Coach’s End of Year Letter

Dear member,

As we close out 2014, we can reflect on what has been a year of huge change and progress for our little club. We are still a minority club, operating in some niche sports, but this year we took some significant steps forward towards the goal of elevating ourselves to a higher platform. While it is true that the sport of MMA is more in the public eye than ever before, it’s the work on the ground and in our local community that has given us the greatest growth.

I’m very proud that our club has been in the one locality for it’s entire existence. We’ve seen kids graduate from being dropped off in their parent’s cars, to cycling to us after college or work to train. It’s this family atmosphere and attitude that makes us more than a building or a sign above the door. For this reason, when it came time to expand out of our 1200sqft former home to something larger, I restricted the search to the local area. It took some time (the hunt around started this time in 2013), but in the end, we moved to a facility that offers us massive scope for expansion, some of which we’re already seeing, as well as one that kept us in Glasnevin/Finglas.

On the sporting side of things, we’ve seen Kyuzo’s resurgence in competitive MMA, with a new crop of amateur fighters making their way into the competitive arena. We had taken some time out of the sport to take stock and bring through a new crop of younger fighters, and this year they took their competitive bow, led by “Captain” Joe Mady, who has put in untold hours of organisation, and lots of mileage on the road. Win or loss, the greatest accomplishment you can have in martial arts is to change your lifestyle to one of good mental and physical health, discipline, and self confidence. I hope that in 2015 we can help each other develop both inside and outside of the MMA cage.

Our Brazilian Jiu Jitsu continues to go from strength to strength, and we are seeing more and more new faces since the opening of the new facility. We’ve seen new promotions, for myself and many others, we’ve seen plenty of medals on the competitive mats around Ireland, and we’ve seen our club’s development recognised by Zenith head Robert Drysdale who acknowledged the tremendous strides we have made in the past few years. Jiu Jitsu offers so much more than self defence or competition, however, and watching people get the bug in 2014 has been really satisfying for me as a coach. I’m looking forward to more of the same as we expand in 2015.

Anyone passing through our doors will have seen the growth of our children’s classes in the past year. We work so hard to bring the grappling sports to young kids, and as we move into 2015, we can look back on a successful year of developing young grapplers. Grant Carroll and Graham Doolan deserve tremendous credit for their excellent work with the smaller ones, and we are now seeing the fruits of their labour in the adult classes. in 2015, we are going to work even harder.

I would like to thank all of the staff at Kyuzo. Andy, Theresa, Nathan, Grant, Adam, Graham, Joe, and Amanda, as well as anyone who helped out and contributed to the new gym. Whether you painted a wall or just ran for coffee, you were a help, and the club could not have achieved the smooth transition without you.

I would also like to thank the members, without whom, there would of course be no club. Your support and enthusiasm for the place has been infectious, literally. So many new faces appear at the club’s door having spoken to to one of you, and having been infected with the notion that they too can join up and benefit from all that martial arts training offers. I like to say that Kyuzo is “a nice place to join for nice people”, but of course you have to have nice people here first for that to happen! It has been fun and educational to share the mats with you all this year, and I look forward to doing it again in 2015.

So here’s to progress. I’d like to wish you and yours a happy and peaceful New Year.

Regards,

Barry

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