Fredrik Yderström hails from Södertälje in Sweden (Stockholm area). He has lived in Beijing on and off for about 10 years.
What organization or company do you work for?
Flips & Kicks Plus. I also have a Swedish company called Wesing Sports Scandinavia AB. I’m running my own federation called Scandinavian Wushu & Chinese Culture Federation, which has several cooperation’s in both China and in Scandinavia.
What do you coach?
I coach Martial Arts and Gymnastics. I’m also a PE teacher by profession. We have classes at many of the major international schools here in Beijing; Western Academy of Beijing (WAB), International School of Beijing (ISB), and The British School of Beijing (BSB). We also run PE classes at some schools and have a great working relationship with Daystar Academy, Ganeinu International School, and AnRic Little Montessori Room.
Flips & Kicks Plus also runs sports camps where our focus is on multi-sports. We offer our students top coaches on an international level, for development within different sports.
How long have you been coaching?
I started coaching Martial Arts when I was 18 years old at Tallkrogens Karate Club in Stockholm. I’ve been working within the educational system since 1996 in schools both in Sweden and China. I am a fully licensed PE teacher and sports coach.
What made you become interested in coaching?
I think there’s a huge difference between teaching and coaching. I love coaching, but I kind of lost some of the joy of teaching. As a coach, the greatest joy you can get is having a positive influence on your students, helping them to develop within sports and as a person.
What coaching qualifications do you have?
BA Degree in Physical Education and I’m a licensed PE teacher and coach both in Sweden and in China. I’m the first laowai in the world, as far as I know, with a BA in Chinese traditional sports majoring in Sanda (Chinese full contact) from Beijing Sport University. I’ve got 2 Dan in Goju Ryu Karate, which I teach at BSB Shunyi. I am working towards my 3 Dan now.
What was your favorite sport to play when you were a student?
I never liked ice hockey, football or basketball so much, so I started gymnastics and martial arts as a kid. I tried loads of different sports but always came back to martial arts. Other than that I’m a big fan of sailing and fishing.
How would you describe your coaching style?
That is a good question. Down to earth and I try to see the person’s needs. Positive reinforcement is also something I/we work with a lot. We are all different and sports should be something positive. The competitive aspect of sport can sometimes have a negative effect on a person. You don’t have to be the best in the world to enjoy sports. However, we do offer our students the opportunity to push themselves on a competitive level if they want to.
Flips & Kicks Plus tries to mix good discipline with productive teaching methods, while at the same time having fun. A joy for sport, and to have fun while training, is at the heart of Flips & Kicks Plus.
What do you find most rewarding about coaching?
I go to work with a big smile each day, I get to meet so many nice people from all over the world, I have great co-workers, I have an amazing and creative business partner, and I have fantastic students that I hope I influence in a positive way and give them good memories for life.
So if you see an old guy in the future, with a big white beard teaching martial arts and gymnastics at the international schools it’ll likely be me! I love everything about my job.
And most challenging…?
Balance. To find a balance with all the different tasks I have to manage. You can do a lot with 24 hours a day, but to maintain a good balance is hard. But I made my own bed, so now I lay in it!
beijingkids Shunyi Correspondent Sally Wilson moved to Beijing in 2010 from the UK with her husband and son. Her daughter was born here in 2011 and both her kids keep her happily busy. In her spare time, Sally loves to stroll through Beijing’s hutongs and parks. She is a (most of the time) keen runner and loves reading: books, magazines, news, and celeb websites – anything really. Sally is also a bit of a foodie and loves trying out new restaurants.
Photos: Courtesy of Flips & Kicks Plus