Diary / Training Notes

From the ground up (diary entry)

The guard is often considered an advantageous ...

Image via Wikipedia 19.09.11 Eastern Green Primary Schoolonce more hosted me as an all-day coach. I taught half hour taster workshops on mixed martial arts and the CCMA approach to students aged from five to 11. With such short spots it is very useful that CCMA’s warm-ups are not abstract exercises, but relavent movements that replicate what students would be doing on the focus mitts and in the sparring. We did some shadow boxing that covered all ranges then some […]

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Getting to Grips (diary entry)

DF-SD-01-07075

Image via Wikipedia 12.09.11 After  a completley student-led warm of relevant exercises – shadow-boxing, sprawling, rolls, snaking and so on – we focused completely on grappling. This began with some Greco-Roman positional work. I started this section with some overhook/underhook pummelling that increased in resistance to a game to get both underhooks in. Students then began away from the clinch and fought for the back position, working circular attacks and counters. Moving onto freestyle wrestling, the students fought for lowline […]

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Exploring an arm-lock (diary entry)

Kimura vs Gracie his winning "Kimura lock...

Image via Wikipedia We began the lesson with a revision of all basic functional and relevant training exercises from breakfalls to shadow boxing and finally back onto the leading knee principle touched up last week. However, this time we followed the shadow version of the lead knee strike and double leg takedown with a direct application. As explained before, the leading knee principle is an example of using two different techniques to drive maximum power off the leading leg. Usually […]

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September Vagabond Warriors Report (diary entry)

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"Vagabond Warriors" is perhaps the CCMA service that means the most to me. It is intended to be more than a seminar. It's a think tank and an open forum for revolutionary training ideas. By using the C.S.I. (Clarification, Scepticism and Individuality) model we are always about change. Not change for change sake, but everything we do and everything that we work on is up for review. This is what makes us very different from the majority of combative systems. […]

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Asymmetrical Training for Children at Telford Martial Arts Centre (diary entry)

predator/prey (with protection)

Image by just sof via Flickr I received the usual enthusiastic and keen response I have come to expect from the young students of Telford Kyushinkai Martial Arts Centre’s black belt club. After a student led warm-up, I began with some escape-based exercises. This began with much larger students being paired with smaller ones. Such exercises throw into question normally robust principle of striking the highline of one’s adversary. The highline target is never the head in such situations and […]

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Leading with the knee? (diary entry)

Knee (strike)

Image via Wikipedia Today’s lesson consisted of a basic overview of techniques from all three ranges of MMA. The warm-up included a bit of traditional line-work to get the motions correct with the straight knee strike and the double leg takedown. Both techniques involve an understanding of how to let your body weight penetrate through the target. I appreciate this is pretty much what any linear technique involves, but few require so much commitment. You virtually overbalance yourself when your […]

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Fear my 300 Techniques (diary entry)

300 (film)

Image via Wikipedia 22.08.11: Today’s class was attended wholly by senior grades, so we focused on developing key parts of MMA using the 300 reps as a technique model for improving muscle memory. This was done after a warm-up led by two different students.   The movie “300”, a shot-for-shot adaptation of Frank Miller’s fanciful comic mini-series retelling of the famed 300 Spartan soldiers that fought literally to the last man at the Battle of Thermopyae, has had a definite […]

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Combat Conditioning (diary entry)

ANNAPOLIS, MD - MAY 17:  Members of the United...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife The summer time brings a certain laziness to training. The minority train as hard as they have ever did, but those who have done this for a long time will know that lethargy that sneaks in when the days are long, the weather is hot and the holidays have just been or are around the corner. So, what better time to look at the overall conditioning of the class. Class attendance is usually very […]

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From the fence to the cage (diary entry)

Lance Cpl. George R. Lockhart (right), radio r...

Image via Wikipedia 08.08.11: A central focus of a lot of CCMA’s approach is the overlap between self-defence education and attribute training. Often what constitute as attribute training are the full-contact combat sports. Although much of the dynamic is different, there is a rich area for crossover. Today we began with self-defence tactics and evolved into MMA tactics via the cover.   After a specific warm-up, training all ranges, we began with the fence. This was done with a target […]

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Single strikes and single legs (diary entry)

Boxing gloves

Image via Wikipedia 01.08.11 I have been training at several other gyms over the past few weeks. On a personal level it’s great to have the upset and feeling you get outside your comfort zone. However, for my students it means I will be bringing back a rich array of different approaches and ideas. Today I pooled from some western boxing, muay Thai and freestyle wrestling drills. We started lesson with the boxing gloves on. The warm-up consisted of isolating […]

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Developing Basics – stand-up and ground (diary entry)

The x-guard being used in BJJ competition

Image via Wikipedia 25.07.11: Write down 5,000 times "I am never beyond or above basics". This is something that goes through my head time and again. I have just recently returned to the normality of running my regular children's MMA and self protection class in Coventry after a mad four days working with my coach, Mo Teague. Mo has been running a six week intensive instructor training programme for his Hard Target System. My time away training and assisting with […]

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Clinch, strike, takedown and submit! (diary entry)

The closed guard

Image via Wikipedia 18.07.11 Tonight was our last night at the Eastern Green venue until next term. Next week we are back at Woodlands School and Sports College (very shortly changing to Woodlands Academy) for the summer holiday period. We took advantage of the extra mat space and focused on grappling. After a warm-up that included footwork, shadow boxing, bear crawls, snaking/shrimping, crab crawls and various rolls and breakfalls we moved onto the clinch range. Clinch began with the highline […]

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Progressing the ranges (diary entry)

Dani Castillejo - Triangle choke

Image by xharekx33 via Flickr If you are going to teach lengthy set combinations, even in combat sports, I think it pays to do some target familarization. This works for both attack and defence. Today after some shadow boxing at all ranges for a warm-up we went straight to the 11 punch boxing combination and the standard punch/kick combination without the focus mitts. This is far from the first time we have done before, but some new beginners hadn’t done […]

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From pounding to some grounding (diary entry)

My birthday, but today wasn’t any less busy than the last few! Today’s class focused on going back through the 11 punch boxing combination and some guard work for the ground. Graded students revised and improved the basic techniques of jab, cross and uppercut. They were delivered in rapid sequence and isolated with power. Ungraded students learnt the combination for the first time. Guard work was divided up into closed guard for lower grades and hook guard for intermediate/higher grades. […]

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My Fifth Hard Target Day 2 (diary entry)

Beginnging where we left off on the self defence physical skills, we went back through the postures and then we covered movng from these different ranges. Among the main teaching principles that have been apart of Hard Target since the beginning is the rule you fight how you train. This is no mere armchair or dojo philosophizing from research into the visible development of miling down neural pathways as a person learns a physical skill to real case studies where […]

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My Fifth Hard Target Day 2 (diary entry)

Beginnging where we left off on the self defence physical skills, we went back through the postures and then we covered movng from these different ranges. Among the main teaching principles that have been apart of Hard Target since the beginning is the rule you fight how you train. This is no mere armchair or dojo philosophizing from research into the visible development of miling down neural pathways as a person learns a physical skill to real case studies where […]

Continue Reading