Managing Violence Part 1 (diary entry)

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15.06.2022 Last Wednesday I began teaching Joe Saunders’ course on “Managing Violence”. The course is split into two sections, social violence and predatory violence. A strong emphasis and specialism of Joe Saunders’ approach to self-protection teaching is de-escalation. The course is the 17th hour of my work with Drum Kempo Ju Jitsu where I have been engaged in a teacher consultancy role. Today we began the social violence section, establishing definitions and providing examples. We then posed the question whether […]

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Clinch in MMA (diary entry)

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19.05.2022 My long-term client picked up on his return to MMA revision, finishing at hour seven of a 10 hour scheduled course. Tonight we moved onto the clinch in MMA. After a warm-up and a series of muscle activation exercises, we moved onto partner work. From here we drilled collar and elbow ties, pummelling over-hooks and under-hooks, before moving onto some grip-fighting. Next we went back through some dirty boxing combinations before working a five minute round of clinch-based focus […]

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MMA Combo 4 & Turtle Attack/Defence (diary entry)

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02.02.2022 My fourth and final clients for Wednesday were my junior MMA and senior submission grappling classes. Tonight we continued with MMA combination work, adding on jab/cross/sprawl/uppercut/lead hook/cross/double leg shot. This combination uses the momentum of the sprawl recovery to put power into the rear uppercut and the torque created by the uppercut to send in the hook then the cross and then drive forward with shoot off the front leg. We looked at front leg pivots and correct weight […]

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More Junior Muay Thai (diary entry)

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07.01.2022 Friday night’s lesson brought my client up to the 8.5 point of his course. Tonight I continued his son’s Muay Thai training. We based our training around 12 x 3 minute rounds. After yesterday’s assessment, I decided to focus more on establishing better defensive postures and movement. We began with establishing footwork. Then I layered immediate counter-work, training to attack and defend with jabs and crosses. This moved onto hooks and uppercuts before layering in teeps and round kicks […]

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Rematches! (diary entry)

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27.07.21 I began my second lesson of the evening – my fight history teaching – with a step back to 1940. This was the last footage I have been able to currently find of a full Henry Armstrong fight. Henry Armstrong vs Ceferino Garcia 01.03.1940 Ring Magazine declared this to be their Fight of the Year. This fight was billed as the World Middleweight Championship but was only recognised by the California State Athletic Commission. When last we left Ceferino […]

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The Sixth King or Joe Louis Cleans House! (diary entry)


15.06.21 Tonight’s fight history lesson looked at the emerging career of Joe Louis in relation to the five world heavyweight champions that preceded him. Joe Louis had disproportionately large fists, like Dempsey he had wide shoulders and a narrow chest. He had an all over athletic physique with particularly muscled limbs. Many, including his own trainers, considered him to be a manufactured fighter. He stood in shoulder width stance with lead toe in line with rear heel for stability and […]

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Progress with Sticks & Kicks! (diary entry)

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28.04.21 Wednesday night saw significant improvement with my stick-fighting client and my kickboxing client. In the former’s lesson we blended in diagonal strikes to the legs in addition to the two high angled strikes. These were done with fluid posture transitioning, on the move and from different stances. They were first taught with single stick from each hand then as double sticks. Next I introduced a double-hand grip and put them together for a sequence of 10 techniques. Kickboxing moved […]

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Dutch Combination Work (diary entry)

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12.12.20 Saturday morning’s lesson was the fourth hour of my client’s online Muay Thai training. We followed the 4 x 10 minute round format, which works especially well for tackling Dutch Kickboxing style combinations. These combinations comprise of a long chain of punches and that smuggle in powerful kicks. They also involve a good degree of slipping, checking and blocking with appropriate counters. We made our way through four of them, spending time to build up the tempo and to […]

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Switching Butterfly Guard (diary entry)


21.09.20 The seventh part of client’s submission grappling and ground-fighting course continued work on the omoplata and we also looked at the butterfly guard. After a warm-up of technique callisthenics and solo training exercises the two lockdown partners went back through the omoplata shoulder lock. After we had reviewed the details of this submission we looked at variations. This included the wrist-lock and the toe-hold. From butterfly guard we looked at a simple sweep as well as taking the back […]

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Kick Camouflage (diary entry)

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12.05.20 My teacher training lesson was taught around partner-work as my client is self-isolated with her daughter. We continued our Muay Thai/Dutch Kickboxing merger work. Next lesson we look to put in more dirty boxing work. The overall objective of this training is work in and out of ranges with the emphasis on striking. Tonight footwork and fast hand combinations were used to set up everything else. We warmed up with footwork, using the training area to its full extent. […]

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Eight Rounds and then Sparring (diary entry)

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12.03.20   Thursday night’s second session was the penultimate private lesson in my junior client’s first MMA course. We had a hard night’s training, going through the different ranges for three minute rounds on the pads before sparring.   After our usual dynamic stretching and sport specific callisthenics we went straight into the rounds. The 8 x 3 minute rounds consisted of Boxing, Shoot-Boxing, Kickboxing, Shoot-Kickboxing, Ground ‘n Pound, Guard Defence, Turtle Defence and Back Mount attacks. Then we sparred […]

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Grappling & Anti Grappling Continues at Kingham Hill School (diary entry)

eye gouge

27.11.19   Wednesday’s lunchtime lesson continued my self-protection course at Kingham Hill School. Today we continued our work on combat grappling and anti-grappling. This included working from the clinch and the ground. We warmed up with various clinching drills taught in the previous lesson. This included neckties, under-hooking and wrist-grips. Then I had one student resist whilst the other tried to pull them off balance with a grip. This was an exercise to get the foundations right when being grappled. […]

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Takedown Defence & Dissecting Set-ups (diary entry)

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04.09.19   Wednesday’s junior lesson focused on takedown defence. The senior lesson looked at details for using the hands to set up round kicks, spear knees and round knee strikes.   The junior lesson began with dynamic stretching and wresting callisthenics. Then we did some footwork for wrestling, looking at dropping levels and movement from a low stance. Next we did some bulling from the collar and elbow tie, moving into outer reap takedowns and two on-on-ones. Then we moved […]

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Beyond the Southpaw (diary entry)

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14.08.19   My regular Wednesday client had a special extended lesson tonight, where we focused more on switch-hitting. We specifically looked at fighting from a southpaw perspective and countering a southpaw from an orthodox stance. This is something I will also address in tomorrow’s lesson with my other client’s new course on sparring.   The lesson began with some more work on the agility ladders. I added in a shifting/pendulum movement and also focused moving in and out an attack […]

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Here’s the Hook (diary entry)

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30.10.18   Tonight’s lesson was my new client’s second hour of a scheduled 10 hour course on Basic Western Boxing for Martial Arts Cross Training. We looked at better for force generation for the cross punch and I also introduced the hook.   We began with some shadow boxing, focusing on footwork. This changed to mirror footwork, where I layered in upper body movement – slipping, ducking, and bobbing and weaving. Training then went onto the focus mitts. Here we […]

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MMA Escapes and Submissions Begin (diary entry)

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01.09.18   This morning was my client’s penultimate lesson is a scheduled 10 hour course on MMA Ground-Fighting. After some discussion, we have decided to extend the course due to the sophisticated nature of submission fighting. Today we focused on basic escapes and began guard-work.   The warm-up was entirely geared towards callisthenics from underneath – snaking, bridging and crab-crawls. We then did a partner warm-up using bridges (upas) from underneath side-control.   We looked at escapes from four major […]

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