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Andy Dickinson
72 followers -
Teacher, writer, mentor
Teacher, writer, mentor

72 followers
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Northstar martial arts is not a seasonal sport and we do not follow the school terms like so many other activities . It is a constant activity that goes all year. The only breaks are public holidays.
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I had an interesting experience at the Black Belt grading last Sunday. As the board breaking was finishing I walked out of the dojo intending to pick up a some more boards for the last couple of breaks. As I walked out of the side entrance I was immediately confronted with a very large, very confused man. He came directly into my space and was talking, almost yelling at me that he wanted to see me outside the front of the building. So, the best thing for me to do was to go with him and remove the situation away from the dojo and students.
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I chose to make Northstar Martial Arts a safe haven for children where they can express their unique qualities without being compared to others. So, the defining criteria for their success is commitment, determination, spirit, service, manners, good behavior and a general desire to be the best they can be. Andy
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Martial Arts Benefits.
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Staying focused. I’m so bored.

Any exercise, whether it is martial arts, yoga or any other class, sooner or later there will be times when you are simply bored out of your mind. We crave constant stimulation and entertainment, constant ways to be ‘up’. We tend to do whatever we can to fill in the gaps in-order to avoid boredom. Then the moment we feel bored we move on. “I need to replace this now, I need to find the next stimulation”. It only gets worse, we keep moving, replacing a perfectly good situation with another, then another, never satisfied. It can be as simple as replacing one thought with another, or as complicated as replacing one partner with another, one job with another, where does it end.

Educators and trainers have recognised the need to keep you totally engaged so you never feel bored. If you feel bored you will eventually look for something more stimulating. At Northstar, excellence comes from training the movements and techniques over and over again. The self defence moves need to be a mindless response, ingrained in your blue print. But this is not easy as the repetition gets very boring. This is good. If you don’t immediately quit and work with your trainer, you have a huge opportunity to grow in many ways. Moving from the external to the internal is a major shift in your martial arts.

Boredom is simply the ego screaming out for attention, “please don’t forget me”, you are not giving Me enough attention; when you are totally engrossed and absorbed with what you are doing, who you are does not exist, only the situation. You are indulging fully and having fun. You love it, you can’t get enough, you are not attached to your thought patterns.

eAs part of your internal training, eventually we want you to feel bored, we want it fully, we want you to be bored out of your mind. Only then does the real training start: Using the physical martial arts as a working surface to observe your thinking and your internal environment. I often use the example of hitting the pads. Give the movement your full attention. Feel the pressure at the exact point of contact between the glove and the pad. If thoughts arise, don’t go off with them, stay on track and bring your attention back to the glove and the pad.

By doing this practice you are able to hear the chatter of thoughts but not be taken over by them. By seeing and believing that they do not necessarily have your best interest in mind, you are able to move through your work out with new enthusiasm regardless of what you are thinking. This of course is the basis of mindfulness so can be applied to all that you do.

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Winning the fight by not fighting. Choosing the path of peace in conflict is not always easy. It is easy to get drawn in by forces that propel you to justify your self worth. Nagging questions like; "who will I be if I back down." and statements like; "I'm a coward for not standing my ground." These are quite valid and natural responses but they are not good enough reasons to engage haphazardly in conflict. Getting involved because you are scared of who you will become. In martial arts, learning how to fight and defend yourself probably will not equip you emotionally to defend yourself if you are not a fighter by nature. As you mature in your training, the need to defend yourself is ever so gently and subtly transcended. It is not that you are afraid, it is more that you have no desire. Therefore the act of choosing peace in conflict becomes the only option, free or self doubt and self criticism. Andy.
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Authentic Ju Jitsu. The Japanese art of Self Defence.
All the traditional and modern systems of Ju Jitsu teach both throwing and ground moves from the beginning of the students journey. The Northstar Ju Jitsu style is a little different. Though greatly influenced by traditional Japanese Ju Jitsu, throws are not taught until the students has been training for at least 6 months. In the mean time, the beginners are taught a very comprehensive syllabus of striking techniques. So the initial defence to break balance is an immediate strike with out getting tangled up in an attempt to lock up, throw or go to ground. The 6 months gives a base level of being able to defend yourself whilst remain standing and a strong foundation to refer back to when ever the more advanced techniques do not work.

From this grounded and stable base the throws, locks and other moves can be added on once balance is broken. Continuing to train and improve, the strikes are interwoven with movement and techniques that complete the application of Ju Jitsu moves. Most of the modern Ju Jitsu systems that I have observed are hybrids of Judo, which was the first modern interpretation of traditional Ju Jitsu. Not to say that they are not effective, but most put the cart before the horse in that only include the striking to break balance as an after thought.
Andy Sensei.
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To me it seems a little strange that by learning how to fight you can become an advocate of peace. Well, that is exactly what has happened to me. I have always taken the attitude that my martial arts is a holistic practise that encourages positive growth of the body, mind and spirit. This of course  must include meditation , which really is martial arts of the mind. I have been teaching my martial arts students the art of awareness by gently teaching the classes with a mindful attitude. This is a pre-cursor to meditation.

Awareness enables choice. With practise you can choose how you respond in all interactions. With out awareness the choice is made for you, it is called "habit". You see, an angry person is not angry out of choice, they are angry because they habitually react the same way time and time again. I had a parent who is a doctor, yelling and screaming at my staff, making a real scene. This kind of behaviour is so common, and only ever a blink away. The staff were great, not getting drawn into this woman's vortex of anger.

The martial artist that takes the leap to look at their inner workings will ultimately be able to choose the peaceful option in conflict. This does not mean the easier option. It means that the gravity to get drawn into conflict is less. This is no way means that you should not defend yourself, rather the mark of a true martial arts master is to be able to just use enough force to defend themselves.
#martialartspeace #meditation #martialartsspirit #NSJJspirit
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Inspiring Peace through martial arts
I have spent the last 37 years developing my body through combat. Bottom line is, I would not have changed it for the world. I won't say that I have loved every minute of it but the journey of self discovery has made it worth while. This year I have focused on telling my story online. I have gone back through my archives and gathered as much information to share with you on the history of our great system; Northstar Ju Jitsu. In doing so, I have re lived many great experiences that have almost been forgotten.

My initial drive to study martial arts comes from a deep desire to be recognised. Though I was bullied and had low self esteem and confidence, my body was fit and strong and relished the physical strength and power that my initial martial arts training provided.I went through my trial by fire so to speak through out my twenties and early thirties and enjoyed the recognition that came my way. Though all the time I felt an unease in that I was not living my truth.

It is only now, years later that I have come to understand that this has all been part of the same journey. I could not be in the position that I am now unless I went through the trials of my early training. Slowly the edges have smoothed and the techniques are more forgiving. All those years of Kondo Sensei yelling at me:"Andy..Too much power" I am finally understanding his wise lessons.

My life's work now is to inspire peace through the education of mindful awareness in martial arts. The actual physical class format does not change but the emphasis is the turning down of the self talk, allowing some time out from the continual chatter that we all know very well. Your class becomes a complete body, mind spirit work out from the inside out. #NSJJspirit #inspiringpeace #bodymindspirit #meditation

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It is well-known that physical activity has positive effects on the mind and body, and it is also well-claimed that the Martial Arts have the same effect. A growing body of literature investigating the long-term effects of Martial Arts practice indicates that participants experience positive psychosocial effects. #NSJJspirit

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