Flyweights of ’54 & the Featherweights of ’55 (diary entry)


20.04.2022 Wednesday morning’s “Learn from the Fight” started in 1954 where we sourced more scant highlight footage of Japan’s first world boxing champion, Yoshio Shirai in his first fight with the man he would later defend his title against, the Argentinian Pascuel Perez. We then fast-forwarded to May the following year to see their third clash with the world title at state. Finally we moved back but still in 1955 to see highlights of the still reigning undisputed world featherweight champion, […]

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Grading Preparation (diary entry)


19.04.2022 On Tuesday night I was booked to help prepare a teacher for their upcoming fourth Dan grading in Practical Karate. This is a big honour and privilege as not only is the instructor an excellent martial arts teacher, but they will be graded by world practical karate pioneer (and my old friend), Iain Abernethy. Tonight we focused on working on three boxing/kickboxing combinations. My client was mainly concerned about the second one which includes two same-side punch/kick transitions.   […]

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Expanding on In-Fighting (diary entry)

clinch sweep

18.04.2022 My couple clients’ eight and ninth hours of their 10 hour course on MMA clinch looked at various ways dirty boxing could be used as counters and set-ups. We began with revision on upper-body holds such as the collar/elbow and over-hook/under-hook drilling. From here we looked at how the collar ties can not only be accessed by using hooks but also immediately turned into posting tools to set up rear hand straights and elbows. From here the straight strike […]

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The Big Controversy & The Big Comeback (diary entry)

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13.04.2022 Kid Gavilan versus Johnny Saxton Undisputed World Welterweight Championship 20.10.1954 After failing to go up a division to win the Middleweight title from Bobo Olson, Kid Gavilan returned to defend his welterweight title against Johnny Saxton. This would be his ninth defence since uniting the three major versions of the title in a contest with reigning NBA champion Johnny Bratton, where the two vacant Ring and NYSAC versions were also put on the line in 1951. The contest had […]

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Protecting the Frontline 10 (diary entry)

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13.04.2022 The tenth session of my Protecting the Frontline course for a teacher client of Drum Kempo Ju Jitsu brought us on to the post-fight stage. We briefly addressed the checklist of what needs to considered following a violent incident before focusing on the double tap. The double tap in this instance refers to a sudden release of fight/flight hormones following the episode and immediate new threats. We looked at hazards that might impact on the defender, such as dangerous […]

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Defence Habits (diary entry)

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12.03.2022 Tuesday night’s lessons were junior and senior MMA lessons. The former resumed my focus on developing my client’s defence against straight rights and the latter was 8 rounds of focus mitt work. After a warm-up, including shadow boxing designed to promote better lead hand defence, we moved onto the boxing focus mitts. Here I repeatedly fed straight rights for my client to defend. This was mixed in with various combinations and other defences. I then layered in kicks and […]

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The Kings Hold Firm (diary entry)


06.03.2022 Wednesday’s “Learn from the Fight” saw Archie Moore and Rocky Marciano fight rematches against two of their worthiest contenders in 1954. Archie Moore versus Harold Johnson Undisputed World Light Heavyweight Championship 11.08.1954 After successfully defending his title for the second time against Joey Maxim earlier that year, Archie Moore took two non-title bouts against Bob Baker and Bert Whitehurst. He won them both by technical knockouts in the ninth and sixth rounds respectively. Come August he was signed to […]

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Protecting the Frontline Course 9 (diary entry)


07.04.2022 The ninth session of my Protecting the Frontline course for a teacher client of Drum Kempo Ju Jitsu brought us on to common errors of learning and teaching the fence. We moved onto “Line up Action” and “Pre-Emptive Hard Skill Options”. My criticism of much teaching and learning of fence concepts mainly coming from a desire for individuals to codify this strategy. I previously discussed what the fence is and how it should be taught last week. This week […]

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Strike to Grip, Grip to Strike (diary entry)

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04.04.2022 Hour seven of my couple clients’ course on the clinch was conducted via Zoom on Monday. We went back over the material previous covered in more detail, working to build more effective tactics and behaviours. After the warm-up we looked at rolling/weaving, switch-hitting and shifting footwork. This approach is very akin to the Rocky Marciano style of swarming, The weaving and foot shift enables a fighter to close distance on a striker very quickly whilst maintaining a good defence. […]

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10 Rounds of MMA (diary entry)

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30.03.2022 Tonight was an uncle and nephew combined lesson of 1.5 hours where we focused completely on Mixed Martial Arts. This was done in the form pad work, a technical section and then 8 x 2 minute rounds of MMA specific sparring. 10 minutes – warm-up and sport specific callisthenics Rounds 1 & 2 – MMA Boxing with takedown defence on the focus mitts Rounds 3 & 4 – MMA Boxing with takedown defence on the focus mitts layering in […]

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Battling Back from the Cuts! (diary entry)

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30.03.2022 Today’s “Learn from the Fight” saw highlights from both Jimmy Carter’s world lightweight defence against George Araujo in 1953 and the much anticipated Rocky Marciano/Ezzard Charles heavyweight clash of June 1954. Jimmy Carter versus George Araujo Undisputed World Lightweight Title 12.06.1953 After winning back his world title Jimmy Carter fought four non-title bouts from 9th December 1952 to 16th February 1953. He only won the first of these on a unanimous decision over Archie Whitewater. He then drew on […]

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Protecting the Frontline Course 8 (diary entry)

Inside the fence

30.03.2022 The teacher consultancy  course took a close examination of the fence concept and how it is taught. After a brief overview of the consistent effectiveness of pre-emption and its tactical effeciency, we looked at how the fence should be introduced to students. Boundary lines need to be set in order for fences to be built. A boundary line is something that can be set in a variety of contexts and they are essential for how an individual operates in […]

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Dirty Boxing Clinch (diary entry)

clinch sweep

28.03.2022 The sixth hour of my couple client’s course on Mixed Martial Arts clinch looked at dirty boxing techniques used to blend strikes with grappling. We began with the underhook from the uppercut. Here a jab or series of jabs is used for the fighter to throw a rear uppertcut. The uppercut uppercut might then be followed up with an immediate underhook or the uppercut might be changed into an underhook, punching into a grip so to speak. Here it […]

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Closed Guard in MMA & Passing the Knee Shield (diary entry)

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23.03.2022 My final two lessons on Wednesday were my junior MMA and senior submission grappling lessons. In the former we went through standard defences from the back in the MMA. In order of priority mixed martial artists seek to escape, to sweep, to submit from guard. The advantages of gravity offered to a striker makes the guard a much more dangerous place in mixed martial arts compared to submission grappling. We looked at the hip-out escape to the feet, drilled […]

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Kingham Hill Self-Protection Course 7.9 (diary entry)

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23.03.2022 My first group at Kingham Hill covered anti-grappling. My second group revised the fence, moved onto the cover and we discussed what constitutes attitude. The first group began with the hunter exercise in order to reinforce the forward pressure objective even when faced with being posted by an enemy. It also serves as a good training tool for the target holder who will play the role of a grappler. We then moved onto learning a series of basic grappling […]

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Flight of the Gavilán (diary entry)

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23.03.2022 Somewhat inspired by an article published in “Fight City”, I decided to revisit 1953 boxing and analyse a forgotten non-title classic from the career of Gerardo Gonzalez, better known as Kid (aka “The Keed” and “The Cuban Hawk”) Gavilán. The last time we saw him he had made a successful, albeit split-decision, defence of his world welterweight title against Carmen Basilo. However, back in 1951 Gavilán had fought Johnny Bratton twice. The first time they met, Gavilán had taken […]

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