Dave Lomas – aka Dave J. Lomas (UK) puts his thoughts down on paper about Hall Of Fame awards in preparation for the up and coming Hall Of Fame event held by Martial Arts Illustrated Magazine at the Burton Upon Trent brewery centre on the 26th of April 2015 [First published April 2015]
Hall of Fame awards often get a mixed reaction from the martial arts community that range from people moaning about having to pay to attend to people being delighted at being invited along to such an event. But good or bad it does have more advantages than people give them credit for.
Back in 2012 I attended my first Hall of Fame event held by Martial Arts Illustrated Magazine. The event, held back then as it will be again in April 2015 in Burton Upon Trent at the world famous brewery centre, was a smart jacket and tie event with all the guys booted and suited, as they say, and all the ladies looking brilliant but I was somewhat puzzled as to why there were ‘door men’ manning the doors?
At first I thought maybe with all those experts in combat in the room they were concerned that it would turn into a violent affair, but of course, that thought only stayed with me for less than half a second. Although if such a thing were to happen my concerns would be for those poor doormen having to sort such a thing out and having to take on all those high kicking people. Anyway joking to one side it turned out to be a very good humoured and polished affair with people going up on stage to have their award presented to them and photographers on hand waiting to capture the moment.
Award events of this nature do play a part in the martial arts community both as a social, business and a recognition thing.
The award itself of course is a form of recognition within the martial arts community for past efforts, or for ongoing work, but such an event also offers the chance for people in the martial arts to meet up and talk about what they do and maybe, as an added bonus, conduct a bit of future business as a result. It also offers the chance to socialise in an informal and relaxed way which is something many people in the martial arts very rarely get the chance to do on such a large scale in just one room.
Although many involved in the competition circuit meet up at regular periods it does not offer the true chance to be informal and socialise in a relaxed way, as Hall of Fame awards do, as such events are all about winning the event of course and not having a pint and talking about if it will rain tomorrow or not.
Some Hall Of Fame events are based on being nominated by a governing body of some kind and the entire event could be just based on one person only but holding multiple awards at the same time does make for an interesting and diverse evening when the room is filled with so many people from all walks of life and all having differing martial art backgrounds.
At the time of writing this little article about Hall of Fame awards I am looking forward to attending the Martial Arts Illustrated awards event in Burton, at the brewery centre, on the 26th of April 2015 and meeting some old friends again, and with a bit of luck, some new ones before the day is over.