Never ones to shy away from the truth or what makes us uncomfortable.
In fact, take pleasure in that place of discomfort both on the mats and off, facing down, going head-on with and understanding our industry, our sport our love and our passion
Understanding it well, so we can coach honestly, deliver the correct training and inform our members so they can make informed decisions.
So we can sleep at night knowing we hid from nothing, deceived no one and spoke as true as we could in every instance
As an adult, you can neck a bottle of absinthe a night and pickle your liver and destroy your brain, climb mountains without ropes one mistake and dead, drive cars at 200mph, go pillion on a motorcycle at 240mph (how insane is that) smoke tobacco and kill yourself, eat yourself to death and on and on and on
Now getting punched in the head, a lot over many years is possibly not going to improve IQ or your looks but as long as you are aware of the risks as an adult you choose.
I’ve been on the mats with guys in their 30’s who struggle to speak due to taking too many shots to the head, now excuse my French, but that’s bullshit.
Martial arts is to improve health and enhance life for self and those around us, no money is correcting that brain damage.
Now, of course, there are risks, there is damage, there are injuries. But we minimise them and we think long term, we think about our students when they will be 50 or 60 years old. How what we do now, has an impact on them in later life, when we are long gone and no longer in their thoughts.
We look at our kids this way, they will leave at say fifteen years old after ten years with us, but those ten years are vital and have a huge impact on the following fifty. We are aware of this, we do not take this lightly or for granted.
We consider their/your health way beyond paying us a membership fee, we consider you all for life. Like a really nice stalker.
So our sparing protocols at Function First are geared towards longevity for a healthy brain and cognitive function.
We take this very seriously
1. No head contact for kids at all, ever
2. No Head guards at all, ever. Proven by science, we agree.
3. We are slowly reducing glove size to 10oz in line with the latest scientific evidence
4. Adult head contact sparring, light and reduced to certain sessions
5. Posts like this to shake you up and think
6. Mat chats about this so no one is deluded or uninformed
7. Matt, Head Coach, study into this area for some years now, staying on top of the latest safest training protocols
8. Investing heavily in health with a £100,000 upgrade recently, cryotherapy and floatation. For those interested in taking this as seriously as we are. Money where mouth is.
Revolution IS internal, let us make it a clear focused one
Cognitive Function First
Gary Turner is a therapist who’s studying a multi-disciplinary Phd on ‘the behavioural effects of head impacts on fight sports athletes’ at Winchester University. And he also boasts a record of over 1000 combined boxing, kickboxing and MMA fights. While he is vocal about the dangers of head trauma, he’s keen to point out that it’s unlikely to be brain damage caused by blows alone that’s causing Penn’s erratic behaviour. “From what I do know of BJ Penn’s situation, my conclusion would be that he has a ‘poly pathology’ and there are biological, psychological, and social reasons why he is acting this way,” Turner says. “But the evidence is quite clear that it’s very likely that a contributor to this will be the number of head impacts he’s had. It won’t be the only reason, but it will be part of it.”