Grappling – Taking the Back (diary entry)

One wrestler is trying to get the back.

Image via Wikipedia 07.03.11   Since last week was a striking centred class, today we looked at grappling only. Grappling is a rich area of combative study. Within reason, one can grapple at full resistance day-in, day-out and even several times a day with a comparatively much lower level of risk than with striking. It is both a human’s most primal method of unarmed combat and yet, particularly when on the ground, can be their most sophisticated.   We began […]

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The Survivor’s Club – A Book Review

  Despite our disproportionate fear of improbable disasters and the awe we hold those who survive them there is relatively little research into the psychology of what we collectively call the survivor. This might be because the term is so widely applied and too many factors seem to be involved for any single expert in one discipline to consider a connection. Rather than find one unifying principle, Ben Sherwood sees different survivor personalities, but each of them possess at least […]

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Vagabond Warriors

“Vagabond Warriors” Cross Training in the Martial Arts, St Nicholas Primary School Priory Road Kenilworth 12pm – 3pm Conact: jamie@clubbchimera.com

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Vagabond Warriors

Vagabond Warriors

“Vagabond Warriors” Cross Training in the Martial Arts On the 29th January CCMA launches its first “Vagabond Warriors” workshop. This series of workshops is aimed at martial arts cross trainers interested in functional fighting methods.  Although new techniques and tactics may be taught and exchanged, its primary concern is not to teach a system and certainly not a style but to show a different approach to training in more than one martial arts method. It will be based around the […]

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Posturing and Blind Spots

Posturing and Blind Spots

After an extended absence the class returned in fine form and the enthusiasm was as inspiring as ever. A few areas in the warm-up, led by Phil, exposed some all-round rustiness, but once we moved into our MMA lesson muscle memory kicked and it was easy to introduce new areas. Today’s class focused entirely on the sporting side of training. The CCMA approach dictates that we define purpose from the get-go. Sport and self defence can overlap, but their objectives […]

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Review of “A Killing Art” by Alex Gillis

Cover of "A Killing Art: The Untold Histo...

Cover via Amazon There have been copious books written about martial arts over the past century. Unfortunately, almost from the beginning, they have largely consisted of peculiar mixtures of mythology, facts and partisan writing. This has continued to the present day. It’s not that there haven’t been good writers or even many useful and enjoyable martial arts books, but very little objective journalism. Therefore books like Geoff Thompson’s “Watch My Back” and Robert W. Smith’s “Martial Musings” made for a […]

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Holiday Reading

If I don’t write again for this website before 2010 I would like to take the opportunity of wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Below is some recommended reading material for you to enjoy over the holiday period. I am guessing that it will probably be too late to get hold of them before Christmas, but maybe something to spend your Christmas money and book vouchers on. Daniel Gardner’s “The Science of Fear” is exactly […]

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Last Official Class of 2010

Christmas lesson! Okay, so an opportunity to end the year with fun activities that are still relevant to training. A full class engaged in the following: Build-up tig – This is a traditional escape and evasion game. I often start children’s self defence with this to help get across the first message – to avoid and escape. We then varied it with combat base moving, butterfly guard moving, snaking and bear crawling to work through other relevant postures (fighting from […]

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Martial Arts Scepticism: The Pornography of Reality-Based Self-Defence

John Rambo in 1982, after returning to civilia...

Image via Wikipedia Ockham’s razor is a centuries old principle that argues for simplicity, reductionism and minimalism. Many scientists and a good number of mainstream historians use it to shave off theories that overcomplicate matters. Supporters of Ockham’s razor put forward the idea that when all things are equal the solution that requires the least number of assumptions is usually the correct one. It would appear that this philosophy would be acceptable to the vast majority of those who are […]

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Review of “Becoming the Natural: My Life in and out of the Cage”

Cover of "Becoming the Natural: My Life I...

Cover via Amazon Chapter One of Randy Couture's autobiography sets the mood in the classic action mould. Just as "I am Jackie Chan" it starts with a moment that defines the public view of him. It's Couture's third match against a fighter that the world of mixed martial arts has slated as his arch nemesis, Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell. Back in 2006 this was the decider match with each man having claimed a fight a piece. Couture was also facing […]

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Martial Arts Scepticism: How Factual is Martial Arts Television?

Human Weapon

Image via Wikipedia I guess it is little coincidence that the dramatic rise in interest in martial arts and its subsequent commercialization coincided with the amount of chop socky being dished out on our TV sets. The 1960s saw programmes like The Avengers and The Green Hornet set a formula for martial arts expert sidekicks. The 1970s transferred this expertise to the lead character in the hugely successful TV series, Kung Fu. Of course, the 1970s are now popularly remembered […]

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Martial Arts Scepticism: Philosophy and Ancient Wisdom

The calligraphic inscription that hangs over t...

Image via Wikipedia “Prior to the end of the Qing Dynasty, Chinese martial arts had one goal, pure and simple: winning confrontations through intimidation, the use of weapons, or the use of one’s fists…Chinese martial arts were considered to be a physical skill, a manual skill; they were not linked to any esoteric philosophy, nor were they viewed as a from of character development, religious practice, or spiritual development”. – “Chinese Martial Arts Training Manuals: A Historical Survey”, Brian Kennedy […]

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