Shadowing Anacondas (diary entry)

In-fighting attack6

06.04.20   Monday night saw my client reach the fourth hour of her MMA course. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, lesson two onwards has been conducted via video link. Tonight we covered more ground-fighting techniques.   The lesson began with isolated technique work performed as a warm-up exercise. Slipping and rolling was used to get the neck and shoulders moving. Elbow strikes were also done to loosen off the shoulders. Hooks were used for hip rotations. Switching levels more actively […]

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Bring Me Cordelia (review of “Bright-Sided”)


Positive thinking is possibly the most popular go-to motivation of mainstream martial arts. In an act of cognitive dissonance,  martial artists who have ridiculed traditionalists for clinging onto pre-scientific belief systems have little qualms about embracing equally mystical New Age philosophies. Below is a review I wrote just over eight years ago about a book that challenged over-indulgence and reliance on the forced doctrine of positive thinking. I still see it as relevant today as it was back then…   […]

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Online Training: The Teep Frame (diary entry)

online video training

31.03.20   My online teacher training/partner training continued on Tuesday with a focus on close range kicking. We isolated kick-countering and also increased the level difficulty with the partner drills.   Training began with the usual partner warm-up of trading single low kicks. I layered in foot-work and using the hands to set up. These aspects will become part of the mainstay as we use this drill in future warm-ups. I then changed it to shin-checking and countering with a […]

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Video Training: Chaining MMA Techniques (diary entry)

drop level

30.03.20   My client began her third hour in Mixed Martial Arts training. This is her second live video link tutorial. We went back over details for the double-leg takedown, the sprawl and two break-falls. We also continued ground work positions and focused a lot on chaining and transitioning techniques.   We warmed up through the usual callisthenics and dynamic stretching exercises. Then I began technical work with the simple high and low jab. The low jab involves changing levels […]

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Lockdown Partner Work (diary entry)

skype online training 3

24.03.20   Tuesday night my teacher training introduced a new element to my online video coaching: partner work! Some individuals are locked-down with others who share their passion for martial arts. I am more than happy to coach partners, small groups or – space permitted – your entire household for the same rate as my regular one-to-ones. Last night’s lesson focused on posting, pushing and framing opponents.   We warmed up with single kick exchanges. This built up into two […]

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Visualising Ground-Fighting (diary entry)


23.03.20   My second Monday night online video coaching took my client up to the third hour of his first MMA programme. Being an online video training session, we looked at better developing shadow sparring, sport specific callisthenics and solo training in general to progress his MMA knowledge.   The lesson began with the usual series of dynamic stretching, muscle activation and sport specific callisthenics. We then onto some technical work, the first part of which was combining strikes with […]

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First Online Video Lesson (diary entry)


23.03.20   Monday night saw the first of my online video coaching. This is my client’s second lesson in her Mixed Martial Arts programme. This is a service I have always offered but only now with the world dealing with a global pandemic have I had to transfer all my regular clients over to this form of teaching. As can be seen by various media, I have a long history on developing solo training methods as a means for enhancing […]

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Kingham Hill Anti-Grappling & Ground-Fighting (diary entry)

eye gouge (smaller)

18.03.20   Kingham Hill School’s Self-Protection course continued with anti-grappling and ground defence.   Continuing on from last week’s anti-grappling from against a wall, we covered the eye-gouge/head/elbow strike/palm incidental combination. Points made whilst the technique was being drilled were as follows:   Ensure you adopt a good wrestling posture before attacking the eyes, getting under the force pressing you forward into the wall. No matter how dirty your technique, if you are not a mechanically strong position the chances […]

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Clinch Exiting (diary entry)

Knee strike to head from clinch

17.03.20   Tonight’s teacher training continued our stand-up work in Dutch Kickboxing inspired training drills and we moved onto using the clinch as a counter to punching combinations.   The lesson began with our now usual warm-up of low kick exchanges. This then increased to double-kick exchanges. I then brought in the 1, 2, 3 combinations. Building off the set combinations we used in the previous two lessons, we one partner through a strike then two strikes and a combination […]

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MMA Kickboxing (diary entry)


16.03.20   Monday night began my client’s first Mixed Martial Arts course. She is coming to it from a Kickboxing/Muay Thai perspective. With this mind, we will be extending and adapting techniques from this discipline to MMA. Tonight was mainly about exploring the different ranges before we began putting together some simple combinations.   With the stand-up range already covered in three previous courses, we began with the clinch and immediately started work at using wrestling positioning. We worked on […]

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Clinch Workshop March 2020

Vagabond Warriors March 2020 clinch

  15.03.20 Sunday saw the latest Vagabond Warriors Workshop. The subject of the lesson was the clinch where we focused on positional control and striking whilst grappling. Various drills were taken from Western Boxing/Dirty Boxing, Muay Thai, Wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts. This workshop was supported by the Oxford School of Martial Arts and held at their dojo. After some dynamic stretching and sport specific callisthenics we took an unusual approach to the clinching subject. Typically I would begin with […]

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Submission Grappling Overview Continues (diary entry)


14.03.20   Saturday morning continued my client’s Submission Grappling/Ground-Fighting course where he booked in a special two-hour session. This brought his current course up to the four and a half hour mark. We spent the first hour going back through pins, transitions and submissions from the top position. The second hour focused on guard passing and submissions from the guard.   We began the session with a run through of specific grappling callisthenics. This included exercise for both top position […]

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Eight Rounds and then Sparring (diary entry)

ground and pound

12.03.20   Thursday night’s second session was the penultimate private lesson in my junior client’s first MMA course. We had a hard night’s training, going through the different ranges for three minute rounds on the pads before sparring.   After our usual dynamic stretching and sport specific callisthenics we went straight into the rounds. The 8 x 3 minute rounds consisted of Boxing, Shoot-Boxing, Kickboxing, Shoot-Kickboxing, Ground ‘n Pound, Guard Defence, Turtle Defence and Back Mount attacks. Then we sparred […]

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Junior MMA Progress (diary entry)


12.03.20   Thursday night’s third junior MMA class for Kingham Hill School continued linking boxing techniques with Muay Thai and Wrestling whilst also introducing the class to more active ground-work.   We warmed up with some dynamic stretching and simple shadow boxing exercises – jab/cross, jab/front kick, jab/low round kick, jab/double leg takedown and sit-outs. Then we moved onto the focus mitts. Here we drilled teep/footwork/jab/cross. Next we drilled jab/cross/double-leg takedown. Then we drilled ground ‘n pound in the guard. […]

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Three Half-Guard Attacks (diary entry)

half guard attack

11.03.20   Wednesday night’s junior Submission Grappling/Ground-Fighting lesson brought us onto strategies from half-guard. The senior MMA lesson continued work focusing on how different disciplines relate to the entire game.   After a warm-up of callisthenics specific for grappling, the junior lesson began with the half-guard. This is the basic half-guard which better suited for Submission Grappling than MMA. We started with the dog-fight sweep which is a very low line attack and is a good beginner position because it […]

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Heading for and Heading the Head (diary entry)

eye gouge standing

11.03.20   Wednesday lunchtime continued my self-protection course with Kingham Hill School. We revised basic clinch grappling and began anti-grappling training.   The solo warm-up began with some simple dynamic stretches moving onto grappling callisthenics and then we drilled moving from a low posture as well as sprawls and double-leg takedowns. Then we moved onto partner work. We revised the main clinching drills from the previous lesson – collar and elbow bulling, plum position neck wrestling, over-hook/under-hook pummelling and wrist-grip […]

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