In this high-tech world of the internet, twitter, Facebook, among other leading ways for the world to communicate things can and do get taken out of context.
As I have mentioned before in past blogs, that I do Movember, were this started as a negative and the Atkin family have changed it into a positive. I grow a beard in the month of November in memory of my father that died of cancer when I was 20 so to give back to Macmillan I started to do this. Every day I posted a photo of myself and my growing beard but then I started to get negative comments or remark. So, with the help of Kerry (project manager) Molly (makeup) and Erin (Props) we decided to take these negative comments and give them something to talk about and over by dressing up using famous people films and downright disturbing images to promote movember. Since then we have raised thousands of pounds for charity made people laugh cry or have scarred them for life and turned that negative energy to a positive outcome.
Whenever you do something new there is always people that go above and beyond to tell you not to do it, or tell you that you are doing it wrong. This has been recently illustrated to me via my new YouTube channel. I have taught for many years and now I want to pass on techniques to a bigger audience (more than I can physically teach in the gym); but the only person that was stopping me was me. So, I plucked up the courage to start videoing techniques, getting over the embarrassment of seeing and hearing myself on video (I should but Geordie translations on) passing on the techniques and it has been quite an interesting learning curve. It has been going great until one night as I posted the technique of the night from the ninjutsu class it was singled out by another coach for criticism, I normally let things like this slide but as his view was taken out of context I pointed this out and this started a ripple effect that turned into quite a storm but like every storm it subsided and calm waters prevailed. I feel there is constructed criticism and destructive criticism; always give the fore and stay away from the latter because it is yours and their point of view and it can be open for interpretation and taken out of context. I love doing videos and passing on information that people that can use as a reference point, but I also feel I am on right track if people are telling me I should not do something or I must do it their way. I have my own signature and If people like my view use it and if they don’t; don’t.
This has done positive things for my training as it has shown me personally, firstly I must be on the right path as people feel threatened by the real-time movements I am showing, the practical application (not fighting samurai on horseback) on ninjutsu. This also leads me to start to teach seminars in my signature of ninjutsu which I find both interesting and enjoyable. It reminds me of when the BCA (British Combat association) formed over 20 years ago now (of which I was a founding member and personally trained and graded by Geoff Thompson to 4thDan in 1995). Geoff and Peter Consterdine were shunned by the establishment of traditional arts as they were telling them to become more martial and less art, the arts on the other hand were very comfortable in their little bubble and disliked anyone coming with a pin to deflate their ego driven balloon. But over 20 years later the BCA is a bench mark other association look up to.
I love the arts I teach and train in, I am happy with the path I am treading and I will continue to cut a path and spread the message of real-time approach to ninjutsu. Maybe In a few years’ time I will become a bench mark for good ninjutsu.
Until next time
Don’t take it out of context
Big love from the AFC.