DEAN COULSON Coach, Author, Nutrition Specialist, Martial Artist, Free Thinker Sat, 28 Apr 2018 07:58:33 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Can You Forgive Yourself? Sat, 28 Apr 2018 07:53:12 +0000 Forgiveness.

It’s one thing forgiving others but much harder forgiving yourself.

I would forgive my son

I would forgive my wife

I would forgive my family

But i found it always easier to forgive others than forgive myself.

I used to beat myself up, mangle myself, be so hard on myself and for what?

To make myself feel shit.

How does that serve me?

Have you ever done that?

Being so self critical and self judgemental.

It certainly didn’t serve me at all,

It certainly didn’t make me feel good.

So I decided that I would conserve my energy and let it go.

I realised that some days it just beats you.

Sometimes the anger beats you

Sometimes the jealousy beats you

Sometimes the rage beats you

Sometimes the judgement beats you

Sometimes the envy beats you

You just get mangled and that’s ok.

It means you are on the right path and there are lessons to learn.

If you don’t have days when you feel beaten, you are not in the right arena.

You are not challenging yourself enough to grow, to feel discomfort.

You are not asking the right questions of yourself

If we cannot forgive ourselves then we are not living in the present moment.

So breathe

So give yourself a break.

Take it easy on yourself.

Everything will be ok.

Dean x

]]> 0
Simply Choose to BEgin Tue, 19 Dec 2017 16:18:35 +0000 To become the “best version of you” you can be, you have to grow as a person.

Small thinking will not get you there. You have to expand your mind and your thoughts.

Contracting to expand.

Moving forwards requires a focus on the important things, the challenging things.

Cutting away the excess, the superfluous, the distractions that don’t serve you.

Once you are aligned you will be able to expand yourself, your consciousness will grow to allow you to become a better version of you.

Focus on impacting as many people as you can in a positive way.

Stop defending the reasons why you are where you are.

Stop arguing with everybody about why you are where you are.

Stop thinking about what you cannot have and instead focus on what you can have and desire.

You cannot move forwards by focusing on the past.

To be the best version of you, to be a better person, let go of why you think you cannot be.

Flip it around.

You will get what you focus on the most, so STOP thinking about what doesn’t serve you


START focusing on what does serve you that will give you the life you desire.

There is so much pain in this world that people now actively go out of their way to avoid it, isolating themselves from “potential” pain.

Pain that they perceive based on their past stories.

This most commonly turns out to be a bullshit story.

As a race, we thrive on connection, but now it is frowned upon, its not the done thing.

We fear judgement and ridicule so we don’t do it.

Well I am here to invite you to start connecting and start BEing.

Connection is love and love is what everyone craves deep down…

To BE and feel loved and appreciated.

This isn’t some bullshit sissy crap.

Real people let go of their egos and allow themselves to connect.

It is seen by many as a weakness but it is possibly your greatest strength.

Anyone who says otherwise is playing a story in their head and ultimately will feel lonely.

Become more vulnerable, allow yourself to connect with others.

Step up and show up!

We seem to live in a world where we are encouraged to bottle up and hide emotions, to keep things to yourself.

This however blocks our flow.

The power of giving and receiving.

To show up in the world as our most powerful self, letting go and sharing your truth is the only way to happiness.

In reality, being truthful and honest with yourself and others leads to great strength and belonging.

To become a better version of you, you have to DEMAND that a better version of you show up EVERY SINGLE DAY!

If you want your life to be better, contribute DAILY to change.

If you want to change how you look, contribute DAILY to change.

If you want to change how you feel, contribute DAILY to change.

If you want to have a better relationship, contribute DAILY to change

If you want a better or different career, contribute DAILY to change.

if you want to be happy, contribute DAILY to change.

Lower the barriers, make connections real and I mean real, not via social media, connect with more people in real life, face to face and watch how you grow as you do it.

If you don’t show up every day demanding the change, you will stay how you always have been.

It doesn’t have to be grand gestures, just little promises that you keep to yourself EVERY DAY.

Each little step will take you forward to a rich and rewarding life.

If you focus on how you can first help yourself and then help other people without any thought of reward.

Have the courage to focus on being the best version of you, and find the courage to start.

For the courage is inside us all, if we only choose to look inside to find it.

Simply choose to BEGIN x

Truth, Courage & Happiness

Dean x

]]> 0
Remove the Safety Net Wed, 03 May 2017 04:28:32 +0000 The truth is…

as much as life should be effortless

it isn’t, we always get in our own way.

Every time I do I look at my 12 year old son he always wears the biggest smile.

He is always happy and full of fun.

He teaches me that maybe I was lied to

maybe life isn’t hard

maybe life isn’t difficult

hard or difficult is just the definition we choose to believe

maybe we were told life was hard by parents, friends, family.

Then we prove it over and over to validate that what we believe is right.

Sometimes though we refuse to face up to the times when it feels hard.

when you decide to chase your dreams it may get a little messy

There may be ups and downs

any time you decide to grow, to become a better version of yourself

a 2.0 or maybe a 3.0 🙂

the growth feels uncomfortable.

staying right where you are now is safe and that is cool if it’s what you want.

But the thing is staying where you are right now is far from safe

because the reality is that one day you will look back with regrets

and wish you’d done something about it

I embrace growth, it has felt hard in the past and will again

as I work though the BS stories I have bought into that I have allowed to hold me back

I know the road less traveled will lead me to become a better version of myself

Pain is necessary to grow

Suffering is not

Always look at what feels good, what feels light

allow your intuition to guide you.

allow yourself to appreciate all that you are and all that you have

be grateful for this amazing life you have

each pain is a lesson to grow and expand

I find the best way to move forwards is to spend time with like minded people

who have walked the path and know what I will be going through and who give me the space to grow

If you’re looking to grow too and you want some support along your journey then send me a message now and we’ll have a conversation

Truth, Courage & Happiness



]]> 0
Martial Arts Illustrated Magazine – Interview Mon, 12 Dec 2016 18:17:21 +0000 Martial Arts Illustrated Magazine Interview – Bob Sykes

MAI Editor Bob Sykes interviews columnist Dean Coulson about his route into Martial Arts and his journey in his chosen profession in sports performance / Nutrition coaching.

Dean Coulson is unquestionably a great example of a healthy lifestyle. Every month his MAI columns are enjoyed by people in their thousands. MAI recently caught up with this remarkable health coach in order to discuss at length his approach to attaining a healthy body, mind and spirit.

Bob Sykes: Please tell me, Dean you and the martial arts when did it all begin?

DEAN COULSON: Now there’s a question…

For me it all began when I was 12 years old. I remember one of my friends was in the boys brigade (to this day I have no idea what that was) and he came back saying he had been learning martial arts there. I can remember thinking, “what are martial arts?” and being highly skeptical of what my friend said. But what he did say sounded fascinating and exciting. Learning how to punch and kick and defending yourself. From then on I wanted to know more, I had gone from being totally unaware of what martial arts actually were to being intensely curious.

Now I had been made aware, I started looking into how to learn more. I found something called judo and begged my dad to take me to it. Once there though, there was no punching and kicking at all, I can remember being disappointed. You see, once I had been made aware of martial arts, one name kept coming up… Bruce Lee. Now Way back when in 1986, there was no internet, so it was all about finding books and magazines. MAI wasn’t around then, but fighters and combat were and I read everything I could find.

I lasted 3 weeks at Judo before I locked myself in the bathroom at home and said I didn’t want to go back, I wanted to kick and punch. I was warned by my dad that if I didn’t go he wouldn’t take me back, but I was adamant. And that’s what happened. I regretted it, but my dad wouldn’t budge, I wasn’t allowed to go. A man of his word my dad.

It was a few years later when I was 14 when I finally started a martial art called Jintian-Do, created by two people called Ray Bilcliff and Robert Alnwick. It was a combination of Tukido and Taekwondo, with a solid punching base, kicking of the front foot a lot, It had a lot in common with kick boxing I guess. There were no forms or kata’s but lots of technique work and sparring. I loved it. At the time I started with 2 of my mates, but they fell away and I kept going. I was hooked (pardon the pun). Even when I wasn’t at classes I was training at home. I remember finishing my O level exams a year later and had a long summer of practice. I used to re arrange my mam and dads furniture in their house every afternoon and practice stretching and techniques for 2 hours LOL.

That’s when it all started for me.


Bob Sykes: I’m sure that many old school reading this would identify with what you have just said, tell me, at what point did you realise that you were on a course that has led you to where you are now?

DEAN COULSON: The moment I got my black belt in Jintian Do in December 1988. I remember feeling immense pride then and knew that it was just the beginning of my journey. I was 17 and more mature than when I first started and knew that martial arts would be part of my life until the day I die.

When I first started in the martial arts my attitude about everything changed. I started looking at how I could become stronger and fitter to compliment my martial arts training. At school I went from being a boy who hated running and exercise in general, to loving the challenge of school cross country runs. I got a weight bench for my birthday and started learning about my body. I wanted to be the best I could be in life and knew that martial arts was the template to teach me.

I knew martial arts was my path. Not just the physical training, but the martial arts ethics and values, the martial way. Self discipline and self control, perseverance, integrity, courtesy and self respect. It literally becomes a way of life. It is that point when you can never see a life without martial arts in it.


BOB SYKES: Was this one of the reasons you became focused towards the nutritional aspects of health and fitness?

DEAN COULSON: Actually no. I was more about training when I was younger and followed the mainstream nutrition advice, i.e. skimmed milk, whole wheat bread and pasta etc. The nutritional aspects started later when my wife and I found out we couldn’t have kids, we went to see our doctor and he told us…

“You cannot have kids naturally.”

That is something you just don’t want to hear. My wife and I had been trying unsuccessfully for a few years and so visited our doctor. After some tests it was revealed that the problem was mine.

Not something you want spelled out, a truth that I didn’t want anyway. However, I was unwilling to accept that as black and white. I wanted to know if there was another way. I wanted to know what had caused my problem and how to solve it and set about finding out.

After 2 unsuccessful IVF attempts I turned my attention to nutrition and health. I found that a lot of the mainstream advice on diets and health was wrong. I started reading about and studying nutrition, I contacted nutritionists, we went to see one and realised that we you eat has a massive impact, not just on fertility, but our health too. It’s not just about the food, but the chemicals used in crop spraying, what actually is in our water supply, what we cook in etc. etc. I sought out nutritionists who were experts in this field and as a result now have a healthy 11 year old son.

This was all down to nutrition and yes, it is THAT powerful!

Now I see nutrition as PART of health, not all of it.  There is so much more to it that the majority of people do not realise, however nutrition is a vital part and it is very powerful.

It is not just what you eat (or more appropriately ingest) it is about how well you digest your food to get the nutrients you need, it is about proper hydration, breathing correctly, emotional balance, getting enough sleep, rest and recovery, how you are handling stress, how you move as well as what you let into your head.

BOB SYKES: What does your actual training schedule consist of?

DEAN COULSON: Being a nutrition and performance coach, I base everything around strength and conditioning, that’s my base, THEN I get my martial arts training in 2-4 times per week depending on my schedule. So 5-6 days a week I am active, 7 if you count a mountain bike ride or hiking on a Sunday, but that’s more to mix things up and get out with the family.

I think a lot of people make the mistake of just partaking in a sport and think that its enough. I disagree.  To excel in your chosen sport, adding a strength and conditioning base to it will make you better at that sport. Iron out the weaknesses in the chain and see how much stronger you are.

Kickboxing for example benefits from more stability and balance in the shoulders and hips, strengthening the posterior chain (the muscles you cannot see in a mirror, i.e. neck, shoulders, back, glutes, hamstrings) allows for more snappy, powerful kicks. Your body will not allow you to put more speed or power through a joint if it feels unstable, so I make sure you have a program to address this. I work on joint mobility and soft tissue work daily to help address this.

So a typical training week for me would be 3 or 4 strength and conditioning sessions and 3-4 Martial arts sessions, whether that be training with the great Master Kenn Forrest at Emulous sport kickboxing or on my own. Having trained with Master Geoff Thompson for 5 years in his real combat system, the other sessions are in reality based training.

So Monday/Tuesday, Thursday/Friday I would do a strength & conditioning session in the morning and train kickboxing Tuesday and Thursday evening, with the reality based stuff slotted in usually on a Wednesday and Saturday.

The biggest thing to remember with all training is not to train hard, but to train smart. I accumulated way too many injuries training hard, but once I educated myself I realised you do not have to beast yourself all the time. Get to the gym, get the job done and get out, rest and recover. Spending hours and hours training without the proper rest and recovery leads to over training and/or under recovery.

BOB SYKES: How important a factor do you feel recovery to be ?

DEAN COULSON: It is very important and at least as important as the training you put in. The training is a stimulus, the rest and recovery process allows your body to repair and grow stronger. Not giving your body a chance to heal will hinder recovery and can lead to over training, under recovery and injury.

Preventing injuries and over training aren’t the same thing although they are usually very closely linked and one will follow closely behind the other.

Over training can occur even when joint by joint and muscle by muscle, you still feel okay. Rather than a specific injury becoming obvious you gradually or suddenly build this level of systemic fatigue which just will not go away.

You’ve gone beyond your body’s ability to recover and the harder you try to force yourself through training, the worse it gets until you reach a point where you’re training or performance levels drop. Your body always knows best, we have just become accustomed to not hearing the signals.

It is important to learn to listen to your body and get 8+ hours of sleep, practice good nutrition and hydrate to aid the process.

If I am not feeling it on a particular training day, I will back off from training and do stretching and joint mobility work and probably go for a walk instead.

Every 4 weeks or so I take what you call a deload week, where training volume is decreased to allow recovery. No one can go flat training week after week, month after month. Proper deloading allows you to let your body recover from a neurological, muscular and joint perspective so that training doesn’t become an impossible chore due to overtraining.

One part of recovery most people forget and don’t even entertain is mental recovery. Relaxing, meditating, going for a walk etc. Anything that allows you to slow down and BE in a relaxed state. The physical aspect of training and recovery always seems to be the main focus, but the real winners also work with their mind too. It is well known that modern life works at a fast pace and I feel it is imperative to remove ourselves from it every day for an hour to just be with ourselves and reflect.


BOB SYKES: Where do you see yourself developing over the next few years or so?

DEAN COULSON: My self development is based on what I have learned in my profession in sports performance, nutrition coaching and martial arts. But it is the martial arts that holds everything together for me. I am a spiritual guy and know that all the answers lie within us all if only we had the courage to face it.

I will continue to focus on my health and when I say health, I mean every facet to it. Nutrition, exercise, rest & recovery, movement and stress management. The latter is where the magic is though. To find out who you really are and show up in the world as that person.

I realised that true happiness comes from working on yourself first, the internal self. Not the pretend bollocks with cars and houses and gadgets etc you know all the external stuff that people think will make them happy, only to find it doesn’t, not really. My aim is to live my life as authentically as possible and I can only do that by removing anyone from my life or anything that does not resonate with me, my message and my values.

For me, working on the self is the most important thing anyone can do, but few do the work because it is a scary place to be. But that is where your truth lies. As they say, the truth will set you free and I believe that.

That is why I have set up my lean warrior program, to help people remove the excess in their lives to find their true essence (LEAN) and then help them find the courage to face their true selves (WARRIOR), So they can live a happy fulfilled life.

BOB SYKES: Thanks Dean, I wish you well for the future


]]> 0
Your Health is Worth How Much? Fri, 02 Dec 2016 17:09:50 +0000 *** YOUR HEALTH IS WORTH HOW MUCH?? ***

How much is your health worth to you?

A simple question that gets overlooked… until something happens to compromise it.

We are so good at taking health for granted that we dismiss it out of hand and put everything else ahead of it.

Does that mean we think so little of ourselves that we don’t think we are worth investing in?

So what do you think YOUR health is worth?

More than the countless nights out and wasted days recovering?
More than the latest gadgets?

More than your car?

More than a holiday?

More than your job?

More than your House?

More than other people’s opinions?

More than your Partner?

More than your Kids?

More than yourself??

if not, why not?

When all is said and done, if you haven’t got your health, then how can you enjoy anything else?

How can you look after your loved ones if you are unwilling to look after yourself first?

How can you show unconditional love to them when you don’t give it to yourself first?

your health starts with you, so start investing in it.

Whether that is investing the time to do it or in somebody else who can help you reach your goals and keep you accountable to what you set.

Health is the only thing you truly have.

When it’s go e it really is gone.

So what cost do you place on your life?

If you would like to get your health back on track for life then pm me and we can have a chat. I would love to have a conversation with you to share what I believe is the key to long term health.

Truth, courage and happiness

Dean x




]]> 0