Great Feuds – Pep vs Saddler (diary entry)

pep v saddler 1951 (2)

19.10.21 Tuesday night’s “Learn from the Fight” returned to the career of Willie Pep and Sandy Saddler. We were unable to unearth footage from their first two fights when Pep was given the spotlight. However, we had access to highlights from their third encounter and the full fourth encounter. Pep and Saddler are often ranked as the greatest featherweights of all time, respectively the greatest pure out-boxer and slugger of all time and in just about anyone’s top 20 greatest […]

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Muay Thai for All the Family (diary entry)

pad holding

17.10.21 Sunday morning saw the completion of my client’s 10-hour course with an hour each for him and his family. Lesson 1 – Senior Muay Thai – We looked more into chaining kicks together, developing defence and introducing the upper cut and the switch-kick. We first trained using a Dutch style exchange drill and then took it onto the focus mitts. Lesson 2 – Junior Muay Thai – I taught a new student teeps and we worked on better establishing […]

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Balance and Kicks (diary entry)

kick to pads

13.10.21 Wednesday night was just my junior MMA client who wanted to focus on better kicking development. We trained front and rear teeps and round kicks. I was also keen to develop better balance and stability all round. This included correct foot positioning to enable faster and more energy saving pivots, straighter postures and some injury prevention. Kicks were first performed in placement drills, looking at rhythm and balance as well as hand placement. Then I put them on the […]

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Fear & Hunting (diary entry)

hunting the target

13.10.21 My two self-protection lessons at Kingham Hill looked at understanding fear and further developing hand strikes. Training included a look at the reasons behind flight/flight responses, the importance of good training to develop good behaviours under stress and a few tips to handle nerves and emotions. We then continued work from the fence onto the focus mitts, progressing on with removing obstructions and hunting the target. The classes were finished with some pre-emptive strike pressure-testing. Services

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Cinderella Man 2 (diary entry)

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12.10.2021 Tuesday night’s second lesson was “learn from the fight” where we reviewed highlights from Ezzard Charles and Jersey Joe Walcott’s second fight and the entirety of their third clash. Ezzard Charles versus Jersey Joe Walcott World Heavyweight Championship 07.03.1951 It had been two years since Walcott and Charles had last met to fight for the then vacant NBA heavyweight title. Charles had emerged the victor on a unanimous decision and then gone on to beat the man who had […]

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Teacher Development Programme: Grappler’s Clinch (diary entry)

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12.10.21 Tuesday night’s first lesson brought my teacher client up to the sixth hour of his sparring development programme. Moving on from the Muay Thai clinch work we had covered in the previous two lessons we explored clinching in general, using methods from Wrestling and Judo. After a thorough stand-up grappling-based warm of callisthenics and dynamic stretching, we moved onto partner work. Client feedback on grappling was that the teachers struggled to get students to relax and flow more as […]

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Entering the Clinch

Knee strike to stomach whilst grappling (b)

11.10.21 Monday night’s lesson took my couple clients to hour four of their Muay Thai clinching course. We focused on entries into the clinch. This began with the simple jab entry. However, I made a particular emphasis on half-shelling with one arm to maintain protection on the way into the clinch. We looked at taking the clinch on the inside and the outside, use of the hips and the all-important positioning. After jabbing looked at combining the long-guard/pawing jab with […]

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Empty Shotgun – Fury/Wilder III


The sight of an exhausted Deontay Wilder taking punishment in the latter rounds of his third match with Tyson Fury for the WBC/Ring/Lineal World Heavyweight Championship confirmed to many Fury fans what they had been saying for a while. Tyson Fury was the superior fighter who had been robbed of the title by a draw when the two had first met, proven his worth by stopping Wilder in the seventh round to take the titles and now cleanly knocked the […]

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Teacher Development: Bringing the Clinch Together (diary entry)


Hour five of my client 11 hour teacher development for Denmark’s Holstebro Taekwondo Klub via Zoom looked at bringing clinch and out-boxing ranges together in Muay Thai. After a warm-up of clinch and dynamic stretching exercises, I moved onto partner work.  We began with checking kicks, moving into catching kicks and then into fighting from a caught kick position. This provided us with sparring drills on training entering the clinch from stand-up striking. We looked at both clinching a kicker […]

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King Cobra (diary entry)


Ezzard Charles versus Joe Louis 27.09.1950 After winning the tournament that decided Joe Louis’s successor for the NBA version of the World Heavyweight title, Ezzard Charles fought three title defences before he was given an opportunity to unite the belt with the NYSAC and The Ring titles. He soundly defeated Gus Lesnevich, Pat Valentino and Freddie Beshore inside the distance with a corner stoppage, a straight KO and TKO respectively, but the general audiences weren’t impressed. Neither the first nor […]

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Junior & Senior War! (diary entry)

ground and pound 2

04.10.2021 Tonight my junior and senior private lessons were combined as uncle and nephew had a fun session of sparring and conditioning in MMA. This is the first time the junior client has sparred under full MMA rules (light contact). During each two minute round the student not sparring or working pads shadow boxed, reacting to the targets and openings they watched. Round 1: Focus mitts – MMA punching with kick and grappling defences Round 2: Focus mitts – MMA […]

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Full Thai Clinch (diary entry)


04.10.2021 Monday night’s first private lesson saw my first couple enter their third hour on the clinch. Tonight we brought together everything covered in the previous lesson and confirmed three of the four major knee strikes, the two main clinching positions and clinch escapes. This will be before we start looking more into how safely enter the clinch and tactics for breaking from the clinch as well as sweeps in future classes. After we drilled positioning, footwork and striking I […]

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Infant Grappling (diary entry)

03.10.2021 Sunday afternoon saw the last part of a five-hour course I have been teaching to a five year old and his father on boxing and grappling. The lessons have mainly been focused on boxing often with some grappling at the end. Today we switched everything around and just trained grappling. Areas covered including sprawling and taking the back as well as some guard-passing games.

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Working the Lead (diary entry)

High Kick - Kickboxing

02.10.2021 Lessons six and seven of my client’s first course included training an hour senior Muay Thai and then an hour for two juniors. The senior class mainly focused on technique placement and movement against an opponent. We spent a while just looking at the teep and then at the importance of stepping into strong positions. The lesson finished with 3 x 3 minute rounds on the focus mitts working through combinations that incorporated the kicks used earlier and each […]

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Mirror Side & Defence in MMA (diary entry)


29.09.2021 Somewhat inspired by the Usyk vs Joshua World Heavyweight Championship match, we focused on dealing with a mirror side opponent in the junior MMA. That is an opponent with reverse side stance. This mainly consisted of fighting with the lead foot on the outside of an opponent’s lead foot. From here I introduced using the rear side first in combinations that utilised boxing, muay Thai and MMA techniques – punches, kicks and takedowns. This was all mainly done using […]

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