Wednesday 19 November 2014

Class notes: standing grappling sparring.

Warmed up with pummeling.

Then looked at the inner forearm choke that Gastelum used in UFC 180 against Ellenberger

We looked at this from mainly a seated view (front to his back), we played briefly with it standing so mainly sitting. The new bit of learning for me was about using the forearm to apply the choke, the hands were the fulcrum and you pull the elbow back to your shoulder to close it off. Tight, painful and generally horrible. I liked it also as you do not need to only go for the bicep and forearm suppression with the chin at the elbow fold. This gives you other options. In playing around it helped if the head was folded forward over the arm as this gave the choke great initial tightness.

The rest of the session was standing grappling sparring. After each round we sat down as a group and spoke about 1 thing our partner did well and something they need to think about next round. This is something I use frequently in my class as a teacher as articulating your learning and that of another will make the learning deeper, therefore staying in the memory longer.

Yet again, a really good honest session.

Friday 14 November 2014

Class notes: Ayyaz for Croydon Council

No Martin tonight so Ayyaz stepped up to the plate. It was most pleasant to spend time repping the basics and even getting a sweat on later in the class.

3 drill:
After the hit through the centre we worked on adding lap and a hit. You need to lap with the hand that throws the punch down the centre.

The basic roll, looking for arm drags and chokes.

Pummelling sparring:
Trying to get the back.

Grip breaks followed by grip sparring where one attacks and the other defends. Where one tries to get the back and the other can only defend. Then both trying to get the back at the same time.

Drilling the 3 entries off the jab/hook, jab/jab. jab/jab. Following up with the strikes then going into the clinch phase and manipulations.

Jab and jab counter drilling

Jab sparring: one attacks and the other defends. We did loads of rounds of this.

Hands only sparring with controlled pace and level of contact.

Despite being quiet in terms of numbers it was still a great class that involved lots of movement, partner changes and practise.

Sunday 9 November 2014

Class notes: arm drags

Arm drag to choke (rear naked)

Arm drag to jumping choke, the flying rear naked.

Arm drag from knees and wrist control

Shrug off when they go for the head.

Control the elbow crease in the clinch.

Arm drag to elbow lift to get them moving towards you. Drive wrist and elbow opposite (like an arm bar/ elbow extension)ways swim through for head control.

He jams and shoulder control with the elbow bong.

He jams then come out and take the hip

He jams and go for the head and arm

He jams then body clinch with wrist bones

Striking drills off the 3 series of jab then traps.

jab hooks trap

Jab jab trap

jab in jab out trap,

Follow each up with the right hand, then create a 4 move flow by adding grappling control after the right hand.

Tuesday 28 October 2014

MMA thoughts

Last night I went to my old MMA class for the first time in 18 months since I damaged my knee there. I thought it would be a great chance to try and apply all the stuff Martin has been teaching us. There was only a few chances throughout the 3 hour class to apply what I have learned.

The first part of the class was technical striking so in my head it was time to work all the points Martin talks about with striking. The protective shell. head movement, footwork are all key when big gloves are coming at the head. And as if to parrot Martin's ideas, Lee, the MMA coach also expressed the same technical points to striking success. He is also a big believer in being excellent at the basics, again, something Martin has broken down before with the 4 keys to being a sound fighter.

We did a wrestling drill from our knees to get a takedown and then try to pin the partner. I wanted to start standing to get the arm drag going but could not get it from my knees.

We did a wrestling drill against the cage where you try to keep correct posture and pressure and flow through the different no closed hand grips. I found staying soft and feeling where my partner's arms were was something we had sort of worked on in class with Martin. I also thought a lot about my breathing and being in control of that. This helped me to stay relaxed.

We did a grappling technique looking a DWL from side control.

In the free spar at the end I was looking for the head and arm. Got the position few times on the floor but the shoulder was not through deep enough to cause a Saracen Leader effect! I was looking to use those magic bones on the forearm of catch wrestling, I also found the guilotene but again the shoulder was not deep enough around the head.

You can see the full blog post here detailing the other aspects of training covered.

Thursday 23 October 2014

Class notes: boxing and co-ordination work

Boxing gloves on:

Sparring from out of range

Footwork drilling

Jab, hook, wrist control
Jab, jab, inside gate wrist control
Jab, outside jab, lap wrist control

Repeating the rounds with new partners:

How to counter the counter puncher

Jabbing and moving the head offline, jab and move off the powerline, jabbing sparring

Then again with the gloves off

Bare knuckle sparring

DWL of the jab and hook set up.
Long arm head control with the forearm. If they try to stand then positive posture, push the chin with the other hand if they try to scoop to grab the leg for a takedown.
Folded arm shoulder control from DWL entry.
Drunk man hug counter - going deep over the shoulder.

Pak lap drill
Basic roll, adding inside gate pak.
Changing on their attacks: Tristan change, change on the pak and the strong wrist change.

Friday 17 October 2014

Class notes: finger jabs and co-ordination drills

3 drill to warm up.

From long range, man sau to inside gate pak sau as an entry for the chop attack. Whilst chopping keep in the chin tucked into the shoulder. From here work on follow up techniques from as wrist and shoulder control as the chop will be a way to bridge the gap.

If the throw a right hand as you enter with the chop, because there is a pulling on their lead hand, have the left hand on your forehead with the
palm facing outwards. This will add another layer of protection as well as having the hands up for the next phase of your work.

Martin also introduced using the finger strike to the eyes instead of the chop. This is not poking or anything kung fooey. For me it is like imagining my fingers have water on them and you are trying to flick the excess water off the tips. By using this technique you are not trying to pull out eyes and cause major trauma ending the fight in a magic second. You are causing distraction and triggering reflex actions as a way to get his hands up and momentarily disorientated.

Pak lap drill.
Getting the reps in to build on from last week.
Basic roll
Punching on the lap then inserting changes and punches.
Punching on the pak and inserting changes and punches.
Adding the inside gate pak after the pak sau.
More changes, more frequent hits and generally building up co-ordination competency for the drill.

Standing grappling set: working the arm drag, headlock defence, DWL, double lap, head and arm choke.

Martin then spent some time talking about a technique that he has applied with constant success against all types of grapplers, he also sent this paragraph:

You attempt an arm drag, when it is defended, probably by putting pressure on you shoulder or face, you go to grab the back of the head. This was what Martin called steps of the ladder way earlier on in the year. If the neck bends then you go to Thai grip. If they push back against your head grab you go straight to the head and arm choke. The other one we didn’t do but mentioned by Martin was Thai grip to either head and arm when pushed back or the take down (that doesn’t work on Jack).

Boxing gloves back on and we were working the jab and jab counter drill. This led to the counter punchers being able to choose to jab or the long left hook.

Saturday 11 October 2014

30 minuts workout to get the lungs going

Get your lungs working and get a sweat on in this 30min workout. It is great for us as martial artists because there is no rest, the motions change often and the body is put under stress. As we can't spar ever day we can achieve some of the emotional and physical states through different types of exercise. So find the time to give it a go.

Thursday 9 October 2014

Class notes: Snatch attacks

This class was one of those session where I should have filmed because that would explain in much clearer terms than what follows. I guess this is an unusual post in that if you were there it will hopefully act as a reminder. If you missed class then it will probably not make too much sense.

3 drill: recycling the hands for the initial chop. This was chopping with the 'wrong' hand in 3 drill.

Pak lap drill: Partner simply throws continuous punches and you control along the power lines using lap and pak to keep him at distance and under control.

Once the basic roll is sorted you can start to add the change. The change is a double up of either the pak or the lap to get you on the other side.

Once you have got the roll of the drill and the change then you can begin to insert punches. Start by punching on the lap attack. Get your rhythm, timing and distancing then start attacking off the pak. You will also need to add subtle hip rotation to the punches to give them extra body behind them.

Next when you feel comfortable with the above start inserting the inside gate lap. This happens by turning the hand over after the pak to guide that punch to the opposite shoulder. Punches can also be added to the inside gate lap.

Martin and Trist both demonstrated the whole drill fro punching on single attacks all the way up to attacking of the 3 control points. To me it looked like a blur and something that is a long way away from being good let alone competent at. Martin then took it one step further and showed the whole sequence from snatch to 3 drill to pak lap and back again.

Martin also gave a brief demo of practising solo in the air.

Pak lap drill becoming a snatch attack drill from long range - pre contact range in sparring or match fighting.

Applying the snatch attack to short lap the from arm of the guard then pak with the same hand to his rear hand then to insert your own choice of attack depending on angle and distance. Knees, head control, neck and wrist control,

Inserting the pak lap control into the 3 drill. To get it going, the person who wants to apply the technique needs to start with the lap and palm strike. This will give you his attacks then three of yours to get it going.

This as usual was one of the sessions whereby time went too quick and more time is needed to practise. I guess that is what the next 40 years are for!

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Joel Gerson, an MMA pioneer

The latest edition of the Drunken Daoist podcast had Joel Gerson:

I knew nothing of him and his story is fascinating. Well worth a listen.

Here is a list of the topics covered:

Rumina Sato, god of grappling
Daniele's shady quasi-legal deals in the Japanese enclave on Sawtelle
Had texting existed back then, Joel's life would have turned out different
"I was trying to convince myself that I could win, and I knew that I was bullshitting myself"
Joel's university professor father "My son is a bruiser"
"Anybody can learn how to give a beating, it's learning how to take a beating that is the tricky part"
The appeal of combat sports
Being honest with oneself is the antidote to ending up like Ted Haggard
Dogma and ideologies
The fear of facing the universe without certainties
Ideology is a disease
Lessening the hold of fear
Inspiration as fuel for heroism
The quest for self-perfection is something that any human being who is not an ass should be on
Sakuraba epic 2000 Grand Prix
MMA work ethic
Carlos Newton
The joys of the internet

And here is the video of Joel fighting Sato. I particularly enjoyed him talking about 'checking' (taking) leg kicks in the podcast.

This is his fight

Class notes: controlling the centre

The class was mainly working out of the 3 drill

Chopping off the other hand in the first attack of the 3 drill:
This is done by grabbing and circling the chop over.

Leaning chops: falling steps, the legs catch up to the body. Stay balanced. Martin's chops were tight and deep and he was covered.

Head down shoulder up entry chops

Inside pak attacks from the chops both same side pak and opposite side

Using the attacks from 3 drills after the inside pak

Inside lap off the chop in the 3 drill

Having the commitment to attack. Feeling Tristan attack gave me little time to react even though I knew what was coming. My instinct was to clinch and wait for a gap. Several times he had me tried up in knots. A lot of the above can be transfered to fighting someone with a guard up.

You want the X. Never pak from the rear hand as it is too far to travel.

If they are right leg forward then mirror

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Ronda Rousey and Gil Melendez rolling

Lovely fluid work on the ground

Class notes: Boxing and wrestling drilling

Lots of 3 drill, boxing drilling and standing grappling work. Here is a short video of some of our work tonight

Wednesday 10 September 2014

Brutal knock outs

Just because...

Class notes: boxing, boxing, boxing.

Gloves on straight away.

Footwork reminders which were to be put into practise straight away with the first drill and practised well all session.

Partner A throw the punches: jab, cross, jab and cross. Of course this was dependent on what pads (hands) partner B was holding up.  Moving around the room, partner B directed the footwork by moving, leading, encroaching in all directions whilst putting the hands up. I started off with Trist and we looked at each others' footwork and non punching hand. The non punching hand needs to be protecting but also pulling that side of the body back to increase the power in the punches.

A key learning point was range awareness. Be at the end of your punches and use full rotation on the right hand.

When I went with Martin my range was too short, I was making contact too close as he could throw a left hook over my right cross and it would land. I needed to become much more aware of the few centimetres difference in range. After a couple of partner changes I began to feel the range with more understanding.  It did feel most strange at first though. An analogy would be being aware of your own personal space in a conversation with another. There is a point where you feel too close. In my head this was the feeling I wanted when throwing punches but the opposite: feeling like I am too far away to make contact. Thankfully that awkward feeling was a truth gauge. Moving forward in learning I need be super aware of the range.

This video shows a concept of range. Watch how the smaller fighter plays the fights at his range. I know this is a typical Japanese mis-match bout but nonetheless just watch the range finding.

Next we did our jab/perve drill. This too enabled footwork and range practise. Less punches were thrown as people were now begin to gain a better feel for the range. Additions to this drill was the counter puncher could now add the left hook. This gave the attacker a chance to watch the punches and work on the hook cover (clasping the head, chin down). Martin did go on to show using a small and tight rotation towards the hook using a mum sau but I did not work on this.

The tale of theory samurai engage bed in the sword fight, holding position for 30 mins. I will endeavour to find this story and post it in full and the principles behind the apparent lack of action in said duel.

Standing grappling drills.

Rep ping the 4 hands on positions
Same side arm on shoulder = arm drag
Opposite side arm on shoulder = head and arm choke
Same side hand on hip = DWL
Opposite side arm on hip = double lap

2 new additions were:

Zombie standing (hand down by the sides): push the shoulder to turn them and apply the rear naked choke.

Here is UFC fighter Alan Belcher showing the correct form.

If they are too tall for you, push through on the lower back or hips to drop their level so you can secure the choke.

Here are a couple of vids to keep you going.

A little Saracen-esqe at the end.

Some old school footage when style fought styles. Oh how the sport of MMA has evolved.

Headlock defence: positive spine, arm over the top f his as you push his face away this will release his grip.

Wrist control dirty boxing:

Feeling the pressure when having various wrist controls we looked at feeling the different pressure and punching out of them.

Elbow control and pushing the upper arm control. This became a constant rolling flow drill.

Head and arm choke defence:
Answer the telephone then pull down on the shoulder. The bail out is sliding out and coming round for head and seat belt control.

DWL counter bail out:
If they link their hands then go straight for the arm drag.

Monday 8 September 2014

Class notes: Basketball players and dwarves

3 drill:

Attacking off the first attack - punch under the chop forwards.

Punching distance for this attack: Aim for the chin and be closer to his potential attacks. Aim for the nose to have a higher degree of safety behind your punch. Sky the arm as it gives you more extension.

Groin elbow to nose attack from the backfist then move over for the lap and punch.

Ben forearm hammer of death instead of the backfist. This will give you the energy for the uppercut with the other hand.

If they defend high you can turn it into a standing arm bar; rev the wrist, pressure the tricep for standing control. Go for the wrist and fold his hand on to his shoulder blade for a single arm chicken wing.

3 drill sparring with all. I was useless with crap attacks and defending the whole time. Jamie said he did this with Ayyaz and he did not hold back and got stuck into J. J loves it!!

Footwork: the four analogies:

1: Each foot moves the same distance so at the end of the step you are balanced and powerful.

2: No tight rope walking. Have the feet hips width apart.

3: Be ready = go and don't delay.

4: Thumbs up = positive and engaged legs

Drilling footwork by pushing and piston punching the partner. Leading to looking for the head and arm trap. If this gets loose then apply the seat belt, 'wash' the face so the hand goes to the back of the neck for the head control. Look to knee from here.

Grip breaks:

Grab the grabber:

1: Vain basketball player - same side grab going down - fingers through hair and folding the elbow over his forearm

2: Angry basketballer - flaps his arms - cross grab-grab the forearm

3: Angry dwarf - he's on minimum wage serving tables (defence = tan sau)

4: Vain dwarf - Grab the grabber. You had to be there to fully appreciate my poorly remembered words.

Nev v Nish double grab of death defence: Smash the thumbs or p'eng/hinge arms and step deeply with a shoulder barge



Sunday 31 August 2014

In fighting techniques

Here is the list of entry techniques, big thanks for Trist for putting the time in to put e-pen to e-paper

In Fight Techniques

1 a) Lap and punch, Lap and trap, punch
b) Lap and punch, Lap and punch, Lap and trap, punch

I seem to remember to really get a strong X trap the trick was to make the initial Lap before the trap down low to your partners hip and then the lap to trap up high almost trapping across their upper arm just below the shoulder.

2 a) Pak and punch, grab elbow with punch hand, hit to body, hit to face
b) Lap and punch, Pak and punch, grab elbow with punch hand, hit to body, hit to face

They key to getting a good position to take the elbow was allowing your initial punch to fold to Bong Sau (given that there is energy jamming your punch)

3 a) Pak and punch, Tan and punch, Tan hand grabs arm and traps, punch
b) Lap and punch, Pak and punch, Tan and punch, Tan hand grabs arm and traps, punch

The Tan is a straight Tan that invades the centre line (think early part of 1st form) it almost snakes to the outside of their defensive arm and then moves it as you dominate the centre.

4 a) Pak and punch, hit to body with Pak hand, Tan and punch, trap and punch
b) Lap and punch, Pak and punch, hit to body with Pak hand, Tan and punch, trap and punch

Similar straight Tan but from a different starting position as your throwing a body shot first, as the arms comes up to Tan it still comes outside and over their defensive arm (the one that blocked your preceding punch) forcing them to throw the other hand across to defend and allowing the trap.

5 a) Lap and punch, hammer fist to body
b) Lap and punch, Lap and punch, hammer fist to body

Tuck the arm that you Lap up to allow you to hammer fist to the solar plexus.

6 a) Inside gate Pak and chop, chop
b) Inside gate Pak and chop, Workman trap

Your initial chop is off your rear hand for both variations, Workman trap is established by throwing the arm you parked across the top of your other arm (the one that threw the chop).

7 a) Lap and punch, punch through centre
b) Lap and punch, Lap and punch, punch through centre

8 a) Lap and palm strike, push elbow and hit
b) Lap and chop, Lap and palm strike, push elbow and hit

Push the elbow across their body and hit over the top.

9 a) Pak and punch, Gwai Jarn
b) Lap and punch, Pak and punch, Gwai Jarn

Gwai Jarn - turn the wrist that you Pak over (wrist side up) and rotate your other elbow into the centre, switch the hand that's grabbing the wrist and sink your weight down onto their arms as you establish the position, hit with your free hand.

10 a) Pak and punch, inside gate Pak and chop
b) Lap and punch, Pak and chop

11 a) Pak and punch, punch
b) Lap and punch, Pak and punch, punch

The last punch relies on your partner not giving you proper resistance/energy on the arm you Pak.

12 a) Pak and punch, Inside gate Tan and punch, inside gate Pak and punch
b) Lap and punch, Pak and punch, Inside gate Tan and punch, inside gate Pak and punch

13 a) Lap and punch, hammer fist between arms
b) Lap and punch, Lap and punch, hammer fist between arms

We experimented with the hammer fist hitting both solar plexus and also groin, allowing for a follow up rising elbow

14 a) Immovable elbow, Garn and punch, cover and back fist
b) Immovable elbow, switch arms, Garn and punch, cover and back fist

From contact on the initial immovable elbow your rear hand covers their guard hand (think of sliding between the two hands that are guard to guard) and you can then throw your other hand around as an immovable elbow.

15 a) Lap and punch, Tok Sau and punch
b) Lap and punch, Lap and punch, Tok Sau and punch

Tok Sau - catching their arm just above the elbow with your thumb underneath and pushing the arm across their body.

16 a) Inside gate Pak, chop forward, Lap and backfist, Lap and palm strike
b) Inside gate Pak, chop forward, roll over backfist, wait and trap, punch

The chop is thrown with the same arm you inside gate Pak with, 16a is the three attacks from the three drill gaining entry with an inside gate.

17 a) Lap and punch, piston punch
b) Lap and punch, Lap and punch, piston punch

18 a) Pak and head grab, strong lat pull and punch
b) Lap and punch, Pak and head grab, strong lat pull and punch

19 a) Pak and punch, roll over backfist, push head away, sweep and punch
b) Lap and punch, Pak and punch, roll over backfist, push head away then release and elbow

20 a) Lap and punch, second Lap resisted, fold to elbow
b) Lap and punch, Lap and punch, third Lap resisted, fold to elbow

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Class notes: Elbow range

Really technical session last night, no video to back me up so will simply list the different aspects of what we did.

Entry techniques demo: Last week this was something Trsit was working on and so he ran through with Martin what he remembered.

Entry techniques.

1a: lap and punch, trap and punch
1b: lap and punch, lap and punch, trap and punch
2a: pak and punch, kau sau and punch
2b: lap and punch, pak and punch, kau sau and punch
3a: pak and punch, tan and punch, trap and punch
3b: lap and punch, pak and punch, tan and punch, trap and punch
4a: pak and punch, body shot, tan and punch, trap and punch
4b: lap and punch, pak and punch, body shot, tan and punch, trap and punch
5a: lap and punch, lift hands, gut hammerfist
5b: lap and punch, lap and punch, lift hands, gut hammerfist
6a: inside gate lap and chop, chop to neck
6b: inside gate lap and chop, arm x-trap and punch
7a: lap and punch, hit through centre
7b: lap and punch, lap and punch, hit through centre

Now these are the only ones that I wrote down from a class we did in 2010. Mart and Trist went all the way up to 15 so not sure if they followed the above a b pattern or simply went through 15. It might be a good idea to catalogue them again at some point to simply catalogue them. I wonder if these are things we can apply out of the 3 drill or sparring?

3 drill: hit through the centre of the chop to the throat with a palm up horizontal fist. Martin remarked that he had been doing the 3 drill for 20 years and still new techniques are being discovered.

Martin spent time talking us through the following details of elbow use: mechanics,
thumb position when clasping,

Thai clinch defence counter: outside of the arm for a long arm lap control

Arm drag pull away: cup the elbow and tricep to control the escape to give you wrist control.

Punching targets and tools: the jaw line, the vertical and the horizontal fist

Punching the head when being aggressively held at the shoulder – coming over and under the arm and fist orientation.

Encroachment drill: basic stance and range, pushing arm mechanics, punch target. Their possible counter to the push into cover and counter.

Elbow control: crook of the elbow, thumb and fingers manipulation. Counters: crushing the hand by leading with the elbow, popping the elbow out to escape,

Finding the lap creatively in the standing grapple

Pak pass to lap

Monday 25 August 2014

Discussion on sparring

Found this podcast recently (Hiyaa Podcast) and it is both entertaining and educational. Educational in the sense that experienced stylists from different arts talk about their methods and pasts. I like it as I love learning about all the martial arts.

Anyway, on the podcast linked below, there was an interesting chat about sparring. Such as what is it and how to incrementally develop it rather than just throwing gloves o and going at it. Part of the discussion within resonated in me because I used to think gloves on, gum shield in and see what happens.

When doing MMA we did lots of drills and then freeform. Freeform being using whatever you want. It did feel developmental rather than being thrown in the deep end. This is something that Martin has touched on several times that sparring intensity needs to be built up and not something that we just do. Having done lots of sparring in my martial arts career and in all the ranges of the spectrum, I can see the value in all variants. Doing the far end only will give you headaches and a speech impediment but not to do it will also leave a vacuum in your knowledge and experience of yourself. For many years I thought about how I would react and cope under pain, stress, exhaustion, fear and panic. I have found that different levels of sparring give you clearer and calmer eyes. I have also found that pain is a great teacher as well.

Strangely I have found a great big difference in myself in heavy sparring. Striking only sparring is still my nemesis yet grappling only sparring and grappling sparring with strikes sparring I love and am very comfortable with!

In closing, Martin is guiding us along our own paths to enable us to shape the martial art to us, not us to it and sparring, in which ever form it takes, is a significant part of our journey.
Enjoy the podcast.

Sunday 24 August 2014

Catch wrestling principles

Here are some of the principles in catch wrestling. Learning these is as important as learning the techniques themselves...

Basic Principles

- always keep your elbows in

- control your opponents hips

- control your opponents head

- control your opponets breathing

- keep your center of gravity lower than his is possible

- minimize space when in a superior position

- create space when in a inferior position

- always think ahead, have a plan for every scenario

- have an emergency plan for failed 'hook' attempts

- make life miserable for the bottom guy (poke, scratch, elbow, knee, punch etc.)

- make the bottom guy carry all your weight

- think before you act

- attack and control your opponent at angles, not straight on

- know your own body

and finally,
- know that your fight is won in the gym and not in the ring (which means train hard!

Friday 22 August 2014

Street fight to music

Found this video way back near the start of the blog. Very fun for the new guys that have not seen it:

Monday 18 August 2014

Words of wisdom from the greatest sword fighter that ever lived

Dokkōdō – The Way to Go Forth Alone

  This was a set of precepts written by Miyamoto Musashi the week before he died.  It was a guideline for having a stringent, honest, and simple life. I have studied  Musashi on and off for a while, and have only just come across this. It is always good to be to be surprised in research.

  Every martial artist should read this. You can pick and choose what you like about them. I don’t agree with all of them, but there is wisdom in there.

1. Accept everything the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself, and deep of the world
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others
10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or lore.
11. In all things have no preference.
12. Be indifferent to where you live.
13. Do not pursue the taste of food.
14. Do not hold onto possessions you no longer need.
15. Do not act following customary belief.
16. Do not collect weapons or practice weapons beyond what is useful.\
17. Do not fear death.
18. Do not seek to possess either good or fiefs for your old age.
19. Respect Buddha and the Gods without counting on their help.
20. You may abandon your own body, but you must preserve your honor.
21. Never stray from the way.

- Miyamoto Musashi

Friday 15 August 2014

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Catch wrestling videos and notes from Trist

Trist has been doing some extra research and here are his tremendous insights as of late:

This whole video is really interesting to watch although a lot of its not relevant to what we are training. At 7.00mins in Billy starts talking about arm positioning for double wrist locks and arm bars, this then progresses to a few face crank positions, a standing double wrist lock takedown (bring on the mats!) and then at 8:30 he demonstrates the elbow/lever position (this is what I was focusing on transitioning to after establishing the lock and seem to work really well with both Ron and yourself)

Strangely the early part of this vid shows something not a million miles from what Ayyaz was talking about last night but Billy is immediately establishing his own wrist control, also an interesting break from two hands on one arm. The arm drag variations are around 2:00mins, the first is the variation we train and the other two seem more wrestling specific but still interesting from a grappling standpoint.

1:05mins in Billy shows an interesting idea for grapple sparring as a nice way to go for double wrist lock

This is on the ground but check out Billy at 2:05 onwards reminds me of Martin demonstrating good position.

Trist, thanks for all your insights, these videos are fantastic and help to keep us all learning

Sunday 10 August 2014

Learning from the stories and experiences of others.

I am a big fan of podcasts and my most recent discovery is that of Graplearts radio hosted by Stephan Kesting.

The latest 2 I recommend are the Tony Blauer interview and the Erik Paulson interview.

Blauer gives his interesting opinions about such aspects as coaching and fitness, of particular interest to me was when he talked in length about how competition fighting and sparring can prepare you better for the street.  This was also echoed in an interview with Burton Richardson who is a very well established JKD trainer out of Hawaii.

I found his honesty fascinating about how all his years of training did not work in the competitive environment. It was as if he had a false sense of what he could do because it had never been tested. Please listen as it is a fascinating interview.

Skipping back to the Blauer interview, he also talked a lot about fear and the two acronyms he uses to help understand it. Check it out.

Finally is the Erik Paulson interview. He is just an encyclopaedia of information and worth a listen, he created CSW, Combat Submission Wrestling. Again, listen to the path he took, the influences on his systems and the path he is now on.

Thursday 7 August 2014

Similar yet different striking concepts and principles

Been wandering YouTube and found these videos from this Russian style of martial arts

I like the following video because:

- He shows the shoulder roll
- He uses lots of torso rotation to develop power in his strikes
- He is very balanced at the end of his shots
- Relaxed heavy hands
- Looks messy in parts
- Striking a variety of body parts

On the downside I would like to see this in a more alive scenario where there is non compliance

This next video, at the start whilst the gloves are on, show some nice fast light contact practise. Later on it delves more into his idea of body use in the street/ self defence arena.

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Class notes: pummel master class

3 drill: did about 45 mins of rolling. Trying to get different things to work such as the head and arm, hitting through the centre, double lap, short pak and kau sau. Working with Ayyaz I got lots of time to defend his hits through the centre and it was all about using the feet to keep out of range of his long arms.

3 drill 100k stance for 30 seconds - not to be lifted, thrown or off balanced. This is what our stance should be. Not in conversation stance but knees flexed, positive spine, shoulders forward of the hips. We pressure tested the two stances by resting our forearms on our partner's fighting wedge. They applied the forward pressure and we either lost balance (conversation stance) or absorbed it out through the arse and into the ground (combat stance).

Fighting out of the pummel: this was the focus from which all of our learning came out of tonight using our 5 primary grappling based attacks
1: arm drag
2: double lap
3: DWL
4: head and arm choke
5: long arm head control

the arm drag, swing back, counter punch and finishing punch:

Finding the double lap in the pummel is something I need to work on as I found it quite messy to find. Perhaps that is the point. It is not supposed to be clean and pretty all the time.

Regarding the elbow hits think about pointing the finger and this will give you the direction of the energy in the strike. You want your energy to go straight into him which means the forearm needs to be more parallel with your chest rather than the forearm folded in. It is almost as if the upper arm lifts and you are not you really hitting with the elbow, more like stopping their forward motion from the double lap with your elbow. Martin talked about his former teacher engaging in a challenge match with a Mantis teacher. The match ended swiftly with a double lap and elbow causing a rapid KO. I have looked online and found, obviously, no video evidence. There is however some videos of him training, teaching and applying wing chun. Here are a few to give you an idea of the man in question.

And here he is teaching from his knees! It has the embed code disabled hence the web address.

And here is our training video of the double lap and elbow.

DWL: details: get his hand away from you and him, whilst being in control, to stop the hand clasping. Create the space for the arm and then you step in to meet his wrist and not pulling it in to your chest. This will keep his arm away from him. 
Clasp over the elbow or on the tricep with your armpit not on the forearm. You will not have the leverage if you are too low on his arm.
To do the empty chicken wing shoulder control make sure when you transition from the DWL to the ECWSC that you close the gap between your side and his. I did this with the Saracen leader and he commented on how much more effective it was when this gap was closed.

Head and arm snatch into choke: Martin reminded us of the need to close the gaps and ensure everything was in the right place. Primarily the deltoid need to reach right through and under his jaw line. I was working with the Saracen Leader and several things happened in slow motion. I put the technique on and within half a second I let go. Saracen stumbles, I thought he was taking the piss by doing a comedy stumble. As he stumbled he banged his head then proceeded straight body and hit the back of his head on the floor a few times. He appeared to be fitting. I know you must leave people alone and put them in the recovery position afterwards. Luckily this lasted for a few seconds before he jumped up feeling a little queasy. I felt really bad that this happened but SL was super cool about it all. It also made me realise that if everything is in the correct place that this choke is fast and can put someone to sleep after you have let go. 

In real MMA action:

In a grappling match:

Long arm head control. Elbow up and elbow down. Martin spent some time going through this and perhaps I am over thinking it or simply crap at it at the moment. Found it really hard to get on. Along with the double lap more time on this is needed.

And how it should be done properly:

Rotational power, pulling the other hand or leg or waist back to give power to the striking tool.

Wednesday 30 July 2014

YouTube commenting as a learning tool

Try to watch the videos in YT as you can then comment on them. Make sure you comment on where you notice you applying stuff we have learned. Maybe as I have - time, name, technique.

Just a thought.

Class notes: be aware of your wrist

30 mins of 3 drill with a look at

- defending wide on the chop forward so they to practise the inside gate lap and hit

- the roll over backfist


- lots of rolling the technique, low arms, turn with the long arm

- DWL hunting

- arm drag being tighter and smaller and turning on a dime

Wrist awareness: Do not let them have it. Be aware so when you feel the rev or twist going on, get it back to a strong centre. Same for the arms and shoulders. Pull the shoulder back into its socket.

DWL counter - the hand grip into arm drag

Defence against double underhooks

Compress their elbows in and this should lever to loosen the underhook attempt. This will work best before they close the grip so be aware of their hands. Once the grip is closed you are likely to be going for a painful ride.

Thai clinch counter counter - going for the elbow not the wrist. We discovered that Jack has arms that it does not work on meaning no move is 100%. The point I believe is to see if it does then move to something else if it does not. One position is not worth fighting and battling for.

Grapple sparring

Thursday 24 July 2014

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Class notes: Ayyaz takes control part 2

3 drill: went over and drilled material from last week focusing on:

- Hit through centre and a method to counter it and keeping the range. This was having an alive feel for range with your elbow and sort of jamming his attacks.

- Hit to groin then lifting elbow off the backfist.

- Double lap, also off the backfist. For this I was working with Jack and his double lap was very believable and strong. Really good to see the young lad making so much progress.

Arm drag x 4 drilling: with speed for 2m30 seconds then swapping over. We did this for 3 rounds and the sweat really started to flow. The four types of arm drags were detailed in the class notes from last week. Again this was about drilling, making the motions tighter and smaller. When fatigue sets in there is no space for big motions as they will be countered withe ease.

Jab and jab counter

Jab and jab right cross counter
Spent a lot of time drilling the motions. I am really glad I used a video tonight as I can see what I was doing well and what I need to work on. Already having watched this video I have given myself 3 aspects to improve next week:

1: More lateral head movement on the jab defence.

2: Chin down at the end of the jab.

3: Correct alignemnt on the right cross. i seem to be turning and leaning too much and not delivering down the powerline.

Thai clinch defence counter: the head and arm or the long armed folding head control.

Flow wrestling This was a really nice part of the class where it was essentially free grappling sparring but done a pace with the focus on feel, hunting for the DWL, staying relaxed, staying tight and in a constant state of movement.