Footwork in the Clinch (diary entry)

Knee strike to head from clinch

23.01.19 Tonight I continued my work with the nephew and uncle team, which comprises a half an hour junior lesson and an hour senior lesson. The junior lesson brought in aspects of footwork and how they relate to the Muay Thai clinch. The senior lesson transitioned between stick-work, punching and elbow strikes, including groundwork. The junior lesson built up a series of punch-kick combinations. These were then connected with shin-checks, Dracula guard and teeps. Homework for this section was to […]

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Aggressive Fence & Other Recovery Tools (diary entry)

Angry fence to make space (a)

23.01.19   The second lesson in Kingham Hill’s Spring Term course on Self-Defence revised the fence, looked at an aggressive recovery version of the fence and the cover to regain striking before moving onto some Muay Thai cross-training.   The class warmed up with transitioning through postures. This was done reinforce moving fluidly from different compromised positions to standing and also adopt strong, stable fighting postures. I encouraged active engagement of the core muscles, retaining a straight back, not putting […]

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Elbows & Angles (diary entry)


19.01.19   This morning’s lesson brought my client up to the six hour mark of his 10 hour course in Martial Arts Cross Training. We used some principles taken from Eskrima to inform MMA and self-defence techniques.   We warmed up using double sticks. This consisted of rudimentary dynamic stretching exercises and transitional coordination exercises. We moved through postures using angle 1 and 2 double stick strikes. These were then transferred onto focus mitts with hammer-fists, forearm strikes and elbow […]

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More Elbows (diary entry)

inside elbow to pads

16.01.19 Tonight’s double lesson – one junior, one senior – continued to look at elbow strikes. The junior lesson concentrated on their place in Muay Thai and also introduced the clinch. The senior lesson concentrated on cross-training in general and dealt with various ranges and disciplines from weapons to MMA ground-work. The junior lesson began with a quick revision of punch/kick combinations at different ranges. We tightened up the guard and balancing considerations. Then I introduced the switch-kick. The horizontal […]

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Spring Term Training Begins (diary entry)

Angry fence to make space (a)

16.01.2019   Today began the first day of a new term at Kingham Hill School. My session has been oversubscribed, meaning that the class was the largest group so far since I started teaching at Kingham Hill back in the spring last year.  I am teaching self-defence again along with elements of combat sports. It was good to see the return of familiar faces from the two previous terms. Their presence meant I had some assistance with the greater numbers. […]

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Early Clinch in Boxing (diary entry)

right hook in clinch

12.01.19   My second lesson of the day was for my two junior clients who are currently on the fifth hour of their course in Basic Boxing for Martial Arts Cross Training. We warmed up on the heavy bag varying footwork with basic combinations. Then we covered different tactics for drawing and fighting defensively. This brought us onto clinch-work.   I was looked to cover clinch-work at a later stage in the course, but once I had used Jack Johnson’s […]

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Cross Training Angles (diary entry)

stick jamie

12.01.19   My first lesson of the day brought this client up to four and a half hour mark on what has becoming a course dedicated entirely to Martial Arts Cross Training without focusing on one particular discipline. We used 12 basic stick angles from Eskrima and then went through elbow and punching applications. Not every angle was accounted for, but we focused on representation of the slashing, horizontal, smash-down, chop, backward and side elbows as well as overhands and […]

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Enter the Elbows! (diary entry)

Cover Elbow (loose)

09.01.18   Tonight I taught a junior lesson in Muay Thai for Martial Arts Cross Training and a senior lesson in Martial Arts Cross Training. The Muay Thai class focused on developing the long guard and the use of elbow strikes. The senior class worked across self-protection, Filipino stick-work and Muay Thai elbow strikes.   The junior lesson began with a revision on the Dracula guard, a cover variation on the long guard. We drilled jabbing and jab/crossing with this […]

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Layering Basics (diary entry)


05.01.19 My second lesson of the day brought my two junior clients up to the fourth hour of their 10 hour course in Basic Boxing for Martial Arts Cross Training. A spring-loaded free-standing heavy bag Christmas present ensured that a good portion of the lesson consisted of learning how to best use this tool. For the most part, the lesson was concerned with layering all the previous lessons. We began with footwork and looked at maintaining the integrity of stance […]

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Progressive Principles (diary entry)

cover checking

05.01.19   This morning’s first client is still recovering from a foot injury incurred outside of martial arts training. We worked up to the three hour mark of his 10 hour course. The course was originally his third Mixed Martial Arts programme. However, due to the injury I decided to focus on some restrictive training and also some martial arts cross-training. I introduced him to some weapons work. This was more to teach certain principles rather than to develop weapons […]

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Cross-Training in Action (diary entry)

mma tkd

02.01.19   The first two official private lessons of the year saw the uncle and nephew team train inter-discipline connections and principles. Trite, pseudo-philosophical paradoxes to one side, sometimes you do need to go back to the beginning in order to move forward. My junior client was taught the behavioural connection between peek-a-boo slip/punching and the “Dracula” guard, and my senior client was taught the behavioural connections between the fence, angling off in general and various cover tactics.   My […]

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Hooks and the Basics (diary entry)

Hook Punch (close) darker

22.12.18 This morning I taught the third hour of a 10 hour course I am holding for two junior students in Western Boxing for Martial Arts Cross Training. We looked at the lead hook and worked on tightening up stances and footwork. The first part of the lesson was entirely dedicated to positioning and footwork. If there are three things that every fighter needs to have in their physical skills foundation it is to be on balance, to keep their […]

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Muay Thai & MMA (diary entry)

knee (smaller)

19.12.18 Tonight my junior client continued work on stance and footwork whilst incorporating the hook into his Muay Thai whilst my senior client went through the ranges of MMA. My junior client warmed up with mirror footwork and I looked at retaining balance whilst throwing the basic combinations. The basic combination build-ups consisted of jab/round kick and jab/cross/round kick. I also kept my client on his toes, checking for balance and the ability to keep moving as well as checking […]

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Restricted Training & FLT (diary entry)

15.12.18   My two junior client’s second lesson looked at tightening up footwork and basic straight punching. One client is using the peek-a-boo guard and approach, whilst I am sticking with the high guard for the other one. Training moved along at a good pace with plenty of enthusiasm and evidence that both students have been training well.   We began mirror footwork, layering in upper body movement. We then focused on the jab, attacking, defending and countering. This was […]

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MMA Stomach Throw & Muay Thai Basics (diary entry)


12.12.18   Tonight’s junior lesson continued work on Muay Thai, tightening up certain techniques and building combinations. The senior lesson put Wrestling at the core of MMA training.   The junior lesson began with guard and footwork. The client has transitioned from just using a peek-a-boo guard in Western Boxing to adopting a high guard, which is the most popular form of Muay Thai guard. I checked balance and we looked at throwing punches with bare fists. Although no impact […]

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Jab Variations Continue (diary entry)

Straight lead

11.12.18   Tonight brought my new Boxing client up to the eighth hour his basic course. We continued work on the jab variations, mainly going over the techniques taught last week before adding in the straight hook and the uppercut jab.   Training began with a review of shadow boxing as a warmup. Here I watched footwork and upper body movement as I called out different scenarios. As per my essay on this area of training, it is important to […]

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