New Year rant!

I am normally a happy go lucky person with a positive view on life, happy in the knowledge that what I do makes a difference in people’s lives but at the minute people are p***ing me off!

At the AFC we are in the centre of Newcastle and pay a lot for the Gym but our lease comes under review in 2013 (not long now) but due to the massive redevelopment of parts of the city (any spare bit of grass!) student accommodation has been built or old buildings have been turned into student lets, here lies my problem. We have heard on the grapevine that we might have to leave our building due to redevelopment or in the estate agents subtle (sly) way hugely jump up the rent to make us leave, either way we are up that well known creek without a paddle.

So as a precaution Kerry, my wife (bless her she is always on the end of my estate agent hating rants. Sorry Kerry and I love you xx ) and I have been looking for anything in the Newcastle area suitable to be turned into the new home of the AFC. We have looked for premises throughout the city but as we question the estate agents about the premises both Kerry and I are being told that the owners are not interested in having their premises turned into a Martial Arts gym!  

I thought the class system had died out years ago but if you forgive the pun it is “alive and kicking”.
I have worked hard trying to take away the stereotype that the Martial Arts have suffered for too long. I have a good reputation and always try to be fair and offer a good standard of instruction without ripping people off and I teach all walks of life and treat them the same. However I just seem to come up against prejudice in this matter and I, for one, won’t take no for an answer. I have trained for nearly 30 years, ran clubs for 23 years and taught full-time since the age of 23 (I am 42 at the end of the month) yet I am not “good enough” to rent a place off theses so-called upstanding members of the community (I feeling the burn of hatred even now, it makes me feel like Bruce Banner before he turned into the hulk!)

I would like to apologize if you are an Estate agent and are deeply hurt by my words but every estate agent I have worked with has been the same, like as the joke goes -3 estate agents fell into shark infested water and the sharks left them alone out of professional courtesy!
 As I am on a roll I would like to thank most people for not coming up to me at Christmas when they are drunk and ask what time the classes are on, as they would not remember but still insist that you give them a full and detailed rundown of the classes we have on offer, price ranges and equipment needed just for them to bump into you to ask again!  And as much as I love gym and training I do not like a tech clinic in the middle of a busy bar as to why your second jab does not feel like your first in the combo double jab cross! You can tell me how you are, I am interested in all of your life not just the training portion of it.

This is the time of year where you begin to map out your calendar, filling it with fight shows, gradings and seminars, enough to fill your martial arts learning tank to the brim!  But if you say that you would like a course in a certain aspect of your training, I do all the organizing and seek out the coaches from the UK and abroad book the course and try and collect the money to pay for the course. So it would be very kind of you to get out of bed on the chosen day and attend because I don’t know if you know this but it takes a lot of work to find a coach, sort out a course fee, the timings and the venue just for you not to attend because you had no money (due to the fact you were out 6 weeks Friday Saturday and Sunday so did not have the £40 ) but still complained that I did not give you enough notice (most courses are booked 3 months in advance) .

With this in mind we have Sean Bollinger back in Feb for a 10th Planet Ju Juitsu course on the 18th Feb from 3-6pm at Kings gym Birtley DH3 2PS and the price is £40 pre-paid (please note you can’t pay on the day) and also this stops me from standing outside hoping people will attend and crossing my fingers!! LOL

If you find this blog offensive in any way, I must be talking about you!

See you next month!

Now go play

John Atkin

To find out more about The Advanced Fighting Centre visit: or e-mail John Atkin at

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