Finding Form in Familiarity and Preserving the Traditions

Well that is the hard work done, the Glima masterclass is over and the instructors have been successful and now we are let loose into the world to take something very newborn and unique out there and to give it form and shape and meaning.

Almost every person that we encounter will have a battery of the same questions : “What is Glima?”; “How does it work?”; “Is it effective”; “can anyone do it?”; “What is it like?” etc etc etc…

These are all important questions and, more to the point, they will be answered by many of the different instructors who all have their own specialism and background in a variety of martial arts. On the course alone there were accomplished artists from Judo, Aikido, BJJ, MMA, Boxing, Kickboxing, Kung Fu, Savate, Jujutsu, Wrestling, and more. Each one with many years experience and many years of accolades. But also many years if identified patterning and earned reactions. In fact it is these learned processes that make the proponent so good and highly efficient at their own art, but where does that leave them in terms of Glima?

There were many brave and courageous people on the course, who would enter into combat without fear and who would persevere to succeed even when the tide of the combat turned against them. Yet this means little or nothin compared to the nerve and dedication it will take to accept and work with what Glima is, and to let it change you and your established, rather than merely slotting it into what you already know. yes, initially this will place you at a point of weakness, where contending forces of pattern, training, familiarity, and form are all vying for supremacy.

We will be facing the worst of our enemies, our own sense of self and our self-confidence. For to truly embrace Glima and to move it forward with the intent to which it has begun to be passed down to us will need integration into our existing repertoire, then for all of us to move aside the ego and admit that we are once again children at play in a larger world. A world bigger than us at the moment, yes, but one we will grow into and which – more importantly – our students will grow into with greater skill and finesse than perhaps we possess.

The mark of a good instructor is someone who can teach and pass on knowledge, but the mark of a great instructor is someone who can do that while making other better than themselves. More rounded, more defined, and less given to the restrictions and limits we place on ourselves.

I am aware that to do so we must find form an familiarity in what we have already worked so hard at, yest we must also learn to understand and preserve the rations and skills of Glima in order to teach it correctly. For me it is not enough to mix a little of what i know from over 40 years of training with a little of what Glima does and simply call it ‘Glima’. That would not only be factually incorrect but would be deceiving not just myself but also my students and all those who witness it.

The true test before us all is to let go of our ego and to realise that on this journey toward teaching, preserving, and promoting Glima that we must let go of our perception on where our skills are and integrate them with the new world before us, but without losing the instincts and awareness of martial ability that all those years have taught us.

In being one of the few to preserve this art and tradition, we have been given a rare gift – that of trust. It is vital therefore that we accept and take on the mantle of responsibility to not only fully understand, but actively seek to incorporate all our skill set into Glima and keep is form and function alive and moving forward.

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