Rematch, Knockout & a Steal (diary entry)

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Tuesday night’s second lesson was my regular “Learn from the Fight” class. We returned to the career of Joe Louis for tonight and his first three fights/title defences after he finished his service in World War 2. The last time we saw Louis was in a rematch that retired Buddy Bear in one round. He dedicated his entire purse to the war effort before fighting Abe Simon two months later in another rematch that also saw Louis claim a knockout […]

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Switch-Hitting Counters (diary entry)

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02.09.21 The eighth hour of my couple’s switch-hitting programme focused entirely on counter tactics. Here the switch-hitter worked defensively. Countering an aggressive jab with a switch-hook, countering an inside leg kick with switch-straight punch and an inside leg kick with a switch-outside leg kick. Using switch-hitting tactics in a counter situation creates new possibilities with angles, can throw more force into the counter technique and also encourages an opponent to over-reach with their attack. However, they have to be timed […]

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Striking Set-ups for Takedowns (diary entry)

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01.09.21 Wednesday night’s 1.5 hour lesson continued my client’s MMA work from the previous week. We are exploring eight set-ups for double-leg takedowns. Each of tonight’s four alternated between right and left double leg takedowns. Combination 1: This one was a nice continuation from the single combination we explored last week. After leading with a jab, the fighter feints a single leg takedown with an inside leg tap from the same side that is used to set up an overhand […]

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Sparring Plan (diary entry)


31.09.21 My second lesson on Tuesday was also a teacher consultancy lesson. This time it is a teacher development course for Denmark’s Holstebro Taekwondo Klub where they are devising a series of sparring and pressure-testing lessons for their students. They have a very exciting a progressive programme that is created to provide a rich variety of relevant information. Classes include their regular competition sparring, kickboxing, grappling and self-defence/hard skills. This will be part one of an 11 hour teacher development […]

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Boxer-Puncher versus Out-Boxer & Swarmer (diary entry)

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31.08.21 Tuesday’s “Learn from the Fight” lesson focused on two championship bouts where Isiah “Ike” Williams defended his World Lightweight title. Williams was born in Brunswick, Georgia on 2nd August 1923. He moved to Trenton, New Jersey as a boy and apparently worked as a newsboy. He turned professional in 1940 aged 17. He fought 157 fights, including newspaper decisions, with an official record of 128 wins (61 KOs), 24 losses and five draws. He was a natural lightweight and […]

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Look, Step, Punch (diary entry)

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29.08.21 The fourth hour of my client’s five hour course in junior MMA began with father and son warming up on the agility ladders. It is important to note that this lesson is as much about helping the father client to coach his son outside of lessons as it is for me to directly teach the son. Feedback from the previous lesson was that footwork and punching were fine in isolation but there were problems with them both together. Therefore, […]

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Ground Striking & Mixing Strikes with Takedowns (diary entry)


25.08.21 My first lesson on Wednesday evening was junior MMA for my teenage client. We began work on ground fighting and striking. Here we looked at ground ‘n pound, sitting in and stacking the guard. We covered the defensive structure first: Hips forward and close in to prevent the opponent hip escaping Establising a strong posture to prevent sweeps Keeping the arms in but mobile to prevent submission traps Next we moved onto the strikes themselves. We covered the hammer-fist/overhand […]

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“The Casablanca Clouter” (diary entry)

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Tuesday night’s “Learn from the Fight” lesson focused on the career and three fights of Marcel “The Casablanca Clouter” Cerdan. The first fight acts as a direct sequel to last lesson’s rubber match finale of the Rocky Graziano/Tony Zale trilogy as it was Zale’s first defence. Tony Zale versus Marcel Cerdan Undisputed World Middleweight Title Defence 21.09.1948 After winning the title back from Rocky Graziano, Tony Zale only fought one more time and that was to defend this very title. […]

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Switch-Kicks & Switch-Hitting (diary entry)

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23.08.21 Hour seven of my couple client’s course on switch-hitting in kickboxing combined the action of the switch-kick with the tactic of switch-hitting. Usually the switch-kick only momentarily switches their stance in order to put more power into their lead leg. There are variations, such as the step-kick and the “no-switch” switch-kick, but the traditional switch-kick doesn’t really commit to a stance change and fighters are trained not to change levels as it will telegraph the kick. However, in this […]

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Junior Boxing Work for MMA (diary entry)

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22.08.21 Today was my client’s third hour of a five hour programme for junior MMA. We worked exclusively on boxing technique, where I incorporated more head movement as well as methods for improving agility for footwork and keeping elbows in. We warmed up with some simple forward, backward and circular footwork. Then we returend to our stick and move drill: jab and circle away from the power hand drill followed by jab/cross circle away. Then we went back to the […]

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Focus Mitt Training (diary entry)

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22.08.21 Sunday’s first class was small group teacher training on the subject of developing effective pad-work drills. We primarily used boxing focus mitts but also Thai pads towards the end of the session. After a warm-up we looked at the criteria for pad-holding, went through basic combination work and also different types of focus mitt work. Pad-Holding – This is not as universal as just about every coach would have you believe. A lot of it is dependent on the […]

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Marching Knee Switch-Hitting (diary entry)

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16.08.21 Monday night brought my clients up the sixth hour of their 10 hour course on switch-hitting my Muay Thai. Tonight we looked at using marching knees to set up a mirror-side attack. After a warm-up of specific callisthenics, mobility and dynamic stretching exercises, we moved onto switch-hitting drills using shuffles and direction changing. I then taught two set-ups using marching knees. Both used a rear leg teep stepping into a mirror-side stance (typically southpaw), followed by two marching knees […]

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Graziano and Zale (diary entry)


17.08.21 Tuesday night’s learn from the fight lesson spotlighted fights connecting two middleweight champions Rocky Graziano and Tony Zale. Rocky Graziano – real name Thomas Rocco Barbella – was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was the son of sometime boxer Fighting Nick Bob Barbella. His father encouraged Rocky to don boxing gloves and fight with older brother from when he was only three years old almost every night. Rocky disliked authority of any kind and although he did well […]

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Junior MMA & Submission Grappling


11.08.21 Wednesday night’s clients covered transitioning in Junior MMA and Submisson Grappling sparring respectively. The transitioning lesson looked at basic MMA pad-work beginning with boxing and then layering in kicks and takedown work. We looked to set up a double leg with jabs and eventually a three-punch combination. The sparring lesson began with a full basic revision of the basic ranges of ground-fighting. This began with transitioning through pins – which was eventually done against some pressure – was followed […]

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Willie Pep in the ’40s & Saddler Talks the Torque (diary entry)

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10.08.21 Tonight my “Learn from the fight/fight history lesson” threw the spotlight onto Willie Pep. Pep has even scarcer footage over the 1940s than Ray Robinson. However, what was available revealed Pep at his prime with his signature artistry. Born Guglielmo Papaleo on 19th September 1922, Willie Pep began boxing as amateur in Connecticut along with Johnny Duke. Both boys were working as shoe shiners and decided to join a local gym as sparring partners. This was during the Great […]

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Switch-Hitting and the Teep (diary entry)


09.08.21 My couple clients entered their fifth hour of a 10 hour course on stance-switching. Tonight we revised the previous lesson’s combination using a straight stance switch and shift to fight from a mirror side position. Then we looked at feinting with teep to move into the same mirror side position. In both instances we began with a simple entry combination and then we built on it. We then sandwiched each of the second combinations with a teep to exit. […]

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