Diary / Training Notes

Kick-Catching (diary entry)

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26.03.12 Today's lesson focused on issues surrounding the kick-catch. We looked at a safe way to catch the kick, defend against getting caught and follow on techniques from both sides. We began with our usual series of functional fitness exercies – blitzing, footwork, bear crawls, snaking, alligator crawls and various breakfalls and rolls. We then went straight into kicking. Using a simple Keysi Fighting Method drill from their "Dekem 'n Rekem" programme, we worked three kick exchanges with a catch […]

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Reinforcing Combat Behaviours in Telford (diary entry)

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22.03.12: Tonight’s session was pure MMA. We focused on the development of combative behaviours, looking at stand-up and ground. We warmed up with specific movement exercises, which would be layered with techniques, pressure-tested with specific training, integrated into MMA sparring and then further reinforced through functional fitness exercises. The warm-up exercises consisted of shadow boxing, touch contact striking, “heads and knees” game, 30% pressure grip fighting and 30% pressure ground fighting. By having a trusting partner and being wary of […]

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Concepts and Games (diary entry)

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19.03.12: Today’s session melded two concepts. We followed on from a combination taught last week and brought it under the umbrella of applied warm-up exercises taught tonight. These exercises were simple two-player games designed to teach concepts of certain ranges. First up was just some simple touch contact stand-up sparring, to work targeting and footwork. This was then changed to a game of heads and knees – when heads are called both participants aim to touch the other person’s head […]

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Move to fight; fight to move (diary entry)

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12.03.12 Today, we got down to the business of fighting. There was no pretense about anything else. If you look at Iain Abernethy's excellent "Martial Map" you will see that one of the three circles of his ven diagram is classified as fighting. It has overlap into both martial arts and self-protection, but it also has its own space of unrelated and distilled fighting. Tonight we were straight in there and it can be quite a liberating feeling. No philosophy […]

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Short Circuit (diary entry)

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The best laid plans and all that! Tonight saw me make a surprise return to my regular class after being let off jury duty a day and a half early. It has been a rather odd week and I am very grateful to Richard Barnes for covering my last Monday. I was rather enthusiastic about getting back into the subjects we were previously covering, but for reasons best known to medical science, I decided that it would be good to […]

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In Absence (diary entry)

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Unfortunatley, due to circumstances beyond my control, I was unable to teach tonight’s lesson. Richard Barnes, 3rd Dan British Combat Association Geoff Thompson’s Real Combat Method taught in my stead.   According to his report, training began with a 15 minute circuit of exercises as a warm-up. This was then followed up with work on the fence and discussing issues relating to striking first. This is still a highly contentious issue and even more so in children’s self-defence. Aside from […]

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Vagabond Warriors 2.0 Write-up (diary entry)

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This was the launch for Vagabond Warriors in 2012. Last year’s seminars and workshops were prototypes for the event I envisioned. Having the fantastic venue at Telford meant I could fully explore and represent the Vagabond Warriors concept.   The day began with a PowerPoint presentation. After coach information and a brief background on the history of cross-training I took the class through the Vagabond Warriors’ approach to training. This began with Clarification, Scepticism and Individuality (CSI) and then moved […]

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Double Bill Night! Part 2 (diary entry)

On the left is the knife I got Becca for her b...

Image via Wikipedia   20.02.12 Junior KEWAP I presented the under16s KEWAP course for my junior CCMA class. This is generally aimed at students no younger than 11 years of age. However, my class are pretty used to this type of material and I felt all attendees took it on board. The carefully constructed PowerPoint presentation contains no graphic imagery.  The seminars were all the brainchild of Steven Timperley, founder of Elite Response Training and a man with a fantastic […]

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Double Bill Night! Part 1 (diary entry)

Working the guard

20.02.12 Junior MMA Following on from last week we looked at striking in the guard. After a functional fitness warm-up we began with the guard-jumping exercise. As previously explained, this tends to cut-down on time in the clinch range and is favoured by those who want to take the fight from stand-up to submissions or sweeps from the guard. We then followed on with the jumping up in guard exercise. This is used to either break the guard or seriously […]

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Vagabond Warriors Taster Session (diary entry)

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In the lead up to Vagabond Warriors 2.0 I decided to run a taster session at Kyushinkai Martial Arts Centre. The class I ran mainly consisted of MMA students, but there was some interest from the traditional karate. An aspect I love about Kyushinkai is that despite the fact that it has its many different lessons run by different instructors, there is a real spirit of integration going on. Everyone feels a part of the club and universal respect is […]

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Stand-up to Guard (diary entry)

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14.02.2012: Today’s session focused on stand-up transitioning to ground ‘n pound. The three phases of mixed martial arts are stand-up (boxing, kickboxing), clinch (e.g. wrestling) and ground (e.g. Brazilian jiu jitsu). Clinch typically deals with the takedowns, but in this instance we transitioned straight to the ground. The tactic here is different to most takedown situations. Here we are dealing with an individual who chooses to "pull guard". This comes from Brazilian jiu jitsu. Unlike most other grappling competitions BJJ […]

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Overlapping Self-Defence and MMA (diary entry)

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06.02.12 Today’s approach to training began with some more revision of the fence and offline strikes. We began with natural postures and I isolated the pre-emptive stike. We began by firing it from the fence and then from less prepared positions, such as hands in pockets or with hands together in a “prayer stance”. This was to encourage fast twitch muscle responses from virtually nothing. It’s a concept I learnt from John “Awesome” Anderson, who used to spend our refining […]

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Self-Protection Double Workshop in Birmingham (diary entry)

Full diagram originally drawn by John Boyd for...

Image via Wikipedia Image by Getty Images via @daylife Birmingham’s Shinkenmi Ni Tesseyo Karate very kindly invited me to teach a children’s and an adult’s self-protection workshop. Both sessions were small and therefore I took a more informal touch. Rather than using a PowerPoint presentation, we covered all the soft skills material in a sit-down discussion format.   Both sessions covered pre, in and post-fight criteria. All attendees did well and gave their all into the training/learning process. However, I […]

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All Day Taster Sessions at Woodlands 2012 (diary entry)

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02.02.2012 Woodlands School and Sports Academy invited me back to teach five sessions to their pupils. This was intended to promote my weekly classes at Eastern Green School. Students were aged 11-13 and were, on the whole, pretty enthusiastic and well behaved. It helps to have a teacher read the riot act out at the beginning and then to go in with vigour. Each session differed slightly, but these were key points I made:   The session would focus mainly […]

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Return to the fence (diary entry)

Two people not affecting each other

  Two people not affecting each other's personal space. See also http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:PerSpa2.png (Photo credit: Wikipedia)       Reaction of two people whose personal space are in conflict. See also http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:PerSpa1.png (Photo credit: Wikipedia)         After a warm-up of follow-the-leader specific training exercises, we did a warm-up game two of the children suggested last week. This was a reaction game whereby anyone who failed to catch a ball thrown at them had to forfeit an exercise. Following […]

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Flowing from takedown defence to submission plus kicks (diary entry)

Thai-style roundhouse kicks used to attack low...

Image via Wikipedia 23.01.12 So I listened and today’s lesson was concerned with takedown defence, a submission and some kicking. We began with a swift warm-up, training specific movements and then reversing them i.e. snaking forwards and backwards in one go. Then we went straight into grappling partner drills. For me, it is more important to get students into the feel of tactics than to just train one specific technique. So, looking at takedown defence we used the stopping drills. […]

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