Diary / Training Notes

Grading aftermath and new beginners! (diary entry)

Due to the presence of beginners and my regulars having just come through a rather gruelling grading, I decided to make today much more laid back than usual. That doesn’t mean training wasn’t demanding, but the pace was a little slower than normal. We began with a basic warm-up of movement drills and breakfalling, where the regulars had an opportunity to help assist the beginners. Then we moved onto a technical circuit, consisting of two minute rounds of boxing on […]

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Why does the best happen when no-one is around to see? (CCMA grading diary entry)

Sadly we didn’t host a guest examiner today, which was a shame as I felt the bar was raised on the whole and everyone put on the best performance I have seen. CCMA is always evolving. Our syllabus is constantly reviewed and updated. We have no listed techniques, but some very robust principles. When I grade students I am looking at their personal development. First and foremost, I want students who understand self protection to the best of their ability. […]

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Trial Lessons at Eastern Green Junior School (diary entry)

Eastern Green primary school, the current home of my regular classes in Coventry, is always a joy to run workshops with. The children are always keen, enthusiastic and eager to learn. Over time I have learnt to start sessions I hold at schools with a strict “riot act” and it’s not uncommon for me to stop everything in order to bring some order to the teaching. However, I didn’t have to do this once, meaning that despite the very limited […]

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Third Boys’ Brigade Workshop (diary entry)

Boys

Image via Wikipedia I am learning more about my regular bookings with the Boys’ Brigade. The session includes students with a wide range of ages and with very different backgrounds. Some of these backgrounds can make coaching more challenging and it tests my desire to make my approach truly individualistic.   We continued our focus on self defence with the group and looked at multiple attackers. This is an unusual starting place for most self defence classes, but it cam […]

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Thoughts on the grading (diary entry)

Usage of a leg trip to perform a takedown.

Image via Wikipedia The next grading is set for this Saturday, so I thought it best to handle all relevant training “on the spot”. The whole reason why I kept traditional gradings, which take place outside the usual lesson time, is to test an individual under mental pressure. So, after a quick warm-up, I selected pairs to demonstrate different aspects of the grading. Fundamentally CCMA is interested in seeing whether an individual has good personal security skills, understands pre-fight, in-fight […]

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All Day Taster Workshop at Woodlands School (diary entry)

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I returned to the Woodlands secondary school for boys to teach mixed martial arts to the various year groups. I had around 45 minutes to introduce my club, the sport and to go through all three ranges of MMA. It was a tall order, but I think I mainly pulled it off in an entertaining enough way.   After a discussion on the history of MMA a typical physical session would include: a shadow boxing style warm-up, stand-up grappling games, […]

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The Fence and the Guard (diary entry)

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The class began with a specific warm-up as per usual, this time incorporating multi-range tig. We then began covering self defence tactics, as the grading now looms. Thie began with the absolute basics – the fence. We looked at the target familiarization/role-play and then onto focus mitts.   As I have often said, the simplicity of the fence is both its strength and weakness. This is why a lot of “natural” fighters don’t really see it, but they use it […]

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Looking further into the nature of “technique” (diary entry)

One type of Side control

Image via Wikipedia We began with a series of specific warm-up exercises performed on the move and on the spot. These included straight punching, sprawling, covering, transitioning ranges, knee strikes, elbows, hooks, uppercuts, bridging into side control and guard, squat kicking front, side and round, and combinations.   We then went straight into stand-up combination. This worked off basic slips into knee strikes and the clinch. Then we covered the headlock counters, leading to a takedown and an armbar.   […]

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Return of the Vagabond Warriors Workshop (diary entry)

put up your dukes

Image by demandaj via Flickr Juniors   The junior section was an open session. By popular request we looked at takedowns and groundwork from an MMA perspective. I continued the theme of handling headlocks from the previous lesson. We drilled slipping out of the hold from its early stage and then countering it when the hold is on. The second counter brought us to a possible arm-bar finish. The arm-bar brought us to application from the guard. We practiced the […]

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Junior Workshop in Telford 1 report (diary entry)

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I was kindly invited by Sam Stewart the founder and owner of Kyushinkai Martial Arts in Telford, a full time martial arts academy and host to numerous luminaries of the British Combat Association, to teach the Clubb Chimera Martial Arts approach to their junior students. I have been to the centre on several occasions and I am always impressed with the progress the place has made. Not only does it offer a broad range of martial arts classes, but the […]

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MMA combinations & facing the headlock (diary entry)

www.Army.mil

Image by The U.S. Army via Flickr Richard Barnes kindly led the fun-filled warm-up. This largely consisted of awareness and reaction based physical activities. Students changed levels and progressed to more explosive movements as they gradually warmed up. After this we moved into some technique based MMA work, looking at the transition from stand-up to clinch and takedowns.   Blitzing and four double leg takedown entries Jab and double leg takedown – red sashes and above built up the number […]

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An old contingency plan (diary entry)

Brandon Kapitan vs Ronnie Gill

Image by superwebdeveloper via Flickr After the warm-up we went straight into the 11 punch combination. This time it was done transitioning through postures – standing, combat base, butterfly guard, in-guard and pulling guard. Then we moved onto jabbing. This was first done as a timing exercise, then as a form of specific sparring.   We then moved onto kicks, beginning with the front leg front kick. We looked at the different ways it can be applied as a jab […]

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Three phases of conflict & MMA (diary entry)

The standing fighter is attempting to escape d...

  Image via Wikipedia Despite the interruption of the Bank Holidays, I was happy to see that most students had been practicing and we were able to go back through everything fairly easily. The session began with a discussion on attitude and psychology, and how it counts at the pre, in and post stages of a fight. We discussed the differences between sport and self protection, and how these stages applied to both. In sport, pre-fight deals with the right […]

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Report on the CCMA Workshop at The Martial Arts Show (diary entry)

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  I had an enjoyable workshop at The Martial Arts Show at the NEC, Birimingham. I have been involved with this event since it began at The Martial Arts Festival. CCMA is usually represented by two workshops, an adult one on the Saturday and a children’s one on the Sunday. This year, however, there was so much on that we were restricted to a single mixed workshop. I am not complaining, we got a full hour whilst most other free […]

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Recommended V – Critical Thinking in Law, Hyserical Strength Investigated and More

Lou Ferrigno in the episode "Married"...

Image via Wikipedia Critical Thinking and Law My attention was drawn to Michael D. Cicchini when I heard him being interviewed for the sceptical radio show and podcast “Point of Inquiry” promoting his new book on common legal myths (here is the particular show). Law is an area that should be of particular interest to self protection coaches and students. Any self protection programme should mention the laws relating to pre-emption and the use of reasonable force (in these matters […]

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Easter Hard Target Report Day 2 (diary entry)

Knee (strike)

Image via Wikipedia 24.04.11 I usually finish Day 1 with some intensive transitional work, revising all the core techniques from various improvised postures. I like to warm up everyone on Day 2 with an introduction of to the best way to utilize each posture. If you have to fight from a position other than standing, you might as well take advantage of that position. That’s just good time management. So we looked at moving, transitioning and then practicing regaining our […]

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