18 Jul 2008

Testing Times

Well Meerkatsu world is not exactly alight with martial art prowess at the moment as the ankle, despite making good recovery, is still too tender to run on or do anything jitsu. Still, it doesn't mean I am not busy, as the British Ju-Jitsu Association Governing Body coaching certification course is looming.
Let me remind readers what this mighty honour involves. First you need to have a senior grade. Purple belt is accepted but to be honest, most coaches apply for their licence when they reach first dan. Then you need CRB clearance. Understandable of course, who wants crims running our ju-jitsu schools...God forbid they might even know how to fight too. Then you need your first aid badge up to date (within last 3 years). This is mightily sensible and I won't be trite about this issue. Several bits more paperwork and then, here comes the really onerous bit - the homework you have to do before being allowed to participate on the 2 day course which costs £100 plus travel.
Now, for some reason, I got my wires mixed up and did not realise that my 'distance learning pack' was actually a single letter with essay titles and a website url to visit. Somehow, in my pea sized brain, I simply did not read the letter properly until the deadline to submit these lovely essays passed by.
So after a few stern words from the BJJAGB officer and I am allowed to submit them a week later. Realistically, what with small issues of children that wake at 4am, a day job and a ju-jitsu club to run, it leaves me only two days (make that two late nights burning the midnight oil) to write 11...yes 11 essays each filling up one A4 page.
Oh boy, now I don't mind a bit of background reading around the subject. Heck I don't even mind exams. But to wade through pages and pages of bland, unstimulating, GCSE-sports-science articles about health and safety policy and communications skills doesn't exactly fill me with excitement. But I gotta do them since I run a club and it would be weird to be a coach and not be qualified to be a coach.
So, forgive me if I seem a little stressed, but it's been decades since I had to submit essays for homework and and I've 3 more essays to write (yes, the time really is 1:34am, leaving me with 3 hours sleep before my kids wake screaming). Oh joy of joys.

By the way, as light refreshment, see if you can make out if this guy in the youtube video, is real or a spoof. Those who have done even one minute of BJJ will see that the techniques offered are not bonafide BJJ, but the chi power thing made me suspect it as a spoof. Anyway, see what you think (thanks for Nick Brooks for passing this on).

About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.


Anonymous said...

Well, I fell into the same trap and expected a "Pack" to plop onto the letterbox carpet. When I got the hastener and realised I'd got it wrong and the letter constituted the Pack, I wrote them in a weekend during which I had to excuse myself from my Brother's BBQ and apologise to a second Brother (who'd travelled up from Yeovil) for my going missing so I could read up and write an intelligble essay - and I'm pretty sure there was an important boxing match on TV.
I then had to translate my scribble into legible text (even I couldn't read some of it. This meant I was still in the office at 8PM, after all the lights had been switched off and I could only see by the light of the PC screen.
After the course, I met a 5th Dan at Fenchurch St Stn and mentioned Sensei Pape (he immediately regretted not attending) and was shocked when I mentioned the 11 essays - so can expect other seniors to be caught out as well. BTW, Sensei Pape had an operation which went wrong so you may find him in a Wheelchair on the course.

Peter McC

slideyfoot said...

I wonder if BJJ will ever have a similarly bureaucratic process, and whether or not that would be a good thing? CRB checks and first aid qualifications make good sense, but 11 essays doesn't like it has a whole lot to do with being a decent coach.

Meerkatsu said...

Some legitimacy with regard to understanding basic do's and don'ts of coaching is a good thing. Writing 11 essays which I copied and pasted from the last certificate course I did is a waste of time.


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