Diary / Training Notes

Hip Escape, Stand-up Freestyle & Armbar from Knee Shield (diary entry)

half guard attack

11.05.2022 Wednesday’s final two lessons were Junior Mixed Martial Arts and Senior Submission Grappling. The junior lesson mainly focused on the hip escape. This came out during sparring in the previous lesson where my client asked me to go over the technique with more detail. A hip escape from the guard position is probably one of the most important techniques an MMA fighter can learn from fighting underneath. In MMA a fighter is far more at risk underneath than he […]

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The DeMarco Basilio Wars (diary entry)

basilio demarco

11.03.2022 Wednesday morning’s “Learn from the Fight” picked up from where we left Tony DeMarco last week. After briefly celebrating a moment of victory won in his hometown of Boston, the new champion had to comply with his contract to defend his title against the number one ranked contender. That contender was  Carmen Basilio and he was on on his second campaign for welterweight glory. Tony DeMarco versus Carmen Basilio Undisputed World Welterweight Championship 10.06.1955 Born Carmine Basilio on 2nd […]

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Protecting the Frontline 12 (diary entry)

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11.05.2022 My teacher client from Drum Kempo Ju Jitsu picked up my self-protection course on the subject of post-incident First Aid. Here we discussed training body check behaviours in students. It’s important for students to have an awareness of new injuries and problems both in their regular training and in a self-defence scenario. We also covered how bleeds are important to locate early for obvious reasons but that certain bleeding can give the appearance of being far worse than they […]

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Attacks from Side Control (diary entry)

side control 2

09.05.2022 The second hour of my couple clients’ course on submission grappling/ground fighting looked at two arm-locks and two chokes from side control. We began the lesson with sport specific exercises and appropriate muscle activation. Then we revised the pin flow drill clockwise and anticlockwise around the body. Next we moved onto the four submissions. I usually teach the Americana first but thought to take advantage of the standard position adopted by the person being pinned in the flow drill. […]

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Ground Fighting Begins (diary entry)


02.05.2022 Monday evening saw the beginning of my couple clients’ new course on submission grappling/ground fighting. The bulk of their previous submission grappling course was conducted at the beginning of the national lockdown and training was done online. Although a lot can be covered this way, and it is especially helpful when I have two clients working together, hands on training has its obvious advantages. We spent the first lesson revising the top position transition drill. I was happy to […]

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A Well-Earned Grade! (diary entry)


01.05.2022 Sunday afternoon saw the culmination of my client’s hard work in attaining her fourth dan under Iain Abernethy. Over the past couple of weeks, Mary Stevens, head teacher of Athena School of Karate, has booked me to help her cover the pad-work and sparring aspects of this particular test. It’s great to see a fellow teacher make such huge improvements in both their own training and the service they provide for their pupils. During the time I have trained […]

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Grading Preparation Concludes (diary entry)

instructor coaching 8

28.04.2022 My instructor client booked me for a third prep session before her grading with Iain Abernethy in practical karate for Sunday 1st May. We went back over the set combinations and the freestyle focus mitt work and also engaged in some very light kickboxing based free-styling.                                   Services

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MMA Combos 6-8 & Muay Thai (diary entry)

kick to pads

28.04.2022 After recovering from a work-related back injury, my long-time client returned to finish at the 5.5 hour mark of his scheduled 10 hour (7 session) course. We are working through some set MMA combinations (thank you MMA Shredded!) and finishing with two rounds of one specific discipline. Last session we covered MMA combinations 1-5 and finished with Boxing. This time, having a shorter time allotment, we finished off this series of combinations with 6-8 and completed 2 x 3 […]

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Triangle Threats & Z-Guard Elevation (diary entry)

omoplata specific sparring

28.04.2022 Wednesday night’s last two lessons were my junior MMA and senior Submission Grappling. Both were continuing themes covered over the previous weeks. My junior MMA focused specifically on using the closed guard and we had now moved into the basic submissions. My senior Submission Grappling moved from passing the Z-guard and knee-shield to attacking with the former again. In the junior lesson we dealt with a striker defending against the arm-bar attack from closed guard with a triangle choke. […]

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The Gentleman’s Rise & Boston’s Bomber (diary entry)


Wednesday morning’s lesson saw us firmly set foot in 1955, having covered fights in both ’54 and ’55 in the previous two lessons. Today we looked at the rise of 20 year-old Floyd Patterson as he took on Willie Troy in something of a non-title catchweight competition and a short clip of Johnny Saxton’s first welterweight title defence against Tony DeMarco. Floyd Patterson versus Willie Troy 07.01.1955 After experiencing his first loss against Joey Maxim in June 1954, Patterson immediately […]

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Protecting the Frontline 11 (diary entry)

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27.04.2022 Wednesday morning’s lesson brought us onto the escape and first aid sections of the course. As always, with teaching courses, there was a lot of room of segway discussions. This morning we had a brief talk about the lack of credible children’s self-protection literature available and the need to get out the new revised edition of “When Parents Aren’t Around” as a kindle and, for the first time, as a paperback. We also discussed the importance of steering away […]

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Post-Clinch Set-ups (diary entry)

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25.04.2022 Monday night’s lesson was the tenth and final hour of my couple clients’ course on MMA clinch. Tonight we finished the technical side with a look at safe exiting from the clinch to set up. We began with the collar and elbow clinch and double collar clinch (plum position). From here we broke into opportunities to deliver powerful head and body kicks. Breaking from the plum position can be a particularly good moment to deliver a head kick due […]

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Grading Prep Continues (diary entry)

coaching 4th dan 4

21.04.2022 On Thursday night I continued my preparation of a teacher’s work for their fourth dan grading in Practical Karate. Although I possess no qualifications in karate, the service I provide is strictly in relation to kickboxing style focus mitt work and the sparring content, which is identical to the MMA format. We set up a strategy for the freestyle focus mitt work having last time looked at the set combinations. Together we developed our own combinations in the punching […]

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Arm Bar Set-ups & Knee Shield Smashing (diary entry)

armbar from guard3 (close up)

20.04.2022 Wednesday evening saw junior MMA work on setting up an arm-bar from guard and senior submission grappling focusing on knee-shield passing. In the former we broke down the circumstances when an arm-bar from a closed guard might be required. Before covering the actual technique and the peculiarities involved when trying execute it whilst being struck, we looked at establishing control. In MMA it is rarely a good idea to be on your back even if are confident at fighting […]

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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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