Diary / Training Notes

Progressive Technique and Conditioning (diary entry)


19.10.15   My client booked a one-off training session focusing on evolutionary combative methods and conditioning. We began with Western Boxing, working on basic footwork to promote coordination. Here my client learns the basics of moving whilst striking in different directions. He fed back to me the surprising aerobic and anaerobic demands of learning these skills, which reinforces my current belief that coordination training is good cardio. It also makes sense to cover it early in training. It is good […]

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The Norman “Retreat” (diary entry)

jab woman

14.10.15 To celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings on 14th October, I covered a tactic that helped hand the Norman invaders their historical victory. Actually, like many historical reports, that is an embellishment. In truth, I only noticed a coincidence in the area I was teaching when I read some articles written to celebrate the battle. Nevertheless, the Norman tactic of feigning a retreat in order to draw their Saxon enemies off the higher ground is comparable to […]

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Deconstructing the Jab (diary entry)


09.10.15   My client returned to training with an interest in exploring further Western Boxing concepts in martial arts and self-defence. He has already completed my basic course on Western Boxing for Martial Arts Cross-Training and, having now explored a wide range of different areas of combat, wanted to return to this base to better improve his hand striking and foot movement.   Tonight we focused on the jab and we will be continuing with this particular area of study […]

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Wrist Locks & to Gi or not to Gi (diary entry)

Guard for street

02.09.15 As I have explained before, when it comes to wrist-locks I do not see them as a primary fighting method in most violent situations and I don’t teach them as part of my basic self-protection or basic cross-training methods, unless there is a specific need/requirement. This isn’t to dismiss their efficiency or legitimacy as a fighting tactic. All the major wrist lock techniques have a long and respectable documented history in European, American and Asian martial arts. Outside of […]

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Holding the Fence Line (diary entry)

thumb strike

26.08.15 The second in my client’s first series of lessons on basic self-protection moved more into the hard skills that will make up the bulk of this training. We began with a revision of the fence and preserving personal space. Before we stepped over into actual physical engagement we confirmed a complete understanding of determining the likelihood of a physical threat. This area exemplifies the importance of training attitude in conjunction with actual skills. Most people can make shapes, hit […]

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Weapons Live Training (diary entry)

dog brothers

26.08.15 The tenth and final lesson in my client’s course on weapons for martial arts cross-training looked at some live practice. We did this once we had run through revision on various ranges of attack and defence with and against weapons. Without going into the sporting side of Filipino martial arts, of which I have little practical experience, we used rattan cans with protective equipment. Everything on the body was considered a target and we also permitted catching the canes. […]

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Trapping with Weapons (diary entry)

body clinch

The ninth lesson in my client’s course on weapons for martial arts cross-training brought onto aspects of trapping, dirty boxing and whatever name one can use to describe vertical gripping and striking. Weapon work lends itself well to developing these empty hand attributes. We warmed up using stick-on-stick drills, moving back onto revisions for entanglement and takedowns. On revising some flow drills, we explored several variations and led onto trapping in earnest. We then applied pressure and moved onto a […]

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Teenage Travelsafe Part 2 (diary entry)


18.08.15 I taught the second of a two-part intensive course on self-protection for teenagers. Revising the importance of attitude and how it underlines physical performance, I warmed everyone up with some walking exercises. Here the attendees moved from one end of the training area to the other, but each time I intensified the visualization. I used it to overlap their physical application of skills by having them think they were about to respond to an attack. We looked at natural […]

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Teenage Travelsafe Part 1 (diary entry)

travel security

17.08.15 I taught the first of a two-part intensive course on self-protection for teenagers. This was an informal version of my “When Parents Aren’t Around”. In this instance I was booked to teach teenage to teach a group of teenage friends, by their parents, basic self-protection prior to two members of the group leaving to travel abroad on their own. Information on the soft skills being taught can be found in the closed door seminar I delivered towards the end […]

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New Self-Defence Course Begins (diary)

fence 2

12.08.15 I conducted the first lesson of my new client’s course on self-protection. He has requested to follow the self-protection line first before moving into relevant areas of self-protection. Having a background where he used to be very active in sports, he wishes to pursue something new, but is keen that it has a functional basis first. We began with a general overview lecture of personal security. The relevant links for resources on this can be found on the following […]

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Disarms and Wrist-Locks (diary entry)

By pressing the opponent

    12.08.15 The eighth lesson in my client’s course on weapons for martial arts cross-training, looked at more entanglement. After a warming up with stick-on-stick and then angles of evasion we moved onto blade work, where we explored various wrist-lock disarms. You will note that I have generally stayed away from wrist-locks in the traditional sense. I believe they have pragmatic purpose, a definite place in the history of unarmed combat and learning them can help improve small-joint manipulations […]

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Single Stick Defence (diary entry)


28.07.15 The seventh lesson in the CCMA course on weapons for martial arts cross-training looked at some stick-on-stick defensive work. This was not only from an artistic perspective but also addressing the likelihood of fending off an attacker who has a blunt weapon. Before I teach unarmed responses against armed attackers I teach self-protection clients the use of incidental weapons with a preference for the long range blunt weapons, so this is a natural layering of this basic skill. Rather […]

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Weapon Evasion to Engagement (diary entry)


22.07.15 The sixth in the CCMA course on weapons for martial arts cross training was a revision of the past five lessons, moving into grappling with striking. We began using the single and double sticks, moving through postures and varying angle patterns as part of the warm-up. Then we moved onto evasive movements against the sticks and the knife I introduced a simple pivoting response to attack incoming slashes with the knife and then built on it with unarmed strikes […]

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Recalibration (diary entry)

knee bar

My second private lesson of the evening was with my recovering client. We began our usual progressive routine of mobility exercises for the spine, adding on combat sport specific movements such as triangle crunches, sprawl-to-knee-strikes, sit-throughs and bridges. Next we moved onto some more ground submission work. Today’s technique was the knee-bar. We trained it from both an attacking and defensive position. The former concerned attacking the half-guard. Here the fighter counters his opponent’s under-hook and then spins into the […]

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Entanglement (diary entry)

2on1 weapon restraint4 (small)

The fifth in the CCMA series of weapon cross-training for martial arts looked at entanglement. This is where grappling is not only used as means for disarming, but weapons are used as aids for applying levers and locks. We warmed up with single stick and then double stick, going through simple patterns of movement and transitioning through ranges. We then revised angles of attack both with the stick and the knife. Next we moved onto methods for using a weapon […]

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KEWAP Senior Instructor Refresher Course


I was happy to be one of several attendees invited to refresh their senior instructor qualification in Steven Timperley’s KEWAP (Knife and Edged Weapon Programme). Since I last trained with Steve KEWAP made it as a finalist along with Eddy Quinn’s The Approach in the 2013 Security Excellent Awards. The KEWAP service and package must be on the best in its field, and it is for that reason that I use Steve’s laid out PowerPoint presentation as the base for […]

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