Triangular Entanglement (diary entry)

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24.06.17   Tonight’s MMA training focused on some new leg triangle submissions for my client. These included three variations on the heel hook – a favourite a MMA submission, but banned in many submission grappling competitions – and the gogoplata (foot-choke).   We warmed up with some general mobility exercises and grappling-specific calisthenics before moving onto groundwork-specific muscle activation exercises. This moved onto looking at fighting from the top position. In the previous lesson we focused on defending from underneath […]

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Teep and Round Kick – Execution & Countering (diary entry)

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15.06.17   Tonight’s lesson on basic Muay Thai for martial arts cross training brought us up to the three hour mark. We focused further incorporating round kicks into basic combinations as well as working on some of the finer details of execution.   We warmed up with some specific mobility exercises and calisthenics. This began with the simply arm and waist rotations, moving onto the Indian press-up (dands). This excellent exercise is usually reserved for grappling – being a staple […]

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Fighting off the Ground and Pound (diary entry)

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14.06.17   Tonight we looked at a problem I noticed my client was having during sparring, namely defending under the mount. Most would agree this is one of the worst places to end up whether you are fighting in the cage or fighting for your life. Known to some as the “schoolboy pin”, this is a primal grappling move instinctively acquired when humans wrestle for individual dominance. It has been refined through every grappling combat sport that comes to mind. […]

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Muay Thai Footwork and Beginning Kicks (diary entry)

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08.06.17   Tonight began my client’s first hour and a half of a projected 10 hour course on Basic Muay Thai for Martial Arts Cross Training. This is his third course with me, having previously studied self-protection and western boxing for martial arts cross training.   We began with basic Muay Thai footwork. Muay Thai’s footwork resembles Western Boxing to a certain extent. Both cover the same ranges and angles. Both have drop steps and both used a lot of […]

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Clinch Combination for MMA (diary entry)

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07.06.17   Tonight’s MMA private lesson focused the clinch, but also contained setting up from stand-up range. After a warm-up of mobility exercises and calisthenics we went onto the focus mitts. This part of the lesson began with boxing combinations using MMA gloves, which allowed for some interesting angulations with the hands. Then we moved into high, mid and low entries. The cover was brought in to allow for a smothering counter-attack. I paid attention to transitioning from the cover […]

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How Bad is your Bullshitsu Infection?

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“The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.” ― Christopher Hitchens   I am currently in the process of editing, researching, writing and re-writing a multi-volume book entitled “Bullshitsu and the Fight to Make Martial Arts Work”. It is a project that I started around 2005 as an examination of the legacy of the R.B.S.D. (Reality-Based Self-Defence) movement, but has since evolved into a critical overview of martial arts subculture in […]

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Bareknuckles on the Line (diary entry)

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03.06.17   This morning’s lesson brought western boxing back to the self-defence line. The entire lesson was conducted barehanded, which allows the student to appreciate advantages and disadvantages of not wearing boxing gloves. In addition to applying principles taken from pre-20th century pugilism – gloved western boxing’s immediate predecessor – we looked at how the mechanics and strategies can be adapted for non-sporting interpersonal violence.   The lesson began with a quick revision of the fence. The client confirmed retention […]

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More than the Sum of its Parts? (Diary Entry)

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31.05.17   Is Mixed Martial Arts an art unto itself or the just sum of its parts? I have long gone with the former, but the issue is more complex than that. Martial arts specialise in different areas of a conflict. Although it is true that there are many examples of comprehensive systems of combat, all these arts will orientate towards one area. MMA doesn’t. In fact, it goes through trends. For a long time the Vale Tudo influence made […]

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Boxing Under Pressure (diary entry)

25/05/17   Tonight’s lesson brought us up to the nine hour mark of a basic course in western boxing for martial arts cross training. Therefore, this is the penultimate lesson in this course. Next time we will be taking our training back to the self-defence line. Tonight our focus was on bringing all the boxing training together and progressively applying it under pressure. I don’t hold with the false notion that if you teach the art precisely the student will […]

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Full Mixed Martial Arts Training (diary entry)

24/05/17   Tonight we looked at all ranges of Mixed Martial Arts. We began with stand-up, then moved onto clinch takedown drills, followed by Muay Thai clinch and then went through ground work before doing some integration work and sparring.   The stand-up was broken up into western boxing and Muay Thai. We built up through various punching combinations, slipping, bobbing and weaving, and basic tactics on the focus mitts. Then we switched to the Thai focus mitts. Here we […]

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Overview of Boxing and Speed Specifics (diary entry)

20/05/17   This was a buffet-style two-hour private lesson from one of my semi-regular but long-time clients. He chose to focus on western boxing. I brought in aspects I have recently been going over with one of my newer clients currently undertaking my basic course on western boxing for martial arts cross training.   We warmed up with agility markers, working on basic footwork. Next we moved through all the basic punches high and low jabs, crosses, hooks and uppercuts. […]

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Over and Under Punches (diary entry)

18.05.17   Tonight’s lesson brought my client up to the seven and a half hour mark in his 10 hour course on Basic Western Boxing for Martial Arts Cross Training. After revision we looked up and under punches – namely the lead hand anchor punch (made famous by Muhammad Ali and Jack Johnson), the rear overhand (David Tua, Ernie Shavers and MMA’s favourite knockout punch) and the liver and spleen shots (so beloved of Ricky Hatton and Bas Rutten). These […]

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High Line Takedowns (diary entry)

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17.05.17   My client continued working the clinch range. Tonight we looked at stand-up grappling exclusively without integrating into MMA. I aim to do this next week, depending on how the training progresses. Last lesson mainly worked on lowline takedowns, so it made sense to go upstairs for tonight. It was a mix techniques mainly used in judo (and ju jutsu/Brazilian jiu jitsu) and one mainly used in wrestling (Greco and freestyle). We trained the one hand shoulder throw and […]

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Speed & Combinations (diary entry)

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13.05.17   This one and a half hour lesson brings my client up to the sixth hour of a 10 hour course on Basic Western Boxing for Martial Arts Cross Training. We worked within a more confined area than on previous lessons, which my client adapted well to and helped tighten up some of his footwork.   The warm-up began with agility markers, going through footwork and shadow boxing. We then covered upper body mobility with slipping and rolling drills. […]

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Clinch-Work (diary entry)

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10.05.17 Tonight we looked at the clinch range in MMA. We primarily focused on the wrestling application with advice on solo exercises for my client to incorporate into his regular workouts, and then briefly moved in Muay Thai clinch before finishing with two rounds of specific clinch-based sparring. The lesson warmed up with over-hook/under-hook pummelling, bulling, lowline takedown slides and single leg link-ups. We then looked at solo drills using the heavy bag and solo takedown drills. We then moved […]

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Modern Boxing’s Hook (diary entry)

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06.05.17   Today’s lesson on Basic Western Boxing for Martial Arts Cross Training brought my client up to the four and a half hour mark in his scheduled 10 hour course. We primarily focused on the hook punch, but also revised previous lesson techniques and introduced the uppercut.   We began with our standard boxing footwork warm-up using agility markers and partner training. We then moved onto the focus mitts and drilling jabs, crosses, bobbing and slipping. Modern western boxing […]

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