Now that 2019 has ended, we can honestly say yet again that Xen-Do has had another pretty fantastic year! So much happened and now is our chance to look back on it; reminisce about all the belts you’ve achieved, the Senseis we’ve gained, and the forever-growing family of students that have now joined us. So where to start?!
First of all, let us welcome all the new students that have joined us last year. It has been a pleasure to teach you thus far and we hope you feel as much a part of the Xen-Do team as we feel you are!
It is fun each year to follow our students on their holidays using the hashtag #XenDoAroundtheWorld. It’s amazing how far Xen-Do can go with the students and we love receiving the photos! At the beginning of last year Giles took Xen-Do with him to St Petersburg, Russia looking fighting fit in the freezing temperatures! We then travelled to the other side of the world where Joni took us on another amazing adventure to see the Seven Magic Mountains, Las Vegas: NV. It’s amazing that from one hashtag our Xen-Do community reaches the farthest corners of the world!
Back to our journey last year, even the Senseis want to get involved when Sensei Joe took us down under on his trip to Australia! And of course, we went with our instructors to Barcelona for another successful competition, but we will get to that! It was so exciting finding out where we will be taken to next, so to all our students, please don’t hesitate in sending in your photos! We want to see them; we want to travel together with you!
In 2019 all of our dojos had a mini makeover and are now looking better than ever! Seymour and Goodge had a lick of paint and had a freshen up – they turned a great looking gym into a facility that you can’t wait to train in. However, in July 2019 the biggest news came, what we had been waiting for… Mayfair dojo opened!! You can now find Xen-Do at 35 St Audley Street, W1K 2 PJ. It is amazing to know that the family is growing and that we are able to branch out to more people. Xen-Do isn’t just a skill or personal achievement, it is a community. We want to share what we love doing with people, that is why it was such an accomplishment to open our 4th dojo in Central London. Besides the same quality instructors and high-intensity classes consistent with our other dojos, it has luxury facilities, seating area for parents/visitors and is placed in the heart of Mayfair. Now we have 4 clubs and so many more students. If you’re interested in a class then check out our timetable on our website, or just come to the dojo and have a look! Everyone is welcome.
With the opening of a new dojo it gave us a taste for new faces, we gained new Senseis, members and we want more! Our Xen-Do family can never be too big and for this reason we’ve been branching out to find ways for everyone to find us… now on your journey home you might find familiar faces on the underground as Xen-Do posters are now showing in some tube stations around Central London! We want everyone to know where we are and join our ever-growing family. Our dojo doors are always open, and everyone is welcome to come a try a class.
Here at Xen-Do we pride ourselves on looking smart, if you look good then you feel good and it doesn’t just apply to the fitness side of Xen-Do. We like that our style doesn’t follow the traditional style of martial arts uniform of white gi and trousers for each student like with karate and judo. With we are ever expanding our uniform, introducing new clothes, different styles and last year we have added a lot more to our uniform options. We now have compression tops that Senseis wore to Barcelona (they will be sure to make you sweat if you’re interested in shedding a bit of weight), we offer a new style of leggings which have become very popular and match the new sports bras! The new favourite last year is the Xen-Do bag, no more over the shoulder or cramming your Xen-Do life into one little bag. They are everything we needed the old bags to be, bigger, easier to carry and waterproof. Plus, they look very good! You can find all Xen-Do merchandise on the online shop: www.xen-doshop.com
As mentioned briefly Xen-Do competed in the Spanish Open 2019. It was amazing! Every year Mugendo host Xen-Do in Barcelona and give a tough fight. In the lead up to June the Senseis train non-stop, the Spanish Open is their only goal, and through strict dieting and a fierce daily workout with Dai Master Rafael, they are champions when the day finally arrives. The best thing about this annual event is that though kickboxing is a contact sport and perceived as violent or aggressive, the Spanish Open proves otherwise. Mugendo are an extended family with Xen-Do, they show such grace in manner, skill and make it such fun to compete with them. Last year was extra special as we made Xen-Do history as we sent our female instructors to Barcelona and they didn’t let us down. All the instructors performed to the highest standard (though we’d expect nothing less with world class training). All our instructors love competing in Barcelona and it is a fantastic opportunity for the entire Xen-Do team. The WAMAI Spanish Open is fun, exciting and ran smoothly thanks to Master Ricardo, Sensei Javier and Sensei Elizabeth. Their effort and dedication to the organisation, to the sport and to Martial Arts is emphatic. The Mugendo team are worthy opponents and gave Xen-Do a run for their money, we look forward to being a part of many future competitions together. If you want to see some of the fights from this year then head to our Instagram page.
Let us not forget everyone’s favourite week, Grading Week! Last year we’ve had 10 gradings, four Senior gradings and 2 Black Belt gradings, all of them brilliant. It never ceases to amaze us, the determination and dedication our students put into their training. They truly deserve their belt whether it’s a 1st Dan or Yellow/White belt. We love seeing our students ‘get it’, when they’ve been training hard and repeating their combinations until it just clicks, and we see the skill begin to show.
A lot has happened in 2019 which brought the weird and wonderful to the dojos, but we are a team. This Xen-Do family is a support system, providing a skill, giving life lessons and gaining friends. We love what we do, and we want to share that with everyone and anyone. Our instructors perform to the highest standard and also graded in front of Dai Master Raf this year, so, let us say a big thank you. We couldn’t have done it without them. They pushed us to achieve our new belts, helped us with techniques and made our day a little better!
With all that has happened in 2019 it makes us even more excited to see what this year brings! We are a forever growing team and together we will make the newsletter for the end of 2020 filled with news that we can’t comprehend yet.
We wish you a very Happy New Year and look forward to seeing you back in the dojo!