Italy Seminar 2010
The Rome seminar had been planned for some time, I think we were all looking forward to this event just because of the location. Rome and the whole Bruce lee thing, and the movie The Way of the Dragon. We set off a few days beforehand so we could get there and see the sites, before the seminar.
Travelling to Rome was not a problem. After some places I have been to it's a cake walk, compared to the far east and America where travelling time is massive. The day after we got there we went on a tour around Rome; we saw many sites including The Colosseum, but sadly we never got to go inside just because of the time factor. However, when we got there the guide filled us in on all the stats.
Regarding the building of the place and the capacity of the number of folk it could hold, these figures I cannot remember because, I am not a tech head who saves facts and figures. The only figures I remember was it could be emptied in 20 minutes; if I am right somebody asked why and the guide said, "Well if any of the animals escaped then they had to clear it kind of sharpish". Hmm true, so lets get to the seminar stuff.
Well I had agreed to do 3 hrs on the Friday for free which I did; it was only supposed to be for all my guys from near and far. However, when we eventually got to the location, after travelling for miles there was over 30 folk there; a lot of folk I don't know. Funnily, a lot of these folk were so called Instructors in JKD... hmmmmm not !!!
IF THEY'RE INSTRUCTORS, WELL AM A MILLIONAIR; which I am not but wishing to anyway. We did the 3 hrs and it was a struggle for the others; but my guys sailed through it. After the seminar, a few folk came up to me to pay money. I told them it was free, which they seemed to be very surprised. Then my mind started to go into over drive. Is this another scam where a host sees an angle to make money, from a free days training? good will gesture, to teach for free. WHY ARE THERE SO MANY FUCKING FOLK OUT THERE TRYING TO BE SO FUCKING GREEDY. Anyway, after that my guard was up. Our hotel was very nice that we were staying in and all our guys apart from two were staying in another location. The only problem being the hotel was a good hike to anything that resembled civilization, so eating out with the hotel was a military operation and going out and in to recon the place was left out to our advance party of Alan, Paul, Lee, Ally, who did a good sweep, of the surrounding area to report back. "Sifu we're fuked, we're in the middle of nowhere". Ok, so what's the plan to eat, we got three cars and roughly a dozen folk. We need to get everybody out and everybody in, remember we never leave anybody behind, hmm mm, sounds like a movie, well the whole weekend could be a movie, or a even a book.
To the day of the seminar; the location was again not the best of places. The shape of the location was very strange, I am used to teaching in a square or even rectangle. This shape well it's.. I don't even know. Numbers wise close to 140 so I am told. Again, APART FROM MY GUYS, MOST ARE TEACHING JKD SO THEY SAY.... WELL, IF THEY ARE, WHY ARE THEY DOING SOMETHING THAT LOOKS LIKE IT, IF WE DID WHITE THEY WOULD BE DOING BLACK; THATS ABOUT THE BEST WAY TO DESCRIBE IT. It was such a struggle to try and teach these experts who are JKD teachers. I spent most of my time trying to get them to stand upright. Then after that we started to teach them to walk, but don't forget these guys are JKD teachers.... The most part of them again, a very big sigh hmm mm..... We eventually got them to punch and kick and evade, I guess my patience was very much strained and when I looked in the mirror, I could see my hair receding even more from pulling it out.
Anyway the best part was in the break, when I took my guys to another part of the place. They all trained together on multiple opponent drills, this is great fun to do and even better to teach, but its away beyond the capabilities of any of the folk who were in attendance at this seminar. Again, most of these guys teach jkd, have I said this before in this article hmm..... I am sure I have, anyway we did the second day and it was slow, but I can tell you I got everything done that I had planned to do and I am sure that if these guys where under me, I could get some decent results.
It's just down to who is teaching them and the experience they have which I can see is on a scale 1-10 they're on a 2 and that's me being kind to them. So, we had the usual folk there; the experts, the believers, the non believers, the fools, the clever folk, and your occasional smart ass. Well, all I can tell you is just look and learn...... because we can all learn. Why come to something and pay, then try tell the teacher how it goes? WOULD YOU TEACH YOUR FATHER HOW TO MAKE BABIES? No you wouldn't because if you did, he would take the palm of his hand and smack you square on the side of the head, and tell you, "Ok sonny where the fuck do think you came from?".
We had this guy who came up to our Italian brothers to tell them that his master shouldn't be told how to do anything by my students. You know I felt so angry I had to hold myself back. After I sat and thought about it I started to laugh, because when I look at this so called master... well I could say, he would fit right into my beginners class very well. That gives you an idea of the standard and the level of skill found in this individual. Considering my guys have been with me from 5 to 10 yrs, and have been to seminars by Ted Wong, Jesse Glover and Leo Fong, and been personally taught by me for years.
I think they're more than qualified for me to tell them to go and assist the folk who are struggling, and my guys aren't teachers or masters like myself am just a student who teaches. So, we rounded off the seminar by asking anybody if they have anything to ask, or anything I can help them with. After we did this we stood up and formally closed the seminar by having a salute then I went on to thank every student personally for coming to support us and helping to support Bruce and his martial art. Then after closing, the host wished to talk to me about my fee, as soon as folk say this I know what's coming; I hate this.
Try and not pay Tommy shit, I was in an office with two Italian guys; one who was supposed to pay me and his translator. Funny how when it comes to this, folk tell you they cannot speak English, when before they could. I could see where this was going, and I was getting angrier by the minute. I then decided to get a few witnesses in just to cover my ass, incase they tried to accuse me of anything. Now, we got roughly 140 folk, I was told that he made 9000 euros so I am sure he can afford to pay me off this. After I got angry, he produced some money, it could be after I nearly broke his table in half with a punch.
He decided to pay me it was that or his face, so I decided Tommy your in a different country, with different laws and the jails here might not be as nice, so the table got it rather than his face. The thing what bugs me if you do something you should be paid for the job; NO FUCKING EXCUSES!!!! money out on the table and all squared up. When Ted, Jesse or anybody from Bruce come to my school I pay them as soon as they come here; sometimes, as soon as they come off the plane, or at the latest on the Saturday morning of the seminar. Sometimes, I am still taking money in, and I then need to get it converted. There again, this dude had no intension of paying me, because I got paid in euros which is no good to me here, when I change it I am the one who's short.
It seems this seminar article has been more about the shit end of it rather than the good end of things. The better part was my guys coming to support us, and for that part I am truly grateful for all there support and help. To the folk who attended the seminar, I wish them the best in there JKD journey, and they're welcome to come to my school in Glasgow anytime. So, to all my guys, Alan, Paul, Lee, Ally, Pat, Paul, Thomas, Ross, Jonathan, Peter, Alex, Vinny, Antonio, Andrea, Salve, and Eric; I hope I haven't missed anybody, if I have my apologies to you.