Graham Butcher – Stav Teacher
Special announcement: Stav Centre opening in 2014 in Somerset, UK Please check out the Stav Centre page for more details.
Do you want to do some actual face to face training in Stav? Please see dates below and vist my Calendar Page for details.
I am teaching on Monday evenings in Crewkerne, Somerset. Please visit the Somerset Stav Website for more details
My next full day seminar in the UK is in Evesham on the 16th of November Read more about them and watch a video of the Five Principles or Download the PDF leaflet here.
My next Seminar in the USA will be in the spring of 2014. details to be announced here and check out Video from the last two events.
On the weekend of the 23rd and 24th of November I will be teaching a session on Five Principles Self–defence at the Noble Science course near Coventry. I attended the first one in April this year as a participant and I will be one of the instructors at the next one. It will be a tough weekend but good fun and you should learn a lot.
Making it Happen
Next month (November) it will be twenty one years since I met Ivar Hafskjold and began training in Stav. As you may know I have been teaching most of that time. This has meant travelling all over the place, including parts of Europe and several trips to the USA. I have been some interesting places and met some great people (as well as spending too much time in airports and on planes). I have also hired perfectly nice halls in various locations for teaching evening classes. These rentals have enabled me to teach quite a few people and have provided a valuable income to the institutions from which we have rented.
However, the big dream has been to have a dedicated space for teaching Stav in. I have talked about this on many occasions over the past twenty years and it was all a fantasy really until, well, until suddenly it was a real possibility. Briefly, I have been living in Crewkerne, in Somerset for about five years now. For quite a bit of that time I was running classes in Glastonbury but somehow that never really took off. I was hiring a beautiful hall in the middle of the town but getting regular support from people in Glastonbury never really seemed to happen. My most regular support was coming from Crewkerne and Chard. So last year I had to let Glastonbury go. Then at the beginning of this year it turned out that a friend of one of my long term students had a shop premises that he was willing to let us use for Stav training right here in Crewkerne. It was only going to be for a few weeks until the council were supposed to be taking the place over as a Business Start Up centre. So we were expecting to be out of there by early April. Well into the Summer nothing seemed to have happened. I have to admit that I had started thinking about the place as my Stav Centre, the one I had talked about and imagined, but never actually had. The classes were also being supported by three people from the town even though we haven't actually advertised the class since we are not officially supposed to be there. (shhh don't tell the council since we didn't have planning permission to use it for training).
So I had a conversation with the owner back in the summer and we agreed that he was willing to rent the place to me as a Stav Centre. The main issue then was to get change of use planning permission. I won't bore you with the details but basically we needed a change of use permission to go from A1 retail to D2 Assembly and leisure. So two weeks ago I submitted the application and I got a letter last week saying that I should have my permission by the 13th of December.
So what is the point of taking on the responsibility and expense of having a dedicated premises? It is quite a step and it is probably a good thing the opportunity hasn't come up before. I have learned a great deal in the last five years which will enable me to make a sucess of this project. These are some of the things we can do with a full time centre:
How each of those ideas is going to work out I can't tell at this stage. The advantage of having the centre is that ideas can be tested without the commitment of having to hire a premises specially. I also think that having an actual, physical presence in a prominent part of the town will generate interest from the local population in a way that a class in a church hall never will. But that is all part of what needs to be tested.
Of course just opening a centre and hoping people come through the door for classes is just part of the equation. For the whole project to be viable in all respects, not least financially, there will be two other elements in place. The membership scheme, which will enable people anywhere in the world to learn some elements of Stav through distance learning and hopefully attend a course at the centre from time to time. Also promoting Stav by various means including the internet, camps and events and various forms of publishing. Pull all three together and Ice and Fire Stav should be able to provide the opportunity to learn and practice Stav to anyone who is seriously interested.
So that is where we are as of late October 2013. If you are interested here is a short video of me teaching at the Summer Camp in September. It is an introduction to Close Quarter Combat training with the dagger. I know my style of teaching isn't to everyone's taste but after Forty years of martial arts experience and 21 years of that in Stav I can only be true to what I believe is important.
If you think you are ready for to make Stav part of your life then please go to the Join Ice and Fire Page and check out the details. If not yet then sign up for my regular musings on all aspects of Stav via email. Please use the optin box in the side bar.