Diary / Training Notes

Weapons, Revision and Conditioning (diary entry)

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02.06.13 We began with a look at weapons and the whole issue of base principles. My ideal is to have as few principles as possible so that a student can easily utilize them in any situation. Unfortunately it isn’t always possible. Humans evolved to use external weapons. Once armed and with intent most humans become considerably more dangerous than when they had nothing in their very well adapted hands. Southeast Asian martial arts often begin with weapons and then complete […]

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Boxing – Speed and Power (diary entry)

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01.06.2013   I was given the mandate to teach a two hour western boxing private lesson yesterday. I am not a western boxing coach. I have trained under a fair number of excellent senior boxing coaches and I consider it to be a superb base combative art for anyone who is interested in improving their striking. Therefore, I used the lesson to offer my CCMA perspective through the restriction of this combat sport. Over the past few weeks my general […]

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Combinations into Structured Sparring (diary entry)

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30.05.13   General Lesson   After a student-led warm-up, we continued with our series of combination training exercises. This time we looked at the boxing-led series, covering four combinations. These are a series of progressive boxng combinations that add on a kick at the end. Once learnt they are then called out in random order. The purpose of doing this is to promote a better retention of memory under combative conditions. Areas of concern included holding targets correctly and keeping […]

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Direct Application, angles of attack and more ground fighting (diary entry)

The regular heel hook twists the ankle mediall...

The regular heel hook twists the ankle medially. The opponent's leg is entangled to prevent him from escaping the hold. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) General Lesson   The problem with focus mitts is that you can all-too-easily get carried away with them. There are many ways to approach target training and I feel they are an essential part of developing strikes. However, they can have some counter-productive side effects. This is why working directly with another fighter is very important. Therefore, […]

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Combination Revision, Symmetrical Ground Fighting & Combinations from the Clinch (diary entry)

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13.05.13   General Lesson   The warm-up consisted of drilling repetitions of striking/grappling combinations up and down the hall. These included transitioning from hand strikes to lowline takedowns to entries into throws.   Next we revised two of the recent pad drills we have covered to help build better attributes for stand-up fighting. We went over the asymmetrical combination, using a choice of the right cross or the right round kick for the power technique. Then we revised the lead […]

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Back to the Self-Defence Line (diary entry)

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    12.05.13 This client was keen to return his training back to basics after our last session’s complete detour into cross-training. The above diagram demonstrates my approach to learning cross-training attributes to improve self-defence. Despite a long lay-off between sessions and even longer one between self-defence specific training the student confirmed that the low maintenance nature of the techniques taught. After a short warm-up we went straight onto the focus mitts for some fence revision. Transitioning from postures for […]

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Asymmetrical Combinations & Learning from the Fight (09.05.13)

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09.05.13   General Lesson – Mixed Martial Arts/Self-Defence – Asymmetrical Combinations & Tactile Awareness   Today’s general lesson was inspired by two great martial arts teachers and friends of mine, Ron Goin and Iain Abernethy. After a brief session of solo movement drills for stand-up fighting, we went straight onto the focus mitts. Taking my lead from a discussion I had with Ron Goin, I looked at exploring asymmetrical combination work. I use combinations or any set patterns merely to […]

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Patterns of Movement (diary entry)

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29.04.13 General Lesson – Junior Mixed Martial Arts – Patterns of Movement After performing a series of warm-up exercises that covered all three ranges of combat, we began on the focus mitts. Today, we looked at timing and patterns of movement. We began with a very basic boxing three-punch combination and then put in an evasion; in this instance it was a roll (bob ‘n weave). At length you can add on more techniques and bring in the evasions at […]

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Soft Skills/Pre-Emption/Recovery

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22.04.13   Private Lesson – Self-Protection – Soft Skills/Pre-emption/Recovery   We began with a discussion on practical awareness. This is not as easy a topic as many self-protection instructors would lead you to believe. Different people have different levels of awareness and, going by their own experiences, judge situations in different ways. For example, my two clients who booked me for this series of lessons are aware that they lack a degree of confidence. The last thing they need to […]

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Building Speed (diary entry)

22.04.13 Private Lesson – Mixed Martial Arts – Stand-up/Clinch   My client is almost fully recovered from his calf and knee injuries. We could do more stand-up work and I brought back some kicking. However, we also continued and confirmed some of the speed training we focused on last week.We began with responsive flash-pad drill. Here the focus mitts are raised for very short periods of time, with the fighter often missing them. It is obviously important for the fighter […]

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Two Sides to a Fight Story (diary entry)

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22.04.13 General Lesson – Mixed Martial Arts – All Ranges   The lesson began with a student-led warm-up, incorporating all ranges. We then began with a punch/kick combination as a starting point. Students were encouraged to not only to build onto the combination, but to train it with appropriate reactions, prompting contingency tactics and counter-techniques. We then added a lowline takedown off the jab.   Next we moved to the ground taking the view of the student being taken down. […]

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Stand-up & Clinch, Speed Training & Restriction, and an Introduction to Self Protection (diary entry)

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15.04.13 General Lesson   We returned to MMA in earnest tonight, with a focus on stand-up and clinch. After our sport specific warm-up we got straight onto the focus mitts. I broke down a basic punch/kick/kick/punch combination to look cut down the delay between each technique. First we began by looking at the jab/rear round kick, then we isolated the rear round kick/front round kick combination and finally finished by concentrating on the front round kick/cross combination. Each one is […]

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Newton’s Third Law: Triple Bill (diary entry)

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11.04.13   General Lesson   At the request of the class, we went through the finer details of two basic areas: the fence and a highline takedown. During our fence-work, we looked at the importance of minimizing delay for pre-emptive attacks and improving impact on the actual strikes. There are clearly big issues regarding teaching, learning and using the fence in the martial arts world. It is a simple and very natural concept adopted largely by individuals who have learnt […]

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Blunt Weapon Defence (diary entry)

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  08.04.13 Today’s lesson was completely concerned with all aspects of weapon defence. We warmed up with a brief revision of pre-emptive striking and incidental combinations. Next we went through the basic inceptions to different angles of attack into three control positions against an edged weapon.   With this revision confirmed we moved from edged weapons to blunt weapons. Blunt weapons are likely to be a defender’s choice of incidental weapon from maglites to sticks to chairs. I do not […]

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The Self-Defence Switch (diary entry)

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  04.04.13 General Lesson   Today’s lesson centred upon the fundamental differences between self-defence and combat sport as well as the overlapping similarities.   Our general warm-up progressed into some fence behavioural exercises. Here students aim pre-emptive strikes to actual human targets each time their personal space is breached. This is a simple muscle memory exercise designed to promote a fast response when the interview stage of a conflict situation suddenly changes to a violent assault. We often drill the […]

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Grappling with the Blade (diary entry)

Grappling with the Blade (diary entry)

03.04.13 Private Lesson   Continuing with edged weapon defence, we arrived at disarming. This option is only reached if a civilian’s exist is barred and they have no immediate incidental weapons. We worked off the drawing action. However, prior to covering this aspect I went through some basic familiarity with grappling. The student needed to control the weapon hand, which is something that can be derived from combat grappling.   We covered wrist control and controlling the shoulder. The main […]

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