It is an absolute privilege to write this blog so welcome to the Summer edition of the S.O.U.L. Kickboxing newsletter! So much has happened in the last three months, a period of lovely weather and the transition from cold training (dark) to hot training (light) and now we are literally weeks away from the longest day. Where does it all go?
I hope you have all enjoyed your training sessions leading up to the June grading and I know a lot of you have been putting in some serious effort, none more so than the three black belts that I am about to talk about.
Ma’am, Mrs Mayne, has committed the majority of her life to martial arts with Tae-Kwon-Do, Kickboxing and competitive boxing. Her skill, knowledge and teaching ability are unapparelled and her sparring ability legendary. On the 1st of June she made the transition from 4th Degree Black Belt to 5th Degree which will be Ma’am’s final grading. We all train and progress due to Ma’am’s love and commitment to S.O.U.L. and to ourselves, and what a club she has turned it into. From all of us, thank you Ma’am and congratulations!
I was there in Sturminster Marshall with my son Mr Whild, and Mr Baker on this morning too. Both of these incredibly committed kickboxers were to take their 2nd Degree Black Belts while Ma’am took her 5th. I felt like an intruder as I stood with Mr Whild in the warm up room and this is as far as I could go before they were called in for the exam at 9.30am.
I spent many years as a racing cyclist in rooms that smelt of Deep Heat and fear on weekend mornings, and I recognised the buzz very well. This was different though as all three knew exactly what they were undertaking, and their calm disposition put me on edge even more as I counted down the minutes. I offered to hold pads for Ma’am to help with the warm up and promptly forgot even the simplest of combinations (sorry Ma’am!) and then it was time.
During their intensive hour I went for a 6km run and by the time I got changed again it was nearly over. They were emotionally and physically exhausted when they came out, but I knew they would have all passed with flying colours.
Those of you who know Mr Baker will know just how amazing he is, with his skill and intense enthusiasm. There were a few iffy weeks in the months running up to this grading where he injured his calf, but he sensibly took the time to heal and repair well within time.
On my very first session with S.O.U.L. Mr Baker worked with me and held pads whilst I realised how horrendously unfit I was. It was his encouragement that got me through the session. Congratulations Sir!
As a parent words cannot express how proud I am of my son, but he knows! To have achieved a 2nd Degree Black Belt by 17 years of age is amazing, and I also have the pleasure of training with him and Josh week every single week. On the days he was not training with S.O.U.L. he was getting his cardio on point with punishing sessions at home. This is the level of commitment that is needed to succeed and watching him work is simply inspirational. Well done Jake, you are an incredible young man and a credit to our club, to Ma’am and to me.
Congratulations to all of the colour belts who took their gradings on the 2nd June! I wasn’t there for this one, but I heard that it was a fantastic morning at Blandford Corn Market and that everyone put in 100%. I’ll be joining you again in September for my black stripe!
Finally, what a beautiful presentation evening at The Crown Hotel in Blandford. The day of rain cleared for the evening as we all gathered with the members of KR Martial Arts and SDMA Martial Arts. It was a night of laughs, emotional speeches and high-level presentations in a lovely setting. I walked in to see Ma’am smiling and holding up a t-shirt saying ‘I moved Mr Stokes’ and I reckon its game on for us lot now (sorry Sir 😆)
I’m very proud to be able to call myself an Assistant Instructor for S.O.U.L. Kickboxing as Mr Solly and I passed our 4-session examinations. We both fully intend to progress to full instructors so that we can both teach what we love so much. Firstly we have to be let loose in Devon for a weekend in order to get our first aid qualification so we are both looking forward to that 😁
S.O.U.L. has some amazing instructors with Ma’am, Mr Stokes and Mrs Rich so I have big boots to fill now.
Lots to look forward to now that its back to it, a S.O.U.L. social day coming soon and I have also heard rumours of an inter-club charity Tournament for October! Keep your eyes on the website and our Facebook Page for further details.
🥊 Take care and see you all in class, Tim Whild 🥊