the samurai loved to write.
Simon and Julie at Waterstones book signings.
Simon has an absolute love of writing and with the real life experiences plus his Martial Arts training, he sure does have a lot to write about.
Here you will find words of hope among seemingly crushing stories of adversity but they all have the same theme in minds;
* ADVERSITY * COURAGE * HOPE * REDEMPTION * SALVATION *
As much as it sounds a cliche, Simon truly believes that if he can achieve success, battle seemingly unbeatable demons the you can too, so we will leave the rest to the articles and stories written by Simon and featured here.
You will also notice on the sidebar, among the photographs of events, books signings and award ceremonies, certain links to other articles Simon has written/been featured in, including the Huffington Post (USA), the New York Post and other worldwide media.
We hope you enjoy his words.
False Evidence Appearing Real
In my own experience I have plenty to be afraid of. This has ranged from schooldays when I was bullied, threatened with knives spat at and beaten up (this was by the teachers).
Generally, this kind of adolescence led in later life to cause anxiety disorder, leading to the condition known as agoraphobia, resulting in me staying in-doors, and shrinking my comfort zone. After some years, and plenty of research and help, I was able to conquer my fear of the outside world and embark upon a martial arts journey.
Later on, fear was brought on by the thought of and taking part in tough gradings, hard courses, full contact sparring with professional boxers, grappling with European champions. Teaching at seminars, opening my own gym, effectively going public and being there for all comers to see and/or take on. Appling for membership as an instructor to possibly the most prestigious self-defence association in the world, with some of the world’s top instructors at the helm. Worrying that they wouldn’t accept me and then feeling fear when they did. Now I would have to prove that I could instruct, would have to travel away to train under some of the best instructors in the World.
Outside the’ controlled’ environment, fear was brought on by dealing with and defeating a drug dealer and his company of friends, after a dispute lasting over two years. The drug dealings were his not mine. My dispute against this man was unconnected to his activities. Threats were made by him; his threats were overcome by me. Face offs were instigated by him and his, those same face-offs were won by me, by controlling fear, not showing fear, but instilling fear in him and his gang.
An Apology and Forgiveness.
From the age of five I was bullied and beaten right up until my early twenties. All manner of boy and man would, could and did hit me at will but by far the worst of the bunch was a skinhead I’ll call Joe.
Joe had the works. Bad attitude, grudge, chip on his shoulder, the lot. But what Joe had most importantly was a knife. A gleaming, sharp, shiny life ender hidden in the coats of his jacket.
READ MORE OF SIMON'S ARTICLES HERE.
LOOKING FOR SOMEONE IN A COLD CITY
Finding ourselves, facing our fears, getting our reward whilst owning our weaknesses is a lonely place to go, but it is exactly where we find ourselves if we are on the right path.
I traveled that path to Coventry in the UK at the invite of Geoff Thompson in an effort to find out if I really did have the courage it took.
HOW SWEET IS YOUR TEA?
Whilst what is written here is on the subject of Martial Arts, the advice on offer can be applied to all walks of life by people wanting to better themselves and achieve the achievable...because it's all achievable. There is nothing we can't do if we are willing to face our 'Shugyo'.
I was talking to a student of mine recently who had an important belt test coming up. She confessed to me that as she was getting higher up the grades, she was really feeling the pressure. She also confessed to having taken a dislike to sparring.
You have a dream, right? We all do. Well, most of us. Those that don’t wander through life knowing neither glory or failure. So, congratulations if you have a dream. What goes with that dream?
Whatever that dream may be it will have something attached to it. You may want to sing, paint, write, fight, be a TV star. The list goes on, but no matter what that dream the common denominator is said attachment. And what is that attachment, what is that thing that holds us back, makes us doubt, perhaps makes us self-scorn? Fear. That lovely, horrible, powerful yet beatable word, fear.
My own personal journey was littered with the damn thing. For every goal I aimed for, fear was a wall in the way, but that wall can be smashed, yes indeed. My early years were not good, spent under the domain of violence and violent people.
My first beating took part before I was ten years old and as I progressed through life so did the beatings increase in both volume and intensity. Beaten to blood for wearing the wrong colour coat, lying on the floor getting kicked in the head whilst a potential girlfriend looked on, horrified.
A Warrior's Path; One Hundred Demons.
Everybody want to be a warrior until it is time to be a warrior…
As the sun broke through the night flashing through the curtains I blinked away a very restless sleep. I was never any good at early morning rises and the occasion that lay ahead of me that day made my slumber the night before a fitful one. Doubts filled my dreams, fears fed my startled wake up as my imagination saw the terrors ahead…
“Easy,” I thought it myself. “Just roll back over, pull up the duvet and right the day off. Another few hours in bed will be good for me.” But the sound of my wife in the kitchen filling a flask and making me sandwiches that would never get eaten (not by me anyhow) reminded me that this was what I wanted even though my inner opponent disagreed. My ‘wild brain’ would argue and sometimes get the better, sometimes get pushed down but either way I threw the duvet open, yawned, stretched and tried to come to terms with the day ahead. The day I would face one hundred demons.