Ankle Picks & Angle Covers (diary entry)

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01.02.2023 Tonight’s junior private lesson continued work in the stand-up grappling range with the beginning of a deep dive and exploration of the ankle pick. The senior lesson also continued from the previous week with side-by-side cross training in Boxing’s Philly Shell and Muay Thai’s diamond guard & long guard concepts. In the former we got down into the detail of setting up the ankle pick, a very standard yet highly successful technique found a lot in Freestyle Wrestling. We […]

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Philly Shell Tactics (diary entry)

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  31.01.2023 The ninth hour of my client’s current boxing course worked more on exploiting ranges. When it comes to low guards, such as the Philly Shell, the guard can change between extending the low lead arm and the far tighter shell. The former is used for edge of range and long range fighting whereas the latter is for the mid and close range work. We worked on using the lead elbow more to deflect and set up jabs and […]

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Continuing the Angle (diary entry)


31.01.2023 My teaching consultancy for Athena School of Karate continued today with a look at the footwork sequence pattern’s application to Kickboxing and Muay Thai. My client was keen to take a stricter Muay Thai approach. Therefore, the baiting forward and backward footwork became shorter and the circling was tighter. A switch body-kick/rear outside leg kick were chained to the right cross and instead of throwing a left hook after circling with a triple we used another switch kick to the […]

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12 rounds of Muay Thai (diary entry)

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30.01.2023 Hour eight of my client’s second Muay Thai course continued with more conditioning work. Her emphasis has been to raise her overall fitness level whilst learning Thai Boxing, so with basic techniques now down it was time to raise the physical standards. After a warm-up, we completed 12 rounds with active rest spots between the non-sparring ones. Round 1 – Jabs and straights only (focus mitts) Boxing press-ups (press-up/punch) Round 2 – Hooks and uppercuts only (focus mitts) Speed […]

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Strike & Shoot (diary entry)

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30.01.2023 My couple clients began their 10 hour full MMA course. This is following their 3 x 10 hour courses on MMA clinch, submission grappling and MMA ground fighting. We began with using the jab to set up low line shoots for the single and double leg. These setups were drilled using level shifts. The fighter attacks the highline with jabs before switching to the body  and then immediately going back to the head. This last punch is designed to […]

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Testing the Ranges with One-Sided Sparring (diary entry)

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27.01.2023 Hour 10 of my client’s first Mixed Martial Arts course with me focused on looking at both conditioning exercises and putting his skills under some pressure. One of my mandates for taking these sessions was to not use sparring due certain medical reasons. This is something of obstacle when it comes to teaching a combat sport. However, we have found ways to work around this challenge. We have regularly used reaction games, both touch and no-contact, and I keep […]

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Boxing/Muay Thai Cross Training (diary entry)


25.01.2023 Wednesday night’s 1.5 hour lesson was a cross training experience. We looked at both the Philly Shell and the Thai long guard, crossing between both combat sports regularly. The lesson also brought in Cuban footwork and angle shifts, pretty much covering all the material brought into Tuesday’s boxing and teacher consultancy lessons as well as more work specifically on the long guard. In the latter we looked at the relationship between the pawing jab and the Thai long guard. […]

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Symmetrical Ground Fighting in Self-Defence (diary entry)


24.01.2023 The ninth penultimate self-defence lesson with my bodyguard client brought us on to ground-fighting. Here is was important to drill fighting on the ground with clear objectives to get back up. There are certain circumstances where the fight needs to be finished on the ground but in most instances the defender needs to be aiming to regain his footing as efficiently as possible. This why throughout the course I have regularly drilled him in fast recovery posture transitioning. Here […]

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The Philly Shell (diary entry)

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24.01.2023 Hour eight of my client’s current boxing course switched from the cross-arm guard to the Philly Shell. It has been argued by many that the Philly Shell is a split off from the cross arm guard. Archie Moore’s daughter certainly voices this view as do many coaches. Since its emergence different fighters and different gyms have taken it in different directions. Both guards are known for their strong defence structure, the higher than basic level of skill required to […]

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Using Angles to Solve a Problem (diary entry)


24.01.2023 My teacher consultancy lesson for Athena School of Karate began a new block of lessons focusing solving a representative student problem. My client wanted to focus on teaching students to move offline in their sparring and to better handle more aggressive pressure fighters. We began with a look at the principles of pivoting on the spot (as with slips in this instance but also with rear hand straights and lead hooks), the pivot step (or v-step) and circling footwork. […]

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Muay Thai Conditioning (diary entry)

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23.01.2023 My client’s seventh hour on her second course in Muay Thai continued building on southpaw strategies. Last week I introduced the back kick. This lesson was all about drilling everything that had been covered and to build up the specific fitness. After our usual warm up we went straight into rounds. These were three minute rounds with one minute active recovery, keeping the heart rate up throughout the session. Round 1 – Boxing only focus mitts Speed punching Round […]

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Knee-Shield Continued (diary entry)

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23.01.2023 The final hour of my couple client’s Mixed Martial Arts Ground Fighting course continued our work on defending with the knee-shield. We covered two sweeps. Both sweeps diverge at the dog-fight position. In the previous lesson we looked at shooting from this position. This time we looked at what can be done when an opponent attempts to counter the shoot. An obvious response is to block the shoot by posting out with a wider base kneeling position and to […]

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5 x 5 Minute MMA (diary entry)

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20.01.2023 Friday night was the ninth hour of my client’s course on Mixed Martial Arts. We used the championship match framework to go through visualisation training and progressing the ranges. The one minute “breaks” were used as active recovery sessions performing sports specific callisthenics and shadow boxing. Round 1 – Mainly stand-up pad-work with some takedown defence Round 2 – More chaining of kicks. Round 3 – Clinch dominant. Pad-work was supplemented with defending against clinches. Round 4 – Ground […]

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The Student Protection Triangle (diary entry)


18.01.2023 My teaching consultancy course for Drum Kempo Ju Jutsu and Fitness focused mainly on better establishing self-protection principles and habits in young students. The Teacher/Parent/Student Triangle is not a revolutionary tool. It’s very commonplace in education and has long been set as the most obvious way a student can get support for his or her learning needs. However, it doesn’t have a long tradition outside of compulsory education. The martial arts world, which is the birthplace for most self-protection […]

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Lowline Takedowns & Diamond to Long Guard (diary entry)


My last lessons of the day consisted of junior clinch and senior Muay Thai training. The junior clinch brought us back to the basics of stand-up grappling. We drilled collar and elbow transitioning followed by over-hook/under-hook pummelling. Next we moved onto wrist grips and breaking as well as breaking posture. From here we re-examined the double leg before moving onto the low double leg. Finally, we introduced an ankle pick. This will be a technique we will work on more […]

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1950s Professional Combat Sports (diary entry)

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18.01.2023 “Learn from the Fight” one of its rare deviations from Boxing in this lesson. The reason why Boxing has remained the dominant professional combat sport we have been covering is because we have been following a chronological timeline dictated by available footage. My clients lessons are to look directly at important fights via the film footage and boxing was, by far, the most popular professional combat sport worldwide from the late 19th century and for well over half the […]

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