Diary / Training Notes

Mind over matter – “The Soapie Diaries 2” (diary entry)

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02.09.12   Today's training was all about overcoming personal barriers and re-setting the proverbial bar. High Intensity Interval Training seems to prove a lot of what is being said about the Central Governor Theory [my recent article that mentions this concept] Seeing that my student could barely jog down and up a single hill just under a fortnight ago to see her do four hill sprint full-on was a rewarding experience. I hasten to add that if you look back […]

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The “Soapie” Diaries (collected diary entries)

  On 14th August I began teaching a new private student. For reasons known only really to the student and me I have called the notes taken from these sessions "The Soapie Diaries". The student's primary objective was not to learn martial arts or self-protection. She wanted to improve her all-round fitness and was open to learn whatever I had to teach. It was an unusual mandate for me, but I decided to use the opportunity to try out my combat conditioning […]

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Feeling the need for Speed! (diary entry)

Battle FC Bushido 189: Stay close, don

Battle FC Bushido 189: Stay close, don't get hit. (Photo credit: icantcu) Armlock shown is a straight arm bar (juji-gatame) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) English: Rear Naked Choke as demonstrated by two soldiers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) 20.08.12   After a student-led warm-up, mainly consisting of ground movements, I decided to ask what the class felt needed work. There were requests for more submission practice and more kickboxing, but what impressed me the most was a request for more speed work. Specific […]

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Support Tactics (diary entry)

Today’s self-defence lesson began with the usual warm-up of forward and rotational torso work. The next stage of the warm-up involved doing repetitions of the different postures, getting to the feet. After this we moved onto shoulder barging and fence work.This was overlapped with focus mitt work, using the straight hand strike, hook and backhand.   We covered supporting tools like the cover, biting and eye gouging. All are secondary tactics as a rule. See my article “Take Cover!” and […]

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Sitting Out Part 2 (diary entry)

Studded tyre Español: Neumático de invierno co...

Studded tyre Español: Neumático de invierno con clavos, modelo Nokian Hakkapeliitta 4 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) 15.08.12 Today’s mandate for the private lesson was a bit of stick-work and striking with grappling. We used some basic kali stick work to warm-up with, just working different angles of attack and some stick-on-stick drills to look at trapping. Mo Teague, Floyd Brown and Hock Hocheim have all inspired me to look at the basic principles of training evasion. Before one learns how to […]

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Sitting out part 1 (diary entry)

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13.08.12 Today we looked at the sit-through and its integration into submission and mixed martial arts fighting. This movement, which has been popularized through wrestling, Brazilian jiu jitsu and submission grappling, has found its way into functional fitness and outside the fight world. YouTube now has an abundance of videos showing various trainers incorporating the sit-through into their bodyweight-only exercise routines.   When broken down, the sit-through works as a variation of the plank, but also engages the legs a […]

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Go to the legs – private lesson (diary entry)

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We general focus of today’s lesson was looking at the biomechanics of the principles behind striking for self-defence. This included both the motion of the strike and the postures from where the strike can be best delivered.   We warmed up moving the hips forward to drive the straight palms, punches and elbows and torqueing the waist to throw hooks and offline/backhand strikes. In order to develop better muscle memory and faster transitioning I brought in several posture exercises. It […]

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No-Gi, Kicking and Combat Conditioning (diary entry)

Punching bag

Punching bag (Photo credit: CRUSTINA!) 01.08.12 Today’s private lesson was the result of requests made from my client based on our previous session. My mandate was to deliver a two lesson that incorporated “no-gi” grappling and to continue with our focus on kicks. The session ended up around 70% grappling, 20% kicking and 10% functional fitness. No-Gi No-gi is a term that has fed its way into martial arts training via Brazilian jiu jitsu. As the name indicates, it was […]

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Kick Overload! (diary entry)

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  I have taught private lessons for a while now, but this is the first official session I ran back at the zoo. This is the place where I have done most of my own solo training since I was 13 years of age. It is hardly ideal – a cramped old barn with miscellaneous equipment and the rest is outsie. However, there is an endless amount of potential for hardcore training development. The steep hills are perfect for forging […]

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Agility, punches, kicks, pins and the guard (diary entry)

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23.07.12 Today’s class began with agility drills using markers. Exercises included footwork, running drills, pogo jumps, side jumps and sprawl/double leg takedowns. We then focused on stamd-up. This began with jab attacks and defence. We used this as a starting point for various combinations, working in punches and kicks.   The basic punch/kick combination has intrigued me ever since I got into kickboxing properly. Many clubs made an awkward stitching together of western style boxing with taekwondo or karate style […]

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The Basics of Self-Defence (diary entry)

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Private Training My client requested that training be focused entirely on basic self-protection. As my coaching now includes an online/distance learning service, I have more time during private lessons to focus more on the self-defence side of self-protection rather personal security. The psychology, physiology, criminology and legal factors relation to self-protection can largely be dealt with using correspondence, although confirmation of the students understanding can take place during the actual lesson. As we hadn’t much of a brief other than […]

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Sprawls ‘n Sit-Throughs (diary entry)

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16/07/12 Juniors We had a more laid back lesson this week for no particular reason. There was no strict lesson plan. Everything sort of evolved. I mean that in the truest sense of the word – matters didn’t exactly progress; rather they mutated.  The student taking the warm-up seemed to like sprawling and sitting through a lot. This then flowed into our flash pad work and a footwork chasing game. We then looked at a simple striking/sprawling combination. The class […]

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Posturing and pounding (diary entry)

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08.07.12 Juniors Today we moved back onto positioning. All exercises were focused on actions coming from certain postures. We began with striking to focus mitts then we used the postures for single and double leg takedowns. This was done from the following postures: kickboxing, wrestling, combat base, butterfly guard and from the back (snaking and close guard). Each of these postures was interrupted with a break fall or sprawl. I did this to overload the action to “stance-up”. The student […]

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Striking and Grappling (diary entry)

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02.07.12 Juniors Whenever one teaches a method for cross-training for martial arts, the words Bruce Lee or Jeet Kune Do will inevitably crop up. Despite considering “Functional Jeet Kune Do” founder Mo Teague to be my coach, I have a very limited amount of experience actually training in Jeet Kune Do. I have attended seminars here and there; I own Lee’s posthumously published training notes and have an idea of the whole scene, but I would never consider myself to […]

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Triple Whammy! (diary entry)

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25.06.12 Junior Class Today’s lesson was another overall look at athletic performance in MMA. We looked at agility and timing. Training began with functional fitness warm-up exercises around the mats, which were followed by various timing drills. The group coordinated forward and backward rolls diagonally across the mat. Then they moved onto footwork drills, backwards and forwards, around markers – running, pogo jumping, leg-whipping, 45 degree stepping etc. followed by sprawl/double leg takedowns and chasing each other using bear crawls […]

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The Oldest Trick in the Book (diary entry)

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18.06.12 Positioning, movement and timing have all been themes of recent lessons. Putting it to the vote, the group agreed timing needed more attention than everything else. It was a wise choice; positioning and movement should follow timing. Timing is the essence of the fight; it can decide everything. The same could be said about tenacity, but the latter easier to train. Timing requires mental alertness and diligence. You don’t get better at timing by sweating. You get better at […]

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