Principles through Combination Work (diary entry)

Against the Cage1

21.11.19 Thursday night’s second lesson brought my client up to the four hour point on his latest Mixed Martial Arts course. Tonight’s objective was to go over the three striking to grappling combinations covered in last Thursday’s lesson and to begin more work on fighting against the cage as well ground-fighting. We began with mirror footwork followed by one-for-one sparring. We then drilled the plumb position, bulling with the collar and elbow, pummelling under-hooks into takedown entries and then some […]

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Escapes & The Guard (diary entry)

armbar from guard5 (close up)

21.11.19   Thursday night’s first lesson brought my junior clients up to the seventh hour of their Submission Grappling/Ground-Fighting course. We covered a lot of ground tonight, introducing the guard.   The lesson began with a warm-up crawls and snaking followed by transitioning through pins with submissions. Then we drilled escapes from side control and scarf-hold. This brought us onto the guard where we looked at escapes, sweeps and submissions.   The escape taught was the simple hip-out escape. This […]

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Scarf-Hold to Arm Bar Escape & MMA Combinations (diary entry)


20.11.19   Wednesday night’s junior lesson looked more into escapes from scarf-hold and introduced the arm-bar. The senior lesson repeated the combination taught to my client last Thursday and also added in some ground conditioning exercises.   The junior lesson got straight into partner warm-ups. We began with the transitioning pin drill. Then from here we revised escapes from side control and scarf-hold. Returning to scarf-hold, we looked at snaking to a submission. My client was introduced to the arm-bar. […]

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Anti-Grappling Training & Kingham Hill (diary entry)


20.11.19   Kingham Hill School covered anti-grappling in this lunchtime’s lesson. This is the stage in their self-protect programme where we are faced problems associated with being gripped, held, tackled and wrestled. Everything prior to this has been about pre-emption and regaining the initiative. I have promoted creating distance and focusing on using strikes to facilitate an early escape.   We began with a short revision warm-up on tactical escape and combative movements on the move. These movements focused more […]

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Tailored Programmes, Bystander Bullying & Some Combatives History (diary entry)


19.11.19 My second evening lesson was my teacher consultancy where we continued to discuss material for a children’s self-protection achievement programme, a specific programme for teenage girls in Varanasi, northern India and also a brief overview of this Saturday’s clinic on MMA ground-fighting. The achievement programme is layering in information from Dave Kovar’s Aware programme on anti-bullying. This is something my client is bringing in to provide simple skills for youngsters to help provide more information on bullying. We then […]

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Half Guard & Knee Bars (diary entry)


19.11.19 My first evening personal training lesson brought my client up to the second hour of his second course of Submission Grappling. We covered quite a lot of material in this particular session and also got in some much-needed sparring practice. The lesson began with a series of specific ground-fighting callisthenics and muscle activation exercises. We then did some light rolling (ground-fighting sparring), taking turns to defend and pass guard. Although this was a resistance-based exercise it was done with […]

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Balance! (diary entry)

muay thai

18.11.19   My Monday night Muay Thai lesson brought my client up to the eighth hour of her second course. She looked at retaining and improving her balance as a theme which is an obvious underlying principle of kick-catching.   The lesson began with simply callisthenics before moving onto mirror footwork and one-for-one sparring. From here we looked at countering off a shin check. The idea was to concentrate on weight transference from one leg to another, strengthening balance. We […]

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More Submissions & Escapes (diary entry)


15.11. 19   My Friday night junior class brought my clients up to the sixth hour of their course on Submission Grappling/Ground-Fighting. We covered escaping from side control, scarf-hold and the north south positions as well as submissions from knee pin, reverse scarf-hold and mount.   We warmed up with various crawls and sport-specific callisthenics before moving onto pinning transitions. Then we picked up on individual pinning positions and simple submissions. This began with the knee-pin where we set up […]

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Striking to Grappling Combinations (diary entry)

single leg 1

14.11.19   My Thursday evening class brought my client up to the two and a half hour point of his Mixed Martial Arts course. We trained four combinations looking at striking entries to grappling.   The lesson warmed up with callisthenics specific to MMA and agility drills working footwork, takedowns and top position movement on the ground. We then began our series of MMA combinations. These combinations are specifically aimed to attain a strong grappling position.   The first combination […]

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Escapes from Pins & MMA Combinations Continue (diary entry)


13.11.19   My Wednesday evening class was divided up into Junior Submission Grappling/Ground-Fighting and Senior Mixed Martial Arts. Junior class looked at the Kimura from side control and countering the scarf-hold. Senior MMA training continued on last week’s themes of combinations from different ranges.   The junior class began with work on the agility ladders, performing various crawls and top position work. We then did some snaking/shrimping and bridging/upas for work on the back, including the infamous side-winders. We then […]

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Transitioning Strikes & Postures at Kingham Hill School (diary entry)


13.11.19   My lunchtime Wednesday class continued my work with Kingham Hill School’s Self-Protection Course. We concentrated on postures, transitioning, restrictive striking and the cover against multiple attackers.   We began with our usual tactical escape and basic combative movement warm-up. This was followed by a series of transitioning exercises. Here we looked at postures from against a wall, half-kneeling (combat base), seated (butterfly guard) and on the back both controlling and fighting against a pin. Then we isolated each […]

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Children’s Self-Protection Programme Consultancy (diary entry)

child training

12.11.19   My second evening class on Tuesday was my teacher consultancy lessons focusing on a new children/teenage self-protection syllabus. My client presented a systematic overview of a programme she wishes to run alongside her established martial arts lessons that offers reward levels of achievement in alignment with the age group of the participants.   My children’s self-protection programme is usually aged from 7 years to 13 years. However, I have taught younger participants and I also have a teen […]

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Butterfly, Back-Mount & Half-Guard (diary entry)


12.11.19   My first evening class of Tuesday saw the beginning of my client’s second course on Submission Grappling/Ground-Fighting. Tonight’s lesson mainly focused on the butterfly guard, back-mount and the half-guard.   We warmed up with crawling exercises and various callisthenics off the back. We also did some partner work such as reversals and getting guard from underneath. Then we began looking at the butterfly guard. This began with a simple sweep where I explained the importance of a strong […]

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Dutch Kicks & Kick-Catching (diary entry)

kick catch 4

11.11.19   Monday saw my first lesson back in the UK after teaching a weekend of children’s self-protection and martial arts cross-training. My client has reached her seventh hour in her second course of Muay Thai/Kickboxing. Tonight my intention was to address countering kick-catches, which we did, but we also ended up covering using and fighting southpaws thanks to a switch-kick question.   The lesson began with mirror foot-work, followed by one-for-one techniques. From here we began to build combinations. […]

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“When Parents Aren’t Around” Denmark 2019 (Part 2)


10.11.19   “When Parents Aren’t Around” Children’s Self-Protection Seminar in Denmark (Part 2)   The second day of my children’s self-protection seminar in Denmark mainly focused on anti-grappling and anti-abduction, but we also covered transitioning through postures and regaining the initiative.   The seminar began with a revision of yesterday’s warm-up where we began with commentary walking, promoting awareness of environment and we gradually increased our heart rates to draw attention of changing cognitive abilities. We then drilled in escaping […]

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“Vagabond Warriors” Cross-Training Martial Arts Workshop in Denmark (Part 2)


09.11.19   Vagabond Warriors” Cross-Training Martial Arts Workshop in Denmark (Part 2)   After teaching the first part of “When Parents Aren’t Around” it was back to the adults with further “Vagabond Warriors” work. Continuing on from the previous night, we looked at the tactile hand set-ups in Muay Thai and bridged into clinch-work before going to the ground.   The session began with a series of MMA warm-ups covering all ranges. We looked at shadow boxing and I then […]

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