Wednesday 28 May 2014

Head and arm choke variety

Saw a version of the d'arce in the UFC this past weekend. I guess it is a version of the head and arm just that it has a different name?

Class notes: footwork, boxing hands and counters

Solo footwork drilling to warm up:

- Forwards
- circling back (always ready to throw and not just retreating)
- turn and go steps
- pivoting away
- jab and slip (throwing the right without throwing the right hand)
- jab and lead hook
- long hands up retreating
- jab slip left hook, take a step out for left hook
All above but with the right hand forward. Having a good intensity will get lots of heat into the body.

Make time for practise - little and often. You do not need lots of space. Make time.

Left hook detail: Complete the right hand to get the correct range for the left hook; the right shoulder will be forward. Keep it tight and they will be less likely to see it; the left hand stays close to the face and the elbow lifts for the hooking angle. Don't drop the left hand as if to windmill hook the left. It might look more powerful but there will be no hip and torso rotation.

Uppercut details - drop the right shoulder as if slipping. Punch from the hip and turn the shoulders and spine(keep the hands tight to the face). This is a natural arc motion. You will need to take a short step in for the range. Left jab, slip left, left uppercut. You only need to step if they are not moving forward with the right hand

Since starting the new system with Martin I feel like body mechanics and attack delivery and defence have become tighter and more integrated.

This video is great for many reasons. One is that Vinny's body motion is fantastic and the punches come from rotation and movement.

Boxing hands: this is against the slow right hand or the southpaw. You always want your leg outside of theirs - you are on the outside of their jab and stance; they will need to cut across themselves to throw the right hand.

1: Southpaw throws a jab, orth does a mini pak then jabs the left hand over to their glove (target). Keep the movement small to avoid reaching for fake shots. By turning the shoulders into it you cut the angle off as they literally fall into the pak sau. If you stay square it will be harder to counter over their jab as you are already lined up for their right hand.

Counter 1: Left vertical punch.
As he throws the left hand, you are on the outside, the right hand comes in and you try to follow the left hand back. As the right comes in your left is there ready for the counter. Small v step, right pak pull parry and left punch under his right hand to the chin.

Counter 2: right uppercut. Same intial defence as above but this time your left hand will be folding back parry (comb the hair style) with right uppercut to counter the southpaw left hand.

Sensitivity drill (powerline guiding) with 3 attacks. They can throw wing chun or boxing punches and you are encouraging the movement along those powerlines
1. Kau sau body clinch: Get his elbow on your shoulder, torso to torso. Don't have his arm as ornamental - you move it and not around it, affect his structure
2. Elbow: turn, no need to step as you will jam the range.
3. Hook to the body. Keep the elbow out for the right angle for the punch. This is like counter 2 in the boxing hands section.
4. Double lap. Catch it, grab it, both hands in place then pull down vigorously. Don't pull the wrist then grab the elbow and pull. Both hands on and they act together.

Sensitivity drill (outside wrist control): Hand on each of his wrists on the outside. He gives various energies, feel it and look for arm drag, DWL, clinches,

Body shot sparring.

Clinch and grip sparring:
Ayyaz counter and me trying to regain dominant head position is the reason I have a sore head this morning. Love it.
Big Ron lifting v head control and he rudely went for a sumo lift. In the playground this is called a wedgie. Still walk awkwardly this morning...

Monday 26 May 2014

MMA syllabus: sparring drills and types


Side control arm manipulation: using strikes and submission attempts to get the arm tired. 1 minute on each arm then swap over.

Side control battle.

Side control escape and reversal

Side control sweeping from underneath, working the arm in by turning both ways.

Clinch and takedown using legs such as trips and sweeps.

Clinch to full takedown into submission

Front body clinch fighting.

Clinch grappling

No grip stand up clinch fighting (PLUS eyes closed)

Hold down or stand up

Fighting for the single leg.

Fighting for the takedown from the clinch.

Hands only sparring

Toes, chest and shoulder striking drill

Lead hand only, rear hand only, rear leg only, front leg only.

Hands v feet sparring

Stare down into striking sparring rounds - 10 second stare downs whilst going through our key words then 30 seconds of sparring applying our words.

Knock down ground and pound

Hunting for the clinch against a striker.

Primary grip clinch fighting

Takedown from knee to back pin

Headhunting in big gloves v tactical small gloves: the fighter in small gloves uses smart footwork and tactical striking against wild aggression. Interestingly smart footwork enables a calmer and more focused mind and thus more effective use of the strikes.

Greco clinch to takedown. No lower body attacks allowed.

Striking to clinch to takedown to grapple

Submission hunting grappling:

Takedown fighting into grappling

Speed grappling: constant movement and flow, looking for positions, sweeps, reversals, escapes and submissions but none being applied.

Eyes closed free form grappling with no striking but submissions

Big gloves free form grappling, no submissions and striking only.

3 rounds of striking from bottom control, no submissions but submission set ups allowed.

3 jabs and one kick, then with the kick as part of the final punch motion, Straight v circular striking techniques, free form striking rounds

Free form striking from bottom control: Big gloves on for the heavy and continuous striking. Not allowed to break from the position but bottom player needs to break down the posture to prevent striking. Person on top needs to keep posture up to allow for more effective striking.

Boxing sparring from the knees.

MMA ground syllabus: side control


Bicep compression from pre elbow extension:
top arm under (through his elbow crease) and same leg crossing over into what looks like a triangle or figure four position. This is because you are better balanced here as we'll as the arm and leg tie up works better from here. Small part of the forearm near the wrist bone will be digging in nicely to the bicep.

Bicep compression when opponent is in turtle position: Side back control and wrist control on his outer arm. Feed the other through as you dive over and elegantly face plant. Squeeze the knees together (your shins will now be on his torso and neck respectively) making sure his arm angle is straight from the shoulder to the wrist (whilst folded) to complete the compression.

Side control to leg attack, as if hunting for the knee extension: They cross their legs to prevent to submission so you manipulate the heel, lever the forearms. This causes his lower shin to be compress his lower calf, if fails then the knee extension is there.

Upward shoulder rotation (DWL): From control we can start to look for submissions. The worst case scenario is that you don’t get the sub but his arm is now depleted and thus a less effective tool for him. Best case is a submission. If you have control of his arm then take your time with this, rushing will create gaps and errors. When you have wrist control, use the head high knee against his head and same side elbow.

Key learning points were maintain the angles of 90 degrees. In upward grab his and your own wrist as close to the hand as possible, paint a straight line with the back of the hand on the floor.

Elbow extension: As he fights to escape by straightening the arm you can now look at the elbow extension. Make sure his elbow is off the floor as this adds to the pressure and the sub will come on a lot quicker.

Striking whilst controlling: attack the arm with elbow strikes to do nothing other than cause pain and frustration to him. You can dig the tip of the elbow into the head of the deltoid muscle which will be tense and thus cause lots of pain.

Shoulder control:
Use the shoulder to pin his shoulder or face to the mat, use the head to keep the gaps tiny so there is no room for him to work an arm in for underhooks.

Escaping side control by getting to the knees using lat control: Firstly you need to create space as if his side control tight there will be none. Push the head or angle your body away to create a gap between his shoulder pressing down and yours. When the gap appears work the arm in and through for the underhook and most importantly is to turn to your knees as quickly as you can. From here wrap the arm around and grab a hold of his lat muscle. This will enable you to pull on it for 2 effects.

Number 1, if he braces against the pull then you have a solid structure to work against to get the legs out from under him. Number 2 is that he pushes back into to you so you simply roll him back over you. Your forearm will be against his hip so you are pretty much effortlessly using his structure to sweep him. Very little power is needed, just his applying his momentum against him.

Calf compression: Naturally they should have the cross leg defensive position to prevent your attempts to move to top control and then want to slide the knee into your centre to begin escaping from side control. This is the bait. Allow their knee to come inside, as it does insert your forearm around and behind the knee. An overhook rather than an underhook, a tight one. Now for the tough part. Step over and insert your foot between his legs and close to his hips. It is hard because it require swift dexterity. It also means his leg is tightly wrapped. From here use the forearm bone on the outside of his calf for the pain.

Side to top to side control to side. Time to be creative with passes from side to top. Tried to use knee on belly and invert side control to control the base to move through the positions. Really tough as soon as they pull half guard you are done and it was their turn

Downward shoulder rotation series (DWL) From side control, from bottom control, into elbow extension, hip facing elbow = dsr, hips facing back of the elbow = extension

Chest spin pass to other side when the opponent looks to turn in on their side to escape. Pull the shoulder and press the head down so that they look at
their belly, maintain pressure through your chest and spin to opposite side for side control. If, in defending, they get the knee in, you can switch to inverted side control. Grab and lift the tricep as you sit your hips through into his armpit. Hips are off the floor and weight through his rib cage. If they chose to defend badly by extending an arm then you can go the head and arm triangle (shoulder and bicep suppression I think).

3 escapes from side control.
elbow to knee to create space and get to shin in ground control. Wrap other leg around their back and manipulate your hips to recover to full ground control.
2: lower hand drives and squeezes through his armpit gap and get double shoulder control. As you hip up and drive extend the scooped arm and roll him over.
3: pin his head high knee by placing your elbow on the floor and trying to squeeze it to your own hip. Manipulate your body so to elongate and narrow his base. Bridge and roll him over into side control.

Inverted side control:
Key points:
leg side leg sweeps under own hips, weight on his chest, tight bicep grip and elbow clamp, no gap between you and his armpit so he can't escape, hips off the floor and weight driving into his chest.

Knee extension: he goes to hook a leg in escaping from the inverted side control so dive for the foot and pull it into to the side of your neck. Feet on his arse, knees clamped together, one hand control his foot as the other wraps the lower leg to your chest. Extend and arch backwards with tight control for the sub.

Forearm with shoulder suppression:
Let him escape by trying to push the face. As his arm straightens push past it and throw the head to the floor as you get your hips to the floor quickly too. Palm to palm grip and drive down with the shoulder hopefully closing the sub off.

Reversal sweep:
Keep him moving and disrupt his base, feel for the gap and roll him over (timing not strength).

MMA ground syllabus: bottom control (GUARD)


Half guard recovery:
Top player needs to pass the legs to side control, bottom player then needs to shrimp out and recover what is almost an invisible half guard. Lower leg is through their legs whilst higher leg (hamstring) is on the far shoulder. The drill continues as a pass and recovers drill. It is a great drill to develop fluidity of the hips and awareness of your back of the floor. It is generally better to be on your side.

Posture breaking: underhook an arm, palm to palm grip and pull him down on to you. Compress his tricep with top forearm. A very important point is that you must use the body and the arms to apply pressure. In this position arms are pulling down as chest is squeezing up. Several options now: Attempt to create pain on the tricep, arch the chest to pass the arm over to then grab far side lat and escape out or allow him a small space to try to escape by pulling his across your chest.

Arm across escape: Scissor your arm so that one is on his tricep and the on his face, and as if opening his posture. Control the head then you control the body.

Outside leg over: As you scissor turn your head towards his knee so that you are now perpendicular. As I have attacked the right arm initially, this move now means I need to pivot to the left. As I am pivoting I need to move my hips. The outside leg, for this example it was my right leg, sweeps over his face. The hamstring needs to right on his face.

Compress yourself: To enable tight control pull the knees into your chest and squeeze his back with your calves. The idea is that you are almost making yourself into a ball. This will make the position very tight for him. It is possible even without using your hands to establish control for a good 5 seconds. To make the control even tighter reach up and pull his near side shoulder down into your legs and tighten your vice like grip.

Sweep: Control a forearm and pin the hand to the floor, same side leg pinned across his back, reach over and clasp the tricep of the arm on the floor. Post up onto your hand and hip up for the sweep into top control.

Super grip shoulder control: Over the traps so the shoulder is forced down and the elbow pins the head to prevent movement.

Guard pass:
Sitting back and sticking knee in the centre of his hips will open his guard.

Transition from side to inverted

Downward shoulder rotation (DWL) with the leg

Own leg grab with head control

Elbow extension with pushing the shoulder down

Ankle extension:
Starting from an open bottom control position, he has one foot one your hip so this is ankle you are going to attack. Wrap the forearm under the calf as you step up to have both feet close to his hips and as you sit your hips go close to your heels. As you lie back squeeze the knees together and allow the forearm to slide down his leg. You should feel the bridge of his foot against your lat or top of the shoulder. Make sure that forearm bone (radius) is nice and tight and the bottom of the calf muscle. Look behind and over yourself to complete the ankle extension.
Defence to this and that is as soon as they start to lie back you need to relax the leg, shoot the foot behind him and sit up by pulling on his neck for anchorage. Maintaining the neck control you can pass to the side or either with a crushing knee on belly control.

Downward shoulder rotation series (DWL) into elbow extension, hip facing elbow = dsr, hips facing back of the elbow = extension

Leg lock from the open guard position.
Start is if going to pass with shin over their thigh and make sure that the foot is placed deep under their thigh. When you look to pass with the shin it will be much deeper and have an opening of the hips preventing him from escaping easily to another position. Instead of passing hold the high leg and sit back as you come under his leg with yours. You are essentially clasping his leg between yours. Now that you have his leg clasped you can begin to work on the lower part of his leg for the submission.

Achilles compression:
With his toes under your armpit insert your inner forearm bone against his tendon to apply pressure.

Heel hook:
this is a much more devastating submission due to the potential long term injury the leg can suffer. With his toes under your armpit roll towards them lifting the far side shoulder off the floor.

Knee bar: As he stands to stack your guard, underhook an ankle and move your hips to allow taking him down by manipulating with your legs. As he goes down wrap his leg for the knee extension. Get the hips against his knee to act as the most powerful fulcrum.

Calf suppression: Could be my new most favourite sub. From open guard, keep his mind active with your hands as your lower shin looks to 'rest' on the back of his knee. When the time is right swim under his arms, take your head towards the foot you are going for, this will help to give you more power and leverage in the compression. Put that foot back with your lower shin compressing nicely against his calf. A sweet, sweet submission.

Guillotine baiting inside guard to jumping pass into head and arm triangle.
Folded elbow extension: Straight elbow extension = classic arm bar image. The arm is straight from the wrist to the shoulder and away from the body. Folded elbow extension = The arm is folded across their centreline from the shoulder.

Inner leg with shoulder suppression detail (TRIANGLE):The ‘with’ part of the technique refers to using part of his body. In this case the shoulder under his chin. We worked from bottom control and opponent helped to drill the technique by looking to pass guard by under hooking one leg and thus giving the move up to you
• Capture own shin behind his head as soon as inner thigh on neck.
• Have own lower leg across the back of his neck, perpendicular to your hips.
• Ankle not foot under crease of knee – ensure a tighter control.
• Heel of top leg at his side and not on his back.
• Hip up to get his arm across, feed it necessary during the hip up.
• Pull down on back of head to speed up the suppression.
• To close even more, hook your arm around the opponent’s leg that is on the same side as your inner thigh on his neck. Most people perform the suppression square on to opponent. By turning to look down your leg that is over his neck it closes the suppression very quickly thus his chances of escape are dramatically reduced.

MMa ground syllabus: centre control (MOUNT)


Centre control detail:
soles of the feet touching right near his arse, spine long and slightly concave, head higher than his, arms out wide as if free falling and just off the floor. This will put tremendous pressure on his torso. Feet are in tight as this prevents him from really being able to use them to escape the position. Hands out wide to counter any bridging he attempts. Chest relaxed and pressing down on his face. The hands and forearms can be used to re-centre his head under your chest.

Achieving centre control from side control: Establish strong control of his torso and head. Raise the far shoulder of the ground and pass with the following methods.
• Shoot the shin on to belly and pass.
• Passing the leg over dynamically (high arc).
• If they defend the pass by crossing the leg at the knees, pull on the blade of the foot. This should start him trying to defend a lower limb submission therefore he will want to pull the foot away. As you let go the foot will open a nice gap to enable the pass.

Upward and downward shoulder rotation: (DWL)
from centre control then transitioning into side control to complete the submission.
From centre control if his arms come high to the head then attack with upward shoulder rotation, if he looks to control your posture with under hooks then look for the downward shoulder rotation. The key point of learning for me tonight was the angle of the arm under. I discovered by practise and observation that it needs to be nearer the elbow than the shoulder for tight and effective results.

Shin choke: pass the shin onto his neck, weight towards the foot or you will get rolled. This one finishes quickly. It looks like a simplified gogoplata from mount.

Triangle: sitting in a nice a high mount offering attack to the head. He should cover up this giving you the chance to gain wrist control, push it to his chest as you step over put the shin behind his neck. Fall to the side as you close the triangle

Leg over sit on arm. Essentially you are sitting on the shoulder joint. This was my first experience of this position. This does require lower body dexterity as you need to essentially triangle his arm. Take a tricep control keeping the arm nice and tight. From this position we then learned a series of submissions.

Fall into an inner leg suppression. It is important to get it in very quick as if you don't they will escape or pass. Secondly arm extension. Thirdly wrist compression.

Calf compression: Heel to heel under their legs, feed one instep over their thigh, manipulate the arm to extend above their head to give them extra things to think about. Turn towards your feet and ensure your shin in tight in behind their knee and calf. Look to grab the foot and pull towards yourself. Your shin bone will compress the back quarter side of their calf causing plenty of distress. Key is keeping weight on them throughout the transition to the leg to avoid escape.

Bicep compression:
Feed an arm across his neck and put your weight on this. Already this is an unpleasant feeling from the bottom position. Secure your elbows on the floor either side of his head, palms on the mat too. Same side as arm across, feed your arm through the armpit on to the side of his face so that your palm is on his ear. Now move your elbow back onto his ribs to apply pressure to the bicep. Now grip palm to palm and turn the hands to the sky to finish the compression. If not working you can put the top hand on top of his forearm to cinch it in even tighter.

Calf suppression from sitting centre control: Sitting on his belly turn towards his legs and drive the forearm behind on of his knees. Then use your other side leg to trap your arm in position. Then use your other leg to complete the hold. It looks like a suppression (triangle) of your own arm and his leg. Fall to your shoulder and turn the forearm towards the soft tissue of the calf.


Submission from north south:
Instead of taking the inner forearm head control (guillotine) you assume a reverse version and insert a fist suppression to the front of throat for a painful and swift submission.
Elbow extension from the same position.

MMA ground syllabus: back control


Chest spins with hooks in:
keeping pressure just between their shoulder blades as spinning and thus transitioning from top to side to centre back control. Hands kept off the floor until in centre back control. By sitting up the hooks slide in easier than with the chest down. It does need to be swift as pressure needs to be applied to the back

Side back control ankle pick and hook in:
From here with back pressure applied control the far side arm and pick up his far side ankle, nice and high. Step over whilst keeping hold you momentarily trap your own arm. Strip it out as the hook makes contact.

Side back control arm extension roll: a tricky sweep and submission needing a lot of commitment. Essentially you roll under his chest pulling him on top of you as you pass your leg over his head and he lands in a very deep arm extension. A tricky sub to pull of successfully but one that is most fun to practise.

Calf choke from back control: pass the lower leg around the neck and secure with the other hand, fold the foot onto his shoulder to secure the position. Lean forward as if rolling over his head. This will cause tremendous strain on the front and back of the neck and when released coughing and gagging might occur.

Ankles crossed into lower calf compression: This requires some manipulation of his legs to get them in the right position. Crossing the ankles is a no no.

Forearm and bicep suppression (the lion killer)

From side back control look to get to centre back control. Put the near side leg in first and keep underhooks at the arm pit. When moved in to centre back control keep the toes pointing straight to avoid crushing when flattening him out. Keep the weight of your chest between his shoulder blades as opposed to the base of the back. Take the leg out back to the starting position, do a chest spin to the other side of his body and repeat.

Flattening out. Drive the hips towards his head and keep hands of the matt to give more pressure through his back. If he tucks the arms under to defend, take wrist control and pull towards his hip and flatten his shoulder to the matt.


inner forearm and bicep suppression

elbow extension

Inner forearm choke from inverted centre back control(x2).
As he defends by turning the face away from the bicep he is now setting himself up and thus asking politely to be choked. Pull the suppressing arm out a touch to get the forearm on his throat. Close for a quick and friggin horrid choke. The variation on this was taking the palm to palm, pressure driving with own head towards his and use more strength to pull the forearm across the old windpipe.

Arm bar: Get the head away from his by pushing away on his head to get the legs over his chest. Now sit up to ensure your hips are tight to his shoulder joint. Cross the ankles, keep the knees squeezing together and wrap the arm. As you lie back keep the ram close to your chest. When the arm is extended push your heels and knees down. This will be very hard as each of those actions will counter the other. This move actually does require an awful lot of presence of mind in all these areas of your body. Now raise the hips to finish. Doing these things with the legs means that the arm is being extended and stretched in the forearm, horribly before the elbow breaks.

MMA ground syllabus: submission types

Types of submissions:

Suppression: Either side of neck stopping the blood. 10 seconds or less for a result

Choke: Front of neck on throat stopping air to lungs and brains. Harder to pull off as it is dependent on how long they can physically and mentally hold their breath for.

Looking to cause dislocation of elbow, knee and ankle joints.

Rotation: To ball and socket joints.

Using your bones against the soft tissue of their body causing lots of pain.

MMA takedown syllabus

I have gone back through my MMA blog and broken all the learning down into sections. I trained MMA for 18 months, 2 sessions per week. This is not chronological, simply listing. Hopefully there are no duplications.

Here is the takedown section:

4 basic takedown drilling: the single hip capture, double hip capture, single and double leg.
Knee wrap takedown
Hand trip takedown
Single leg takedown clasping from shoulder control

Single leg capture: x4
1. Drive knee to head, left arm under knee, transition right hand to heel to get him hoping back.
2. Outer leg trip
3. Pulls back to escape you transition into double knee capture and the takedown is most reminiscent of a rugby tackle motion. You collapse him from his knees.
4. Both arms under his knee, keep the right elbow crease under his knee lifting high as the left hand wraps around his shoulder for a ‘steering wheel’ take down.

Knee trip and shoulder take down: The trip is simply a barring action (the hand on the side of the knee) so that the leg has nowhere to go. The arm in shoulder control straightens from the bicep and the ‘bowls’ as the trip happens acting as a fulcrum. This technique works when you have the same leg forward as the partner

Single leg takedown: defend by putting the leg on the outside , step around and drag down
Above but the leg goes on the inside, drive backwards and then change direction by pulling down as he tries to straighten his leg.

Front hip lift: as with the naming convention it simply refers to the part of the body being used and on occasion a direction. Start in standard shoulder control clinch and the secondary grip on the tricep. Transfer to side body clinch with head on shoulder blade, squeeze the elbow together, thrust with the hips as you look up and lift onto your arching chest. To complete the throw relax the shoulder and dump him on the floor with you in a dominant position to continue

Back hip throw: first looking at using shoulder control and tricep grip then and underhook and overhook clinch grip as this secures their shoulders. Anyway the first one we looked at was concerning the feet. Initial step is in front of his foot, not past, get your hips lower than his then attack with your chasing foot. That one steps a little deeper between his legs and triggers a fast insert of your hips into his hip space. Lift and throw.

Double leg takedown into calf trip:
starting front body clinch, drop and change the level to go for the double leg takedown. Importantly shift the stance back a little to enable you to get the front knee to the floor. From here wrap the outside leg around their front calf and drive forward, keep the calf wrapped and thus controlled when they are on their back, you then move into your next positional transition.

Sitting takedown from side body clinch: step behind his knee so that you are square in your stance. Simply, sit your arse down whilst maintaining your body clinch grip. He should go down with you. Do not turn or rotate him as you go down, trust the motion.

Takedown from shoulder control: You are deep in their space, your knee is behind theirs, your torso pressure is on them so there are no gaps when you bump the knee and pull the shoulder down to collapse their structure. This works when you have opposite legs forward

Shoulder control takedown from knees: Secondary grip on tricep and pinch down with your elbow, step your knee in front of his knee to create a barrier and pull him over that as you follow into a high angle side control.

Double leg takedown using jab footwork. And looked at the 3 types depending on what energy the opponent gives us.
1: the turning and lifting wheel type.
2: the straight drive type by pulling his leg between your legs as we drive with the shoulder. (This is where we spent our time practising).
3: the sweeping type.

Scissor takedown into ankle extension: From the standing clinch look to perform a hip throw. If he does not defend then complete the throw. However if he defends by straightening his posture attempt the entertaining. From the hip throw your backside should be against his thigh. Drop to the floor and scissor him down, top leg attacking high and front and the lower leg low and behind. Do not let your lower leg hit the floor. From here you can clasp his leg with your knees and perform the ankle extension as outlined earlier on.

Double leg shoot and lift: Great warm up drill for practising the correct head and face posture without the danger of being hit.

Double leg NOTES: Main focus was posture, something that I need to be frequently aware of and thus adjusting. Hips back, short arms, elbows in, spine concave head tucked in but chin up. When shooting for the TD keep looking up and squeeze ear to the hip of opponent. This will ensure you are harder to be head controlled. Once in hold step around and stand as you lift, posted leg side, and turn (away from the posted leg).

Working on the crash mats:
• Hip toss
• Double leg and slam
• Inner knee capture and slam
• Fireman lift and slam
• Single hip capture and slam
• Free takedown play
• Arm drag to get to the back from standing clinch.
• Plum clinch to neck control and half nelson for the shearing takedown.
• Clinch to fireman lift takedown.
• Double and single hip capture, double and single leg takedown chain wrestling drill.

MMA clinch syllabus

I have gone back through my MMA blog and broken all the learning down into sections. I trained MMA for 18 months, 2 sessions per week. This is not chronological, simply listing. Hopefully there are no duplications.

Here is the clinch section:

Shoulder control (underhook)

Arm control (overhook)

Both sides then Switch sides

Learning points 3 points of pressure contact at all times.

Primary grip neck clinch: This is one of the 4 primary clinches. The optimum choice is 2 primary grips but we looked at a primary and secondary grip (wrist control). Key learning points with neck clinch:
• Eyes up
• Pressure through the head and strong neck posture
• Drive through his chest with your elbow
• Affect his balance with your lead leg
• Strong base and positive spine.

Double neck clinch:
• All of the above with the addition of:
• Use chest to deliver pressure.
• Chin on top of his head.
• Squeeze the elbows together.
Progression was into moving into the side @90 degrees perpendicular for single clinch, deliver 2 or 3 devastating knees then step away in stance ready for action.

Shoulder control: eyes to the centre of his head driving with the forehead, shoulder clamped tight with same arm elbow tight and down, take a secondary grip with the other arm and strong base so your legs and knee position are disrupting his.

Shoulder control with pummel escape and elbow strike: As he attempts to pummel out if provides you with an excellent opportunity, if timed well to elbow strike at close range.

Shoulder control with leg trip and takedown: This works as you move him around and his stance goes long and skinny. As you sweep the leg from under his hip, pull down on the shoulder, as if you are pulling the shoulder down to his hip. Having no base or balance means he should go to the floor with you following him closely into side control.

Shoulder control with single leg capture: Change the level and literally slide your face down his torso as the eyes need to stay up to promote a positive and strong posture. Reach through and around both of his legs as your chest should now be pressing into his hip and thigh, both palms facing down as you grip hand to wrist with your elbow crease behind his knee. Lift high.

Shoulder control with bicep cricket bowl escape: Thrust your bicep into his tricep which will cause his shoulder bones to lift then bowl the arm straight. It feels like you are using your skeleton and not muscle to perform the action whilst disrupting his skeleton. Similar to the leg trip takedown talked about before, you are affecting his structure which is a much harder thing to defend as muscles don’t do anything to stop the motion is done correctly.

Front body clinch: elbows pressure into the sides as if squeezing the lats. Having this done turned you more into a rag doll as your posture is controlled with greater ease. So how do you get out of the double underhooked front body clinch? One way is to get the pummel in when double undercooked by stepping back and turning the shoulder into the opponent. This should create a gap for the arm to swim through, then swap sides to repeat to establish your own under hooks. The key point here was the turning or driving of the shoulder into the opponent as this disrupts their base and grip to a greater extent.

Front body clinch lift from double hip capture. Rag them around and when the hips get close change the level and drop down for the double hip capture and lift, looking up to the ceiling.

Head control into inner forearm choke.

Defence against inner forearm choke:
first job is to look up and get the spine positive and drive up. Failing that, turn your face towards him. As Lee put it, “Sniff his side”. This releases the neck slightly and will mean he will need to go to option B, details to follow. As the head turns to face him, drop your level and try to take side control and snake the front arm behind his knee. From here you can lift quite effortlessly and spin into a slamming takedown.

double leg takedown inside the opponent’s guard. Head needs to go on the belly between his elbows rather than on the outside of his torso. We worked on taking a long step and getting the ear on his belly. In some ways this is an emergency technique and good for when you are under striking pressure as a go to. The hands go on the backs of the knees but should not clasp the knees together. Instead think of continuing your forward motion and sweeping the legs out of the way. If you stop, as I did repeatedly, and then try to lift, scoop or move then the technique is much less effective. Your motion is key to this working more effortlessly and effectively.

MMA striking syllabus

I have gone back through my MMA blog and broken all the learning down into sections. I trained MMA for 18 months, 2 sessions per week. This is not chronological, simply listing. Hopefully there are no duplications.

Here is the striking section:


Prone heavy bag striking working from all the grounded positions possible.

Kicking: We moved into kicking only and straight away the range becomes greater for obvious reasons. I tried to work the concept from last week of using the round kick to put the body in what the opponent should perceive a s a weak position then launch attacks from there.

Landed round kick:

• Outward strike (turn the lead foot to begin the motion, follow with the hips and then the arm)
• Back elbow (shift weight from the rear to front foot as you thrust the elbow strike to the face)
• Back kick (lean the head away, pick the knee up right up to the collar bone and extend out with the strike)
• Spinning back strike

Faking the low kick (use the eyes to look down too) as you throw the rear hand to the head.

Long range striking: Round kicks to the thigh, checking round kicks; if they continue to check then attack the rear standing leg; Use footwork to evade out of range as well as to step into the kick. Both mean you don't get hit where the kick is at it's most effective and powerful;

Attacking with the rear hand when the kick comes in.

Round kick then front kick drill. Only allowed to defend with footwork. Round kicks attacking the upper legs and front kicks at the torso.

Movement away using feet no hands: The point is Lee is showing us why moving back in straight lines is rubbish for so many reasons. When you are not allowed to defend with your hands the feet certainly work much, much harder.

Head movement = flat feet so go for the level change: At this point Lee made reference to the fact that if an opponent is moving lots, his head is still on his shoulders and if the head is bobbing and weaving continually then the feet will generally be more planted.

Low hands v walking down striker: to circle away from someone walking you down with quite wild punches and your hands are down.

Ridge hand to thigh

Double punch

Single leg shot spinning elbow or high reverse elbow

Mirror striking shadow boxing with specifics inserted: body shots, head shots, knees and elbows, sprawls, push ups, double knee whilst maintaining.

Footwork round kick drill: shin pads on and round kicking delight to our partners legs. No checking, blocking just evasive footwork combined with eyes up and tidy attack position hands.

Hitting the rear side and countering with 1-2: This drill lasted for several rounds. Attacker had to attack the rear side of the opponent and the defenders job was to counter attack with a 1 – 2.

Footwork for evasion no head movement: One partner attacks with anything and the defender needs to simply evade by using footwork and keeping a disciplined guard. Head movement was also prohibited.

3 for 3, 2 for 2, 1 for 1: As it says on the tin. Each throws said amount of strikes and the idea is to limit the time between defending and attacking.

Try to throw first attack as they finish their final attack. The last drill (1 for 1) was essentially fighting in the proverbial phone booth

Bag striking whilst being grappled Tenacity drill In the fog of war.

1-2-1-2-6 (6 is right body hook)

1-2-low lead round kick-2

1-2-lead uppercut-2

1-spinning back fist-4-neck clinch to knee

Jab – jab – uppercut

Jab – jab – uppercut – rear knee

Jab – jab – uppercut – rear knee – front elbow and out

Jab - Jab - Rear cross – knee

Jab - jab- rear hook - round kick

Jab - jab - rear hook - spinning Backfist

Jab - jab - rear hook - round kick - spinning backfist

Head movement from partner feeding straight punches. Simply getting used to integrate the torso.

Head on belly from striking: A challenge of getting your face on their belly in boxing sparring. When done they need to sprawl as a punishment.

Sunday 25 May 2014

Hybbrid joint mobility program

This program is an amalgam of all I have learnt so far in terms of joint mobility and wellness over the past 20 years.

As this program is about developing, extending and maintaining mobility wellness, start slowly and relax through it. Use the weight of the limbs and the body. Your body will also tell you how and when to breathe.

You can use this in isolation to waken the body for the day or as part of a warm up.

Any questions just ask.

circles l2r, r2l x10, chin to sky then chest x10, side to side x10

Shoulders: figure 8’s, l2r, r2l, u2d, d2u, b2f, f2b x5, single and double Mexican waves x10, scapular claps x10, arms screws x10, discuss swings x20, single and double shrug circles.

Elbows: figure 8’s, l2r, r2l, u2d, d2u, b2f, f2b x5

Wrists: figure 8’s, l2r, r2l x10

Fingers: individual waves thumb to pinky and back x5

Torso: figure 8’s, l2r, r2l, b2f, f2b x5, giants x10, opposite calf taps x10, pull the rope x20, side bends x10

Hips: figure 8’s, l2r, r2l x10, snake creeps down x10, Wudang squat bends x20, leg circles f/s/b x5, can can swings f/s x 5

Knees: single leg figure 8’s, l2r, r2l x5, double circles, pressing circles, butterfly circles x5

Ankles: single leg circles x5, rocking heel to toe x10

4 corner balance drill: 30 seconds each hold

Being in the moment

Found this article on I like some of his ideas so thought I would share


By Lt Col Al Ridenhour

"by training you will be able to freely control your own body, conquer men with your body, and with sufficient training you will be able to beat ten men with your spirit."
--Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings

Recently I was having a conversation about training with a number of students and one of the more consistent themes that I found regarding their questions was "what do I do when time prohibits me from training on my own like we do in class?"

This is totally understandable after all for the most part between family and work our lives are very busy, heck for most people it's a stretch just to be able to find the free time to attend a regular class let alone set aside time to train on your own. I realize that I have also been remiss in not pointing out that there are things that you can do everyday that in some cases enhance you ability in ways beyond the normal exercise regime that we prescribe. In this newsletter I will pick up on where I left off with the newsletter on "Solo Practice" and I will offer some advice on some alternative training methods you can do during your normal day to day routine.

What I am presenting here are but a few concepts and helpful hints of things that I along with others have done over the years through our training with Grand Master Perkins to enhance our development in the principles of the art. Bare in mind that what I present here are but a handful of training tips that you can do and are only meant to act as a reference point from which to build on in your martial development. Some of these are so simple and practical that you may be hesitant to do them however this does not in any way diminish their importance or effectiveness.

"We must sharpen our minds as well as our skills if our swords are to prevail in battle"
--Attila King of the Huns, "The Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun"

Some of these training tips have a "Zen" like quality to them however as with proper physical development without the proper mind set or mental development you are just wasting your time.

Be in the Moment: being in the moment means just that, "being in the moment." In all that you do you want to become one with whatever you are doing. Researchers working with high level athletes have discovered that regardless of sport there is a common term used which is referred to as being "in the zone." Many of us throughout our lives have experienced this though we may not have fully been aware of the phenomenon we experienced. When in the zone it seems as if time stands still and that all you seem to be aware of is the physical or the sensation of the movement that one is engaging in. However this goes much further; for those of us who have experience being in the zone it is not uncommon to experience the following:

•· A feeling as if time is slowing down or stands still.

•· The perception as if you are viewing the activity you are engaged in from the third person or as if outside your own body.

•· A feeling as if your entire body is as light as a feather as if gliding through the air when moving, almost a sense of weightlessness.

It is also not uncommon when in the zone to have little recall of all of the actions you have undertaken when engaged in the activity. It's sort of like when driving on the highway and you begin to think about something and go into a trancelike hypnotic state. All of a sudden something snaps your attention back to the road and you realize that you were driving for a considerable time totally unaware of your actions.

When training you want to learn to tap into this ability because in truth, when under duress, this is the way your mind operates when a real fight goes down. This is one of many reasons why memorized forms, katas, fight by the numbers systems and unnatural movement techniques don't work in real fights. When the feces hits the oscillating device your brain generally goes on auto pilot and your body just reacts, which is why we place so much emphasis on contact flow exercise along with developing the principles so they become a part of you and you don't have to think about them, they just happen.

A way to practice this is to focus and pay attention to one simple task at a time when performing it. For example, when changing a tire, focus on all its aspects: the lifting of the jack, the turning of the lug nuts and the position of your body in relation to the activity. When washing dishes relax and focus on washing the plates, scrubbing the pots and just be in the moment without much thought. If an errant thought enters your mind, say "oh well" and go back to what you were doing. The more you do this the easier it gets and the more focused you can be when you need it.

Breath in Breath Out: learn to relax in all that you do, when sitting, when moving, when walking etc... and breath deep in the belly, expanding the diaphragm to allow for more air into your lungs and exhale at a slower rate than when inhaling. By learning to relax your breathing it allows you to relax your muscles and remain loose in all of your movements, which brings me to my next point...

Move as Little as You Need: when performing a task, for the sake of developing your body unity and the ability to remain loose throughout your motions (even at high speeds), learn to utilize only those muscles that are required to perform a given motion no matter how trivial in order to function with maximum efficiency. For example, when pushing a chair in try to line your body up so that your entire body is unitized. This will allow your body to work more efficiently without your antagonistic muscles putting the breaks on your movement. Initially you will notice that your body is not properly aligned to perform many tasks and has a lot of superfluous motion. In doing this exercise you will begin to learn how to move as little as you need in all that you do. This skill is critical to your ability to cut off angles of attack through economy of movement.

"In all forms of strategy, it is necessary to maintain the combat stance in everyday life and to make your everyday stance your combat stance...whether you move fast or slow, with large or small steps, your feet must always move as in normal walking...."
--Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings

Move with Grace, Move with Power: in all of your movements you want to try to be as graceful as possible. With practice, your body will begin to feel as if you are moving through well. Also when moving or sitting or whatever, learn to feel everything through your sensitivity while remaining relaxed. Throughout the motion, feel the wind on your body, on your face etc... This in turn will increase your overall level of sensitivity and body unity. Remember that grace equals efficiency and efficiency equals power and speed. You want to move like a panther, graceful and even yet powerful and ready to explode when necessary.

Place Your Feet on the Ground When Walking: when walking instead of just stepping on the ground practice placing your foot on the ground, focusing on being as silent as possible when stepping. This forces you to step with balance and increases your ability to step to a new root point without thought. Do this in all that you do since it requires greater control to place your feet on the ground vs. just stomping your feet or falling into your steps as most people do. With practice you will feel as if your body glides through the air as you walk unitized and balanced.

"We are what we repeatedly do"

"Roll the Ball" in All that You Do: when ironing your clothes, rather than just using your arms, move the iron with your entire body in a similar fashion as with the "Rolling the Ball," "Dry Land Swimming," and "Starting the Mower" drills. When sweeping, mopping the floor or using a vacuum cleaner, move as if "Rolling the Ball:" swaying back and forth, transferring your weight from one root point to the other, pushing and pulling the object with your body rather than just your arms. When opening the door, try to get your whole body involved in the motion focusing on the body unity aspect of the motion.

Rooted Stair Climbing: when walking up and down a flight of steps lift your legs as if you are performing the ninja walk and focus on stepping as naturally and as silent as possible. This will build you a root like an oak tree and when you get really good at this, try it while carrying packages or bags.

Rooted One Legged Balance: when standing around or standing in line such as at the super market or the bank, practice picking up one foot at a time just enough off the ground to place all of your weight on the opposite foot rooting over the other leg. Also practice this barely touching other objects as well as free standing. When you're really up to it, perform this while riding on an elevator or on the train while lightly holding onto the bar, using it just to counter-balance your body while working your root.

Ghosting Through the Door: if you want to really spook people try this: in order to practice my stepping off line and moving as little as needed, sometimes I will step through a door after I open it "just enough" for my body to fit through it on an angle. As you get better at this you will be able to follow people and step through the slight opening after they have already entered a door. This works particularly well with doors that have closing mechanical arms. As the arm closes the door, time it so that you are able to "slip" in just before the door closes. As you step in you will notice that as long as you step through on an angle [i.e., stepping off line] you will be able to do it. People get spooked by this because they only notice it after you have stepped in behind them, so be careful. Also learn to move in this fashion when moving through a crowd and remain mindful of your sphere of influence throughout, mentally imagining controlling your sphere as you move

Universal principles for stepping up to the edge adapted and adopted from the work of Baron Baptiste.

Note; stepping up to the edge refers to moments of difficulty in our lives. These principles can help the mind like a map for those lost on the road. Guidance. These don’t resonate with everyone and not all with me yet. Perhaps in time when I am ready.

Principle 1: We are either now here or nowhere: All life happens in the present moment, right here, right now, in front of us. Any moment that has happened in the past is a memory, and any moment that will happen in the future is a fantasy. Both can be very nice but they lead us nowhere except into the past which no longer exists, or the future which does not yet exist.

For me this is apparent in my fears as posted in a previous entry. They are things I worry about happening in the future. I think that the future will take care of itself and I need to be concerned only with the now in my training.

Principle 2: Be in the here and now: Essentially stay focussed and listen to your body. In wing chun and combat we listen to what energy our opponent is giving us be that physical or mental. If we have tension then it will be harder to listen and thus tense and therefore working a much lower and ineffective level.
Principle 3: Growth is the most important thing there is: For me, before I read this book, I entitled the blog growth through hardship. For me this is most important principle of all. We simply have to look to grow in all aspects of our live otherwise what is the point in living?

Principle 4: Exceed yourself to find your exceeding self: If you want to grow beyond what you are then you need to change your habits, body, mind and life. Do you know what you will get or become if you push yourself that little further. For me this is putting myself in uncomfortable situations in training, trying to grow through the hardship encountered. This can also be likened to when doing the pad training circuit and Martin tells us we will only become great during our most tired phases of activity and learn the most about what and who we are.
Principle 5: In order to heal, you need to feel: We need to get rid of the negativity inside us, face our fears and discomforts. Higher wisdom only comes through trials and tribulations.

Principle 6: Think less and be more: Essentially this is analysis paralysis, thinking things to death. This is about letting go mentally, drop the doubts and they will vanish, feel the fears and face them and they will fade. Let go and flow.

Principle 7: We are the sum total of our reactions: We 2 basic reactions to stressful stimulus – fight or flight, there is however a third and that is to breathe and relax. Be aware of the stressful situation and remain calm through breathing. So when in a grading or sparring a tough partner, stay present and breathe to create mental clarity.

Principle 8: Don’t try hard, try easy: Don’t use brute force, an add on from the previous principle. Breath and relax, let go, not of the effort but of the struggle. Ask these questions of yourself in training
• Where is my tension?
• What am I supposed to be doing?
• So, where can I let go more?
• Where can I struggle less?
• Where can I breath and relax whilst staying present?

Steve Cotter Joint mobility warm up

These words are from Steve Maxwell:

Courtesy of Steve Maxwell Mobility, or joint mobility, is the ability to move a limb through the full range of motion--with control. Mobility is based on voluntary movement while flexibility involves static holds and is often dependent upon gravity or passive forces. Mobility demands strength to produce full-range movement, whereas flexibility is passive, thus not strength-dependent. Some authorities refer to mobility as 'active flexibility'. It is possible to have good mobility without being especially flexible, just as one can be flexible with poor mobility, i.e., control. Of the two, mobility is more important. It is better to be inflexible with good mobility than flexible with poor mobility. The percent difference between your mobility and flexibility is the same percent chance of creating a musculo-skeletal injury during physical activities. Sports, recreational activities and other daily physical practices can result in reduced range of movement in any participating joint. When the joint is unable to move through its full range, we call it compromised. When compromised movement is present in a joint, surrounding joints take up the slack, creating extra stress all around.

A typical example are immobile ankles and feet underlying stress and injury to the knees, hips, and lumbar spine. It's a cascade effect, albeit in reverse: the body tissues are held together with sheets of connective tissue called fascia, so stress extends upwards from the feet. Poor mobility in one area can cause pain and stress in seemingly unrelated areas, but once fascial anatomy is understood, the idea that immobile feet could cause neck or shoulder stiffness is no longer a conundrum. Mobility work reduces the potential body imbalances inherent in our athletic and recreational pursuits. For example, it's widely accepted that running for distance shortens the hamstrings, calf muscles and hip flexors, resulting in decreased free movement in simple full-range exercises, such as bodyweight squats.

Well-documented is the compromised range produced by heavy weight-lifting and body building strength sports--yet, properly conducted, weight training can improve range of motion! All too often, in practice, weight lifters endow themselves with tight, restrictive movement by over emphasizing short-range movements and excessive hypertrophy. Worse, especially in the U.S., is that ubiquitous non-activity: sitting. Sitting in a chair, at a desk, while hunching over a computer is a recipe for a compromised structure full of imbalance and continual pain.

The solution? A joint mobility program. Joint mobility exercise stimulates and circulates the synovial fluid in the bursa, which 'washes' the joint. The joints have no direct blood supply and are nourished by this synovial fluid, which simultaneously removes waste products. Joint salts, or calcium deposits, are dissolved and dispersed with the same gentle, high-repetition movement patterns. Properly learned, joint mobility can restore complete freedom of motion to the ankles, knees, hips, spine, shoulders, neck, elbows, wrists and fingers. It's especially important to keep the spine supple and free and if there were such a thing as a fountain of youth, joint mobility exercises come very close.

Use mobility exercises as a warm up, an active recovery during other activities, or as a stand-alone workout. You can rejuvenate yourself and reclaim the movement of a child with a good joint mobility program. Joint mobility makes a wonderful, energizing morning recharge and sets the day up on the right foot

These vids are Steve Cotter:

The Five Tibetan Rites: Exercises for Healing, Rejuvenation, and Longevity

Listening to latest Joe Rogan podcast, he had the guest Steve Maxwell:

Maxwell was the first man to teach kettlebell classes in the United States. He holds a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Maxwell trains professional athletes including players for the Phillies, Dodgers, and Eagles. He also has worked with various US Government agencies, including the DEA, Secret Service, and FBI as well as many Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academies throughout the country. Maxwell travels around the world leading seminars in strength conditioning, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, kettlebells, and joint mobility. Maxwell had owned and operated Maxercise Gym, in Philadelphia, PA for 16 years.

On the podcast he was discussing many things but this is what caught me attention. He is well into his 60s and swears by daily joint mobility work and other health related practices. Personally I do a combination of Scott Sonnon's Warrior Wellness and Steve Cotter's joint mobility program in addition to yoga. Maxwell started to talk about this system and that it only takes 10 minutes out of your day and is a great way to start the day so have decided to buy the book off Amazon (the eye of revelation) to look more into it. As I am now 40 all my exercise is about maintaining good health and getting stronger but smarter. I found this article below by Mary Kurus which outlines the 5 rites. There are also loads of videos of the 5 rites of YouTube. This might not be your path but it is the one I am am wandering. I am making this martial art we are learning from Martin and these health practises 'my' style.

The Five Tibetan Rites: Exercises for Healing, Rejuvenation, and Longevity
By Mary Kurus

Copyright Mary Kurus 2001, All Rights Reserved


In 1985 a book called The Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth written by Peter Kelder was published which for the first time fully described an exercise program for "youthing". This is an exercise program used by Tibetan monks to live long, vibrant and healthy lives. In fact, this book states that many have lived longer than most can imagine by following the program often called the "Five Tibetan Rites". The benefits are described in this book and a subsequent book 2 with an expanded description of the program by the publisher called the Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth - Book 2, a companion to the original book by Peter Kelder. Many thanks to the publisher Doubleday for such a special an expanded explanation of the Five Rites.

Potential Benefits of the Five Rites

The authors provide many examples of the benefits of the "Five Tibetan Rites" including the following: looking much younger; sleeping soundly; waking up feeling refreshed and energetic; release from serious medical problems including difficulties with spines; relief from problems with joints; release from pain; better memory; arthritis relief; weight loss; improved vision; youthing instead of aging; greatly improved physical strength, endurance and vigor; improved emotional and mental health; enhanced sense of well being and harmony; and very high overall energy.

How the Five Rites Work

Medical professions explain the benefits based on their personal perspective and I suggest you read the entire two books for a broad overview. However, the majority share the view that the rites represent a system of exercise that affects the body, emotions and mind. The Tibetans claim that these exercises activate and stimulate the seven key chakras that in turn stimulate all the glands of the endocrine system. The endocrine system is responsible for the body's overall functioning and aging process. This means that the Five Rites will affect the functioning of all your organs and systems, including the physical and energetic systems and that includes the aging process. The man who brought these Five Rights out of Tibet stated that "performing the Five Rites stimulates the circulation of essential life energy throughout the body".


Chakra is an Indian Sanskrit word that translates to mean "Wheel of Spinning Energy". Chakras are spinning wheels or vortexes of energy of different color that perform many functions connecting our energy fields, bodies and the Cosmic Energy Field. Chakras are powerful electrical and magnetic fields. Chakras govern the endocrine system that in turn regulates all of the body's functions including the ageing process. Energy flows from the Universal Energy Field through the chakras into the energy systems within our bodies, including the Meridian System.

Our bodies contain seven major chakras or energy centers and 122 minor chakras. The major chakras are located at the base of the spine (Root Chakra), at the navel (Sacral Chakra), in the solar plexus (Solar Plexus Chakra), within your heart (Heart Chakra), within the throat (Throat Chakra), at the center of your forehead (Brow or Third Eye Chakra), and at the top of your head (Crown Chakra). These chakras are linked together with all other energy systems in the body and various layers of the auras.

The Speed of the chakra spin is a key to vibrant health. The other keys to vibrant health that relates to the chakra is ensuring they are clear of negative energy and that they are perfectly shaped and not distorted.

The Five Rites speed up the spinning of the chakras, coordinate their spin so they are in complete harmony, distribute pure prana energy to the endocrine system, and in turn to all organs and processes in the body. This is one of the major requirements for vibrant health, rejuvenation and youthfulness.

The Five Rites Exercise Program

This program is often described as a modified yoga program. Simply put, yoga is a science that unites the body, mind and spirit. Today this is often called Mind/ Body Healing. The author of the book believes that yoga was brought to Tibet from India in the 11th or 12th century and that Tibetan monks over time developed modified these exercises and developed an effective program of exercises that western society now calls the "Five Tibetan Rites". The rugged mountainous conditions these monks live in may well account for their particular emphasis on vigor. Many of the yoga exercises and practices being taught in the western world today are very new. The "Five Tibetan Rites" are exactly what the ancient Tibetans developed over many centuries of time. Therefore it's very important to do the "Five Tibetan Rites" exactly as they are presented without altering the form or sequence to achieve some of the benefits accrued to these "Rites".

Beginning the "Five Rites" Exercise Program

For the first week, and only if your are relatively healthy and fit, do each exercise three times.
If you are inactive, overweight, or have health problems begin these exercises doing one of the first three each day, and only if you feel totally comfortable doing this. Later in this article I will describe exercises you can do to help yourself strengthen so you can begin to do the "Five Rites". If you have any concerns whatsoever, please consult with your physician. Individuals on serious medications should consult with their physicians.
If you are overweight do not do Rites #4 and #5 until you have developed some strength and endurance. Do the substitutes for #4 and #5 until you yourself feel ready to begin doing #4 and #5 of the "Five Rites".
Do only what you feel comfortable doing. That may be only one of each exercise for the first week. Build up to two of each exercise the second week, three of each exercise the third week, etc. or at a faster pace only if your body does not hurt when you do these exercises.
21 is the maximum of each exercise you should ever do. If you want to enhance your program, do the exercises at a faster pace, but do not so more than 21 of each exercise each day. Doing more than 21 repetitions of each exercise in any day will affect your chakras negatively and can create imbalances in your body.
The "Five Rites" may stimulate detoxification and often creates many unpleasant physical symptoms. This is why it's recommended to increase the number of each exercise gradually on a weekly basis. I also recommend a vibrational detoxification with Choming Essences. For more information on vibrational detoxification with Choming Essences please visit my website
If you have not exercised for some time, prepare to begin your "Five Rites" exercise program by walking daily, for a half hour each day if possible. Another alternative in preparation for the Five Rites is a stretching program with a gradual increase in the types of stretching exercises and the duration of this program.
A sugar free and low fat diet is an important support when integrating the "Five Rites" exercise program into your life. Also check for Digestive Food Sensitivities and eliminate all foods you do not digest easily.
Do the Five Rites exercises every day. The maximum you should skip is one day each week. If the exercises are done less than six days each week, the results will be greatly reduced.
If on certain days your time is limited, do 3 repetitions of each exercise. This takes less than five minutes.
For maximum benefit, do the exercises before breakfast in the morning, if at all possible. If this is not possible do them anytime during the day.

Detoxification is a process that helps to clean out of the physical and energetic body toxins or poisons that have accumulated in your physical cells, organs, systems and in your energetic systems (auras, chakras, meridian system and all electromagnetic, magnetic and electric systems). I strongly recommend that people beginning the "Five Rites" exercise program undertake a Choming Essence detoxification program either before or as they begin these exercises.

If you have never detoxified you will probably have many poisons accumulated in your body and energetic systems. A full detoxification program with Choming Flower Essence, Gem Essences, and Tree Essences will eliminate all toxins. Detoxifying with Choming Essences uses vibrational essences, or what is sometimes called vibrational medicine to clear your systems of toxins and poisons. This includes the elimination of parasites, candida, viruses, and all poisons from pollution, pesticides etc.

This vibrational approach to detoxification is completely complementary to the exercises of the "Five Rites". Detoxification is essential for vibrant and long life. For more information please refer to my article "Detoxification with Choming Essences" and other vibrational health articles on my website at

"Five Tibetan Rites" Exercise Program

The following instructions and photographs for the "Five Rites" and other preparatory exercises as taken from the book Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth, Book 2. I will show the exact Five Rights exercises, a group of exercises for those who need to develop flexibility and strength before beginning to do the "Five Rites", and a set of warm-up exercises. I strongly recommend you purchase the book since it provides detailed information about methodology, concerns and benefits not included in this article.

SPECIAL CAUTION: Spinning and stretching through the following exercises can aggravate certain health conditions such as any type of heart problem, multiple sclerosis, Parkinsons's Disease, severe arthritis of the spine, uncontrolled high blood pressure, a hyperthyroid condition, or vertigo. Problems may also be caused if you are taking drugs that cause dizziness. Please consult your physician prior to beginning these exercises if you have any difficult health issues or if you have any other concerns.

The Five Tibetan Rites

Rite #1

Stand erect with arms outstretched horizontal to the floor, palms facing down. Your arms should be in line with your shoulders. Spin around clockwise until you become slightly dizzy. Gradually increase number of spins from 1 spin to 21 spins.

Breathing: Inhale and exhale deeply as you do the spins.

Rite #2

Lie flat on the floor, face up. Fully extend your arms Along your sides and place the palms of your hands against the floor, keeping fingers close together. Then raise your head off the floor tucking your chin into your chest. As you do this, lift your legs, knees straight, into a vertical position. If possible, extend the legs over the body towards your head. Do not let the knees bend. Then slowly lower the legs and head to the floor, always Keeping the knees straight. Allow the muscles to relax, and repeat.

Breathing: Breathe in deeply as you lift
your head and legs and exhale as you lower your head and legs.

Rite #3

Kneel on the floor with the body erect. The hands should be placed on the backs of your thigh muscles. Incline the head and neck forward, tucking your chin in against your chest. Then throw the head and neck backward, arching the spine. Your toes should be curled under through this exercise. As you arch, you will brace your arms and hands against the thighs for support. After the arching return your body to an erect position and begin the rite all over again.
Breathing: Inhal as you arch the spine and exhale as you return to an erect position.

Rite #4

Sit down on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and your feet about 12" apart. With the trunk of the body erect, place the palms of your hands on the floor alongside your buttocks. Then tuck the chin forward against the chest. Now drop the head backward as far as it will go. At the same time raise your body so that the knees bend while the arms remain straight. Then tense every muscle in your body. Finally let the muscles relax as you return to your original sitting position. Rest before repeating this Rite.
Breathing: Breathe in as you raise up, hold your breath as you tense the muscles, and breathe out fully as you come down.

Rite #5

Lie down with your face down to the floor. You will be supported by the hands palms down against the floor and the toes in the flexed position. Throughout this rite, the hands and feet should be kept straight. Start with your arms perpendicular to the Floor, and the spine arched, so that the body Is in a sagging position. Now throw the head back as far as possible. The, bending at the hips, bring the body up into an inverted "V". At the same time, bring the chin forward, Tucking it against the chest.
Breathing: Breathe in deeply as you raise the body, and exhale fully as you lower the body.

Saturday 24 May 2014

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Class notes: Get your shirts off

We started off by discussing clothing in a street fight. In Martin's experience, getting rid of at least the coat if of great importance. If they are bigger and longer they can really mess up your movement potential and base. Martin also discovered that the classic wing chun punch does not work against this type of attack as your angles and range are all jammed. He said it took him 3 failed wing chun punches before he realised to turn the shoulders and start throwing right crosses.

Getting your shirt off: So don't be shy about bravado as this will give him nothing to hold onto. Especially the coat. It is almost one of those things that seems so obvious yet never taught or spoken about. This was the first time I had ever heard of going bare chested as a viable strategy. Last night when I got home I began to watch street fight videos on youtube. Most of them are clips of brutal KOs but when the scuffle happens, so does lots of grabbing. So it makes perfect sense to not give them that option.

Fighting with grips:
So what do we need to do if he does have hands on us?
Firstly, try to feel the strength of the grip as he can't have a tight grip and throw heavy shots with the other hand. This is mechanically very hard for the body to work in opposition like this. Conversely, if he has a loose grip then assume that heavy shots will be coming your way.

Hand under the knuckles: Get under the of fingers of the hand that is on you and bend the wrist with your free hand. We looked at going into DWL and striking with the elbow.

Striking from a gripped situation: chin down and feel.Have your palm on his chest as this will give you a gauge of his distance and movement. Hit on the counter by coming under or over the grabbing arm.

Grabbing at the centre: pull the wrist into and on your chest so that the back of his hand will be against your chest with fingers pointing up. You other hand will be controlling the head or neck in a clinch.

Here are a few fun clips of hitting and holding at the same time. Whilst our situation might end up looking like this, I do doubt it as

Hockey fight

A classic between Don Frye and Takayama

3 drill: on their chop forward, pull on the elbow along its powerline and step into head and hip control. Keep the head on the back of his scapular and weight on him.
From here backfist to his face, he covers, you snake the arm over the back of the neck for the wrist to elbow lever. Head on his ribs and throw knees to the face. Again keep heavy pressure on him, let him carry your weight whilst worrying about what is happening to him.

Striking on the break: As he starts to escape, which he inevitably will, and fight for space you need to decide when it is time to let him up and attack. It is too late when he has escaped as he will be better set to attack. As you let him out charge with HQ footwork and throw hands. This will be tremendously difficult psychologically for him because he is under constant pressure from your grappling then striking attacks. Hopefully someone under this pressure is reacting instead of pro-acting.

Breaking the hands risk: A very real fear and concern of mine is my little boy hands and inability to land sustained blows to the head of an opponent. Martin did say that there is a good chance the hands will break when hitting skull and facial bones, regardless of conditioning or hand size.

Even the former heavyweight champ of the world breaks his hands in a street fight:

Martin said that the option is heel of the palm or punching the jaw. Jaw is the fist target. Knuckles to skull will hurt you more than his head.

Pummeling then using the 4 attacks - DWL, head and arm, arm drag, neck and shoulder clinch.

Thai clinch - defend - pull in for head and hip control

Lots of pummelling with everyone. Turning and extending to find the gap in the pummell. Rotate around the spinal axis.

Boxing sparring rounds and incremental development:
Jab catch the ball jab counter

Jabs to the body only, both sides

Throwing the punches and the other simply moves and defends but always thinking about returning fire

Attack with any punches and only defend with movement and the jab

Striking to clinch vs anti grapple and counter striking.

Really loving the sparring and how it is developing. The concept of the protective shell and being defensively minded, accurate in your movement and timing. I feel so more confident and precise since my time in MMA. All the tools I learned in that system are being refined and improved. In addition we are learning a lot more strategy and i find this helps m too. Thinking about strategy prevents me from feeling like a fish out of water. I am interested to see how the sparring will develop in terms of it becoming incrementally 'harder' and lesson to be learned in there.

On a final note, I passed on some wisdom from the class last week to my own students (8/9 years olds). We are currently getting ready for our class assembly and during practise this week I told how important it is to practise really well rather than hoping it will ok on the day. Martin mentionned this last week; in training we should always be trying to perfect our movements as that is what we are there for. Should we need this stuff, how effective can we be if our practise has been poor?

Hope you enjoyed the cartoon violence in the YouTube clips!

Saturday 17 May 2014

Home training update May

Added in the last 5 or 6 weeks worth of techniques

Striking range:

Combos: 1, 1-2, 1-2-3, 1-2-3-2
‘Invisible’ right cross
Jab, cross, hook, cross
Slipping the right cross
Shoulder roll against the right cross
Catch the ball jab
Left hook and left uppercut to counter the right cross
Foot work: squaring him up, getting off the power lines, pivot, step and go, retreating curve, inside and outside paks against jabs
Pak jab defence followed by a right cross:
Give and take a shot drill: left hook head, right hook head, left body shot, right body shot, left uppercut and roll, right uppercut and bob.
Punch resistance drill: Slo-mo with a partner holding their hands up.

Sensitivity drill: - guiding down the power lines
1: Follow the punch by snaking your arm along the top of his, sort of clasp the upper arm as you step in and take his back from the ¾
2: Double lap
3. Elbow from the outside over the incoming arm
Sensitivity drill: double inside gate wrists –
1: Arm drag
2: DWL

Grappling range:

DWL to shoulder control and back again
Escape from the can opener.
Grip breakers:
Headlock defence:
Wrestling pummel:
Double underhook defence:
Arm drags
From hands on the shoulders and hips
Head and arm trap
Grovit – thumb guillotine – blossoming flower of oblivion
Arm drags from the pummel
To get the ¾ position, the DWL (double wrist lock), underhook and head clinch, full Thai clinch,
Against an arm drag resister.
Thai clinch into headlock take down, Chicken wing, Standing Kimura, Bail out and strike, Two hand to One shoulder control.
Standing neck crank (old school)
Standing grapple sparring.

3 drill:
Forward pressure - make each hit direct and aiming for target, not merely there as something to be 'blocked'
- lop sau - to his hip - engage the lat and grab with thumb
- inside gate lop sau after first chop - key is to drop the elbow in the lop
- chops are from the elbow from the centre (as the punch)
– forearm attack, pak and punch into DWL
Their chop forward – take them into head and arm (pak/pull along powerline)
Extending from the inside gate lap, swap to other arm to inside gate lap and arm drag.
3 drill off back fist (now forearm): body hit, x trap, tan sau. 3 drill initial block pak sau
Body shots from the back fist attack (now forearm):
Hit through to the abdomen, piston back inside to face followed by lap and hit to chin.
As above initially but instead of piston, crappy chop to the outside gate and hit to chin.
Backfist, step to the side, turn and hit to floating ribs.
As above but fake the body shot and slide across his centre to other side and hit to body..
Sinking and dropping the weight to hammerfist the groin. This can be done in 2 subtly different ways. The first sinks down and hits through the guard, the second involves lifting the arm and coming under for the hit to the groin.
Thirdly is circling the hand down and to the solar plexus.
Fourthly, rotating the fist back and up to hit to the chin.
Lifting the arm held and hitting to the ribs.

Sparring development:
1. Jabs to the body.
2. Jabs to the body whilst holding the right glove between your jaw and your neck.
3. One attacks and one defends - defender can't move feet and only uses head, body movement and hands and covering to defend the shots coming to the head and body.
4. As above but now the defender can use movement and the left jab.

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Class notes: Punch resistance, deep forearm and controlling the centre

It appears Ayyaz had the hump with me for such a short blog post last week. I even managed to disappoint his daughter with my measly paragraph. Don't let the word count of a blog entry be a reflection of your excellent leading the class. You did a top job Bruv.

Martin is back from his Vegas trip and more importantly his running up the Rocky steps in Philly.

Punch resistance for the right cross and left hook.

Partner gives the palms up to offer resistance to test and refine the structure, alignment and balance of these punches. I find this a very useful tool as it finds gaps very quickly even though you are punching in slow motion. Tonight for me the key was the shoulder. In the right cross is the punch coming from there and am I aware of this area and not just thinking about my hand. For me, thinking of the shoulder helps to centre everything and all other checks come from this location out. I can then check my left hand, rotation and extension of the shoulders, turning of the hips, weight in the feet.

And the same self analysis happens for the hook. Martin talked about the direction or position of the elbow in relation to the punch. The best way for my mind is that the elbow is the final link in the chain of the punch. Generally the wrist is straight so depending on the height or angle of the forearm will depend on the angle of the fist. If you had a broken arm and were wearing a cast you cant bend the wrist so the elbow will always be delivering the punch at the correct angle. As always it was nice to put time in to get lots of quality reps. In addition, maintain the full motion of the punch and that is ending up in a pulling motion back towards yourself. On a final not make sure you look at your feet and check you are pivoting on the balls. Have a look at where your rear heel is on the right cross and front heel on the hook.

3 drill:

New addition of detail on the basic roll: the forearm. Shift the idea of a backfist attack to that of a forearm strike. Using the forearm with get you deeper in on them and set up more opportunities for head control and the hit through the centre. Because you are giving a deeper and more penetrating energy their defensive will have more energy and thus a chance to feel where to go from there.

Looking for the arm drag, DWL and head control from the drill.

I was working with Slippers and we thought the best or only way to find a way in was by entering with an inside gate lap. After some brief experimentation Martin showed us to get in from the forearm attack followed by a pak and punch. Using the pak hand you can enter for the DWL or the arm drag. As the centre is tight be smart in getting what you need. To get the arm drag lift his wrist and your other arm will slide to his bicep for the arm drag.

Head and arm choke come from their chop. Pull with the pak along the powerline of the chop and shoot the arm in deep. To make the choke secure reach the arm though by turning the thumb up. This will give you a few more centimetres. Before you squeeze make sure it is secure because if you tighten when it is not tight, you won't finish the technique. Take your time, be in control and get rid of any gaps. Use your free hand to pull his head to again a few more millimetres of space to close it off even more.

Control the centre to find the arm drag and the DWL.

This was a great drill whereby you have your arms inside his at the wrists. We worked on turning to dominate the centre and slip off the arm drag and DWL. Working the DWL with Martin I got some good refinement points. My apologies if these only make sense to me as I am visualising what we were doing - looking down to see he has an L arm.
If when applying the DWL his arm is straight you get it to bend by simply going for a wrist lock. This will cause the elbow to bend. I tried to fight the pain of a wrist lock by making a fist, this gives you a little more time and control of your wrist before he starts goosenecking you.

Workman Sau number 2: I think it was the following? If the DWL does not work then switch to the shoulder control then back again to DWL. Don't break your grip. Slide under his arm to get your palms on his shoulder. Keep the grip of holding your own wrist. This one definitely needs lots more repping even though Slippers was trying to tear my arm from my torso.

Head and arm on the floor - weight, squeeze after it is tight and on. L shape. Climbing over using knee slides and monkey mount.

Boxing hands - the jab and pak (perv) drill, then countering with the right hand over the left. Almost like a mini pak but it does need to be one movement and small, When throwing the jab try really hard to have the head lower at the end of the punch than at the start. When attacking use broken rhythm so the work is more alive and not predictable or mechanic.

Standing grapple sparring to get sweaty and end the evening working hard. Martin gave me the green light to use the fifth limb - the head which I was more than happy to oblige. Again it was about controlling them, dominating grip and position. It is also about being tight, relaxed and always moving. I can imagine that if I was still Ben and Ron would break me in half so I need to keep applying pressure and movement to them to avoid a mauling.

As always, a great session. Even more important is what Geoff Thompson talked about in a recent podcast. Find areas of your life where things are difficult difficult. I love the fact that I fond everything in class hard and that the only way to get better is to put time and effort in. Make mistakes and learn from them. Love it.

Daniele Bolelli book

Here is the link to the fine book Martin was talking about:

He also has a podcast which is free to download and covers the following (this is from the front page of his website)

The Drunken Taoist is a bi-monthly podcast by writer/martial artist/college professor/whatever-label-you-feel-like-adding Daniele Bolelli. One of the monthly episodes features discussions and interviews with one or more guests. The other includes the infamous Bolelli rants and verbal Tai Chi with co-host Rich Evirs.
In terms of topics covered by the show, the common thread is whatever makes life intense, passionate and worth living. Anything that meets this requirement is fair game—regardless of whether the starting point is religion, politics, sex, martial arts, philosophy, history, or any other specific field.

Thursday 8 May 2014


Something I personally struggle with is this idea of surrender. I have a lot of time for what GT talks about, some of it touches on the religious and that is something I find hard after a Catholic education for the first 18 years of my life and finding my own path there after.

Towards the end he talks about oneness and that is something Martin talked about when sparring and being in the moment with another human where only the moment matters. 

The reason I have time for Geoff Thomspn is the seminar I went on in the late 90's that was hosted by the wing chun organisation Martin used to belong to. They seemed to have an open mind and would get guest instructors down. At the time GT was big in the martial arts media and was pushing his type of training: real, fear based, 3 second fighter. So I know from a martial perspective there is absolutely no bullshit. I also had the pleasure of a Brian Jacks seminar.

Perhaps in training we need to surrender to what will happen in sparring; to us and by us?

Ultimately he is talking about being a good person, giving more than taking and being responsible for all our actions and choices. Seems like sound advice to me!

Wednesday 7 May 2014

Flying triangle

Sweet submission in this fight. Good to and fro action for the several minutes it lasted too.

'Flying' submissions are ones, I believe, that happen standing that are normally done on the floor. I think they are so rare because they are such a low percentage move and as the triangle is one my most favourite sub ever I posted this one:

Other personal favourite subs are calf compressions, gogoplata and fist chokes!!

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Class notes: Awesome Ayyaz's class

Martin was away 'working' in Las Vegas so Ayyaz stepped up and taught the class.

Tonight was great as it gave us a chance go over lots of material to increase our own rep count. So we looked at:

- 3 drill rolling

- attacks out of the 3 drill: hitting through the centre, arm drag, DWL

- Pummel and attacks out of the pummel: arm drags, DWL, Thai clinch, shoulder control from 3/4

- Boxing drills: jab and counter jab, adding the right hand and shoulder roll, attacking with the left hook over their right hand, mini kau sau right hand against the jab.

- Light sparring out of the 3 drill

Massive thanks to Ayyaz and of course Trist for their patience and guidance tonight.