Kick Overload! (diary entry)

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  I have taught private lessons for a while now, but this is the first official session I ran back at the zoo. This is the place where I have done most of my own solo training since I was 13 years of age. It is hardly ideal – a cramped old barn with miscellaneous equipment and the rest is outsie. However, there is an endless amount of potential for hardcore training development. The steep hills are perfect for forging […]

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Shooting Like Jack: Hock Hocheim’s Seminar in Telford

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"The truth is diversity, versatility. Preparedness. You simply fight where you have to fight. Learn it all, but don’t become any one thing! Don’t capture yourself as a ground fighter or a kick boxer. Be the bastard ! Study to learn how to defeat these things, not to become them. Be free! And then most importantly on top of that, cheat!" – Hock Hochheim   W. Hock Hocheim has a long standing global reputation in the teaching of efficient combatives. […]

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Agility, punches, kicks, pins and the guard (diary entry)

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23.07.12 Today’s class began with agility drills using markers. Exercises included footwork, running drills, pogo jumps, side jumps and sprawl/double leg takedowns. We then focused on stamd-up. This began with jab attacks and defence. We used this as a starting point for various combinations, working in punches and kicks.   The basic punch/kick combination has intrigued me ever since I got into kickboxing properly. Many clubs made an awkward stitching together of western style boxing with taekwondo or karate style […]

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The Basics of Self-Defence (diary entry)

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Private Training My client requested that training be focused entirely on basic self-protection. As my coaching now includes an online/distance learning service, I have more time during private lessons to focus more on the self-defence side of self-protection rather personal security. The psychology, physiology, criminology and legal factors relation to self-protection can largely be dealt with using correspondence, although confirmation of the students understanding can take place during the actual lesson. As we hadn’t much of a brief other than […]

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Attribute Training – an overview

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  Cross training in martial arts is nothing new. However, since the popularity of the eclectic martial arts movie star Bruce Lee and the rapid development of the sport known as Mixed Martial Arts, prevented we have seen it practiced more overtly than perhaps ever before. As martial arts became an institution, barriers went up between clubs. Either for commercial reasons or to keep control of their students any martial arts schools their students from training in any other art. […]

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Sprawls ‘n Sit-Throughs (diary entry)

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16/07/12 Juniors We had a more laid back lesson this week for no particular reason. There was no strict lesson plan. Everything sort of evolved. I mean that in the truest sense of the word – matters didn’t exactly progress; rather they mutated.  The student taking the warm-up seemed to like sprawling and sitting through a lot. This then flowed into our flash pad work and a footwork chasing game. We then looked at a simple striking/sprawling combination. The class […]

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Posturing and pounding (diary entry)

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08.07.12 Juniors Today we moved back onto positioning. All exercises were focused on actions coming from certain postures. We began with striking to focus mitts then we used the postures for single and double leg takedowns. This was done from the following postures: kickboxing, wrestling, combat base, butterfly guard and from the back (snaking and close guard). Each of these postures was interrupted with a break fall or sprawl. I did this to overload the action to “stance-up”. The student […]

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Open Mind (versus Empty Head)

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According to Winston Churchill, “A fanatic is a person who cannot change his mind and won’t change the subject”. They are words worth taking on board when we explore the Clubb Chimera Martial Arts tenet of “Open Mind”. Having an open mind is vital for anyone who truly wishes to be progressive in their learning and with their teaching. It’s an essential ingredient if you are to be aware of new data, information and changing times. From a self defence/self […]

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Striking and Grappling (diary entry)

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02.07.12 Juniors Whenever one teaches a method for cross-training for martial arts, the words Bruce Lee or Jeet Kune Do will inevitably crop up. Despite considering “Functional Jeet Kune Do” founder Mo Teague to be my coach, I have a very limited amount of experience actually training in Jeet Kune Do. I have attended seminars here and there; I own Lee’s posthumously published training notes and have an idea of the whole scene, but I would never consider myself to […]

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Times of Change and a Time to Change – Review of “Extra Chilli Sauce”

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  Overview: “Extra Chilli Sauce” is the autobiography of Loughborough’s most famous doorman, John Skillen. Today Skillen is best known as one of the UK’s top self defence coaches and a pioneering gym owner. Interestingly few in the martial arts community really know that much about his career before he exploded onto their scene. Many were bedazzled by the very obvious presence he exuded as the doyens of the British self defence community, Geoff Thompson and Peter Consterdine brought him […]

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

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  “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 […]

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Triple Whammy! (diary entry)

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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 […]

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The Last Self-Protection Book for Kids?

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“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 […]

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The Oldest Trick in the Book (diary entry)

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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 […]

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Discipline: Beyond Novelty

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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 […]

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Timing! (diary entry)

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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 […]

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