As we enter the last few days of 2017, let’s look back at the last year in BMAC.
It’s been a good year for people grading, starting with Scott getting orange belt at the first course of the year back in February. From there, Eric and Ross earned Fourth and Third Dan respectively at the spring National Course in Larbert. Into the autumn and we had three first time graders in Catherine, Morag and Duncan at the clubs September course in Bellahouston Sports Centre, all of whom jumped to yellow belt. Finally, we came to November’s National Course where Iain moved up to blue belt, Alistair earned his First Dan and Jamie his Second Dan. Congratulations to everyone of you and here’s to the next gradings in 2018.
2017 saw Emma and I launch our Women’s Self Defence Class in February which turned out to be a highlight of the year. We ran three blocks over the course of the year and it was fun to see it evolve from random ideas on bits of paper to an actual event that people turned up to. I remember us being nervous when publishing our first adverts, wondering if anyone would respond. As it turned out, we had 17 people for the first block (maybe too many), 10 for the second one (probably the right number) and eight for the third block. The course was so much fun to deliver, feedback was great, and we’ll be back with more in 2018.
Club numbers have been strong this year, with several new members, including two “graduates” from the self-defence class joining the club. Our Tuesday night class is particularly busy with anywhere between 25 and 35 people training and whilst things are a little quieter on a Wednesday, we still have 15 plus people on a regular basis. It’s not too many years ago when we had half that number! Our junior clubs are strong too with almost 60 kids training. It’s good to see some of our juniors make the step up to training with the adult class. It’s also amazing just how big and strong they get, sometimes over the course of the summer holidays!
The club’s growth was reflected when we hosted the Shoto Budo organisation for a course at Bellahouston Sports Centre and made up most of the numbers. On a lighter note, the club also took over the Ashoka in Bearsden for our Christmas night out, proving that we really are quite a friendly and sociable bunch.
There was another strong turnout for Shoto Budo’s 25th anniversary course in Largs which was a tremendous weekend of training and a particularly exhausting ceilidh. The next national course is on the horizon already, taking place in mid-March.
I’m hoping to be fit and ready for this one. I was really injury prone over 2017 with knee and back injuries hampering both my running and martial arts training over the second half of the year, which leads to a lout of general sulking on my part. With a bit of rest over the Christmas holidays, these finally have cleared up so hopefully I can up my training in the new year as I work towards Second Dan (whenever that may be!). On the bright side, whilst I didn’t do much sparring or grappling due to the injuries, it did allow me to work on my kata which always needs attention. They still do but at least the basic shape of some of the higher katas are starting to come together. Pleasing.
So that was 2017, a great year for club growth, members grading, growth of the self defence class and development of our coaching experience. 2018 is just around the corner, happy new year to everyone when it comes, and we’ll see you at training in January.
Scott has been training with BMAC since 2007 and is a 1st Dan Black Belt. He is working towards his 2nd Dan grading.