Teaching an old dog new tricks

Over the last few years I have been finding out and training in the 10th planet jiu-jitsu, headed by Eddie Bravo; I have subscribed to his website, bought his books and DVD’s and tried to do his amazing system.

I have just had the pleasure to be graded to blue belt under one of Eddie’s first black belts, Sean Bollinger, who is an amazing grappler and has been coming to England for the past 2-3 years to spread the 10th planet system.

Grading to blue belt made me think of how I started in ninjitsu many moons ago, lol. I was a young kid that loved the shadow warrior cult long before the ninja boom in the mid-eighties – 1980’s not 1880’s, if you must know. I fell in love with the art and this was before DVD’s and the internet (I can hear you laughing). I had to wait for ‘Ninja no Shuri’ to come out quarterly, it was about 8 to 10 pages of paper sent out from the European Bujinkan Ninja society and it was like reading the holy grail. I would read it over and over again and try to do the stances and read about the few Westerners that had travelled to Japan to train at the source, as Hatsumi would call it!

As the art got more popular the Ninja magazine came on the market filling my head to bursting with the different people and attitudes towards the same art. I bought and read them and stock piled them for reference; then came video!
Like the god of information, in Japanese with Japanese subtitles, I saw Hatsumi, Nagato, Naguchi and all the master teachers come alive in front of my eyes; we also developed a thriving pirate tape-to-tape copying industry. In later years I met and trained from all of these teachers and just being there with them was like standing next to rock stars! Cue Nickelback song.

I have already told you of my amazing day chasing Twisters – about my 20 minutes of watching Eddie teach in Nottingham due to a crash and amazing tail-back. 

Sean coming over was the next step in the ladder of training in the 10th planet system; finding out the joys of rubber guard and lock down and the gay salute (we made that one up!) I have tried to use the system and learn from Sean; the little details that are shown and felt make all the difference in the techniques, even when we have all the information at our finger tips due to DVD’s, the internet on-line streaming – it still boils down to one thing you have to feel it!

I very excited to be graded in the 10thplanet system along with my friends Lee Campbell (British light weight MMA champion), Paul Gibbs (scrap pack team) and Mal Trotter (scrap pack MMA coach).

So to me I am starting on another journey to learn all the secrets of this great system just like I started about 30 years ago when I started learning Ninjitsu and I could not be more pleased to be starting again.

Woof from the old dog as I learn new tricks!

Until the next time we meet

Play nice

John Atkin

To find out more about The Advanced Fighting Centre visit:http://www.advancedfighting.co.uk/ or e-mail John Atkin at johnatkin24@btinternet.com

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