Insights and Reflections

Reality training for children (part 3): How?

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How do we teach children to be efficient students of realistic self-protection and martial arts? It’s a tough question and if training children is to be seen as an allegory for teaching fundamentals then it is not surprising that this very element is where the martial arts education industry is at its weakest. I see teaching children as a path to retraining ourselves about base principles and commonsense. In short, the premise I set for myself when I first founded […]

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Reality Training for Children: 21st Century Martial Arts

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Picture the scene: you are an eager adult martial arts student with a firm interest in realistic combat methods for today’s civilian and, having found a club that seems to tick all your criteria boxes, you are suddenly paired with a child training partner. You are a no-nonsense type of person and a veteran of many different martial arts classes. The belts, rituals and exotic movements no longer impress you. In fact, you would rather steer away from clubs that […]

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Reality training for children (part 2) : What?

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Previously I discussed the social barriers that often stand in the way of teaching children realistic self-protection. In this article we look at what I believe we should be teaching children in the context of realistic self-protection, but first let us look at how these barriers, if we let them, severely impede our honest intentions. It should be noted that these barriers are often reinforced by sound arguments and therefore should be seriously considered before anyone approaches realistic self-protection training […]

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Reality training for children (part I) : Why?

A scenario, where a child uses whatever is necessary to escape the clutches of a would-be “abductor”

“Why?”: the dreaded single syllable word that a child can use repeatedly to raise an adult’s temperature and stretch his comfortable and established philosophies of logic, reason and beliefs to breaking point. I have seen many an adult reduced to a blubbering mess or a ranting dictator, as he tries to explain and justify his answers, while a six year old sits calmly with only the smallest traces of a mischievous grin on his face asking again and again “Why?”  […]

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Martial Academia

Ancient depiction of fighting monks practicing...

Image via Wikipedia “Learn from the experienced, not from the learned” – Anonymous Since the nineteenth century, streets have been patrolled by organised police forces employed to uphold the laws of the land designed to protect the innocent. Yet the civilised human being is still drawn to combat whether it is as a system of self-protection, a form of stress relief or a method to keep healthy. There is something appealing about the visceral look and feel of ordered violence. […]

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Mordred’s Victory

“The Death of King Arthur”

Image via Wikipedia “I saw you beat him like no other man’s been beat before and the man kept on coming after you. We don’t want any part of a man like that” – Rocky II (1978) In the epic medieval poem Le Morte D’Arthur, King Arthur battles his treacherous son, Mordred, who has tried to usurp his throne. Arthur confronts Mordred and thrusts his spear through his son’s body. However, before falling to the ground dead, Mordred strikes a […]

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Muay Thai as Self Defence

Unknown

“Follow not in the footsteps of the masters, but rather seek what they sought” – Basho “One of the most devastating arts to come out of Asia is that of Muay Thai. This lethal martial art is dedicated to pure fighting.” – Peter Lewis “The Way to the Martial Arts” Image via Wikipedia There is little doubting the ferocity of an average full contact Muay Thai or Thai Boxing bout. The sport, when under full Thai rules, is one of […]

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Muay Thai as Self Defence

Thai Boxing at Ratchadamnoen Boxing Stadium

Image via Wikipedia “Follow not in the footsteps of the masters, but rather seek what they sought” – Basho “One of the most devastating arts to come out of Asia is that of Muay Thai. This lethal martial art is dedicated to pure fighting.” – Peter Lewis “The Way to the Martial Arts” There is little doubting the ferocity of an average full contact Muay Thai or Thai Boxing bout. The sport, when under full Thai rules, is one of […]

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Prodigal Son – Rejected

A muay thai fighter "working his hands&qu...

Image via Wikipedia It’s a sad day when you realise you’ve outgrown your once respected seniors. I began my martial arts training in earnest at age 14 in an eclectic system called Sakiado (way of the body and mind). The system was taken from UKTA (ITF) Taekwondo and American Kickboxing. The style was fairly basic and limited, using a western boxing stance and punching combinations with Taekwondo’s other techniques. Sakiado was certainly a business (no harm in that), but not […]

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Respecting the Root and Branching Out (my first published article)

Chan Heung

Image via Wikipedia “To know the outcome, look to the root. Study the past to know the future.” Lieh-tzu South Africa: a country of incredible beauty often over-shadowed by its much-publicised scenes of brutality and political unrest. It is land of magnificent landscapes that can be seen from miles around. Impressive rugged regions like the famous Valley of a Thousand Hills dwarf even the largest of equivalents in Britain, and its striking coastlines border the magnificent Indian Ocean. I visited […]

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