The Inactivity in Retirement Problem
People are living much longer now and their longevity can lead to a greater burden on the health service, carers and relatives, through age-related physical and mental ailments.
According to a new report released by the Institute of Economic Affairs, retirement increases your risk of clinical depression by 40 percent while raising your chances of being diagnosed with a physical condition by 60 percent.
New research indicates that being retired decreases physical, mental and self-assessed health. The adverse effects increase as the number of years spent in retirement increases
After retirement, keeping people active physically and mentally can have a significant impact on both quality of life and the ability to contribute to society.
The Burgeoning Youth Obesity Problem
Young people between 12 and 18 spend much of their time transfixed by their smartphones, interacting less frequently through verbal and face to face connections and becoming increasingly dependant upon social media. Schools no longer insist on exercise and fitness as part of the curriculum and the UK faces a burgeoning obesity problem.
According to Sport England the rate of participation of 16-25 year olds taking part in sport has declined (August 2014)
Studies from one city council showed that in reception aged children obesity levels were nearly 24% and by six years old this had reached nearly 32%.
Engaging young people through martial arts will help to expand their horizons through interaction and physical contact with others. The benefits of martial arts are manifold, ranging from confidence, fitness, self discipline, respect, self-respect, tenacity and a sense of community to mention but a few. This will also serve to reduce anti-social behaviour prevalent in some elements of the teenage population.
There Is No Shortage of Martial Arts Clubs
Martial arts clubs are very popular in the UK but most operate once or twice a week at set times, meaning that many people who would like to take up a new skill cannot, owing to other work, time, parenting and diary commitments.
I'd like to change all of that.
The Solution - More than Just Martial Arts
I want to be able to deliver an holistic development training programme training people in life skills to lead connected, fulfilling lives where they have a sense of growth, belonging and contribution.
My vision is to create a permanent training facility in Oxfordshire that would be open and available to all, 6 days a week between midday and 9pm. The venue would have multiple, public martial arts training sessions on most late afternoons starting from the schools' end of day for young people from 12 to 18 to train, and in the evening from 6:30pm until 9:00pm catering for adults 18-80 and covering all skill levels. This would give people a wealth of choice and flexibilty in terms of when they learn. During the afternoons, the semi-retired and retired can come and train, network and connect with others in the community and during lunch times, I plan to run a number of low-cost training sessions for local business.
Making It A Reality
In order to realise this vision we need to fund a trip to China for 30 days of intensive training under a martial arts master and to study the ethos of how the chinese make a success of such permanent facilities in China, so that we can model this upon our return to the UK. Taking the part self-funded trip will be myself (aged 53) and my assistant instructor (aged 17) representing both ends of the target age market and ensuring that the venue we create has a future spanning many decades, to the benefit of the wider community.
How it Would Work
The hub would be set up as a not for profit community interest company where individuals pay a monthly membership fee to attend any and all of the sessions as frequently as they desire. It is anticipated there will be three levels of membership available ranging from £30 to £70 with certain timed access restrictions at each level. In this way we can ensure that everyone can afford to train and those that want complete freedom and access to expert level tuition pay a premium.
I want the training hub to provide learning that engages all of the senses and exploits the latest advances in technology. It would be equipped with mirrors, wall bags, wooden dummies, training aids and crash mats, with an instructor on-hand to personalise the training to the individual. In addition to martial arts, fitness and yoga classes, I want to help people grow in other ways through bite-sized learning of enhanced communications skills during lunch times and by inviting guest speakers to come along and engage with members.
The most practical way to achieve this vision is for us to study the way the Chinese run such facilities and by embedding myself and my assistant instructor in the culture and their training regime for one month, we will gain insight on how to achieve this, giving us a 'jump start' to setting up our own not for profit UK venture.
Where We Would Use The Money
The funding is needed to pay for flights to China, Visas and training for the two of us to embed ourselves in June 2016. I have personally funded my current martial arts club for three years and this year we are on course to break even, so I already know how to grow a club from nothing to a successful stand point and sustain it over the long term. We will be self-funding part of the trip and for those that help us achieve our goal there are some fantastic rewards available.
I spent 10 years in the military as a soldier serving my country at home and abroad and I am a qualified Liife Coach with a 2nd degree black belt in Shotokan Karate. I am a qualified Wing Chun (Kung Fu) instructor and have been running two martial arts clubs in Oxfordshire for the last year. I also teach Wing Chun privately in people's homes.