Reviews and Interviews

The Final Word on Columbine? (a review of Dave Cullen’s “Columbine”)

Cover of "Columbine"

Cover of Columbine   On 20th April 1999 Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdered 13 people at their high school, injured a further 24, impacted the whole collective consciousness of an entire community and inspired terror across America and into Europe. For years afterwards the name of the tragedy would simply be referred to as "Columbine". There would be books and documentaries made. There would countless reports and stories. This was not the biggest mass killing in American history. As […]

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Mo Teague and W. Hock Hocheim Combative Seminar by Will Knowles (diary entry)

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Will Knowles is our guest reviewer for the weekend combatives seminar held in Telford last weekend. Will is an instructor under my coach, Mo Teague. This seminar saw the historic pairing of Mo with the American combatives expert, W. Hock Hocheim. I was truly gutted that I couldn't attend this event, but feel I should draw attention to it just in case they decide to hold another one. From what I have heard back from both of these instructors, who […]

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Jamie Clubb Interview by Michael Rosenbaum

Jamie stretch (small)

Jamie Clubb’s study of the fighting arts is broad, varied and insightful. It reflects his experiences as a circus performer, author and martial artist.  A noted pragmatist and innovator, Clubb’s viewpoints, nevertheless, have a certain ring of traditionalism to them. By traditionalism I mean combat being the reason for the fighting arts existence, not competition. 1. How did you originally become involved in the fighting arts and what drew you to the path you’ve taken? Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow! […]

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Jamie Clubb Interview

Storm Shadow (G.I. Joe)

Image via Wikipedia Jamie Clubb Interview by Michael Rosenbaum   Jamie Clubb’s study of the fighting arts is broad, varied and insightful. It reflects his experiences as a circus performer, author and martial artist.  A noted pragmatist and innovator, Clubb’s viewpoints, nevertheless, have a certain ring of traditionalism to them. By traditionalism I mean combat being the reason for the fighting arts existence, not competition.   1. How did you originally become involved in the fighting arts and what drew […]

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Recommended VII: From Exreme Fear to Mindful Eating

May 09 489

Image by Lord Jim via Flickr Fear   Fear has become a mainstay of Reality-Based Self-Defence training for a long time now. Both our understanding of how it alerts us to danger – immortalized in such RBSD “Bibles” as Gavin De Becker’s “The Gift of Fear” – and in the way it can restrict us from realizing our potential – see Geoff Thompson’s “Fear: The Friend of Exceptional People”. There have since been a plethora of titles handling either good […]

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“There Has Never Been a Better Time to be Alive” – Review of Dan Gardner’s “Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear”

Cover of "Risk: The Science and Politics ...

Cover of Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear According to Dan Gardner, bad news easily outsells good news. He should know, having worked within the newspaper industry for his entire career. Gardner has first hand experience of seeing the way papers are driven by a need to report shocking headlines. Popular writing excites the senses and there is no quicker way to make something a "thrilling read" than to use fear. That's great when it comes to writing fiction […]

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Return of Martial Arts Satire

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My thanks to martial arts and self protection instructor, Andras Milward for bringing my attention to this excellent online series of martial arts satire. Before this website got a major upgrade I presented a regular feature known as "Martial Arts Satire". This highlighted more than martial arts, sketches where martial arts were used as an instrument, but humourous commentary on the martial arts. Tommy Cooper, Jim Carey and Paul Kaye all provided sketches that got increasingly close to the calloused […]

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Steve Timperley and the KEWAP Instructor Course

Knives Sheathed

Image by mrbill via Flickr Steve Timperley first came to my attention in around 2009. He contacted me via that social networking phenomenon we know as "Facebook". This was a year after he had finished his 22 year distinguished service in the British army. He had some exciting ideas and was keen to promote them. As is often the case, I had been the person he had been advised to contact regarding writing for the martial arts media. After Geoff […]

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Recommended VI: Functional Fitness, Nutritional Problems, Crime Decline and Fighting Monkeys

Marines take part in martial arts training in ...

Image by United States Marine Corps Official Page via Flickr I encourage everyone to write. When I think of the exceptional individuals I have trained with, trained under or talked to, I get frustrated with how few of them have been able to properly convey their knowledge and experience to willing learners. A good interview can do a reasonable job in getting this over, but it’s a poor substitute for well-written pieces coming direct from the instructor. With the advent […]

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BTEC and Self Defence – accrediting RBSD?

Books to be returned...

Image by hashmil via Flickr On 14th June I took the final part of what I considered then to be the most important qualification in my martial arts/self-protection career. 2011 saw the publishing of a Btec level 3 Advanced Award in Self Defence Instruction, created by Mark Dawes's company, The National Federation for Personal Safety. The whole experience that began with an intensive week of coursework that I crammed prior to the examination/presentation/assessment day was a learning experience in more […]

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Muhammad Ali: Human – A Review of “The Tao of Muhammad Ali”

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  Cover of The Tao of Muhammad Ali The Tao of Muhammad Ali It’s hard not to start this review with some trite clichéd truism like “Muhammad Ali is undeniably the most famous and celebrated sports personality of the last century”. I don’t know why the man’s name hasn’t just become a part of the English language to define a living legend. Ali’s life story seems to be a model for a mythological hero in any country’s culture – the […]

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Jamie Clubb on The Den Show

Click here for the fifth episode of The Den Show radio podcast. It features an interview with me related to soft skills training for self protection. Subjects covered include the OODA loop model for awareness and the problem with most self defence training.

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Bruce Lee: Human (a review of “The Tao of Bruce Lee”)

Cover of "The Tao of Bruce Lee: A Martial...

  Cover via Amazon Davis Miller argues that, of all the living icons that have emerged in the 20th century, Bruce Lee is perhaps the closest to be revered as a god. This is not just down to his extraordinary worldwide appeal, his legacy on film or in the martial arts, but also the mythology that has built up around him. As Miller points out, few facts have been written about the Little Dragon. It’s quite extraordinary for a modern […]

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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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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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