Preparing for the Grading (diary entry)

Caestus on the Boxer of Quirinal.

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10.10.11: This is the penultimate lesson before the grading. Next week’s lesson will be immediately followed by a grading, so in a way this is the last real lesson. It’s an opportunity to have a final check on who is eligible to grade and where small areas can be corrected. We began with some new specific warm-up exercises mixed in with the usual movements, several taken from western boxing, and then they were free to do their own multi-range shadowboxing.


We then went straight onto some grappling. This began with transitional pins and then was followed by two specific sparring rounds – fighting from a pin and passing guard. After a review of break-falls, every individual was put on the spot with their take-down practice. Unless we are drilling entries or learning a specific throw or take-down, I like to see see take-downs performed on people going at around 50% resistance. CCMA gradings are individual affairs, aimed to show the efficiency and effectiveness of the student rather than how well they have mastered a style or system. These 50% resistance take-downs are not always pretty. It is not a question of picking a technique or being told to perform a certain technique, what happens is the student responds appropriately. Sometimes his response is incorrect and he has to go to a contingency take-down. This is all very much in line with the intuitive nature of the CCMA approach.


This was then followed by some asymmetrical ground defence pressure testing and fence line-ups. We also had some discussions on weapons awareness, the continued importance of being mindful of how one trains and the effects of the primitive stress response.

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