What am I up to in 2016?

First of all, a happy New Year to all of you. May the best of 2015 be the worst of 2016.

Second, I usually do a recap and look to the future at the beginning of the year, so here goes…

2015 was a difficult year for me. Lots of business stuff going on but mostly, I had to focus on my rehab after my surgery. That took way more time and energy than I had anticipated because my injuries were much worse than expected. Both my surgeon and physical therapist gravely underestimated them. In short, I walked around with increasingly more dislocated ankles for several years. It’s taken daily rehab sessions to both activate atrophied muscles, reinvigorate my connective tissue, realign my body and work on correct proprioception, all at once. Progress has been steady, but it’s also been slow. E.g.: it’s been a year and two months since my surgery and it’s only been a week or two since I have a bounce in my step again.

The good part about all that work is that I’m finally coming closer to the point where I can train normally again. Unless something breaks (fingers crossed…) I should be back to 100% in a month or so.

The bad part of all that rehab is that it left me with precious little time for much else. Then there was my professional life (of which I haven’t talked much here) that got crazy hectic. Some background on this:

  • I’m a self-employed personal trainer/consultant/coach. I teach martial arts, self-defense and conditioning to private clients but also small groups. This used to be my main job, but other activities have started to take up more of my time these last few years.
  • I do business seminars and workshops teaching companies how to apply the lessons from martial arts to their professional environment. That business has been growing steadily over the years and got a big boost in 2015.
  • I’m a Master Trainer with Technogym and do workshops and training sessions for both their physical products and Cloud software solution. They also kept me busier than ever.
  • In the last few years, I was approached numerous times by C-level executives for coaching them through difficult professional situations, helping them with stress management and more. This has gradually developed into another business that is getting more and more traction.

There’s all that and also having two kids, who I very much like to spend time with as much as possible… Whatever time I have left goes to other projects like blogging and writing, which wasn’t all that much last year.

From the looks of it, 2016 is going to be a critical year and I will probably have to make some choices on a professional level, because I can’t do everything, nor can I be in two places at once. That’s a first-world problem, so I’m not complaining. Whatever comes next, it’s going to be good and I’m looking forward to taking on new professional challenges.

There’s another upside to all the rehab I’ve been doing: I feel so much better now than last year and have a lot more energy than before the surgery. I finally feel confident that I can be more productive again and finish all those projects I had lined up before I got sick. That, plus some new ones. Here are some of the things I have planned so far:

up to

  • The next two books are “The Leg Kick” and “Boxing for Self-Defense” The first one is about 80% done right now, but still needs a lot of work in post-production as there will be a free video-course that comes with it. The second is in the planning phase.
  • Other books in varying stages of production are
    • Essential Self-defense Tips for Men to Avoid Violence”
      The title says it all basically: practical tips for men on how to avoid violence. In each chapter I explain one tip in detail and then give some useful tools to implement them in your daily life. The book isn’t about how to knock somebody out, it’s about avoiding having to throw that punch in the first place. I write about fundamental issues you need to understand and apply, instead of giving general tips. My goal is that you’ll be able to apply the information right away. As of this writing, the book is about 50% done.
    • Knife Defense Book
      This book only has a working title. I started a few years ago, but it’s been hell working on that one and I got so fed up with it I put it away for a while. It was either that or pulling my hair out in frustration. In hindsight, that was the best decision because I now have a better take on the material and some new ideas.
    • The Warrior’s Body
      After the Knife Defense book , I’ll start writing the sequel to The Fighter’s Body. I’ve been collecting studies and data for years, figuring I’d eventually write it. I’m looking forward to sharing all that in the book. The focus of this book is the “older” martial artist, meaning 40 and older. What is it like to train at age 40, 50 and older? How do you stay in shape, healthy, manage injuries, etc. But I’ll also cover what to avoid in your twenties so you don’t wreck your body by the time you’re 40.
      I’m psyched about this book. It’ll be a lot of fun and I hope it will be valuable to young and old.
  • One of the new things I’m going to do for all these books is give you access to free resources. You’ll be able to see videos of my interviews with experts, additional material, tools to use in your own training and much more. Technology has finally come to the point where I can deliver an “enhanced” book that doesn’t stop after you read the last page. So I plan to make the most of it and give you every last drop of information I can think of.
  • I just wrote my publisher a proposal for two more instructional videos (tentative titles):
    • Combat Sanshou: Basic Self-Defense. This project fits in the whole of the Combat Sanshou series as an entry point for the absolute beginner: basic techniques against the most common attacks. It’s actually a system within the system and integrates well with the already available material. It’s also broad enough to be interesting to people of other arts and systems as the pedagogical approach is an integral part of making it effective. In short: it’s what I teach clients who come to me with zero knowledge and want the quickest possible results.
    • Fightstoppers: End it Now! This is a collection of techniques/moves with the purpose of ending the fight before it really starts. They’re similar to what you can see here. Most of them are entries and set ups or short combinations that target vital targets and weak spots of the human anatomy. I’ve been getting lots of requests for this kind of stuff ever since that original video and have been preparing a catalog of such moves ever since.
  • I’m still looking into it but a podcast and live streaming events are also on my list. The main hurdles have been technical, but I’m closing in on a few solution’s for those. We’ll see what happens and if I can free up the time to do this on a regular basis.
  • I published my military thriller short story a few weeks ago and it’s done very well since then. Turns out a lot of you liked that fight scene… If time permits and I can come up with a good plot, I might write a full novel for those characters. That said, I have a few other short stories in the urban fantasy/horror genre I need to get out of my system, so those might come first. All in all, these aren’t priorities for me. I write fiction to take my mind off the non-fiction writing. It helps prepare me for the next martial arts or self-defense project if I can do something completely different for a few weeks. We’ll see.
  • If you want to make sure you stay informed, sign up here on my notification list (don’t forget to click on the link in the confirmation mail you receive) and you will get an email whenever I publish something new.

As you can see, I’ll be busy in 2016.

I better stop writing this update then and get to it…

 

The newsletter is live

It took a lot longer than I wanted (life got in the way..), but my newsletter is finally live. If you want to sign up, scroll down this page and fill in the big-ass form with the “SIGN UP NOW!” button. You really can’t miss it… I’ll explain the freebie you get with it, along with what the newsletter is about, in a minute.

First, how to subscribe:

Just fill in your name and email address in the form and click the button.

One important thing: right after signing up, you’ll receive a confirmation email with a link you have to click. Otherwise, you won’t get the newsletter.

This confirmation is necessary to avoid abuse by those with bad intentions.

newsletter freebie

Next, what’s the freebie you get?

I show you the two resources I use every day, both in my own training and with my clients.

The first one is something I created and fine-tuned over the last 20 years. The other is the perfect companion to it. Together, they help you make continuous progress in your training, regardless if it’s for martial arts, self-defense, combat sports or even firearms training. It works everywhere.

How’s that for a teaser?

 

Finally, what’s the newsletter going to be like? [Read more…]

Some random updates

Just a quick blog post with random stuff.

First, I talked to the people at Paladin Press yesterday and there’s a good chance the two videos I shot with them last Summer will be released this year. It’s too soon to tell but things are looking good so far. The one video is a follow up on my Combat Sanshou series and the second covers the conditioning drills I do for improved performance in the martial arts. I’m pretty excited about those two as I had not only a lot of fun making them, they’re also projects I wanted to do for a long time. Fingers crossed they come out soon.

By the way, Paladin Press just updated their website and they’re offering a cool new feature called Deal of the Week. You can find discounted books and videos there, with the offer lasting a week or two at most. There is both older and brand new work in there so you might want to check back regularly.

Another thing they did is integrate their blog in the side bar of the site. A bunch of Paladin Press authors have been writing posts there for a while now so take a look in the archives for some cool articles. And if you wait a few more weeks, you’ll be able to read the one I wrote with the tentative title of “How to Increase Your Punching Power in Five Minutes ” along with a seven-minute instructional video.

Martial Arts, Self-Defense and a Whole Lot More

Received the proof copy a few days ago.

Next up, the paper version of Martial Arts, Self-Defense and a Whole Lot More, Volume 1 is almost ready. I received the proof copy a few days ago and am going over everything a bunch of time to get it ready. This should take another couple days to finalize and with some luck,it’ll be for sale soon enough. Stay tuned.

 

Finally, I’ll be in the UK for a seminar in 2013. If you live in the UK, drop on by then and we’ll have some fun training. Garry contacted me a little while ago, we talked about it and that was it. Check out this page for more details and a solid seminar date in a little while.

That’s it for this update. Regular posting resumes on Monday. :-)

 

Resources Page

A quick head’s up:

I just put a new page on-line here: the Resources Page.

The idea is very simple, but I think it might be useful to all of you. In short, it’s a page that lists all the products, services and tools I use both to run this blog but also for my own training and when I teach students or clients. I’ve mentioned those over the years here on my blog but that information is scattered all over the place. So to make it more practical for you, I bundled it all on one page.

martial arts self defense resources

I’ll keep on adding to this list as time goes by, so you might want to check it out every now and then. And if you have suggestions, let me know and I’ll see if I can add them.

If you like the page, feel free to share it with others who also might find a use for it. Thanks!

 

Need your help with a new book

I’m working on a new book tentatively called “Surviving a Knife Attack” and I am smack in the middle of the research phase. Right now, I don’t want to give away too many details but you can guess from the title what it’s about… :-)  Here’s the thing:

One of the things I’m doing with this book is using stories of actual events. I have a lot of stories already, some from well known authors and experts, but I’d like to get some more to have a bigger sample to draw information from. For that purpose, I’d like to ask your help:

  • If you’ve been attacked by somebody wielding a knife or other edged weapon and successfully defended yourself.
  • If you were in a situation where the knife was out but you got away, managed to de-escalate or anything else that meant no violence was used.
  • If you are willing to write about this event (anonymously if you prefer).
  • If you know of somebody who went through such an event and would be willing to write it up.

Please get in touch with me via my contact page. I’ll give you some more details then and we’ll see if we can work something out.

If you can’t help out in that department, no worries, there’s still something you can do:  please share this post  with your friends who also practice martial arts or train in self-defense. They might know somebody, even if you don’t.

 

In the same vein, I’m looking for two more contacts for the book:

  • An FBI agent who is willing (and allowed) to do an interview about the Uniform Crime Report, in particular the data on knife attacks.
  • A trauma surgeon with experience caring for victims of knife attacks (stabbings, cuts, etc.)

I would like to interview them via email or over the phone to get information  about the realities of knife attacks from their perspectives and professional experience. If they prefer, they can use an alias or stay anonymous.

 

With all the information I have right now, the book looks very promising. But I’d like to make it as good as I possibly can so if you could direct some people who can help out towards me, that would be great. Thanks!

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