Diary / Training Notes

Attacking the half-guard (diary entry)

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01.12.20 Tuesday’s last lesson: my teaching consultancy focused on attacking the half-guard. We began with a look at using the principles of a simple combat base guard pass in a regular closed guard and then applied it to half-guard. From here we looked at pressuring past the knees and then moved onto the fairly universal needle and thread guard-pass. Next we moved onto spinning knee-bar from the top position against half-guard.

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Children Anti-Grappling with Forest School of Karate (diary entry)


30.11.20 Forest School of Karate booked me for their sixth When Parents Aren’t Around lesson. We are at the first part of the anti-grappling section. The previous lesson concerned adapting and the open mind tenet. This lesson covered similar material covered for the Matsuri Dojo. Students began the lesson with a discussion on the role grappling plays in my approach to self-defence and the warm-up largely consisted of striking, covering and exiting drills. We then went through some simple clinching […]

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Injury Adaptation and Variation (diary entry)

catherine ollie diary

01.12.20 Hour four of my client’s course presented another challenge for us. As might recall, her lockdown partner has recently undergone surgery on his knee from a football injury. He wasn’t with us last lesson. However, displaying true warrior spirit, he was keen to get back into things today. He is unable to put any pressure on one knee, restricting all his training to a seated position. Even within this position, there are certain restrictions as the leg can become […]

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Hard Skills III: Regaining the Initiative (diary entry)

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29.11.20 The third part of CCMA’s Hard Skills webinars, presented in cooperation with Keiryu Practical Karate and Athena Schools of Karate, addressed the first stages of when matters go wrong in a counter-assault situation. Our overall strategy has been to be take charge of a bad situation as quickly as possible. We can see their proactive approach runs throughout the CCMA combat strategy. Everything is geared towards gaining control and minimizing personal injury. Initially this is through trying to avoid […]

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Sprawling, Takedowns & Hunting for Matsuri Dojo, Pitsea (diary entry)

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28.11.20 My second Saturday session saw me virtually return, via the magic of Zoom, to the Ryukyuakan Okinawa Karate and Kobdudo, Matsuri Dojo in Pitsea, Basildon Essex for seventh hour of children’s self-protection. Last session we looked at the reasons why grappling in self-defence was generally avoided in high risk situations, when it was needed in high situations and its place in medium to low risk situations. I also explained that, for the most part, the grappling explored would be […]

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Longer Rounds (diary entry)

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28.11.20 Saturday morning kicked off with the third hour my client’s current Muay Thai for martial arts cross-training course. We went for a totally different format with the rounds this time. The objective was to have the lesson separated into longer periods of uninterupted activity. Round 1 – Warm-up Besides the usual martial arts specific callisthenics and dynamic stretching, this section elevated the heart-rate with footwork, knee-marching and blitzing. Round 2 – Linear Techniques and Principles Everything in this round […]

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Working the Clinch (diary entry)

26.11.20 Ahead of teaching my client’s martial arts class on Monday, I suggested that we have a teacher consultancy lesson covering the clinch. Monday’s lesson is all about anti-grappling in connection to my “When Parents Aren’t Around” webinar series. Through experience, I have learned that it is important for students to have an understanding of stand-up grappling if they are to use effective tools to extricate themselves from a grappling situation. This is also important for partner work. It seems […]

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Solo Focus Mitt Technique (diary entry)

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24.11.20 Tuesday night’s third lesson saw my client conclude his latest 10 hour Boxing for Martial Arts Cross Training with a 10 round workout that included several rounds working the solo focus mitt. I was asked about the dangers to form when using a single focus mitt. It is a fair question and I am sure there are some coaches who would argue that form is in danger of being sacrificed. However, I would contend that we can get around […]

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Lockdown in Lockdown (diary entry)

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24.11.20 My second lesson of the night was my teacher consultancy lesson, where we continued our work from the half-guard. This time we moved into the lockdown half-guard position and transitioned into the electric chair position. The lockdown is a technique used for immobilising an opponent’s leg caught in the fighter’s half-guard postion. The concept is to compromise the opponent’s balance and set them up for a sweep or submission off the other side. The electric chair involves trapping the […]

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Anti-Grappling Continues (diary entry)

24.11.20 I continued my series of anti-grappling classes with Athena School of Karate as we looked at countering lowline takedowns. After the warm-up we looked at the double-leg takedown as a model attack for an attacker to use. Quite simply, there is a primal form of tackling that individuals will commonly default to when struggling with someone around similar size in the clinch. When there is a substantial size, weight and strength difference it is common for the larger individual, […]

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Kick Workout (diary entry)

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23.11.20 With her lockdown partner currently recovering from an operation, my client trained alone tonight and I used the opportunity to get back to kicking. The entire workout was focused on developing better kicking technique and increasing speed in her legs. This is the third hour of my client’s course. After the usual warm-up of dynamic stretching and callisthenics we moved onto developing round kicks more effeciently. Firstly, we addressed the importance of the pivot and turning the shin. However, […]

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Hard Skills II: Danish Edition (diary entry)

HS2 Denmark (1)

22.11.20 I was delighted to provide a webinar for my Danish friends again. Hinnerup Karate kindly hosted my Hard Skills II webinar on Sunday. This part of the series focuses maintaining the initiative. After a quick revision of the previous material on pre-emptive striking, involving some physical training, we looked at continuous forward pressure. The webinar then began in earnest with a simple procedure set out based on defined objectives, preferred targeting areas and preferred primary weapon. We covered repetition […]

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Building Technique (diary entry)

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21.11.20 My client’s second hour of his new Muay Thai for Martial Arts Cross Training course consisted of six rounds of technique and conditioning based training followed by one round of virtual pad-work and then two rounds following the technique/speed/power format, finishing off with a static stretching session. This routine is very similar to last Thursday’s lesson. However, due to the fact that my client doesn’t have a heavy bag in this instance, the “power” part consisted throwing single free […]

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Shadow Boxing, Virtual Pad-Work & Heavy Bag (diary entry)

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19.11.20 My client’s third hour of a 10 hour Muay Thai course was a high intensity 10 x 3 minute round session. We began with isolated combinations and techniques, we had a round of virtual focus mitt training and then three rounds on the heavy bag, building up techniques. Given the client’s high level of skill and experience, this was an extremely focused lesson of explosive techniques. The shadow technique rounds were all separated into 1.5 minutes per combination. The […]

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Defence & Counter (diary entry)

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17.11.20 Tuesday night’s third and final lesson saw my client reach the ninth hour of his Western Boxing for Martial Arts Cross Training course. Tonight we completely threw the spotlight onto defence. After warming up we would be going through 12 x 3 minute rounds of virtual specific sparring, mainly isolating certain defences and then adding on counter punches. My client would be responding to techniques I through at the camera. Round 1 – Slipping Round 2 – Slip and […]

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