Tag Archives | self defence

Rolling Choke and Other Animals (diary entry)

choke (informal)

18.08.16   Tonight’s private class was my client’s eighteenth lesson in his second course of Mixed Martial Arts for Martial Arts Cross Training. We continued with our theme of rolling attacks in grappling that we have been covering for the past three classes and also kick-catch counters that was introduced in the previous class.   We warmed up with some shadow boxing, focusing on targeting and stance-work. Then we moved onto the various rolls – standard forward and back rolls, […]

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Fourth Anniversary Lesson (diary entry)


14.08.16   Today’s second private class was a two hour session focused on combat conditioning with a special request for work on kicking. The format was roughly divided into three sections: muscle memory drills for MMA, technical training for Muay Thai kicks and high intensity interval training.   Muscle Memory Drills for MMA   A feature of my coaching programmes is to prioritise actual martial arts techniques over most exercises. Although I have been a long-time opponent of just mimicking […]

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Time to Cover the Cover Part 2 (diary entry)

uppercut elbow

10.08.16   The second private class of tonight was my client’s seventh lesson in Personalised Martial Arts Cross Training. We are currently working on cover concepts. Last time we had a double lesson that mainly looked at self-defence methods for using the cover to regain the striking initiative. Tonight we looked at grappling options, where we trained three lines of attack: high, mid and low.   The grappling option is a back-up method if, for some reason, returning striking is […]

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Not Pulling your Leg (diary entry)

10.08.16   The first private class of tonight was my client’s seventeenth lesson from his second course on Mixed Martial Arts for Martial Arts Cross Training. We are currently focusing on rolling attacks and also looked at kick-catch counters. In short, we were more leg-grabbing focused than a frustrated Jack Russell or his embarrassed owner.   The class began with a series of mobility and muscle activation exercises. This began with reverse Indian press-ups, which place more pressure on the […]

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Restrictive and Transitional Training for Self-Defence and Combat Sports (diary entry)


30.07.16   Today’s second lesson was this client’s fourth class in her Personalised Martial Arts Cross Training course. With our focus still on circular techniques, we brought everything back to self-defence techniques. The different dynamic between self-defence fighting and match fighting was discussed. Despite a tremendous amount of overlap and effective attribute development, the essential difference between these two fights is that one is an asymmetrical combative situation and the other is a symmetrical one. The first usually consists of […]

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Expanding upon Martial Movements (diary entry)

overhand right

        30.07.16   Today’s first lesson was another double session along the lines of the buffet style cross-training I ran last Saturday. We decided to work off stand-up striking principles, but ended up bringing elements of wrestling, submission fighting, MMA and even some weapons work. All training was done outside, where we focused on body movement in combat and combat conditioning.   The lesson began on the focus mitts, looking at Western Boxing concepts of movement. We […]

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Pivoting, Hooking, Throwing and Evading (diary entry)

Hook Punch (close) darker

23.07.16   Today’s first lesson was the second in my new client’s course on Personalised Martial Arts Cross Training. Having discovered my client’s natural inclination for throwing hooks or rounded hand strikes as a basic combative instinct, we have been building on this movement through different arts.   We began with a simple torso rotational exercise using wide spread arms. Torso rotations do come under a fair amount of controversy due the pressure placed on the spine. I advise that […]

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Sparring at all Ranges Part 2 (diary entry)

clinch strike

22.06.16 The thirteenth lesson in my client’s second course on Mixed Martial Arts for Martial Arts Cross Training continued the sparring theme. Tonight we focused on the clinch and specifically striking within the clinch. The lesson began with some focus mitt work. We started on the Western Boxing focus mitts and then went onto the Muay Thai focus mitts. We then did some clinch-positioning. This began with some simple entries and then moved onto “bulling”, where the upper-body gripping and […]

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Sparring at all Ranges Part 1 (diary entry)


15.06.16 The twelfth lesson in my client’s second course of Mixed Martial Arts for Martial Arts Cross Training was live-training orientated. Previously we had been restricted by space and spent a lot of time looking at specific techniques with limited sparring. A change of training environment has allowed for a little more room in order to safely spar to a certain degree. Therefore, I thought it was high time we put a lot of what my client has covered under […]

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MMA & The Kimura Part 2 (diary entry)

08.06.16   The eleventh lesson in my client’s second course on Mixed Martial Arts for Martial Arts Cross-Training continued to look at the Kimura. See my report on the previous lesson for more details on this hold and videos on the two techniques outlined later.   We warmed up with simple linear punching and Western Boxing footwork. We switched between stances, cut off the ring and, in honour the recent late great Muhammad Ali, dropped our guard to draw an […]

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Effective Flamboyance? (diary entry)

single objective path2

10.02.16   The ninth lesson of my client’s second course in Muay Thai for Martial Arts Cross Training made its most dramatic diversion to the norm by looking at more spectacular martial arts techniques. Usually this is the penultimate lesson of a course and it is where I return a combat sport back to the self-defence line, seeing where the attribute training can enhance the core counter-assault methods. Tonight was very different in that we looked at building on the […]

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A Victorian Blue Print for Modern Self-Defence Culture


What follows is a review of a 2011 reproduction of the collected works on Bartitsu, written by the art’s creator, E.W. Barton-Wright. This was a book I got round to reading as part of my ongoing investigations into martial arts subculture. I am currently in the process of writing a book on critical thinking martial arts subculture, “Bullshitsu and the Fight to Make Martial Arts Work”. I am sure you will see from my review, that despite E.W. Barton-Wright’s actual […]

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Power Punching (diary entry)

impact (smaller)

  02.12.15 The ninth lesson of my client’s second course on western boxing for martial arts cross training focused on power punching. With technique and speed being addressed over the past few lessons, all underlined and interlaced with strategy and tactics, it was time to isolate the process of generating and developing raw power. This is a far larger subject than it might first appear and I will probably look at it again next lesson, where the focus will be […]

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Survivor Knowledge

i esceped my killer

One of the saddest realities of criminal history is that notorious killers often claim the identities of their victims. These unfortunate human beings became immortalized only as part of the supporting cast for their killer’s infamous biography. Lisa Noland (nee McVey) is an exception to this rule. She was the last victim of the serial killer, Bobbie Joe Long. A woman of remarkable, courage, intelligence and tenacity, Nolan had endured a life of abuse long before she was abducted. In […]

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Holding the Fence Line (diary entry)

thumb strike

26.08.15 The second in my client’s first series of lessons on basic self-protection moved more into the hard skills that will make up the bulk of this training. We began with a revision of the fence and preserving personal space. Before we stepped over into actual physical engagement we confirmed a complete understanding of determining the likelihood of a physical threat. This area exemplifies the importance of training attitude in conjunction with actual skills. Most people can make shapes, hit […]

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Trapping with Weapons (diary entry)

body clinch

The ninth lesson in my client’s course on weapons for martial arts cross-training brought onto aspects of trapping, dirty boxing and whatever name one can use to describe vertical gripping and striking. Weapon work lends itself well to developing these empty hand attributes. We warmed up using stick-on-stick drills, moving back onto revisions for entanglement and takedowns. On revising some flow drills, we explored several variations and led onto trapping in earnest. We then applied pressure and moved onto a […]

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