I love old films, I used to love coming in from school and watching old classics on a Friday, or on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon when I was younger. There was nothing better than sitting with your pop, some crisps and sweets just working your way through them as you immersed in the movie.
One of my favourite ones was called “Goodbye Mr Chips” it was a tale of a boarding school master that followed his teaching career through from a green as grass teacher right through to the end of his days, it showed generation after generation of children and the dark days of the first world war and the effect on the school.
What struck me was as he was dying, he remembered his life and the faces, characters he had taught, and he said it had all gone in a blink of an eye!
No truer word has been told.
Recently I graded people who are the 4th Generation of black belts, so now I am feeling really old, but what happened? How did this come about when sometimes it feels like no time at all?
I now also teach the children of the people I taught as children, you see the mannerisms that their parents had when they were their age and it feels like life is repeating itself. The constant I have had in my life has been training I have taught since I was 18 years old, so I have been teaching for 32 years as I was 50 in January 2020; that’s a long time and I have been a full time coach for 27 years. (It’s official I am old).
Many try and tell me I am an “overnight success” but they are so wrong, they have not put the time into the arts I have and worked as hard as I have, I have many times broken down and didn’t want to train or teach anymore and went through some very dark times in my life, but I have survived ; I am bruised scarred and generally beaten up, but I get up (because Kerry loves me!) and carry on the fight for my wife my daughters, Nev my dog and the amazing people I teach that have become my bigger family.
There are many things I have notice in my journey.
In a blink of an eye
I have watched children become adults!
I have taught white belts to black belts!
I have taught fighters that have a full career of fighting then disappear when they have no fight!
I have watched relationships form, blossom, then die just like the life cycle of a flower!
I have seen a child with no confidence grow and turn into a confident person, just like a caterpillar that turned into a butterfly!
I have watched my own daughters turn into amazing role models and wonderful human beings! (love you both Molly and Erin x)
I have watched my lovely wife Kerry confidence grow and turn into the bravest person I know!
Finally, I have grown from a little kid with a stutter and no self-confidence to be an award-winning martial artist, author, healer and self-confident person that leads by example but always is there when others need me!
All this within a blink of an eye!
Big love from the AFC x