it for now, I’ll be sticking with it until summer and seeing how I feel so more later



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