Escapes and Reversals from Pins (diary entry)

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08.06.20 My client’s third hour of her second MMA course included a review and confirmation of transitioning on the top and an introduction to escapes. We began with a ground-fighting callisthenics warm-up. Then we moved onto the pin transitions. The sequence was finished with a knee-pin before returning to the side-control starting position. I went over some details and focused on getting the transitions smoother. Both my client and her lock-in training partner then performed the se quence moving in the […]

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Soft Skills Webinar Part II (diary entry)

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07.06.20 Sunday saw the second part of what has evolved into CCMA’s standard Soft Skills Webinar trilogy. Last month we focused on attitude and awareness. This time we put the spotlight on deceptive and aggressive pre-incident indicators, the effects of stress/fear in a crisis situation and the options presented at the crisis point. Sources such as Desmond Morris, Geoff Thompson, Peter Consterdine, Gavin De Becker and Dave Grossman were cited throughout the webinar. My thanks to Keiryu Practical Karate for […]

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Heavy Bag Drills from Underneath Positions (diary entry)


02.06.20   My client began his second MMA course via Zoom live training. We spent the first half of the lesson looking at heavy bag work on the ground, mainly focusing on drilling techniques from underneath. The last half of the lesson consisted of 3 x 5 minute rounds and one tabata of MMA shadow sparring.   We began with a warm-up of movement drills on the grounded heavy bag. This consisted of shoulder rolling from side to side, knee […]

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Shoulder Bumps and Low Kicks (diary entry)

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02.06.20 My teacher training Zoom lesson delved further into Dirty Boxing tactics and also the closer range more angled variation of the low round kick. We began with some footwork. This started as simply copying each other’s movements and then changed into cornering exercises. These exercises were then layered with posting on the defender’s behalf, followed by adding on the shoulder bump. Then we switched to the attacker using the shoulder bump. This exercise encourages tight coupling of efficient cornering […]

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Knee-Pin, Reverse Scarf-Hold & Full Mount (diary entry)

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01.06.20   The second part of my client’s second course on MMA appears to be becoming a Submission Grappling/Ground-Fighting course. After a warm-up of ground-fighting callisthenics, we began where we left last week at the knee-pin.   When it comes to covering the pins, transitioning is very important. I ensured that both my client and her lockdown partner first went through all the transitions up to this point (side-control, scarf-hold, north-south, scarf-hold, side control, knee-pin). From the knee-pin, my client […]

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Setting up Shoulder Bumps (diary entry)

hook video training

26.05.20 Tuesday night’s Skype live video training brought my teacher training back into the realm of Dirty Boxing but now with the hindsight of Muay Thai/Dutch Kickboxing. Much of the work was focused on moving the fight towards a wall and using the shoulder bump. The warm-up consisted of footwork partner-work which we moved into cornering and escape drills. This is relevant material teaching how to push an opponent into a wall and also how to evade being cornered in […]

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Virtual Sparring Class (diary entry)

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22.05.20 On Friday I was honoured to be invited back to teach via Zoom for the Oxford School of Martial Arts. Following on from last lesson’s restricted training, we focused our attention onto specific shadow sparring to improve sparring in general. We warmed up going through various techniques that would be covered in the rounds. I wanted to ensure that each of the participants understood how to shadow grappling, slipping, sprawling and a few ground movements. This was done under […]

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Restricted Training Zoom Class for Forest Schools Karate (diary entry)

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20.05.20 Tonight I was booked to teach for Forest Schools of Karate on Zoom. This 45 minute lesson focused on restrictive training and visualisation exercises to get the most out of home training. Whenever I guest-teach for clubs I am always impressed by the way particularly young students are continuing to engage as Lockdown fatigue sets in for society. Vijay Pathek’s child students were no exception. Siblings and individual students enthusiastically gave all my different training methods a fair go. […]

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Attacking the Back (diary entry)

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19.05.20 The final part of this particular client’s MMA course was a round-up of most material previously covered with an emphasis on attacking the back on the ground. We began with our normal warm-up of dynamic stretching followed by shadow boxing where I grafted on kicks, takedowns and takedown defence to boxing combinations. This area transitioned from instructional to visualisation. Training switched to the loose heavy bag where we began clinching for knee strikes. Here I coached my client to […]

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Adding Dirt (diary entry)


19.05.20 My first Tuesday night lesson was my teacher training. My client and her lockdown partner (daughter) continued their Muay Thai training and kickboxing with some much-needed sparring before we began introducing some Dirty Boxing concepts. The lesson began with a build-up of kick exchanges and partner footwork. This was increased with set combinations and counters, encouraging rapid recovery and interception of kicks. Punching combinations were then brought in, chaining a kick onto a series of 1-6 punches. This moved […]

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Side Control to Scarf Hold (diary entry)

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18.05.20 Monday’s lesson was the final hour of my client’s first MMA course. She and her fellow lockdown partner focused entirely on Submission Grappling. We transitioned to scarf-hold and I introduced a type of arm-bar from this position. We warmed up with our normal dynamic stretches and then went exclusively into ground-fighting callisthenics. Here I covered bear crawls, spider-crawls, crab crawls, seal crawls, sit-outs, snaking, side-winding and upas. The lesson then began with a revision of side-control submissions. Here we […]

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Predators & the 3 Rs (diary entry)

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14.05.20   I taught a private lesson on Thursday, going over the material covered in last Sunday’s webinar. My client raised a couple of interesting questions that I was happy to discuss and I will summarise my views below. Firstly, the self-protection view of social and predatory/asocial violence distinctions is an extremely important area of study. To understand the difference between these two types of violence is to understand what should dictate self-protection and what is legally justifiable as self-defence. […]

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Ground-Fighting using the Heavy Bag (diary entry)

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12.05.20 Tuesday’s second lesson brought this client up to the ninth hour of his Mixed Martial Arts course. Unlike Monday’s – who was primarily a kickboxing student – this client has been through several of my different courses and is very familiar with ground work. However, this course has been his first introduction to striking on the ground. Having a free heavy bag in his isolation, we were able to complete his ground-striking drills. I also did some more clinch-work […]

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Self-Protection of the Mind

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This is another archive piece I wrote back in my active reviewing days. “50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology” was one of several excellent science-based books I read during my time teaching in London as a representative for Mo Teague’s Hard Target System and the security training firm Response Security Training. At that time I was travelling on a lot of public transport and used the monthly weekend commutes as an opportunity to cram important and relevant material to services […]

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Kick Camouflage (diary entry)

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12.05.20 My teacher training lesson was taught around partner-work as my client is self-isolated with her daughter. We continued our Muay Thai/Dutch Kickboxing merger work. Next lesson we look to put in more dirty boxing work. The overall objective of this training is work in and out of ranges with the emphasis on striking. Tonight footwork and fast hand combinations were used to set up everything else. We warmed up with footwork, using the training area to its full extent. […]

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Arm Triangles and Snake Chokes (diary entry)


11.05.20   The ninth lesson of my client’s Mixed Martial Arts course saw her and her fellow self-isolated partner focus a lot on ground-work. We stayed in side-control, prompted some escapes and looked at set-ups for submissions.   The lesson began with some simple callisthenics, movement exercises and dynamic stretching starting with the neck and ending with the calves. We then moved into some shadow boxing, drawing combinations and individuals techniques from stand-up and clinch ranges. Training then went to […]

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