Gavilán, Marciano & Walcott (diary entry)

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04.01.2022   Tuesday night’s “Learn from the Fight” we stepped back to 1951 as Kid Gavilán challenged Johnny Bratton for the undisputed World Welterweight Championship. Then it was back to Rocky Marciano in 1952 as he fought a rematch against Gino Buovino on his way to the world heavyweight title. Later that year the actual title was being contested in yet another rematch between Jersey Joe Walcott and Ezzard Charles.   Kid Gavilán versus Johnny Bratton World Undisputed Welterweight Championship 18.05.1951 […]

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Rising Temperatures (diary entry)


28.12.2021 Tuesday night’s  “Learn from the Fight” Zoom lesson with Athena School of Karate looked at three matches from 1952. Rocky Marciano, now in the top contender spot for the World Heavyweight, took on one more challenge providing Lee Savold with his 153rd fight. Archie Moore continued his campaign to the Light Heavyweight Championship as he faced fellow contender, Jimmy Slade. Finally, Sugar Ray Robinson decided to go up a weight division yet again in a bid for the Light […]

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Guards for Stand-up Combat Sports Seminar/Webinar (diary entry)

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27.12.2021 The day after Boxing Day I was kindly invited to teach a webinar streamed directly into Kajuen Ryu’s class and shared with online teachers and students in the UK and Europe. The subject was guards for stand-up (full-contact) combat sports. Throughout the 20th century guards have evolved and branched off into a variety of directions. They are dictated by the individual – their physical make-up in relation to the majority of their likely opponents and their personality. I did […]

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Muay Thai introduction & Butterfly Guard (diary entry)

Shadow Scarf Hold

15.12.2021 Wednesday night saw the start of a new junior client who is interested in learning some Kickboxing/Muay Thai and more work with my senior client on submission grappling where we covered the butterfly guard. Muay Thai training consisted of learning the jab, the straight right and the teep. These were trained in isolation and combined in different ways. After the warm-up I introduced each technique first through shadow work then target placement and finally on the focus mitts. Submission […]

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A Tale of Two Rocks (diary entry)

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After Joe Louis lost to Ezzard Charles two things were obvious: he could no longer lay claim to the world heavyweight title and he had to keep on fighting in order to keep the IRS from his door. He was in huge debt and had negotiated a deal where the net proceeds of his purse would go directly to pay off his tax bill. Unfortunately the Charles bout had not made him much. He had retired as world champion with […]

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Waistlock Takedowns & Breakfalls (diary entry)


13.12.2021 Monday night my couple clients entered hour two of their 10 hour course specifically focused on the clinch for MMA. As last week, we are currently only covering the wrestling aspects rather than the striking. As part of our warm-up we covered back breakfalls, side break falls, backward rolls and backward shoulder rolls. We then revised some of the previous lesson’s material with the collar and elbow tie into two-on-ones. From here we went to taking the back, looking […]

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Kicking Combinations & More Long Guard on the Ground (diary entry)


08.12.2021 My junior lesson focused primarily on kicking combinations. We looked at putting kicks together, using punches to set them up and also finishing a kicking combination with a punch. A lot of time was spent of correct foot positioning between techniques, allowing for an easier set up for the neck technique and also maintaining defence. My senior class looked at more work from the long guard in submission grappling. This time we fought against a standing opponent, using the […]

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Side Control & Scarf-Hold Escapes (diary entry)

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11.12.2021 I gave a bespoke private class over Zoom to Kuroten Karate founder and her son, focusing escapes from two fundamental pins: side control and scarf-hold. After a grappling based warm-up of dynamic stretching and callisthenics, we moved onto pin transitions. From here we looked at working from reversals and hip escapes, which are the main basis for escaping pins. We also looked at different stages of a pin, such as when it is in transition, and how to best […]

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Great Feuds: Robinson’s Revenge (diary entry)

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Tonight’s “Learn from the Fight” brought us back to the heavyweight division to see what was lying in the wings for our current 1952 champion, Jersey Joe Walcott and just about any other fighter hungry for the top prize. Back in 1951 Rocky Marciano, was like a latter day Jack Dempsey, in both his swarming style and the devastating way he was stopping opponents in the early rounds. After him it was back to the middleweights and another all-time legend, […]

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New MMA Clinch Course Begins (diary entry)


06.12.2021 Hour one of my couple client’s new course on clinching began. Their previous course was on the Muay Thai clinch. This time we are focusing on MMA, which means wrestling. The intention is to layer in MMA strikes. However, it is first important to establish some rudimentary stand-up grappling techniques. Tonight we exclusively looked at tying up the head/neck and arms. We covered drilling the collar and elbow tie, looking at breaking posture and promoting a more fluid dynamic. […]

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Off the cage & spider-guard (diary entry)


01.12.2021 Wednesday night’s two lessons were junior MMA and senior submission grappling. In the former we looked at fighting off the cage. In the latter we looked at the use of the spider-guard in no-gi fighting. Junior MMA mainly centred on a simple flow drill that involved striking whilst pinning an opponent against the cage and reversing a pin from the cage. By using an under-hook and a wrist grip, we executed a shoulder bump to the face followed by […]

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Final Self-Defence Lesson for Kingham Hill This Year (diary entry)


01.12.2021 The final part of my self-protection course for teenagers at Kingham Hill drew to a close on Wednesday. My two groups went back over their anti-grappling training, we also revised a lot of the main material from the course, looked at protecting others, dealing with “friendly interference” and I finished on discussion regarding the post-fight. My “When Parents Aren’t Around” course on teenage self-protection has been a 10 hour course for each of the two groups. We have gone […]

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Great Feuds: Robinson vs Turpin 1 (diary entry)

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30.11.2021 Tuesday night’s “Learn from the Fight” gave us arguably Sugar Ray Robinson’s toughest fight since he first fought Jake La Motta, as he put his world title on the line against the great Randolph Turpin. After his sixth and final bloody match with Jake La Motta, taking the World Middleweight Championship, Sugar Ray Robinson beat Americans Holly Mimms by unanimous decision and Don Ellis in a first round KO before embarking on a European tour. Now a legitimate superstar, […]

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Speed Training and Conditioning for Muay Thai (diary entry)

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29.11.2021 My client reached the third hour of his latest Muay Thai/Kickboxing course. Tonight he wanted to focus more on speed development. Speed like power are attributes that are best developed with good technique. The order of training should go technique, speed and then power. For example, fluidity through technique is great basis for adding more speed. As Rodney King better put it, “If you can’t do it slow, you can’t do it.” However, I incorporated specific exercises to increase […]

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Thai Clinch Overview (diary entry)


29.11.2021 Monday night saw the conclusion of my client couple’s 10 hour course on the Muay Thai clinch. After a warm-up we worked 11 x 3 minute rounds on different aspects of the clinch. Round 1 – Neck and arm clinch wrestling Round 2 – Setting up for sweeps Round 3 – More sweeps Round 4 – Knee strikes Round 5 – Elbow strikes Round 6 – Knee strikes and sweeps Ronund 7 – Knee strikes and sweeps Round 8 […]

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Battling from and Against Side Control (diary entry)


24.11.2021 Wednesday night’s lesson brought us back onto the ground game. We looked at side control and scarf-hold attacks and defences. This began with a simple sequence of likely counters. The person under side control attempts to reverse his opponent. Said opponent switches to scarf-hold. Here it is important for the person defending to frame and snake his hips out. He then counters with a triangle choke. Looking at it from the attacker’s perspective, we transitioned into the scarf-hold whilst […]

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