Diary / Training Notes

Deconstructing Basics (diary entry)


02.03.21 Work continues in my teacher consultancy regarding the progress of sparring/pressure-testing for grades, especially but not exclusively to child students. As my progressive and proactive client suggested, we began at the beginning and looked at where and how sparring should be introduced. Key things to consider would be that gradings would not be a test for everything. A club does not have to have sparring in the first grading and yet students by this stage can be accustomed to […]

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The Jab is Important (diary entry)


01.03.21 Athena School of Karate booked me for a third course this year. We decided to change from Kickboxing/Muay Thai to modern Boxing basics. Each week I will go through a technique, teach its variations and spotlight various fighters who best exemplified its use. This week was the jab, arguably the most important punch in modern Boxing, Muay and MMA. It is and should be the most regularly thrown punch in Boxing as it allows a fighter to control the […]

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Combination 3 Partner Work (diary entry)


01.03.21 Monday evening began with hour five of my client’s course on stand-up pad-work. As previously mentioned these are both lockdown partners, one of which is on the road to recovery from a knee injury. The previous course took them through the 14 Muay Thai combination for rhythm and flow. Now we are taking each combination and applying them to the focus mitts. Having a lockdown partner allows for me to coach pad work whilst not holding pads and it […]

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Anti-Abduction Course Begins (diary entry)

When Parents Aren't Around front cover

27.02.21 My “When Parents Aren’t Around” webinar series for Ryukyukan Okinawa Karate and Kobdudo, Matsuri Dojo returned to soft skills training on Saturday. We looked at the subject and skills related to anti-abduction. The presentation addressed the reality of child abduction and the infamous “Stranger Danger” myth. It is imperative for all responsible self-protection teachers to understand and teach that the overwhelmingly more likelyl type predator in a child’s life is going to be someone they know rather than some […]

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Virtual Focus Mitts on Combos


27.02.21 Saturday morning’s first lesson was my client’s third hour on training stand-up fighting combinations for rhythm and flow. We are currently going back through all the 14 combinations and training them on virtual focus mitts. These exercises help develop and maintain timing that cannot be acquired through just training the combinations in a shadow boxing. This morning we worked through combinations eight to 10. Combination eight links opposite leg kicks together and finishes with a drawing technique onto a […]

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Developing Sparring Programmes (diary entry)

Hierarchy of Training

23.02.21 My teaching consultancy on Tuesday night was mainly concerned with discussing where to go with a progressing practical karate school’s sparring programme. One point that should be remembered about karate training is that the original katas were based on the assumption that the Okinawan students would be coming from a grappling culture. This is one of the reasons why although there is grappling contained with the katas the emphasis was more placed on training to strike than the grappling […]

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Head, Body, Head, Body, Head, Body (Diary Entry)

athena diary workshop

22.02.21 The final lesson for this month’s special workshops for Athena Karate brought us up to kickboxing combination seven, designed to promote rhythm and flow. This particular combination was designed for close range outside fighting using an upstairs/downstairs strategy – jab/low jab/cross/liver shot/head hook/long knee. We discussed different hand positioning for the knee stike. Personally I don’t like to pull down arms for any knee strike other than with the diagonal knee. The long knee is a rear spear knee […]

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Combination 2 partner work (diary entry)


22.02.21 Hour four of my client’s second course on stand-up striking combinations continued her and her lockdown partner’s work on transferring shadow boxing to focus mitts. We looked at combination two, which is short and deals with chasing an opponent off landing a powerful head kick at its climax. Her lockdown partner is doing well with his recovery, but we adapted the head kick to a calf kick. This combination also introduces the same side cross and kick dynamic. The […]

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Fighting from the Ground (diary entry)

Striking from the knee pin1

22.02.21 I was delighted to be invited back to teach for Forest School of Karate as we continued the second part of my virtual “When Parents Aren’t Around”. The past few lessons have been concerned with learning how to grapple in order to learn how to fight against someone trying grapple. This lesson took everything to the ground. Again, within this context, everything is geared towards escaping the situation as quickly and efficiently as possible. Therefore, we began with a […]

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Tightening up the Virtual Pad-Work (diary entry)

Knee strike to virtual pads

20.02.21 Saturday morning’s lesson saw my client focus entirely on combinations 6 and 7. This is the second hour of his new 10 hour course on stand-up striking combinations. We are continuing with the previous combinations covered in our last course but transferring them onto focus mitts. The lesson was split into a 10 minute warm-up round, 6 x 5 minute rounds of shadowing and then reacting to the focus mitts followed by static stretching. The warm-up round brought in […]

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Self-Defence on the Ground (diary entry)

ground and pound 2

18.02.21 Thursday night’s lesson was a teacher consultancy session in preparation for Monday’s “When Parents Aren’t Around” webinar. We have been covering the grappling section because of its relevance for peer-on-peer and anti-abduction training. The ground section deals primarily with symmetrical ground-fighting. However, we briefly looked at defending against a standing enemey. Like all aspects of ground fighting for self-defence the priority is to get to a standing position. We then went through the postures and transitions from top position. […]

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Hard Skill IV Private Lesson (diary entry)

eye gouge

16.02.21 My second private lesson on Tuesday was a one-to-one teacher consultancy on my fourth official self-protection hard skills (self-defence) presentation. This is the final part of my basic self-protection course adapted for online teaching. The course brings us to the clinch stage of fight management. Here we discuss why grappling is to be treated as an incidental and tangental phase of self-defence training, why it needs to be learned and where its place lies in mid/low-risk situations.I teach grappling […]

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How to Coach Virtual Focus Mitts (diary entry)

hook virtual

16.02.21 Tuesday night’s teaching consultancy looked at the coaching of kickboxing combinations virtually on the focus mitts. This is a learning phase for all concerned, including many of the experienced YouTubing coaches. Time delays and correct positioning in front of cameras as well as ensuring one’s student is responding to the cues on the focus mitts are all crucial points to consider when running this type of lesson. We examined the first combination and looked breaking it down into smaller […]

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Fire to Reload (diary entry)


15.02.21 Monday night’s final lesson continued my work with Athena Karate’s adult and advanced junior student class on stand-up striking. After my teacher consultancy session last week, it was decided that we drill down to the principles of chaining techniques in combinations. This entire process might likened to the way a fire arm shoots and continues to shoot. As one technique is exectuted so the next one is set up to follow on in succession. We looked at this in […]

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Combination 1 on the focus mitts (diary entry)


15.02.21 This is the third hour of my client’s second 10 hour course on stand-up striking. After a 10 minute round of warming up, my client with her lockdown partner decided to completely focus on the first combination from our 14 rhythm and flow sequences. The benefit of having a lockdown partner allowed me to teach the combination in three stages: Stage 1: Shadow boxing the entire combination Stage 2: Virtual focus-mitt training – using the combination in direct response […]

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Virtual Pad Combinations Begin (diary entry)

scott focus mitt skype 2

    13.02.21 We began my client’s new course of 10 hours with work on transferring five combinations for shadow boxing to the virtual pads. This was done using a shorter round format. You might recall from previous diary entries, that we have been using the 10 minute round format to allow for easier to digest tutorials on the 14 rhythm and flow stand-up striking combinations. Using the 5 minute round format keeps the focus tighter for shorter periods. I […]

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