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Welcome to Articles & Scribbles where you will find the writings of our Storytellers, including Simon. 

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Who Should I Be Sitting With?
A Brand new article by Simon Morrell.


One of my students is getting ready to take his Black Belt, and as I do with all my guys and girls, I encouraged him to look online (YouTube is the usual choice) and see what is there to help or hinder him. After all, we all know there are good and bad everywhere. He quickly sussed out which was which and, in a conversation, last night I asked him how he decided.


His answer was a simple one and one similar to a question I asked myself many years ago. He said, “I asked myself what should I be doing?” Along the way, he came across some of my instructors from years ago and was very impressed by what he saw, and this led me to my own previous question, and it was, “Who should I be sitting with?”


In the early nineties in my area, there was a seemingly limited choice. Everybody knew who you went to for Karate, who you jumped on the mats with to Grapple and what your choice of Tae-Kwon-Do was. Now don’t get me wrong, they were all good and never once did I think I was better or in some cases even equal to these people. It is just that I knew there were other options out there, others I could learn from and up my game, both physically and mentally. It was just up to me to find them, and I was still coming off a bad spell of agoraphobia (fear of leaving your house). For many years the furthest I had travelled was twenty miles from home.


So in order to improve my lifestyle all round, there was that question again, “Who should I be sitting with?” The answer lay on the roads to Manchester, Liverpool, Coventry, all over the United Kingdom and here I came across some mighty fine, clever, and extremely good people. In fact, the better fighter they were, the nicer person they seemed to be. Nothing to prove you see.


Don’t get me wrong, every time I put the key in the ignition to hit the road, my stomach churned with anxiety, but every time I pulled into the driveway at the end of a long day, my endorphins kept me going for weeks.


This was at a time when many people simply stayed in their own local training facility and so I was met with the inevitable “Who does he think he is training here, there and everywhere?” I didn’t think I was anyone, I just wanted to get better.


Getting better meant getting thrown around the mats and being twisted like a pretzel by a Grappling Champion, improving meant pulling on eighteen-ounce gloves for ten full-contact rounds with a European Title Holder, and starting to look anything like good meant hitting and holding the pads for Professional Boxers.


For every physical, there was the lovely sit down, cup of tea and chat afterwards. They talked, I made sure I listened and hell, some of them even started to know my name.


Being in the company of such people rubbed off on me (as it will you) and as my confidence grew, so did my game. Before I knew it, I was inviting these people to teach at my new gym and they did so, giving their time willingly. Now, instead of hearing the tirade, “Who does he think he is?” I heard, “Simon Morrell has (insert name here, there were many), at his gym this week, I wonder if we should ask can we go and train?”


I welcomed everyone with open arms, as they now had the opportunity to do what I did, except that instead of the long journey away, these people were now on their doorstep.


As frightening as I first was, I learned so much sitting with these people, mostly humility but of course also the physical, how to behave as a man (or woman), how to show/get respect and how to be a decent human being and it was all down to the question, “Who should I be sitting with?”


Is it time to ask yourself the same one?

    A Title for Joe
        Lee Mayo


The ring seems to look at lot different now. It is as if it has more importance attached to it and somehow doesn’t feel the same. Sure, it has the same four sides, the ropes are the same size, the guy in the middle, the one that will call the shots and hopefully keep us safe. Well, he may be a different human in a different suit, but essentially, he is the same man doing the same job he and his have done for centuries, but for me this one just isn’t the same. This one is different for a massive reason and that reason is Joe. And of course, the fact he isn’t here to share it with me, with us. No, but he is the reason I am here at all.

  Simon Morrell

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Alcohol certainly has its place in society. I mean, who doesn't enjoy a glass of wine at the end of a hard week? But what happens when it controls us, rather than we control it? What is the result when it becomes a necessity and not a treat? I'm the first that some time ago (due to circumstances) I abused alcohol, but my love for my wife and children far outweighed the need to booze every night, and so I guess I had a lucky escape.
However, in Stumbling maybe our guy isn't so lucky.
I hope you enjoy reading it. It is honest and that is that.



I’m Jack. That’s the name I go by for sure. I’m Jack and I’m one of five siblings. The good one. The other four aren’t worth Jack shit. Ha ha, no pun intended. 

I’m sober today. For now anyway, but it is only ten o’clock in the morning. Give it time. 

So the siblings, how about them? Who cares, but you did ask, didn’t you? 

Eldest one. Lawyer, don’t you know? Clever arse. As many bedrooms in his house as we are siblings. That’s five in case you weren’t paying attention.

The Lost Essex Boy
       Brian Rolfe           

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On Wednesday 6th December, in the year of Nineteen Ninety-Five, an incident took place that would shock gangland Britain, causing rifts in friendships, splits in loyalties and see two men sent to prison even though they and many others protested their innocence.


A farmer, Mister Peter Theobald and his friend Mister Ken Jiggins discovered the bodies of the three men in a farm lane in the early hours of the morning.

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