Martial Arts Scepticism: A Manifesto

Greuter Socrates

Image via Wikipedia "The fool wonders, the wise man asks." – Benjamin Disraeli Confucianism, Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism and other religious and philosophical ideas have been melded with the practice of martial arts in modern times. However, I would like to suggest that we apply another so-called philosophy. It has some very ancient and respectable roots in the philosophers of ancient Greece and its process is the very definition of objective philosophy. What I am describing is something I believe underlies […]

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The Hierarchy of Training

Years ago I read an online martial arts discussion regarding limited training times. A martial arts student had written in with a problem. He only had an hour a day to train and wanted to make the best use of his time. The responses came in thick and fast. However, to my astonishment all of the programmes suggested consisted of mainly doing long callisthenic exercises and stretching before a small amount of time was dedicated to doing actual martial arts […]

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Help the Martial Aged – Reality Training for the Elderly

icon of elderly people

Image via Wikipedia Like children and the disabled, violence directed against the elderly often grabs news headlines because of the shock it will cause in those who read or hear about it. The callousness of these crimes hits right at the heart of society’s core. Those of us who are not elderly yet are often angered by such news, as we can relate the victim to an older member of our family. Those of us who are elderly often see […]

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Reality Training for Children: 21st Century Martial Arts

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Picture the scene: you are an eager adult martial arts student with a firm interest in realistic combat methods for today’s civilian and, having found a club that seems to tick all your criteria boxes, you are suddenly paired with a child training partner. You are a no-nonsense type of person and a veteran of many different martial arts classes. The belts, rituals and exotic movements no longer impress you. In fact, you would rather steer away from clubs that […]

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Reality training for children (part 3): How?

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How do we teach children to be efficient students of realistic self-protection and martial arts? It’s a tough question and if training children is to be seen as an allegory for teaching fundamentals then it is not surprising that this very element is where the martial arts education industry is at its weakest. I see teaching children as a path to retraining ourselves about base principles and commonsense. In short, the premise I set for myself when I first founded […]

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Reality training for children (part 2) : What?

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Previously I discussed the social barriers that often stand in the way of teaching children realistic self-protection. In this article we look at what I believe we should be teaching children in the context of realistic self-protection, but first let us look at how these barriers, if we let them, severely impede our honest intentions. It should be noted that these barriers are often reinforced by sound arguments and therefore should be seriously considered before anyone approaches realistic self-protection training […]

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Reality training for children (part I) : Why?

A scenario, where a child uses whatever is necessary to escape the clutches of a would-be “abductor”

“Why?”: the dreaded single syllable word that a child can use repeatedly to raise an adult’s temperature and stretch his comfortable and established philosophies of logic, reason and beliefs to breaking point. I have seen many an adult reduced to a blubbering mess or a ranting dictator, as he tries to explain and justify his answers, while a six year old sits calmly with only the smallest traces of a mischievous grin on his face asking again and again “Why?”  […]

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The Return of the “Alive” Blade! – Karl Tanswell’s S.T.A.B. Seminar

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I look back on 5th November 2006 and find myself fighting a very “Alive” internal battle to preserve my journalistic integrity and not to insert a firework metaphor to describe the central character of this seminar report. For those who are not acquainted with Matt Thornton’s Straight Blast Gym buzzwords, “Aliveness” is a term used to describe the association’s training model, which is ingrained in the principles of energy, timing and motion. It is an uncompromising and outspoken attitude to […]

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“Simply Awesome!”: John Anderson Part 3 (Geoff’s Heirs series)

"Simply Awesome!": John Anderson Part 3 (Geoff's Heirs series)

(First published in Martial Arts Illustrated 2006) Jamie Clubb continues his exclusive interview and training experience with John “Awesome” Anderson, Coventry’s most revered Doorman and one of Geoff Thompson’s biggest influences. Geoff’s Heirs “Simply Awesome”: John Anderson Part III   “People are animals and most people don’t realise this fact until it is too late” – John Anderson There is little arguing that John Anderson was a large influence on the life of Geoff Thompson. He features in a lot […]

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A Philosophy of the Fist: The Making of Cross Training in the Martial Arts 2

Cross Training the Martial Arts 2: The Anatomy of Hand Strikes

A Philosophy of the Fist The Making of "Cross Training in the Martial Arts 2: The Anatomy of Hand Strikes" By Jamie Clubb   Smashed windows, upturned metal barrels and an icy cold wind provided the miserable atmosphere of urban decay that surrounded the huddled circle of men. Seven of the UK's most unorthodox martial arts instructors and their intrepid interviewer, me, stood surveying the wreckage. The carnage around them, situated behind the newly renovated Bridgewater Bushi Karate Dojo, could […]

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“Simply Awesome!”: John Anderson Part 2 (Geoff’s Heirs series)

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(First published in Martial Arts Illustrated 2006) Jamie Clubb begins his private training session and continues his exclusive interview with John Anderson, one of Geoff Thompson’s biggest influences! Geoff’s Heirs “Simply Awesome!”: John Anderson Part II   “John Anderson will always be my ‘sempai’” – Geoff Thompson My private lesson with John Anderson concentrated on various fence line-ups and helped me develop more force in my strikes, particularly with my left hand. John’s major punch is the left hook, which […]

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“Simply Awesome”: John Anderson Part 1 (Geoff’s Heirs series)

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(First published in Martial Arts Illustrated 2006) Jamie Clubb exclusively trains with and interviews the legendary man who taught Geoff Thompson the secrets of street-fighting! Geoff’s Heirs “Simply Awesome”: John Anderson Part I By Jamie Clubb “You don’t want to take the chance of being in a fight. On the street the one-punch knockout is what you are after.” – John Anderson John Anderson is an undisputed legend and it seems rather odd to consider him part of the “Geoff’s […]

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On the Ascent: The Continuing Rise of Victor Estima

World BJJ champions Braulio and Victor Estima with CCMA founder Jamie Clubb

“BJJ is a very open martial art, so everyone develops according to what they find works for them personally“ Victor Estima With all the exciting characters put my way by various sources in the martial arts industry it is rare that Martial Arts Illustrated’s editor, Bob Sykes, asks me to take time out to write a piece on a particular person. Nevertheless, a certain character had caught Bob’s attention in the February issue of MAI. This individual is not even […]

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Martial Arts Illustrated Interview for CCMA’s First DVD

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“Cross-Training in the Martial Arts: The Anatomy of Combat”  Bob Sykes of “Martial Arts Illustrated” Interviews Jamie Clubb about his New Ground-Breaking DVD Where did the concept for the DVD “Cross Training in the Martial Arts” derive?   I have always been what the quasi-traditionalists affectionately call a dojo-hopper or martial whore. I suppose that stems from the fact that some of my earliest martial arts books and therefore influences were of the comprehensive variety. I’ve just always had a very […]

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Martial Academia

Ancient depiction of fighting monks practicing...

Image via Wikipedia “Learn from the experienced, not from the learned” – Anonymous Since the nineteenth century, streets have been patrolled by organised police forces employed to uphold the laws of the land designed to protect the innocent. Yet the civilised human being is still drawn to combat whether it is as a system of self-protection, a form of stress relief or a method to keep healthy. There is something appealing about the visceral look and feel of ordered violence. […]

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Mordred’s Victory

“The Death of King Arthur”

Image via Wikipedia “I saw you beat him like no other man’s been beat before and the man kept on coming after you. We don’t want any part of a man like that” – Rocky II (1978) In the epic medieval poem Le Morte D’Arthur, King Arthur battles his treacherous son, Mordred, who has tried to usurp his throne. Arthur confronts Mordred and thrusts his spear through his son’s body. However, before falling to the ground dead, Mordred strikes a […]

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