On Saturday 6th August, BMAC will be hosting our Big Summer Bash in aid of the MS Society. We’ll be training at the Allander Leisure Centre from 8am to 5pm,
The first question anyone asks when you tell them you do martial arts is “are you black belt?”. Indeed, this blog began as a way for Scott to chart his journey to black belt. Today, quite a few of us are black belts but for the Big Summer Bash we’ll all be donning orange belts. As the event is to support the MS Society, we thought it would be cool to adopt their colour as part of the day.
When Scott first suggested the orange belts, he wasn’t sure how well it would go down. People work hard to get each belt and we don’t have “belt snobbery” when it comes to training with each other. How would people feel about wearing a belt that stands for a lower grade?
Fortunately everyone was receptive to the idea. We’ll make sure to take lots of group photos so you can see how we look in our MS Society colours.
Now some of us haven’t worn orange belts for a very, very long time. There might be original belts still in drawers somewhere that hopefully will still fit. However not everybody still has their orange belt, having long since discarded it assuming, quite reasonably, that it would never be needed again.
Of course we also have newer members who are still working towards orange belt. It’s the third belt on the way to black and we should have people grading for orange very soon.
So to make sure everybody looks the part, we’ve ordered a supply of new orange belts.
As a certain telecoms company used to say, the future’s bright, the future’s orange. For one day, 6th August, BMAC will be orange too!
If you would like to join in the Big Summer Bash, take a read here and sign up for the events at on our Facebook page.
You can support our fundraising by visiting www.justgiving.com/bmacbash.
Our Big Summer Bash in aid of the MS Society takes place on Saturday 6th August. How will we fill nine hours of training time to keep things interesting and ensure we don’t collapse from exhaustion in the first hour? Let's take a look at the schedule.
8:00 – 9:00: The warmup hour
The first hour will be getting us started, with a welcome to everyone and then warm-up activity. We’ll also have to decorate the hall with MS Society banners and bunting. In terms of warm up, we are planning light cardio, followed by pad work and kata. Once everyone’s warm, we’ll stretch out and then we’ll be ready to go for the rest of the day.
9:00 – 10:00: Kata Party
Hour two will be a kata party, a term we use to describe any training session that focuses entirely on kata. This will give all our different grades a chance to work on kata, breaking down the details of the movements and what they are for. Our plan is to split the group by our different grades so that we can concentrate on appropriate katas before coming together to demo kata of our choice.
10:00 – 11:00: Juniors / Parrying
We have our first split group of the day, allowing our junior members to take part. Eric will be leading this practise, building to a demo. We would like the parents to also take part and join us on the mats.
At the same time for our adult members, Hugh will be leading a session on parrying starting with slow movement and sticky hands leading to sparring.
11:00 – 12:00: First Taster Session / Kata Application
Another split session for hour four. We open the mats up to anybody who would like to try a martial art in return for a donation. We’ll take you through basic strikes, kicks and locks that form part of our practise. You can register for the taster session at our Facebook page www.facebook.com/BearsdenMartialArts/events
This kata session for the rest of the club will focus on the application, multiple attackers and general body conditioning.
12:00 – 13:00: Weapons
Barry and Eric will lead this season and focus on an area we touch occasionally, weapons. How to deal with traditional martial arts weapons such as bo staff, shinai or tanto can be useful in learning real world self-defence techniques. At the end of this hour we’ll include a demo.
13:00 – 14:00: Women’s Self Defence / Groundwork
We have another split session. This will be an hour-long taster session of our popular women’s self-defence class. Emma will be leading this hour, ably assisted by Rachel. We are planning to run a six-week class later in the year so this will let everyone see the type of techniques involved. Hop over to our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BearsdenMartialArts/events and sign up for the Women’s Self Defence event.
At the same, the club will be practising groundwork, led by Hugh. Our club is known for our love of groundwork, so we just had to include it in the day. We’ll be practising movement, locks and takedowns as part of this session.
14:00 – 15:00: Second Taster Session / Self Defence
We have a second taster session at 2pm if you would like to try our martial art. Visit www.facebook.com/BearsdenMartialArts/events and book your place.
For the rest of the club, our living encyclopaedia of quick self defence moves, John, will be taking us through an hour of what we affectionately call Marley Specials. These are always fun although you sometimes end up on the ground, in a knot and with no idea how you got there.
15:00 – 16:00: Juniors / Distance Control
Our last split session of the day, with a second hour for our junior members and parents to take part.
Jamie and Michael will lead on a distance control and movement practise in situations. This will include grappling, groundwork, looking at footwork and wall defence.
16:00 – 17:00: The cool down hour
We’re almost there with out last hour. A masochistic streak will see us do a breakfall kata in this hour (but only one!) before using other kata as a cooldown. We’ll do an extensive stretch and make sure we get photos and share our closing thoughts.
It should be a wonderful day of martial arts and we hope to raise lots of money for the MS Society. Everybody is welcome to take part or just watch the day’s training and you can support us by visiting www.justgiving.com/bmacbash.
On Saturday 6th August, BMAC will be holding our first ever Big Summer Bash. This all-day sponsored martial arts training session aims to raise money in aid of MS Society Scotland. We’ll be training from 8am to 5pm at the Allander Leisure Centre in Bearsden.
Nine hours of martial arts will be a challenge. We’ll need to balance our training with pacing so we can last the day. It’s highly likely that this is going to hurt. The day after might hurt even more.
So why are we doing this?
The club has members who are either directly or indirectly affected by Multiple Sclerosis. Scott was diagnosed in 2018, Madeleine’s dad has MS whilst Julie’s late mum also had the condition. MS affects more than just the person diagnosed. It has an impact on family and friends who may find themselves taking on a carer role. For us, we have a very direct link to MS and therefore supporting the MS Society is a very personal cause.
Scott wants to help the MS Society to Stop MS. We all live in hope of a cure and the Society helps to fund necessary research towards this goal. Scott still wants to challenge himself physically, testing the boundaries of what he can do since diagnosis.
Madeleine's dad has MS around 20 years ago but it’s only been in the last few years that it’s started to have a larger impact of his daily life, which has made it all the more important for her to keep helping fund the amazing research that the MS Society does, so that we can keep trying to minimise the effects MS can have in someone’s daily life. Madeleine has previously completed the Kiltwalk in aid of the MS Society.
Eric wants to show support for this worthy charity and raise awareness and cash.
Jamie notes that BMAC has been serving the local community for over four decades, providing a safe space for young and old to learn practical self-defence for young and old. BMAC is looking to contribute further by using our art to raise money to a charity close to the club’s hearts. MS has affected several of our members directly or indirectly, and so it is a great privilege to take on this challenge to support a charity doing such amazing work to combat this debilitating condition.
Emma wants to show people that BMAC is inclusive and accepting and that martial arts is a sport for all, regardless of how fit or able you are. Emma particularly likes helping people find a way of doing something regardless of their limitations so they feel they achieved the point of the lesson rather than feeling they can't do something
Hugh is taking part in this event which will raise money for research into the condition is a worthwhile exercise. On a personal level Hugh wishes to show support for Scott in particular and the MS society in general and am pleased to be part of something which raises funds for such a worthy cause. It is good to see that participating in Martial Arts as well as being good fun helps people with MS improve coordination and balance.
Speaking about the event, Scott said "I really appreciate the support of my friends at BMAC and I’m immensely proud of them for taking up this challenge".
We all have our reasons for taking part and we’ll be sharing more details of the day in the lead up to 6th August.
If you would like to support BMAC’s Big Summer Bash, you can visit our JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/BMACbash. Any and all donations are greatly appreciated.
Scott has been training with BMAC since 2007 and is a 1st Dan Black Belt. He is working towards his 2nd Dan grading.