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.
A True Story
Before I was three years old I had been lost in the woods and in a separate incident fallen down a drain where I remained for quite some time before being found and rescued by neighbouring housewives searching for me.
When I was five I was spat at, name called and beaten by a fellow, vicious classmate.
By the time I was six I became very drunk on a family holiday abroad, spending the next day badly hung-over.
At the age of 15 an attempted stabbing on me took place by a terrifying youth and at sixteen I suffered a severe beating at the hands of several locals for wearing the wrong coloured coat.
The mayhem, drinking and attracting violence stayed with me for most of my years before I fell to a condition known as agoraphobia.
I binned all four afflictions when I found Martial Arts and beautiful love in the form of my wife and three children.
Then as I entered my thirties, those afflictions (minus the agoraphobia) returned. Violent men led to me to heavy drink which bought back the mayhem. I answered to men with guns for my Father's sins and later on these same sins bought the IRA into my life. "Pay your Da's debts or we hurt your children then kidnap you". They validated these threats by providing me with personal information that could only be obtained by someone who had watched me for some time. "About two months we have been following you for" the amiable Irish chap told me. "That's a good school your children go to," he continued before naming school, class and my baby's names.
I paid my Father's debts and conflicts were resolved but the damage had been done. Added to by vile threats to me from my Dad himself I fell...big time.
Martial Arts and my healthy passion for the fighting world disappeared and my family almost followed until I found myself lying in a hospital bed, full of drink and on the brink of a disastrous adventure from which I may not have recovered.
"I thought you were going to die in hospital" a very tearful Julie told me afterwards, later on, much later on after I recovered.
'Not again' I thought to myself 'Not again.''
No more would I let mayhem take from me what was mine. It was time to climb out of the drain....and so I did.
I have been called a failure...I am seen as a Father,
I have been called a spaz...I have been successful,
I have lost and I have won,
I have been hated and I have been hugged but perhaps most importantly I have been called a waster and yet I have been named a Warrior.
Taken from the book "An Everyday Warrior".
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.
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.
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.