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 prior to this had no direct or even abstract connection in the world of martial arts and self-protection, is that a type of convergeant evolution occurred. They had curiously similar conclusions and training processes. This further supports my belief that the way forward with good combatives is a natural selection process. Watch this space for the next reality revolution…
Mo Teague & W.Hock Hochheim Combatives Seminar
12th & 13th November 2011
After visiting Hock Hocheim’s website and regularly training with Mo I had great expectations of the upcoming seminar at Kyushinka Martial Arts in Telford. I am glad to say that these expectations were more than exceeded and I had a truly fantastic and informative weekend. A big thank you to everyone involved!
The morning session on the first day saw Hock and his “stunt man” Richard take centre stage with a high energy performance aimed to instil the foundations of movement used to evade a knife attack. The session followed a logical progression containing a truly devastating takedown and was intermingled with exploits from Hock’s 23 years as a Police Officer in Texas. This extensive (extensive is most definitely an understatement!) experience gave tremendous weight to all of Hock’s explanations as well as the ability to expand on any topic to an almost infinite degree. His wide and varied career both in law enforcement and teaching also enabled Hock to provide the students with information gathered from actual attacks either experienced or witnessed by Hock himself as well as from reliable first-hand accounts and video footage. This not only made an enormous amount of sense and added to the logical style of Hock’s delivery but made the learning process much more transparent. That is to say that the students had a clear idea of why they were learning a particular technique or concept rather than taking the instructors word for it and learning out of blind obedience. This transparency adds a massive amount of confidence not just in the instructor’s ability to teach a particular technique or concept but in the ability of the studentto use or apply the technique or concept to their life or situation.
After lunch we focused on an attribute building exercise with Mo. The movements of the exercise were simple enough and became second nature after relatively few repetitions. It was easy enough to operate well within our respective comfort zones, looking and feeling good making shapes with no emotional connection.
However, it soon became apparent that this was not the point! The quote “train as you fight” springs to mind. Performing the drill with a chin in the air and one’s mind on the previous night’s football results is all well and good if the goal (no pun intended) is to make shapes and feel better about oneself. However forming this habit may prove to be detrimental if expecting to apply what’s been learned when faced with a violent confrontation. Being able to associate the training drill with a real life application is most important either by visualisation or by making the training as realistic as possible.
“The brain cannot distinguish between what you tell it is real and what is actually real.”
Our time continued with Mo as he started things off on the Sunday. True to form his greatly anticipated session began with a set of no nonsense knife drills the type of which feature heavily in Face The Blade (the knife programme from Mo Teague’s Hard Target System, launched at Woolwich barracks in 2009). These drills further enhanced and built upon the foundations of movement laid down by Hock the previous morning, this synergistic approach really made the weekend for me as it allowed the students to take two sets of techniques or concepts, combining and adapting them as they see fit, finally ending up with something that is their own.
One plus one really can make three!
Our final afternoon session came around all too quickly; featuring simple but practical handgun disarms, followed by both offensive and defensive stick work. This completed a well-rounded seminar encompassing the use of hand, stick, knife and gun. We also covered multiple opponents, some brutal ground fighting, moving through postures, around obstacles and operating under pressure. In addition to training alongside many accomplished individuals all the students received the opportunity of spending time with two truly incredible instructors whose charisma and life experience cannot help but have a positive impact on all around them. This adds so much more to the training we received and I can safely say will endeavour further my training with both of them.
A special thanks to Sam Stewart for providing such a great training venue. Thanks Sam!