Insights and Reflections

The Calypso Effect

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  “People, like nails, lose their effectiveness when they lose direction and begin to bend.” –        Walter Savage Landor Staying on-course is not an easy task for a martial arts cross-trainer.  Today more visible and accessible options are on offer than they were in previous times. The martial arts industry has evolved alongside more aggressive marketing tactics and the growth of multi-media. A modern martial arts school has learnt the advantages of offering more programmes to it students rather than […]

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The Calypso Effect

calypso

“People, like nails, lose their effectiveness when they lose direction and begin to bend.” –        Walter Savage Landor Staying on-course is not an easy task for a martial arts cross-trainer.  Today more visible and accessible options are on offer than they were in previous times. The martial arts industry has evolved alongside more aggressive marketing tactics and the growth of multi-media. A modern martial arts school has learnt the advantages of offering more programmes to it students rather than closing […]

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Functional Fitness

“Make your work to be in keeping with your purpose” ? Leonardo da Vinci “I need to work on my fitness” is a common phrase I hear from a gasping student or instructor following a pressure test. The test is usually very short and, in some cases, it has been done very early in the training. The participant is usually an experienced yet young martial artist. He is not overweight. He is visibly strong, flexible and, looking at their recent […]

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Functional Fitness

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“Make your work to be in keeping with your purpose” ? Leonardo da Vinci “I need to work on my fitness” is a common phrase I hear from a gasping student or instructor following a pressure test. The test is usually very short and, in some cases, it has been done very early in the training. The participant is usually an experienced yet young martial artist. He is not overweight. He is visibly strong, flexible and, looking at their recent […]

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Attribute Training – an overview

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  Cross training in martial arts is nothing new. However, since the popularity of the eclectic martial arts movie star Bruce Lee and the rapid development of the sport known as Mixed Martial Arts, prevented we have seen it practiced more overtly than perhaps ever before. As martial arts became an institution, barriers went up between clubs. Either for commercial reasons or to keep control of their students any martial arts schools their students from training in any other art. […]

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Open Mind (versus Empty Head)

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According to Winston Churchill, “A fanatic is a person who cannot change his mind and won’t change the subject”. They are words worth taking on board when we explore the Clubb Chimera Martial Arts tenet of “Open Mind”. Having an open mind is vital for anyone who truly wishes to be progressive in their learning and with their teaching. It’s an essential ingredient if you are to be aware of new data, information and changing times. From a self defence/self […]

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Discipline: Beyond Novelty

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In his excellent book on parenting, “Superpowers for Parents”, Dr Stephen Briers discusses the definition of the word “discipline”:   “[discipline] is now generally associated with correction and punishment, but the original Latin root of the word disciplina implies a mentoring relationship: the pupil or ‘disciple’ submits to instruction in order to hone his skills and realize his potential”.   Many of our ideas surrounding the term discipline stem from the ancient methods of religious institutions and the military. In […]

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Courage and the Myth of Fearlessness

Cus D

Cus D'Amato posing with his famous "peekaboo" style. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)   The third tenet I selected for CCMA (Clubb Chimera Martial Arts) was courage. Out of all the tenets it is the most subjective. Different people have different interpretations of courage and also different ideas about what constitutes being courageous. However, there is often another word thrown in to help describe examples of courage that I do not believe are at all accurate: fearlessness. As children the word courage […]

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Awareness: A Partially Understood Tenet of Personal Security

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Today it is hard to go to a self defence seminar without hearing about the importance of being aware. Yet when we actually get to the topic of being aware it is often either delivered as part of a five minute disclaimer that also contains details on the legalities of self defence and the importance of not going around picking fights. Some instructors who do choose to go into detail seem to mistake paranoia for awareness. They promote an unhealthy […]

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The By-Product Myth

Cover of "The Karate Kid (Special Edition...

Cover of The Karate Kid (Special Edition) “Not every difficult and dangerous thing is suitable for training, but only that which is conducive to success in achieving the object of our effort.” –        Epictetus   A good place to look for an example of the “By-Product Myth” is in the 1984 American teen drama, The Karate Kid. The story’s bullied underdog adolescent hero, Daniel LaRusso, is baffled by his karate teacher’s bizarre instructions to wax his car, paint his fence, […]

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Combat Grappling – When Things Go Wrong

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Grappling in Self Defence   Grappling has a long and remarkable association with civilian self defence. For example, there are manuals and illustrations depicting control and restraint methods being used against armed and unarmed attackers across Europe throughout the medieval and renaissance period. The British seemed to change from their own “art of self defence”, boxing, to Asian grappling arts at the end of the 19th century. By this time boxing had completely cemented itself into a position as a […]

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Take Cover!

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Introduction   The cover is a tactic that has soared to prominence in the traditional, sporting and self defence martial arts circles over the past decade. For the sake of clarity I am using the term to describe any of the counter-offensive tactics that involve wrapping the arms around the head. I have seen it in traditional Chinese martial arts, in karate, in silat, in mixed martial arts, in panantukan, in some ju jutsu styles and even in western boxing. […]

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Understanding MMA

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As is often the case with martial arts, there is a lot of misinformation, disinformation, ambiguity and outright confusion concerning this subject. I am a martial arts coach that saw the birth of what we call modern mixed martial arts, was inspired by it and now finally teach it. I won't spend my time explaining the history of the sport, but act more as a guide for the novice viewer or a person interested in perhaps taking the sport up. […]

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Responding to the Critics

Question mark

Image via Wikipedia “You absolute whore!” were experienced martial arts champion, self-defence expert and fitness instructor Floyd Brown’s not-so-sympathetic words when I showed him the marketing campaign being used to sell my new DVD/download self-defence programme – “Rapid Street Defence”. And there I was at the beginning of 2012 with a stack of terrifying bills looming over me on one side and the prospect of a reputable career in imminent danger on the other. 2012 is the year I get […]

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Is your self-defence any good?

Self Defense

Image by Pioneer Library System via Flickr Preface Before I begin this article let me get a few things straight about its content. I will be discussing the training methods behind the hard skills required for what I see as efficient self defence. I will be setting down three very general performance criteria, which I think are fairly easy for a club to comply with if they are professing to teach effective skills for self defence, civilian combatives or anything […]

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The English Riots of 2011 – A Reflection on Violence

English: Looting carpet right shop in 2011 Eng...

Image via Wikipedia Image via Wikipedia I write this now as the proverbial and literal dust has completely settled over the England riots that held media and public attention from 6th to 10th August 2011. There is a reason for this. We are now past a time where the causes of these incidents and recriminations for those involved were being debated. What once felt like Armageddon has now become a small piece of violent history. We can now reflect without […]

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