Mother’s Intuition? – A review of “Protecting the Gift”

Enhanced by Zemanta

  “Protecting the Gift” takes the principles of professional threat predictor (never can get his official title!) Gavin De Becker’s most famous work “The Gift of Fear” and applies it to parents. More precisely, it takes ideas explored towards the end of “The Gift of Fear” – violence and sexual predation of children, including child on child abuse – and expands upon them. As is the nature of De Becker, the basis for his personal security and threat prediction of […]

Continue Reading

Triple Whammy! (diary entry)

Enhanced by Zemanta

25.06.12 Junior Class Today’s lesson was another overall look at athletic performance in MMA. We looked at agility and timing. Training began with functional fitness warm-up exercises around the mats, which were followed by various timing drills. The group coordinated forward and backward rolls diagonally across the mat. Then they moved onto footwork drills, backwards and forwards, around markers – running, pogo jumping, leg-whipping, 45 degree stepping etc. followed by sprawl/double leg takedowns and chasing each other using bear crawls […]

Continue Reading

The Last Self-Protection Book for Kids?

Enhanced by Zemanta

“The Safe Zone” is a rare educational book addressing a very important issue: child self-protection. As a self-protection coach, and a specialist in this particular area, books like this are an essential resource. Thanks to well-meaning but misguided campaigns, parents and children are inundated with misinformation regarding crimes against minors. From the myth and unworkable concept of “stranger danger” to the idea that there is strength in numbers to sensationalist headlines, it is small wonder that we are seeing an […]

Continue Reading

The Oldest Trick in the Book (diary entry)

Enhanced by Zemanta

18.06.12 Positioning, movement and timing have all been themes of recent lessons. Putting it to the vote, the group agreed timing needed more attention than everything else. It was a wise choice; positioning and movement should follow timing. Timing is the essence of the fight; it can decide everything. The same could be said about tenacity, but the latter easier to train. Timing requires mental alertness and diligence. You don’t get better at timing by sweating. You get better at […]

Continue Reading

Discipline: Beyond Novelty

Enhanced by Zemanta

In his excellent book on parenting, “Superpowers for Parents”, Dr Stephen Briers discusses the definition of the word “discipline”:   “[discipline] is now generally associated with correction and punishment, but the original Latin root of the word disciplina implies a mentoring relationship: the pupil or ‘disciple’ submits to instruction in order to hone his skills and realize his potential”.   Many of our ideas surrounding the term discipline stem from the ancient methods of religious institutions and the military. In […]

Continue Reading

Timing! (diary entry)

Enhanced by Zemanta

12.06.12 We are following a series of principle-led lessons. Previously we looked at positions and postures, and last week it was movement. Tonight we focused on timing. One of the best coaches I have encountered that taught me about timing was the boxer, Tommy Thompson. He really made me think about how to drill reactions and movement. After a student-led warm-up, I went straight into some bobbing and weaving timing drills:   Slipping single straight hand strikes Rolling single hooks Slipping […]

Continue Reading

On the Move Again (diary entry)

Enhanced by Zemanta

07.06.12   Once again, we refocused on the whole issue of moving. Positioning and transitioning go hand-in-hand. However, it is the last thing that most of us see. It is very easy to be technique-led. And it is a common mistake to just look at the surface of the technique – the end result – rather than understand the underlying principles. Understanding principles, rather than just doggedly sticking to patterns and shapes, would be a reoccurring subject in tonight’s workshop. […]

Continue Reading

Grappling Point of View (diary entry)

Enhanced by Zemanta

26.05.12 Vagabond Warriors 2.2 As a change from previous Vagabond Warriors seminars this year, we looked at everything from a grappling perspective. The usual structure and model – C.S.I. (Clarification, Scepticism and Individuality) and the Hierarchy of Training (Specific Training, Attribute/Cross-Training and Functional Fitness) – used to base all training activities. The exercise decision chart, a Ken Robinson lecture, a functional fitness circuit and the compass/martial path map were all amongst the material used in today’s seminar. Physical activities began […]

Continue Reading

Drilling all Ranges and Transitioning through Grappling (diary entry)

Enhanced by Zemanta

21.05.12: After a student-led warm-up of functional fitness exercises, we went back over last week's basics. Last week we focused on some muscle memory exercises (routines designed to create better retention of techniques). This week we revised the ranges covered by bringing them more into regular freestyle routines. We started with the fence, working straight and hooked hand strikes. Then these were done through all the postures – kneeling, seated, on the back and back against the wall. In this […]

Continue Reading

Vagabond Warriors Taster Session at Telford (diary entry)

Enhanced by Zemanta

My mandate for tonight’s Vagabond Warriors taster session was to orientate it around wrestling/grappling in MMA – working around the double-leg takedown.   After a functional fitness warm-up led by resident MMA coach Scott Stewart, I ran the lesson along the following drills:   Footwork/sprawl movement drill – student mirrors coach’s footwork. Coach prompts the sprawl by dropping and touching the back of the student’s thighs. Drill with added jab/cross to targets Drill with added knee strike when coming up […]

Continue Reading

Owning the Basics (diary entry)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Today we focused on specific drills to improve fundamental techniques. After our regular warm-up, involving footwork and general combative movement at all ranges, we went right back to sharpenign up the basics using a series of repetitive conditioning exercises. We began with self-defence and the fence – that dividing line between soft and hard skills in self-protection. This was just a case of drilling the touch/strike behaviour. The student adopts a natural position with their defending hands disguised by passive […]

Continue Reading

Vagabond Warriors at The Martial Arts Show Part 2 (diary)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 27:  WBA World Heavy...

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 27: WBA World Heavyweight Champion David Haye in action with the medicine ball during his Media Training Day at The Haymaker Boxing Gym on October 27, 2010 in London, England. Daivd Haye will fight Audley Harrison on November 13, 2010 at Manchester Evening News Arena. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife) Late in the day isn’t always the best of slots for free seminars, but nevertheless we still filled our second outing at the show as […]

Continue Reading

Vagabond Warriors at The Martial Arts Show Part 1 (diary)

Enhanced by Zemanta

A little bit of pro-activity and a lot of aggressive on-the-spot selling alongside some genuine support we filled up the first Vagabond Warriors session of the weekend. I have been connected to The Martial Arts Shows since was The Martial Arts Festival, the brainchild of Kwoklyn Wan. Martial arts trade shows are not my favourite places, but somehow Kwoklyn manages to create a good atmosphere and books some of the nicest martial artists in the UK and internationally.   The […]

Continue Reading

Fighting through the Postures & Submission Clinic (diary entry)

Enhanced by Zemanta

10.05.12 Odd numbers inspired me to begin our training with two-on-one exercises. I feel that not only is this a great way to develop more self-defence orientated skills – such as fighting multiple attackers – but also develops what I call 360 degree coaching. This means that a students attack and defence coordination can be carefully monitored and they can experience the best type of physical feedback possible next to sparring. We did this by placing one student between two […]

Continue Reading

Courage and the Myth of Fearlessness

Cus D

Cus D'Amato posing with his famous "peekaboo" style. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)   The third tenet I selected for CCMA (Clubb Chimera Martial Arts) was courage. Out of all the tenets it is the most subjective. Different people have different interpretations of courage and also different ideas about what constitutes being courageous. However, there is often another word thrown in to help describe examples of courage that I do not believe are at all accurate: fearlessness. As children the word courage […]

Continue Reading