What am I up to in 2016?

First of all, a happy New Year to all of you. May the best of 2015 be the worst of 2016.

Second, I usually do a recap and look to the future at the beginning of the year, so here goes…

2015 was a difficult year for me. Lots of business stuff going on but mostly, I had to focus on my rehab after my surgery. That took way more time and energy than I had anticipated because my injuries were much worse than expected. Both my surgeon and physical therapist gravely underestimated them. In short, I walked around with increasingly more dislocated ankles for several years. It’s taken daily rehab sessions to both activate atrophied muscles, reinvigorate my connective tissue, realign my body and work on correct proprioception, all at once. Progress has been steady, but it’s also been slow. E.g.: it’s been a year and two months since my surgery and it’s only been a week or two since I have a bounce in my step again.

The good part about all that work is that I’m finally coming closer to the point where I can train normally again. Unless something breaks (fingers crossed…) I should be back to 100% in a month or so.

The bad part of all that rehab is that it left me with precious little time for much else. Then there was my professional life (of which I haven’t talked much here) that got crazy hectic. Some background on this:

  • I’m a self-employed personal trainer/consultant/coach. I teach martial arts, self-defense and conditioning to private clients but also small groups. This used to be my main job, but other activities have started to take up more of my time these last few years.
  • I do business seminars and workshops teaching companies how to apply the lessons from martial arts to their professional environment. That business has been growing steadily over the years and got a big boost in 2015.
  • I’m a Master Trainer with Technogym and do workshops and training sessions for both their physical products and Cloud software solution. They also kept me busier than ever.
  • In the last few years, I was approached numerous times by C-level executives for coaching them through difficult professional situations, helping them with stress management and more. This has gradually developed into another business that is getting more and more traction.

There’s all that and also having two kids, who I very much like to spend time with as much as possible… Whatever time I have left goes to other projects like blogging and writing, which wasn’t all that much last year.

From the looks of it, 2016 is going to be a critical year and I will probably have to make some choices on a professional level, because I can’t do everything, nor can I be in two places at once. That’s a first-world problem, so I’m not complaining. Whatever comes next, it’s going to be good and I’m looking forward to taking on new professional challenges.

There’s another upside to all the rehab I’ve been doing: I feel so much better now than last year and have a lot more energy than before the surgery. I finally feel confident that I can be more productive again and finish all those projects I had lined up before I got sick. That, plus some new ones. Here are some of the things I have planned so far:

up to

  • The next two books are “The Leg Kick” and “Boxing for Self-Defense” The first one is about 80% done right now, but still needs a lot of work in post-production as there will be a free video-course that comes with it. The second is in the planning phase.
  • Other books in varying stages of production are
    • Essential Self-defense Tips for Men to Avoid Violence”
      The title says it all basically: practical tips for men on how to avoid violence. In each chapter I explain one tip in detail and then give some useful tools to implement them in your daily life. The book isn’t about how to knock somebody out, it’s about avoiding having to throw that punch in the first place. I write about fundamental issues you need to understand and apply, instead of giving general tips. My goal is that you’ll be able to apply the information right away. As of this writing, the book is about 50% done.
    • Knife Defense Book
      This book only has a working title. I started a few years ago, but it’s been hell working on that one and I got so fed up with it I put it away for a while. It was either that or pulling my hair out in frustration. In hindsight, that was the best decision because I now have a better take on the material and some new ideas.
    • The Warrior’s Body
      After the Knife Defense book , I’ll start writing the sequel to The Fighter’s Body. I’ve been collecting studies and data for years, figuring I’d eventually write it. I’m looking forward to sharing all that in the book. The focus of this book is the “older” martial artist, meaning 40 and older. What is it like to train at age 40, 50 and older? How do you stay in shape, healthy, manage injuries, etc. But I’ll also cover what to avoid in your twenties so you don’t wreck your body by the time you’re 40.
      I’m psyched about this book. It’ll be a lot of fun and I hope it will be valuable to young and old.
  • One of the new things I’m going to do for all these books is give you access to free resources. You’ll be able to see videos of my interviews with experts, additional material, tools to use in your own training and much more. Technology has finally come to the point where I can deliver an “enhanced” book that doesn’t stop after you read the last page. So I plan to make the most of it and give you every last drop of information I can think of.
  • I just wrote my publisher a proposal for two more instructional videos (tentative titles):
    • Combat Sanshou: Basic Self-Defense. This project fits in the whole of the Combat Sanshou series as an entry point for the absolute beginner: basic techniques against the most common attacks. It’s actually a system within the system and integrates well with the already available material. It’s also broad enough to be interesting to people of other arts and systems as the pedagogical approach is an integral part of making it effective. In short: it’s what I teach clients who come to me with zero knowledge and want the quickest possible results.
    • Fightstoppers: End it Now! This is a collection of techniques/moves with the purpose of ending the fight before it really starts. They’re similar to what you can see here. Most of them are entries and set ups or short combinations that target vital targets and weak spots of the human anatomy. I’ve been getting lots of requests for this kind of stuff ever since that original video and have been preparing a catalog of such moves ever since.
  • I’m still looking into it but a podcast and live streaming events are also on my list. The main hurdles have been technical, but I’m closing in on a few solution’s for those. We’ll see what happens and if I can free up the time to do this on a regular basis.
  • I published my military thriller short story a few weeks ago and it’s done very well since then. Turns out a lot of you liked that fight scene… If time permits and I can come up with a good plot, I might write a full novel for those characters. That said, I have a few other short stories in the urban fantasy/horror genre I need to get out of my system, so those might come first. All in all, these aren’t priorities for me. I write fiction to take my mind off the non-fiction writing. It helps prepare me for the next martial arts or self-defense project if I can do something completely different for a few weeks. We’ll see.
  • If you want to make sure you stay informed, sign up here on my notification list (don’t forget to click on the link in the confirmation mail you receive) and you will get an email whenever I publish something new.

As you can see, I’ll be busy in 2016.

I better stop writing this update then and get to it…


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