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COMMENT By now I’m sure that most of you will have heard or read about the tragic death of Karateka Brian Philcox (Chairman of F.E.K.O). More over you will have learned that Brian committed suicide and at the same time took the lives of his two beautiful children, Amy and Owen. Whilst there can never be an excuse for the taking of a child’s life, I would like to share a few thoughts with you about Brian and some of the very decent, kind things that he did with his life prior to this tragic incident. Brian’s first wife Jan, was diagnosed with terminal cancer and whilst the news was obviously shattering, Jan and Brian simply got on with dealing with the situation at hand. Brian spent the last 16 years of his married life with Jan, at her bedside until the day she passed away. In memory of Jan, Brian set up “fighting for you”, a charity campaign, which raised thousands of pounds to buy much needed equipment for the hospital at which Jan was treated. Following a karate trip to Russia, where he witnessed the appalling conditions of youngsters in some of the orphanages there, Brian enlisted the help of some of his close friends and began collecting toys, which he took back to distribute to the children. I know of a great many more good and kind things that Brian did during his life and whilst I condemn totally the taking of anyone’s life, particularly a child’s, I would ask that when you remember or think of Brian, please understand that no one can possible understand what state of mind he was in and try to think what it was he had suffered to get him there. Our heart felt sympathy to Brian’s family and Lynn (Amy & Owen’s mother) at this most difficult of times. God bless - Amy & Owen x Until the next time. COLUMNISTS Mike Finn Dan Docherty Michael Tse William Sanders Simon Hazeldine Dr. James Fisher Anton Van Thomas Chris Samuel Keith Gilliland Dan Green Don Heatrick Brian Dossett Andy Hopwood Andy Bryant John Graden Nino Bernardo
Sean Viera Paul Allen Richard Dimitri Helen Stranzl Mark Cortnage Kerry Louise Norbury
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ntil recently the image of the martial artist was probably, one of the average sized ‘’Joe’ who was able through his martial skills to take on and beat the aggressor regardless of their size. However, with the advent of the commercially successful MMA, the martial figures that parade our television screens are the highly muscled ‘pound and ground’ exponents. As increasing numbers of young men aspire to enter the cage, to emulate their heroes, the worry is to what lengths they are going to achieve the physiques needed to compete at top level? It seems more and more young athletes are turning to anabolic steroids to quickly add the muscle mass they perceive they need to succeed in the MMA arena According to official figures there are more than 42,000 steroid users in the
UK, but some experts suggest the real figure is probably more than double that. And the type of user has changed with steroids, once the preserve of body builders, now increasingly used by young men not only for sporting reasons but also for their image. Just as anorexia among girls seems to be driven by the size zero celebrity culture so young men’s obsession with body image is being fuelled by images of the ‘perfect’ male form. It seems that more and more young men are using steroids as a short cut to the muscled physiques of their sporting heroes. Anabolic steroids are basically synthetic versions of the male hormone testosterone and work by increasing muscle tissue. They are not the same as the steroids
prescribed for asthma and skin disorders or as anti-inflamatories. It is often the desire for the ‘quick-fix’ that leads to steroid taking, when despite regular weight training, the results don’t appear to come quickly enough, It is frighteningly easy to obtain the drugs; injectable steroids are available via the internet and at £40-50 pounds for 10 injections they are easily affordable. But the cost to the takers can be immense. A recent study by researchers from Yale School of Medicine suggests that bodybuilding steroids cause a ‘catastrophic loss of brain cells’. The death of brain cells is implicated in neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease, which suggests that steroid users put themselves at greater risk of such condi-
STER 12 COMBAT WWW.COMBATMAG.CO.UK
tions and could also account for some of the other effects of steroid use such as heightened aggression, which is commonly known as ‘roid rage’. Most of the short-term side effects are cosmetic. Men on steroids get oily skin and severe acne on their back, which is often difficult to treat. They can also lose their hair, as oversensitivity to testosterone can switch on the gene that causes hair loss. Steroids can also cause a chemical change so that they actually feminise a man’s body, making him grow breast tissue and even causing his testicles to shrink. Long-term effects are, however, potentially life-threatening as steroids act
to increase blood pressure, which can lead to strokes. They also reduce the production of good cholesterol, which leads to the consequence of coronary heart disease, leading to greater susceptibility to heart attacks. Sadly these effects can occur within just a few weeks of taking steroids. However, it is the liver, which is particularly vulnerable, particularly from the taking of the tablet form of the drugs, which include an ingredient called C17 Alpha, which is difficult for the liver to process. This causes the liver to have to work extra hard in order to process the tablets, which results in elevated liver function, causing inflammation of the organ and in some cases hepatitis.
What to look out for:Any of the following combined with rapid increase in muscle. * * * *
Severe acne on shoulders and back Loss of hair Increased irritability and mood swings Changed appetite and dietary habits, for example cutting out all fats and eating largely lean meat Personality changes, such as becoming withdrawn and being obsessed about how he looks. Obsessive about going to the gym( They would rather miss anything else than a training session.
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“YOU LOOKIN AT ME”! ANGER - How to manage and control
it in a positive and effective way T
he martial arts can help guide students towards greater levels of awareness and development, physically and mentally, enhancing well-being while uniting mind, body and spirit. Emotions influence well-being. I have experienced both the constructive and destructive capabilities of emotions. Some of those experiences have been directly through the training and study of the martial arts. One such emotion is anger. Anger not only destroys relationships and friendships, it can also destroy a person’s health. Anger can increase the risk of heart disease, flu, stroke, cancer and depression. Also, self harm, substance abuse and alcoholism have been linked to anger, which goes hand in hand with stress. Therefore, anger must be managed and controlled in a positive, effective way. The mental Health Foundation reported two out of three people believe we are getting angrier. Have we become an “angry society”? If so, why? It seems the clouds of recession and gloom are drifting upon us as the credit crunch tightens its grip on the economy. There is widespread unrest. The Police, Job centre workers, Coastguards, driving examiners, oil refin-
ery workers, University and College Union Lecturers and school teachers are among those who have recently made high profiled protests over pay. The National Union of Teachers’ strike was their first in twenty one years, reportedly affecting one in three schools across the country - a blow to 60,000 teenagers preparing for their GCSEs and A-levels. Union chiefs claimed 190,000 teachers took part in the strike action that also saw 100,000 civil servants in ten Whitehall departments stop work and thousands more taking part in fifty marches and rallies across the country. Household gas bills have more than doubled since 2003. Electricity bills are
ing the toll is likely to reach a record high. There’s been hundreds of job losses and hundreds more predicted as the number of companies running into problems is also on the increase. There’s also traffic jams, overcrowded public transport, late trains, trains that don’t turn up, luggage that doesn’t turn up (Heathrow’s Terminal 5), persistent cold-callers and call centres that make us listen to the complete works of Richard Clayderman while they keep us on hold and when they finally do speak to us, they don’t answer our questions. With all the day-to-day irritations and pressures I’m not surprised there are so many angry people. So many unhappy people. In today’s world, a positive state of mind is needed. As a martial artist, I have learnt the hard way that sparring while being angry is not a good idea. Being angry negatively affected the fluidity of my movement - I became tense, my techniques were slower, telegraphic and less powerful. I did not act/react in the most appropriate way. My mind and body were not in harmony, neither was I in harmony with my sparring partner. I was easily beaten. The more I was getting hit, the angrier I became and the angrier I became, the more I was getting hit. It was a painful but valuable lesson. Keeping hold of the anger was self-defeating and also, how did I expect to control my opponent if I could not control myself? I later transferred this experience into my everyday life. When we have bad experiences it is important to move on, not to keep getting angrier and frustrated as that will only increase the harm. Bad experiences can make us bitter or better. I am aware that certain bad experiences will require us to face up to them first before moving on. If we do not, those bad experiences are likely to resurface later and the memory could grow into an emotions re-experience of the situation, whereby we live through everything that we did not allow ourselves to feel at the time. What is hidden is the thing that is likely to haunt us but when we square with it and send it away, we are putting a light on in the dark. But this needs to be approached with rational thinking - a calm mind, not an angry mind.
anger must be managed and controlled in a positive, effective way
up seventy per cent. Mortgage costs have trebled in the past ten years. Higher taxes, rising food and petrol costs, plummeting house prices (leaving home owners with negative equity), banks afraid to borrow from one another, a rising number of people declared insolvent with experts warn-
Anger can create added energy in times of danger
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By Peter Jagger 5th Dan
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TERRAIN What would Sun Tzu do in a situation like this?
hat would you do if you found yourself in a dead end alley at three in the morning in the middle of gang town, and you’re surrounded by a dozen armed men? This is the type of question so often heard in martial arts schools these days and what the questioner usually wants to know is how to rip someone’s head off. The current trend is to judge a martial art according to its combat worthiness on the street. This increasing need to know what will work on the streets has spawned numerous personal protection and close protection schools and styles invented by bouncers, bodyguards, and the like. Students of these styles can rest assured that what they are learning will truly work on the street. The problem with this approach is that it implies that the only answer that martial arts has to offer about conflict, is to resolve it with violence. But is this what martial art were designed to do? For traditionalists, martial arts are intended to teach, in addition to physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, basic survival. Man as a species rose to the top of the food chain as a result of his wits, an observation not lost on the ancient generals of old China. For the cunning, to face an enemy in open confrontation would be a fourth rate solution for someone who has already made three serious mistakes: Not knowing the territory, not moving about in secrecy, and not evading a direct attack. It is only when all your strategies and tactics have failed, that you resort to ripping someone’s head off. The following will correlate crime prevention and being street smart with the writings of East Asian military strategists to show that the ancient battlefield and the modern urban jungle are not so different after all.
Another alternative when faced by a group of attackers is to play stupid. Say little or nothing and continually nod your head. Pretend to be mentally unbalanced.
is no discord. The mindfulness to observe the dynamic of situations, even in a group, is the art of war. - Yagyu Munenori, The Book of Family Traditions in the Art of War.
Know Your Terrain We are not fit to lead an army on the march unless we are familiar with the face of the country and its terrain. We are unable to take advantage of natural terrain unless you use local guides. - Sun Tzu
The most important piece of advice is to always know where you’re going and what the local terrain will be. Whenever you go on holiday, visit friends, attend a new school, or travel through unknown areas, find out what the neighbourhood is like. Ask locals, such as shop keepers, bar staff, taxi drivers, police, tourist and travel agents, questions such as: is the area known for street crime? Is there a lot of gang activity? Do buses and taxis go there after dark? Is it an area you should avoid entering? If it is, then don’t go there. It’s that simple.
Stay Alert In social and professional relationships, the attitude is the same as that of the warrior, even when there
Keep alert, walk with a purpose, be attentive to your surroundings and prepare yourself mentally for an attack. Think of a plan of action you would follow if you were attacked. Consider where you could run to for help such as the nearest police or fire station. When entering social situations scan the crowd for troublemakers, the loud and obnoxious, the drunks, and the brooding loners. Note exits, cull-de-sacks, and always sit facing the entrance.
Expect The Unexpected...
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By Kevin Oâ€™Hagan
A no bullshit guide to survival The following extract is taken from one of my latest manuals. I decided to write this article in the wake of all the media attention over the recent brutal stabbings and knife assaults on our streets. There has been much outcry over these heinous crimes and quite rightly so. The general public are living in fear of becoming a victim of this knife carrying culture and I feel the need for sound information on a subject that has been sorely mis- represented in the past. What I have tried to do is write a guide on how to avoid edged weapon assault firstly before addressing last resort physical defence. I wanted to produce something that everybody could learn from and not just the experienced martial artist. I hope you find this short article of interest.
hilst I was writing this article, more cases of fatal knife attacks have hit the front pages of the newspapers. The case of the police woman stabbed on her doorstep a young teenager stabbed outside his school, and of course most recently 16 year old Jimmy Mizen, who was stabbed to death with a shard of glass. It hit home to me just how essential articles like this are as is the need for peo30 COMBAT WWW.COMBATMAG.CO.UK
ple to know how to survive an edged weapon attack. This article will not bring you dozens of Martial Arts knife defences, it will bring you through all the essential information you will need to recognise the dangers, understand the modes of attack and give you sound strategies, tactics and techniques to avoid becoming a victim or casualty of a knife attack. Too many people have been wounded, scarred and murdered because of
a lack of knowledge donâ€™t let yourself become one of them! I have invested 30 years of my life to Martial Arts/ Combat Training and I can say honestly that the majority of techniques taught by the average martial artist to defend against knives are complete and utter rubbish! They will do more harm than good. Most are unpractical, unusable and down right dangerous. I have made a life time study of weapon
attacks and defences. I have been fortunate to train with many ‘realists’. Many of my early instructors were CQC instructors from the Special Forces, I learned not only how to defend against a knife but also how to use one. The motto being, “ to defend against a weapon, first learn its strengths and weaknesses.” I then trained with frontline staff in the bodyguard and security industry that had faced many edged weapon assaults and took on board what they had to offer. I have trained over the years with Israeli and Russian Combat experts who faced the reality of knife attacks in Wartime situations. The teachings were invaluable. I have taught edged weapon defences to many security/door staff, NHS frontline staff, police and other individuals who may face danger in the course of their travels or jobs. I have trained the techniques full contact in body armour and protective equipment to see what worked and what didn’t. The truth is a harsh and bitter lesson to learn. But I am glad I went there and did it. The bottom line is awareness and avoidance is your best weapons against a knife attack. Gathering knowledge is your best self protection plan. In this article I have tried to give you knowledge in a simple down to earth manner. What I have written has been taken from real life experience, mine and others. No theory, no myth, no bullshit!
DO NOT SKIP THIS SECTION IT CONTAINS LIFESAVING INFORMATION 1 Edged weapons are the most commonly used instruments for killing or wounding people. 2 More than 230 people were stabbed to death last year from July to September. 3 In incidents of mugging, over half of the assailants were armed with an edged weapon. 4 Although the home affairs committee has recommended a minimum 3 year sentence for youths carrying blades, the government has not yet introduced it at the time of writing this article.
What constitutes an edged weapon? ‘Any implement that can be used to slash, cut, pierce or penetrate a persons body.’ E.g. some common, others more ingenious: 1 Combat knives 2 Craft knives, box cutters, DIY knives 3 Kitchen knives 4 Lock and pocket knives 5 Scissors 6 Screwdrivers 7 Bottles 8 Glass
9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Meat cleavers Tradesman’s tools Glass ashtrays Ripped soft drinks can Hair comb Syringe Pens and pencils Broken credit cards Machetes Razor blades Teeth
*This is not an exhaustive list
10 Stab wounds are normally more fatal than slash or cut wounds.
23 A small child brandishing a blade is just as dangerous as a full grown adult.
11 Knives are easily obtainable compared to firearms.
24 Knives don’t misfire or jam, they also don’t require reloading.
12 Knives are easily concealed on ones person.
25 Knives leave no ballistic clues.
13 Knives are ‘silent weapons’.
26 It takes the average person 1.28 seconds to cover 15ft. To survive an edged weapon attack, distance is crucial.
14 You need to be close to a victim to used an edged weapon. 15 Knives can be easy to get rid after an attack. 16 Humans hold more of a psychological fear of a knife attack than by a firearm.
27 Under extreme pressure of attack, we lose 70% of our peripheral vision.
17 A knife attack is up close and personal.
28 Under extreme pressure of attack we have difficulty focusing on objects within 4 feet of distance due to pupil dilation.
18 It is a criminal offence to carry any blade with the intent of using it to hurt and harm others.
29 Under extreme pressure of attack we have loss of depth perception and can misjudge the distance between us and the attacker.
19 It is a criminal offence to carry any blade over 3 inches in length.
30 Under extreme pressure of attack when our heartbeat reaches 115 BPM we lose our fine motor skills. At 145 BPM we lose complex motor skills. That is why defensive techniques must be very simple using gross motor skills.
20 You must have a lawful and justified reason for carrying any type of knife even a penknife or folding knife. 21 The penalty for posession of an edged weapon ranges from a £50 fine up to 4 years imprisonment. 22 If you defend yourself against an edged weapon there is a high probability you will get cut.
31 30ft is probably the safest distance between you and an armed assailant to start taking sound defensive tactics. 32 The best knife defence is awareness and avoidance.
5 More than 3 times as many people are killed with a knife as with a gun in the UK. 6 Many teenagers carry a knife as a matter of course. 7 Increases in stabbings are consistent with the rise of death rates from homicide in young man. 8 For someone to die from irreversible shock from blood loss, they would need lose to lose 40% of their total blood supply. Men 5 to 6 litres and woman 4 to 5 litres. 9 To be incapacitated or lapse into unconsciousness, a person would need to lose one and a half litres of blood.
Reherse your techniques again and again so that they become instinctive
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By Shifu Yan Lei
UNLOCK THE SECRET
OF SHAOLIN STAMINA Extraordinary techniques for unleashing the power of the body and the mind
hen we practice martial arts it’s vitally important that we train our minds as much as we train our bodies. We believe we are the boss of our minds but when our mind says it wants chocolate, even though we know we shouldn’t, the next thing we know we are eating a bar of chocolate. So who is in charge? We can’t blame it on the bar of chocolate can we?
More than two thousand five hundred years ago, The Lord Buddha said, “It is our mind which makes the world.” A positive mind has a positive impact on ourselves and in turn our family and friends and this trickles out to the world at large. I don’t know if there was chocolate in the Buddha’s time but I can guarantee that our mind was the same then as it is now.
At the Shaolin Temple we use powerful techniques that have been passed to us directly from the Buddha to aid us in our martial art’s training. This doesn’t mean that in order to practice Shaolin we need to be Buddhists but using some of these mind techniques can help us to approach our training with fresh eyes. WWW.COMBATMAG.CO.UK COMBAT 33
that sometimes we are doing aerobic exercise and other times anaerobic. For example we can do five minutes to warm up then two minutes sprint then one minutes slow then another five minutes normal jogging speed. Long Distance We also need to do at least one long distance run a week. But if we can run eight or ten miles, this doesn’t mean we have good stamina for martial arts. The only way to build this is to continue our training after we have run. This is the reason why all Shaolin Temple trainees start their day with a run up the mountain and then don’t stop but continue. Temple Training The running is just a warm up, a preliminary. Our body is warm and now we begin our real martial art’s training. It’s vitally important that we stretch thoroughly. Running, especially hill running makes our leg muscles tight so we need to do a lot of kicks to loosen the tightness of our muscles. We start off by doing relaxed kicks and punches building up to using power and practicing our forms. We also can do some jumping to strengthen our legs. MIND AND BODY STAMINA When I studied at the Shaolin Temple, we started every morning with a grueling run up the Songshan Mountain to the Bodhidharma cave then back down the hill, where we would begin our martial art’s training. There were many mornings when I felt lazy and the last thing I wanted to do was run up the mountain but our master would be chasing behind us with a stick and we would be beaten if we were too slow. Over the years, one of the things I began to realise was that sometimes it wasn’t my body that was feeling tired but my mind. Our master was there with the stick not just to give our bodies stamina but more importantly our minds.
techniques. It would be like trying to find a street in a strange town without a map or someone to guide us. But with the correct training, our body can surpass what our mind thinks is possible. People call Shaolin monks “super human” but we are human, it’s just we know how to train our flesh and blood and the most important thing: our mind.
At the Shaolin Temple we have no choice. We are never allowed to lie in bed. But here in the West, we have many choices. We may start off with a lot of enthusiasm but maybe one day it’s raining or we feel tired or there’s an interesting film on at the cinema or we don’t have enough time. This is when it’s time to employ Mind Stamina. MIND STAMINA Meditation When we are in the temple, we practice meditation. Many people think that meditation is sitting on the floor in a crosslegged position and trying to empty our minds of all thoughts but I feel this is not meditation; this is like being a dead person! There are many types of meditation, I think people give themselves a hard time, they say ok, now I will be peaceful but when they shut their eyes the thoughts seem louder and they don’t feel peaceful at all so they stop meditating all together.
In our martial arts training it is vitally important that we build two types of stamina - mind and body
In our martial arts training it is vitally important that we build two types of stamina - mind and body. A martial artist’s mind is very important for every aspect of their performance. My master gave me no choice but to run up the mountain and this is what we need to do in our training. Set a goal and refuse to stop until we achieve this. SUPER HUMAN Looking back over my training, I realise that many times, it wasn’t my body which held me back but my mind. Shaolin Steel Jacket is a good example of that. When I began this training, I doubted whether it was really possible to hit myself with a brick and feel no pain. Of course, it is impossible without special instruction and 34 COMBAT WWW.COMBATMAG.CO.UK
A FUSION OF BODY AND MIND I feel this is what any martial art is about, an extraordinary fusion of mind and body. And the first thing Shaolin monks do with their body is take it for a run. I don’t believe that any martial artist can have good stamina if they don’t run. BODY STAMINA Running When we run and we get tired, sometimes it is our muscle and other times it is our breathing. We need to build the power of our muscle and breathing together. We don’t need to count how many steps we take but we need to get into a rhythm so our steps are in tune with our inhale and exhale. The other important aspect is to vary our speeds so
Thoughts are thoughts. It’s what we do with the thought that is the important thing. It’s how we react. There are many different ways to meditate but one way is to meditate with positive thoughts. This will give energy to our mind...
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Iain Armstrong The Combat Interview (Part 2)
MMA Vs Traditional Martial Arts! Last month Iain spoke about his current projects, this month he comments on martial arts today. Iain, you are known as a very traditional martial arts man, what are your views on martial arts today and is there still a place for the traditionalist. In 2008 I think there are two big challenges to the traditional, one being MMA the other being what we might call the commercial model martial arts club as opposed to the traditional model. MMA. I think MMA is good. Traditional martial artists can learn a lot from watching MMA. It dispels a lot of fantasies and shows what works and what doesn’t. The stars of the MMA world must be some of the best fighters on the planet. Having said this, MMA is a sport, its about winning in the octagon according to a particular set of rules. To fare well in MMA you need to be very fit and highly skilled. It is an elite sport. It lends its self best to the professionals, or at least semi professionals. Traditional martial arts will always be a better option for people who want one of the following: 1 People who want to learn martial arts for self defence, rather than competition. 2 People who don’t want to fight to a set of rules. 3 People who want elements of traditional training such as the character building, philosophy and weapon skills which do not feature in MMA. 4 People who can not afford to put enough time into their training to make it as a professional. 5 People who simply don’t have the physical strength, fitness etc to make it in the now professional world of MMA.
In other words, I think that MMA is a great sport that will go from strength to strength but I think that will remain the domain of the professional. The vast majority of people will find that traditional martial arts are far more suitable for them. East vs West. In martial arts, ‘traditional’ generally means following and respecting the traditions of your school and the examples of your teacher. This fits well with Asian thinking, for example Confucianism puts very great importance on respect for one’s parents and elders generally. Nowadays, martial arts clubs in the UK tend to be split between this model and the one which originated in the USA and which is being sold hard by a number of commercial concerns. We might call this the ‘commercial model’. The commercial model regards martial arts as a business and puts profit first. The objective ceases to be, to produce good students or build a strong martial arts family, profit is what counts. Schools following the latter model often have no style of martial arts as such and do not even know who their teachers learned from. This approach is now very popular. What I have noticed is that a lot of traditional teachers switch to this model, make a lot of money, lose their direction as a martial artist and then their club folds. I think that in the long run the traditional model will survive for the following reasons: 1) People want to belong to a school which prides its self in producing good students, not simply in prising money out of its students. 2) People value the sense of belonging which is found in traditional martial arts families. finger strikes can be effective, but only if you understand very clearly how and when to use them
weapons are a reality in fighting
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3) People want to be part of a distinguished martial arts lineage: they want to take pride in their teachers’ and school’s accomplishments, Teachers who set a good example by following and honouring their own teachers inspire their students to do likewise; the same applies to teachers with no loyalty who disregard their own teachers, usually for the sake of money. Thus strong martial arts families are built by following traditional values A balance will always need to be struck between traditional and commercial considerations because bankrupt schools don’t survive but in the long run, schools that disregard the core values of martial arts will find survival difficult.
Is kung fu still an effective fighting art? It always has been and always will be. The problem is that most kung fu teachers just don’t know how to use it. This is why many people think that it just involves poncing around in silly poses - in many schools it does! Proper kung fu involves closing with someone and finishing them very quickly. The most effective techniques are usually simple and not particularly beautiful. If you want to learn to fight, join a fighting school, if you want to look nice, join a posing school.
Can you be more specific, what sort of things make kung fu so effective for fighting. I could spend a very long time answering that question but lets just look at a few good examples. Staying on your feet. Anyone who has been involved with fighting - real fighting that is - knows that the last thing you want to do is go to the ground. If you go down you may not get up again. All of the people who didn’t have the bottle to get stuck in when you could look them in the eye suddenly get brave enough to kick seven bells out of you when you are down, you cant see who they are therefore you cant fight back effectively. Taking someone to the ground may be effective in competitions but on the street it’s the last thing you want to do. All the time that you are on your feet, if the odds turn badly against you, you can do a runner. For myself, when I used to weigh up a fight, I would always plan an exit route in case things got impossible. A System vs a Collection of Techniques. Any traditional kung fu style is a system of fighting which has been tried and tested through some very tough times. If it had not held together it would not have survived. Obviously some are better than others, but tried and tested systems work. There are a lot of people around who are just teaching a collection of techniques, they don’t fit together into a system, they don’t work together with each other. This is dangerous! Touch sensitivity. Many kung fu styles train touch sensitivity: they learn to feel someone’s movement and react. Reacting to touch is far faster than reacting to what you see so the fighter who has mastered touch sensitivity has a huge advantage, assuming that they know how to use it.
A young Iain celebrating after a particularly hard fight the night before. Note the blood trails on the pavement where casualties were led out to the ambulances!
Effective striking. It is important not only to know how to strike but to know which strikes to apply and where. For example, without the protection of gloves, punching someone’s skull is a recipe for a broken fist...
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WU SHU & THE OLYMPIC GAMES
Nick Evagorou Faces The Ultimate Challenge The World Wushu Championships held in November 2007 was a very special event. It was the selection for the Wushu tournament to be featured at the Beijing Olympic Games! Only the top eight competitors from each of three weight categories were going to compete at the Games. Naturally enough this attracted more fighters than ever to compete at the World event. One of the fighters taking part was our own Nick Evagorou who distinguished himself against 28 fighters in the -85 kilo division by winning the bronze medal - and then only after being defeated by the eventual World Champion and World renowned Sanshou fighter - Muslim Salihov (Russia). This is Nick’s story in his own words. Watched by millions all over the world, the Olympic Games are perhaps the greatest spectacle on earth. According to the Host City Contract, no international or national sports competition is allowed to be held in the Olympic host city one week before The
Games, during the Games and one week after. But a Wushu competition has been specifically approved by the International Olympic Committee and the International Wushu Federation has been allowed to host the ‘2008 Beijing Olympic Games Wushu Tournament’.
To be selected to compete in such an event is a dream come true for any athlete! Now I have an opportunity to compete against the best Sanshou fighters in the world and I am going to do the utmost to turn my dream of success into reality.
I began learning karate at the age of 11 d e m e e s t i t u b s h t n o m 8 1 t u o b a r o f d e n i a r and I t to lack something I felt I needed
Wushu is a Chinese term which literally means ‘martial arts’. It comprises two disciplines: Taolu (forms) and Sanshou. Sanshou (Sanda being its traditional name) has a long history in the Chinese martial arts. It literally means ‘free fighting’ and is mainly based on barehand one-on-one combat involving both striking and grappling techniques. Sanshou developed in the military through bouts most commonly fought between soldiers to test both the efficiency of their barehanded fighting skills and the value of the techniques. Rules were developed and safety measures - such as gloves - were introduced, leading to its incorporation into modern Wushu as a full-contact combat sport. I have studied martial arts for 16 years and though I fight - I do not consider myself a fighter. What do I mean by that? Well, I do not train so I can win medals at competitions (although I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy doing that!). I regard myself as a true martial artist and my commitment to training is primarily based on the need for self-development. To be both a good fighter and a good martial artist, you need to put in hard work, apply discipline, build determination, believe in yourself, develop confidence (but not over-confidence!), acquire skill and learn patience. A bit of luck sometimes helps, too! Whether speaking of martial art, sports or everyday life, the Prime Directive is the same: If you want to achieve something and be successful you must never give up! I began learning karate at the age of 11 and I trained for about 18 months but it seemed to lack something I felt I needed, so I moved over into athletics. But a couple of years later - at age 14 - I found both a martial art and an instructor that I realised - even at that age - could show me the way I needed to go. Ren Yi Wu Kwan Tang Sou Dao, founded by Grandmaster Meng Kwong (‘Louis’) Loke was that very art and Master Adam Goward (6th duan) was that very instructor. Seven years later and I find myself both a 3rd duan in Tang Sou Dao and an instructor. It’s true that I have tried to model myself on Master Goward’s approach to teaching and I believe that my success has been influenced by his teaching methods and his pursuit of technical perfection. Another tremendous contributor to my development is my own father, Panayiotis Evagorou. He is a National and European Sanshou Referee who has been present for every one of my Sanshou fights, many times in my corner. He’s
studied various Chinese and Japanese martial arts himself over the years and holds a black belt in Judo. He has helped me develop my grappling and throwing techniques and I regard him as being a huge influence on my fighting skills. I was 18 years old when I began training for Sanshou. I was still training hard at Tang Sou Dao but I wanted to test the skills and techniques I gained there in a
Iain added the basic foundation training and in-depth analysis of internal energy that improved both the strength and power of my Tang Sou Dao techniques. His traditional Kung Fu and modern fighting methods allowed me to build on the strong kicks and foot work I developed through Tang Sou Dao, enhancing my boxing, body movement and all-round fighting skills. Nam Yang’s basic foundation training is highlighted in its very first form called Sum Chien (meaning ‘Three Wars’). Whereas power development and understanding of techniques are usually taught much later in Korean and Japanese arts, Nam Yang teaches them at the outset. It’s through the Sum Chien that an understanding of body mechanics, internal power, routing of your stance, the importance of breathing and what we call ‘springy strength’ is introduced to the student during their very first lesson!..
I have studied martial arts for 16 years and though I fight - I do not consider myself a fighter. wider arena. It was thanks (again!) to my father for introducing me to Ian Armstrong of the Nam Yang Pugilistic Association where I study Traditional Tiger Crane Combination Kung Fu, Iron Shirt Chi Kung, weapons, and of course Sanshou. Iain Armstrong and the Nam Yang Pugilistic Association are well-known through their Iron Shirt demonstrations as well as their Lion and Dragon Dance performances. We see them every year in Trafalgar Square, putting on a show for Chinese New Year.
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DONNIE YEN A Lost Interview - Part 2 By Richard Cooper
So your hero was Bruce Lee? Yeah! I wanted to be the best martial artist possible, and now I end up being... I watched all the Bruce Lee films, as well as Jackie’s. When I first started out doing martial art films, I said to myself, “Wow! You’re up there now!” Years later I get to share some responsibility for promoting martial art to the world. I’m quite honoured by that! In the Seventies and early Eighties most Hong Kong films were all about revenge. Despite the great action and fighting in all those movies, in terms of characters and stories, they were all the same kind of thing. But you really changed all that with films like ‘Tiger Cage’. It sort of paralleled Jackie Chan’s migration from films like ‘Drunken Master’, ‘Dragon Lord’, ‘Project A’ to ‘Police Story’ something totally different! You know I always wanted to be seen as unique in my approach to martial art. I wanted to bring different styles to the screen.
Your style of fighting on screen is unique! It’s not just butterfly flips and tiger claws but it includes elements of western boxing. I have to give myself credit for that! Back in the early Nineties, I was the first one to bring that whole Western way of martial art fighting to Hong Kong cinema through ‘The Tiger Cage series’, and ‘In the Line of Duty’. This approach hadn’t been seen in Hong Kong cinema before I introduced it. The way of fighting in the earlier Kung-fu movies tended to be sort of 1 - 2 - 3 - 4, and then block. But I wanted to bring in a new flavour, introduce my own personality to it - and I saw there was room to do that! Using Bruce Lee as an example, some of Bruce Lee’s choreography is classically simple but - as I discovered very early on - it’s really not the choreography, so much as the person delivering the techniques. It’s not about the stunts either!
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During the time I was with Yuen Woo-ping, we didn’t have the kind of latitude that big players like Sammo Hung or Jackie Chan had. I mean, they had budgets and could afford to do a hundred stunts. One person ends up in hospital - so send in another! We never had that kind of thing and I had to develop and introduce my type of fighting to Yuen Woo-ping. Of course Yuen Woo-ping welcomed it and we put it on screen! It was very much a very solo performance as well. The camera focused in on you - so it was all you! You can see what I’m talking about in ‘Tiger Cage 1’.
The choreography with the likes of Michael Woods was both new and fresh! Yes, the choreography was quite nice. Some of those kicks were incredible! You made a 360º turn in the air and you had to just hang on, thinking that they’re going to cut the shot any second now. But they didn’t! It was all just one shot. Things were very competitive at that time because you were aiming to make a mark against the big movers like Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung. So we really had to come up with both a different choreography and a different flavour as well.
How often do you train these days? Well, actually I was downstairs training a little before I went to take a shower. I try to keep myself in tune rather than in peak condition. If I think of myself as an automobile engine, I can’t accelerate for 24 consecutive hours because I’m not getting any younger! So I try and keep my body in tune, and I also work on my mind, using it to tune my body up so when I need to perform - then I’m ON! This is especially important when you’re working on a set. This can involve hours and hours of waiting around. So you need to know how to pace yourself.
It can get very boring and you have to dig deep to find motivation during those times, while reserving your energies. You can’t run out of gas two hours later! So you have to learn how to pace yourself. You work out in your head how many shots are coming up - perhaps three at one time, followed by a fourth shot five hours later! You need to know how to keep energy in reserve for that, so you can perform.
‘Iron Monkey’ was only recently released on DVD in Britain. It’s a traditional Kung-fu film, but it has really great camera work, and filming technology. Were you involved in the choreography for that movie? Absolutely! I was pretty much Yuen Woo-ping`s main man for fifteen years. I was credited in loads of his films as ‘Action Choreographer’. I remained his right hand man until I formed my own company and started doing my own thing. But all along the line, it was me who always managed to appear different with new choreography. During ‘Iron Monkey’, Yuen Woo-ping and I had meetings when he’d ask me, “What do you want to do this time?” ‘Iron Monkey’ was kind of capitalising on the success of Jet Li`s ‘Once Upon A Time’ movie. The ‘Once Upon A Time’ movie was very successful at the Hong Kong box-office and the fight choreography set a new standard for audiences. That encouraged me to be very careful concerning what we came up with in ‘Iron Monkey’. I remember telling them, “I think we should stay grounded!” I still believe in staying grounded because for me, the best martial art fighting on screen comes from the person and not the technology! It’s not the camera work - it’s the person. That’s why Bruce Lee is still Bruce Lee. So I told Yuen Woo-ping to forget all the wirework (not that we didn’t use any wirework). I said, “Let’s try and concentrate on what this character, Wong Kei-ying, was about.” Wong Kei-ying was a Hung Gar Master. I said, “Let me use that in my role,” because Jet Li didn’t use it. The original Wong Fei-hung used all types of animal forms, and Jet Li was more north and south in terms of styles. I remember Yuen Woo-ping replying that “They are overdoing the whole animal styles thing in the Shaw Brothers movies!”
Everybody has different approaches. Jackie, Jet and myself each needs to know how to emphasise our strengths. Jet Li is Wu Shu, so he emphasises his wonderful, beautiful Wu Shu poses. With Jackie, it’s all those amazing acrobatics, gimmicks and doing things no-one else can do. He focuses on those! My personal approach is to focus in on the purity of martial arts. I use very basic punch and kicks and you can see that some of my choreography is not that complicated. It’s the rhythm and how I deliver these techniques. THE FINAL PART OF THIS INTERVIEW WILL APPEAR IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF COMBAT
But Western fans love that kind stuff and that’s why western audiences are looking forward to re-releases of those Shaw Brothers films. “Exactly!” I replied. “It hasn’t been done for decades and more importantly, I can deliver it in my own unique style”. He thought about it for 5 seconds and said, “You’re right!” So it happened! I’m not even a Hung Gar stylist but after the movie came out, everybody thought I was the founder! I don’t know any Hung Gar martial art friends of mine from all over the world got calls from their friends who studied Hung Gar saying, “Oh, you know he knows Hung Gar! This guy must have trained in Hung Gar for decades. He’s a master!”
It’s just the same with Jackie Chan! Jackie likes the Pak Mei system and once that got out, all his fans wanted to find a school that taught it. Now, what about the shadowless kick? That surprised a lot of people! The shadow-less kick was more of a visual trick. I performed it in a slightly different way from ‘Once Upon A Time’. Tsui Hark did a multiple camera take of Jet performing the shadow-less kick in ‘Once Upon A Time’, and edited it. It was all editing, and it used a wire. My approach was to slow the camera down to 14 frames per second. At first he was skeptical, saying, “Wouldn’t that make it very jumpy when run at normal speed?” I replied, “Not if we come up with a fine line between overly jumpy and delivering the technique.” I suggested that the person being kicked must stay rigid. I stayed rigid too, with only my knees and foot moving. This allowed us to crank it down. So we gave it a try, saw the rushes and agreed that it worked. We loved it! WWW.COMBATMAG.CO.UK COMBAT 45
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COMBAT FILM By Phil Hobden
Forbidden Kingdom FEATURED REVIEW
by Ross Boyask
Forbidden Kingdom marks the first onscreen pairing of martial arts film legends Jackie Chan and Jet Li, and I was somewhat reticent to watch this film given that, in my opinion, it’s about 10-15 years too late to see Jackie and Jet face off against each other in their prime. This, added to the fact that the film to showcase this milestone in martial arts movie history was to be directed by Rob Minkoff, who directed Stuart Little and Haunted Mansion, and that the co-star Michael Angarano who, while a good actor, is not known for his martial arts prowess didn’t leave me expecting much. However Forbidden Kingdom defied my expectations. The film works very well as a combination of fantasy period Kung Fu movie and a rites of passage, coming of age drama. The writing and acting service the story particularly well and Angarano is a likeable lead who has got a certain amount of onscreen fighting ability. The film also marks probably the first time that Jackie has actually given an an actual acting performance in an English language film, instead of just “being Jackie”, which makes a refreshing change, especially following on from that blood-boilingly awful Woolworths’ advert. Li Bing Bing gives a splendid performance and brings some much needed soul to her character, and Collin Chou makes for a suitably hissable villain, easily eclipsing his rather boring character in Flashpoint. Jackie and Jet both play dual roles and pull them off with aplomb, Jet especially enjoying his role as the mischievous Monkey King. Martial arts fans will also be pleased to hear that Yuen Woo Ping has put together some truly stand-out fight sequences for the film. Overall the film stands up well, has an engaging visual style, and the story is simple and well told with some good training sequences as Angarano’s character is trained by Jet and Jackie to become a Kung Fu warrior. The only criticism I can really level at the film is that true long-time fans will be able to tell when Jackie and Jet are being doubled, which happens a lot in the film, especially in the stand-out setpiece where Jackie and Jet duke it out.
FILM - 3.5/5 ACTION - 4/5 If you liked this try: Drunken Master 2, Fist of Legend, Once Upon a Time in China, Project A
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KILTRO by Chris Regan Kiltro is an innovative, violent and stylish action film from Chile that combines a classic martial arts story with elements of the spaghetti western and epic melodrama genres. The story follows Zamir, a troubled street fighter who must learn to control his anger and master his art if he is to defeat his nemesis and win the heart of the woman he loves. Marko Zaror gives an impressive performance in the lead, balancing spectacular fighting skills, with a strong emotional performance. Although the tone is a bit hit and miss, as a result of crossing so many different genres and styles, there is a lot here to enjoy from the impressively executed long takes to the slick, violent fight scenes. Overall there is nothing new here and it does outstay its running time with an overlong first half, but where the film really shines is in the final climactic battle - easily one of the best action sequences of recent years.
FILM - 4/5
ACTION - 3.5/5
If you liked this try: Ong Bak, District 13, Once Upon a Time in the West, Tears of the Black Tiger
PISTOL WHIPPED by Ross Boyask Well this is a turn-up for the books. Don’t let the action movie fruit machine-style title fool you, as this is one of Seagal’s best efforts of recent times. We won’t labour on the plot as it has little bearing on the film, but Seagal looks in comparatively good shape and as far as I could tell he did most of his own action, all of which is crisp, clean and well staged. In fact the action scenes really are very well shot and edited and it is good to see the big man in action against the many handy thugs and henchmen that assail him throughout the film. The supporting cast are solid, with Lance Henriksen’s cameo being the obvious stand-out. The film is a touch anti-climactic and you do feel that in the last reel the storylines that have been set up just fizzle to nothing, but that’s not actually as bad as it sounds. This is a polished effort, generally well made, and contains some of Seagal’s best fight scenes in a long time. Recommended for fans, but also for those who have lost their faith in straight-to-DVD actioners.
FILM - 2.5/5
ACTION - 3.5/5
If you liked this try: Out For Justice, Hard to Kill, The Glimmer Man
To celebrate the release of the Jet Li/Jackie Chan film FORBIDDEN KINGDOM Lionsgate has 5 ‘Forbidden Kingdom’ goody bags to give away (including posters, branded T-shirts, jelly sumo action figures and MORE!). All you have to do to win this is tell us the answer to this VERY simple question…
Who starred alongside Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon 4? a ) Jet Li [b ) Jackie Chan [c ) Chow Yun Fat Answers via email to firstname.lastname@example.org where we will pick five winners at random. WWW.COMBATMAG.CO.UK COMBAT 49
RAMBO Introduction by Phil Hobden
RETROSPECTIVE part 1
John Rambo - Vietnam veteran & decorated war hero. You know the guy - returned from fighting in Vietnam only to find that back in the U.S. many American civilians had turned on the returning soldiers... subjecting him to humiliation and embarrassment. It was in the first movie, First Blood that Rambo would flip. Returning years later, in First Blood Part 2, he would send him back to ‘Nam to look for POW’s. In Rambo 3 he was back to rescue an old colleague, and in the process took down the invading Russian armies. Most recently Rambo just wanted a quiet life, but ends up cutting a bloody path through Burma to rescue some do-gooders instead. Four films. One hell of a legacy. The Rambo movies have become films of legend. A classic character, taking on impossible odds doing what he believes is right and just. The name Rambo is no longer just a character - it’s a by word for tactics of military aggression or a person who shows great heroism through the use of violence or military/defensive skills.
2007 Equity Pictures Medienfonds GmbH & Co. KG IV. All Rights Reserved
The legacy of these movies goes even further - Rambo computer games (four no less) and the animated TV series Rambo: The Force Of Freedom (minus blood and throat ripping of course). Stallone created something that is nothing less than a cultural icon.
With this recent DVD release of the new RAMBO movie, and the re-release of the original three movies on DVD & Blu-Ray, COMBAT thought it was an apt time to catch up with a couple of the key players from the recent movie this month Stanimir Stamatov stunt man and Stallone’s stunt double for the movie and next month the films special effects veteran Alex Gunn. In addition we will cast our eyes lovingly back over each of the previous three films... So get your survival knife ready, put on your camouflage paint and bed down under a pile of leaves as we celebrate the film phenomenon that is the Rambo Quadrilogy. DOUBLING UP An Interview with Stanimir Stamatov by Ross Boyask Standing 1.82 meters tall, hailing from Bulgaria, Stanimir Stamatov is one of the industry’s best unknown faces. With almost 100 film and TV show credits to his name chances are, if you’re a fan of the genre, you have seen him on screen more than a few times. But like most of those heroes of movies, Stanimir’s job is remain invisible. After all you WANT to believe it was JeanClaude Van Damme performing that stunt don’t you? But chances are it wasn’t, chances are it was our man Stanimir. Since 1997 Stanimir Stamatov has quickly established himself as a leading stunt performer and double for some of the industry’s best known names and that trend continued when most recently he doubled for Stallone on Rambo. COMBAT caught up with Stanimir as he prepare for his new movie to talk Rambo and have a look back over what is already an impressive career...
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Action Action to
Fan Man Combat Film continues it’s in depth chat with action director, stunt man and sometime actor Jude Poyer. This month we talk Hong Kong, the difference between big and small budgets and other people’s movies... 58 COMBAT WWW.COMBATMAG.CO.UK
Jude Poyer on what its like to live your dream... Part 2 So if you had a choice... high Budget but less creative control or lower budget and more creative control. Which do you prefer? And what are the different challenges of each? Of course it’s nice to have a good amount of control and resources. Many Hong Kong action directors (better than I) who have worked in the West have proved that they can achieve great action with limited resources (but a lot of control), and only so-so action scenes on much more expensive Hollywood films. I don’t think it’s ever a good thing to have control for control’s sake. It has to be in the best interests of the film. Hong Kong stunt people aren’t just physical performers. They have input with the camera angles and editing. They know best how to shoot, execute and edit an action scene because in Hong Kong they have worked on a lot of productions, with both micro and big budgets, and they have learned different areas of filmmaking. There are no unions in the Hong Kong film industry, so if a stunt coordinator wants to operate the camera to best capture
a shot, he can. On one low budget film I did in Hong Kong, the cameraman was having trouble photographing an action, so after a couple of takes, the action director took the camera and we got it in the next take. The cameraman was the same guy who shot a lot of the action scenes for ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’, but he wasn’t offended. He said to the action director “You really are a master!” Generally, Hong Kong film sets have fewer egos and everyone just wants to get the job done well. In the UK, I’ve found some cameramen and directors very receptive to suggestions. They say “I’ve not done much of this sort of filming, so I’m happy to listen”. Occasionally, though, you’ll get a cameraman who feels compelled to shoot it differently from how I suggest, just try to make a point. So now I make it very clear to directors. I tell them early on “I want this to look as good as it possibly can. Don’t be offended when I make suggestions and I won’t be offended if you reject them.” I’d only put my foot down if I thought safety was being compromised.
If your peers are voting, politics can raise its head. If the public are voting... well let’s just say I once saw ‘Demolition Man’ beat ‘Hard Boiled’ for the Best Gunfight Award once, which of course is ludicrous!
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Taking a punch from Yuen Biao
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The Seven Rules Of...
TECHNIQUES Playing snooker is not just a matter of getting the ball into the pocket; it’s also about tee-ing up so the cue ball is well positioned to take out the next pot. Itís the same with combination techniques! The opening technique - be it punch, strike or kick tries to hit the target but coincidentally (and just as importantly!) it sets up the next technique - so that hits the target too. ow if you are a big bruiser, then just one or two sledgehammer blows may be enough to demolish the opponent. But if you are a lightweight, perhaps taking on a larger opponent, then a whole series of punishing blows may be necessary to achieve the same result.
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You may be facing a good defensive fighter. He takes out everything you throw at him with his defensive screen of blocks and evasions. In this case, you can either force him to switch onto the offensive, or you can subject him to such a pressure of attack that just one slip is all that is needed for a technique to get through.
And once he’s hurt, the next technique may find it a bit easier to reach the target. So let’s look at some of the ingredients of successful combination techniques. First is the obvious one: that successive techniques must arrive on the target within an instant of each other.
Unless two punches arrive with the shortest of intervals between them, the opponent will see and deal with them as two separate techniques. I might throw a snap punch (pic B1) at your face. I actually do want to punch you on the nose, so my punch is correctly ranged, fast, and potentially dangerous. You see this fist growing larger in your field of vision, and decide to do something about it. DISGUISED However, disguised by my fist in your face is a short slide-up of my rear leg, so I can lift off with a roundhouse kick to the side of your jaw (pic B2) . But if I delay my kick, then you will see it coming and take the appropriate countermeasures. It is easier to fire off a fast volley of punches because these are each moving only a short distance. It is not so easy to fire off kicks in quick succession because the legs just don’t work that quickly. So there’s the first rule: one technique must follow the next - but QUICKLY! The second rule is that of target separation. By this I mean, aim the first technique at the face and the second at mid-section. This forces the opponent to shift attention from high to low, and this separation of target can prove a real problem for the defender when a series of incoming techniques has to be dealt with.
our snooker analogy? Stand in left fighting stance and thrust out a powerful reverse punch into the opponent’s face. Really reach out and try to hit him on the nose with it. Even if you are wise and keep your own face back and guarded, your punch still takes weight off your trailing leg, and your right hip may turn so far forward that the heel rises from the mat. This is a normal reaction, so use it to launch a mid section roundhouse kick into the opponent’s floating ribs. Your weight is already off the back leg and your hips are set up perfectly for the roundhouse kick. This means that the kick can be delivered pretty quickly after the punch. Observant readers will have noted that the above example combines all the rules for good combination so far discussed. FEINTS The fifth rule is that meaningful techniques must be used. This is particularly
important where feints are concerned. Feints are diversionary techniques used to open a window of opportunity for a more powerful following technique. Snap punch/reverse punch is a perfect example of what I mean. But if your snap punch is wishy-washy or obviously short of the target, then the opponent will ignore it and concentrate instead upon your following reverse punch. So always make it look to the opponent that you are really intending to clobber him with that opening technique. LINEAR The sixth rule concerns technique/ range selections. The opponent is going to do one of four things when you throw your opening technique. First he may step into your opening technique. This is not likely to happen if you used an effective linear technique that goes directly into him. Second, he may step back from your opener, increasing the distance between the two of you...
GUARDED The third rule is to mix linear and circular techniques. A straight punch to the face produces the best window of opportunity because your incoming fist closes off the opponent’s vision. A roundhouse approaching from the side may then slip in unnoticed. Combine the second and third rules so you use a mixture of circular and linear techniques to widely separated targets. The fourth rule is to use one technique to set up the next - remember
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PAD WORK raining methods, equipment and aids will naturally vary depending on the martial art style, instructor or element being shown and of course the desired end result or outcome of the session. Pad and bag work can serve as an essential training aspect of any martial art due to gaining the sense of striking a target in a controlled and specific manner. Key physical elements of speed, strength, stamina and flexibility as well as the attributes of focus/precision, timing and distance can all be developed and established using training pads and bags. The training drill shown this month is a hand set performed on focus pad targets which came from my time spent boxing. It is a massively versatile drill which can used and adapted to suit specific training needs.
strength workouts ideally will be delivered in different sets and will require different warm ups and downs as well as stretches and so on. Hand speed and striking can derive and develop from a number of exercises and drills, as will strength and power, but it is also important to remember that blocking and evasive drills can also be working with focus pads as well as movement and footwork. For higher level training the simultaneous use of all elements can be incorporated. Whilst performing the following drill good body form, posture and balance must be maintained throughout for the efficient delivery of the strikes and movements. Stance and guard may vary depending on your training style.
Pad holder (left) - Tim Spilsbury Performer (right) - John Swift
All training sessions should have a specific goal or desired outcome and over the course of a week, or appropriate time scale, sessions should rotate to involve specific needs, for example - speed and
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1. Assume a suitable guarding position 2. Lead jab - keep your chin and elbows tucked in
Reverse punch - don’t fully extend the punch whilst striking as the elbow joint is subject to over or ‘hyper’ extension 4. Lead jab 5. Reverse punch 6. Slip right - A slip can be used in a number of situations and drills in order to evade and quickly counter your opponents strike; it can also be used with a palm pushing or checking type movement for extra efficiency. With the ‘slip’ element ensure you can see you opponent and do not drop your upper body too low, as you could then become subject to knee strike counters. Also, if the opponents strike is more circular than straight a ‘bob and weave’ style movement may be a better option. 7. Reverse punch 8. Slip left 9. Lead jab 10. Reverse punch 11. Lead upper cut - strength can even be generated from the legs 12. Reverse punch 3.
13. Lead hook punch - twist / torsion of the hips and upper body will ensure a KO finish! As discussed, this is a highly flexible hand drill as the first 4 movements will allow for speed, the middle section for evasive skills and countering and the last 4 movements are to encourage setting and knocking out. As with all the drills I deliver with my students and instructors, they can be broken down into smaller mini sets and
delivered as short bursts or connected for more of a fitness style set. Adding variety to your training The ‘wonders of the pyramid’ For those unfamiliar with the term ‘pyramid’ it normally refers to the stacking or reducing of a drill, techniques and exercises, for example building the above mentioned drill one move at a time, each time starting from the beginning and adding 1 movement.
A club favourite is the building up of a fixed drill but to include exercises in between each tier of the pyramid i.e. 1 move / 1 press up, 2 moves / 2 press up etc, they also enjoy it when we come back down! Look out for next month where I shall be discussing some more pad and bag based training ideas and techniques. For more info feel free to contact John via email on email@example.com or telephone 01562 827437. Alternatively visit his website at www.vervemartialarts.co.uk
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Cross Trainer Think carefully - choose wisely! In this series we have been looking at home gym equipment, to supplement your dojo work-out. This month we are featuring the cross-trainer f you are trying to find a piece of home gym equipment that provides a low impact workout and helps with general body conditioning, then the cross-trainer could be the answer.
Cross-trainers use a smooth elliptical motion to simulate walking and stepping, which boosts your heart rate and gets the muscles working. Almost all cross-trainers have handlebars, which move simultaneously with the pedals, to work both the upper and lower body in one training session. The beauty of these machines is that, due to their
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low impact, smooth motion, they are suitable for most people, as they donâ€™t put too much strain on your joints. So if you tend to suffer from joint problems especially with knees and ankles, the cross-trainer is the way to go. When considering buying a crosstrainer it is essential to look at the various elements that are important for a top performance.
LOCATION Firstly, consider where you will be using the equipment as the crosstrainer takes up a fair amount of
space and most models (except the very basic) require a power supply. Also if noise is a factor, make sure that you choose a model with a covered fly wheel, which will tend to muffle the sound. Talking of the fly wheel, as a general rule of thumb, a larger fly wheel will give you a better, smoother performance.
THE FRAME The frame is an aspect of a crosstrainer, which is often overlooked. Due to the strain on the machine, during use, the strength of the frame is very important, and as with much in life you get what you pay for.
There are two forms of controlling the resistance on these machines; manually by turning a knob or, more commonly, electronically on a digital control panel. By increasing the resistance the stride movement will be come harder, which in turn increases your heart rate. It is usually the cheaper models that have a manual resistance. Electronic resistance is simple to use and often works with a heart rate control programme. This will automatically change the resistance and intensity of the workout to keep you in your target heart rate zone.
Cross-trainers often come with a wide array of programmes, which provide specific workouts such as fat burning or endurance. Many models also have features which enable you to customise your own workout programmes to suit your targets for the day.
HEART RATE CONTROL Heart rate control means that your heart rate is monitored often by pulse sensors in the handlebars or a wireless chest strap Many of the exercise programmes in the console will include a heart rate control. This will automatically adjust the resistance to increase your heart rate, keeping it in line with your chosen goal. This is particularly valuable if you are trying to lose weight and donâ€™t want to worry about your heart rate, which ideally needs to be in a specific target zone for best results. Models with heart rate monitors are usually more expensive but if in your budget are definitely worth the expense, as they eliminate the guess work and the need to manually increase levels while training. Regardless of price most models will have a pulse monitor.
For the purpose of compiling this article we used one of York Fitness Cross-Trainers and they can be contacted on: 01327 701852 or visit www.yorkfitness.com
WHEN USING THE CROSS TRAINER 1) Warm-up and stretch your muscles, especially those in the calf. 2) Place your feet centrally on the foot pedals. 3) Avoid excessive rotational movement from your waist in order to push the hand levers forward. 4) Aim for larger controlled movements, rather than a small jerking action, using your arms to help control the speed and assist the legs during the workout. 5) Set the resistance level to the correct setting, too easy and you will get insufficient workout, too hard and you will be straining. Aim to look forward and stand tall throughout. 6) Travel in a forward motion as excessive speed travelling backwards carries the risk of hamstring muscle injuries. 7) Have a towel and drink of water close by.
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Martial Arts Pioneers
1928 - (Karate)
itsusuke Harada was born in Dairen on the southern tip of Manchuria. The first son of Yutaka and Haru Harada, his Japanese parents whom had moved to China, as a result of Yutaka’s employment with the South Manchurian Railway. As a result of the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, prior to the end of the Second World War, The Harada family returned to Japan, taking up residence in Tokyo. It was here, that the young Mitsusuke began his illustrious career in the Karate. Due to his interest in the martial arts, as a result of exposure to Tai Chi Chuan whilst in Manchuria, the young Mitsusuke had requested that his father look out for a dojo on his behalf. Yutaka returned with the address of the famous Shotokan. In November of 1943 Mitsusuke Harada, at the age of 14, took his first Karate lesson at the Shotokan. The first purpose built Karate dojo in Japan, constructed in 1936, as a result of the great efforts of Master Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of Japanese Karate-do, and his students. Mitsusuke’s first introduction to Karate came in the form of the powerful, Master
Motonobu Hironishi, who then held the highest rank of 4th Dan. Even though Mitsusuke found the lesson “very, very, difficult”, he paid his enrolment fee for the month, as he had decided that Karate was what he wanted. During this period, Masters Hironishi, Hayashi, and Uemura took lessons. One or two evenings a week the influential Yoshitaka Funakoshi would teach. Even the old Master - Gichin Funakoshi would teach on occasions. Tragically, the Shotokan was destroyed during American bombing raids in 1945. Mitsusuke then wrote to Gichin Funakoshi, requesting he be taken on as a private student at his home. O’Sensei agreed, and for a time Mitsusuke trained, under the watchful eye of the Master. He then, entered Waseda University in 1948. In the early fifties as a young man, he came under the influence of Masters Shigeru Egami and Tadao Okuyama; these men greatly influenced his Karate development. Harada trained one to one with Egami for 3 hours daily, 7 days a week. This continued for nearly 2 years, and was a great period of experimentation and
development for the innovative Master Egami. However, soon after this period Egami fell ill; as a result, Harada alone, had physically experienced these important new developments. After graduating with at Masters degree in Commerce in 1955, Harada worked for a Tokyo bank and in 1956 he went to Sao Paolo, Brazil, to work at the Bank of South America. Whilst in Brazil, under the instruction of O’Sensei, he set up the Karate-do Shotokan Brazileo, the first organisation of its kind in South America. As an endorsement of Master Funakoshi’s faith in him, Mitsusuke Harada was awarded his 5th Dan at the age of only 28. After several years in Brazil, Harada took an extended leave of absence, and travelled to Europe in 1963. Initially in France, Master Harada instructed some courses at the request of others involved in the Martial Arts, but after some troubled times, he came to Great Britain later in 1963; at the invitation of Kenshiro Abbe, the extremely highly respected Judo and Aikido Master. After appearing in a Martial Arts exhibition at the Albert Hall in November of that year, Master Harada was in demand to teach Karate in Britain. Master Harada made Britain his home, and became the first resident Japanese instructor to teach in the U.K. A small local group soon began to grow into a national organisation. So, in 1965 he formed the KDS (Karate-do Shotokai); this organisation soon expanded throughout Great Britain and Europe. Today, 35 years since Master Harada formed the KDS, he resides in South Wales and still regularly travels all over Europe and the U.S.A. teaching his unique way. Having recently had a book published about his life story. In 1998 Harada Sensei achieved a lifelong ambition, by taking a representative group of his KDS students to the Shotokan dojo in Tokyo. At an international exhibition to celebrate the birth of his teacher-Gichin Funakoshi, and the formation Nippon Karate-do Shotokai, Master Harada and his KDS students made a “great impact” at the birthplace of Karate-do. This display achieved a lifelong ambition for Master Harada. Allowing the Master to come full circle in his illustrious career in Karate. WWW.COMBATMAG.CO.UK COMBAT 83
FROM THE DOJO
TO THE CAGE Gavin Mulholland on how he’s
winning the MMA race! Combat Hall of Famer, Gavin Mulholland is well known as the Chief Instructor of the Daigaku Karate Kai (DKK) based in Central London, UK. In recent times however, he has also made something of an impact on the MMA scene by taking traditional karate into the cage under the DKK Fighters banner, with a high degree of success. As Cage Fighting and Traditional Karate do not often appear in the same breath these days, we talk exclusively to Gavin Mulholland to find out how he is making this happen. Daigaku Karate Kai (DKK) is well-known as a traditional GojuRyu Karate school, so how did DKK Fighters come about? In all honesty, it came about in quite an organic way. I’ve never been a fan of semi-contact tournament although I do see benefits in terms of speed, distance, timing etc. My problem is that as a Goju practitioner, I’ve never really seen how you can apply the underlying principles of hard and soft (Go and Ju), in a semi-contact bout. Goju Ryu is, and always has been, a closequarter combat system and as such, the semi-contact format just doesn’t suit the style - it’s simply too limited in terms of the techniques you are allowed to use, and too far away in terms of the distance you are required to fight from. Despite that, we do hold an annual tournament where the low grades fight in a semi-contact format. The middle grades use harder contact and the high grades fight non-stop, full contact. We have a similar approach to the grappling side of things. Unlike a lot of Japanese styles of Karate, a great deal of traditional Goju Ryu is about grappling and it is trained in a similarly progressive manner. As a traditional Karate system, we also have the grading system so our guys are used to facing fear, stepping up to the mark, and taking a beating on a fairly regular basis - the step into the cage is therefore more extreme, but it really isn’t anything particularly new or different. Over the years, we had a few guys fight in NHB and cage type events but it was really Neil Grove who stepped up one night and declared his interest in fighting in the cage. This was not entirely unexpected. Karate is supposed to be about facing challenges and facing your fears and if you are training people properly, they are eventually going to want further challenges and to want to test themselves in extreme environments - they are inevitably going to look to the cage. The cage is simply the modern arena where that can be most eloquently done. But it’s worth bearing in mind that it’s only the arena and the hype that is new - everything else is ancient. People have been fighting without rules for a sight longer than they have been fighting with them.
So does everybody at DKK have to fight in MMA? No, not at all. In fact, the guys that do choose to fight in the cage are not even necessarily our best fighters. Everybody fights 86 COMBAT WWW.COMBATMAG.CO.UK
in some format, but the cage is not for everybody. I can train fighters up for that test if that’s what they want to do, but I would never pressurise anyone into the cage that didn’t want to be there. DKK Fighters really came about as a sub-brand to Daigaku Karate Kai (DKK) and was to make it clear to our people that it is there if they want it, but there is no pressure to compete whatsoever. That and to make it easier for the announcers to get the pronunciation right! That said, Mark Aplin does a great job for Cage Rage and he’s the only one to pronounce both ‘Goju Ryu’ and ‘Edgelson Lua’ correctly!
Ah yes, we’ll come back to Edgelson Lua shortly. Has the club’s training changed as a result of you guys fighting in the cage? No, not really. In the run up to a fight we tend to gear the classes more towards sparring and grappling but there is no real difference. The biggest difference is almost that you have to scale it down. Most, if not all, Western martial arts (boxing, wrestling, fencing, etc) are primarily concerned with fighting one-on-one. The Eastern arts spend a lot more time learning to deal with two or more people at once. Once a week we run a specific DKK Fighters session where we train without Gi’s and gloved up but to be honest, it’s really only the clothes that change, not the training.
What do you say to people that tell you ‘that’s not karate’? They are wrong. People’s misconceptions about Karate run deep and I have to say that a great many of the criticisms levelled at it are well deserved. A lot of what now passes itself off as Karate is total nonsense. And yet, they make a lot of money at it. They use karate-like drills, but have no idea how to convert those drills into a coherent fighting system. It is in their interests to stake a claim to the ‘Karate’ title and try to twist history to serve their own ends. But regardless of what these people say or do, at the end of the day, original Karate was an all in fighting system and that’s the system we still train in today. Unfortunately, it happens to all systems and it will happen to MMA too, because when something is good and tough - like MMA is today and Karate was yesterday - everyone wants to do it. By definition that means that it starts with good, tough people and gradually weakens as all and sundry jump on the band-
wagon and start to open so-called Karate clubs, or a so-called MMA clubs. Look what happened to Kickboxing. When kickboxing started to take off in the ‘80’s we all knew of third rate purple and brown belts who disappeared and re-emerged as 3rd Dan kickboxing instructors overnight. When someone today tells you they do Kickboxing they could mean anything from Thai Boxing (which is what most want you to think) to Boxercise (which is far more likely). It’s not that there isn’t still good Kickboxing around, there is, and some of it is awesome - it’s just increasingly hard to find. It’s the same with Karate. There is a whole lot of dross to sift through before you find a decent place to train. All of our training is based around the Kata. We train using traditional methods and traditional equipment (hojo undo). We follow a traditional syllabus as laid out in the kata by the founder of Goju Ryu, Chojun Miyagi. Whether people like it or not, what we do is traditional Karate. It works in the dojo, it works on the door, it works on the street, and it works in the cage.
You have a couple of fighters who have competed successfully in the Octagon. Can you tell us a bit about them, starting with Neil ‘Goliath’ Grove. Neil is a great guy. Very competitive and at six foot seven inches and 22 stone, very very big! I first met Neil back in 2000 when he was working on the door of one of London’s seedier nightspots. Following what he now refers to as a ‘major incident’ at the club, I got a call to go in and work with some, shall we say, overly aggressive doormen. Following that session Neil turned up at the dojo a few weeks later. He joined DKK in March of 2000 and was graded to Shodan (Black Belt) five years later in 2005. Neil had been wanting to test himself in the cage for some time so he went down to the guys at Medway Submissions and they sorted him out with his first fight in November 2006. He won by TKO in just 55 seconds of round one. His second fight was against Denniston Southerland and although much smaller than Neil, he put up a hell of a fight and it was a much tougher fight all round. It went into the second round where Neil again won by TKO but it was a real wake up call for Neil to put more cardio into the mix. It was at that point that everything changed for us and we got a call from Dave O’Donnell of Cage Rage. Pride star James ‘Colossus’ Thompson was due to be fighting UFC legend Kimo Leopoldo but he had pulled out and they needed someone big to take his place. This was Thursday night and it meant that we had two days to prepare for the biggest fight in Neil’s life. It was obviously too late to do anything physical so it was all mental preparation. Neil’s original plan was to take it to two rounds but having seen Thompson fight, I knew he didn’t have that sort of time. I convinced Neil that this was not a 15 minute fight, it was a one minute fight - like all the ones he was used to on the door, and that was ours strategy. That first big fight was terrifying but Neil stuck exactly to the game plan and steamed into Thompson as soon as the bell went. I think Thompson was a bit shocked as Neil had him backing up from the start. Neil landed a huge right hand that saw Thompson out cold. It lasted just 10 seconds and we were ecstatic by the victory.
Cage Rage has been criticised for all the dancing girls and the unprofessionalism of the presenters. How have you found them to deal with? I know what people mean about the girls and the hype but I think they are great. They love to see stand-up fights much more than say, the UFC, but I think that’s a British trait. The USA has a tradition of collegiate wrestling that we just don’t have in this country. We as a nation are just more interested in stand-up fights and Cage Rage caters for that. I think Dave O’Donnell is very genuine about matching up fighters for interesting and skilful fights - especially in the
Contenders series where it must be almost impossible seeing as you often have little or no footage of the fighters involved. We have even had to fight a couple of guys from his own gym, Elite Fighting Systems, and there was never a hint of him mis-matching fighters or anything, and never any feelings of bias or animosity involved whatsoever. I think their position as the premier cage fighting organisation in the UK is both well-founded and well-deserved.
Okay, so I guess that put’s Neil at three wins and no losses. What happened next? Next up was the Croatian Kick-boxer Domagoj Ostojic. We knew this guy was really dangerous and had seen him knocking people cold with lightning fast and powerful kicks. Basically, we knew we didn’t want to stand with him so the strategy was slightly different. Neil again took the fight right to Domagoj from the start. He belly-to-belly suplexed the Croation, got him to the floor and punched him out. Neil won again in just 34 seconds of round one. Three months later in December 2007 at Cage Rage 24, Neil stepped up to fight Cage Rage favourite Robert ‘Buzz’ Berry. In Robert’s own words, he fought the fight of his life and was the first (and so far only) man to put Neil on the canvas. Despite the fact that he dominated and won the first round, it had taken too much out of him and he was unable to come out for the second round. It was a shame because everyone had seen Buzz win the first round but there was really only one outcome waiting for him if he had stepped out again. He simply didn’t have anything left and I’m confident that Neil would have KO’d him in the second. So although we got the victory, it felt a bit hollow. Having said that, the safety of the fighters is paramount and Buzz made the right decision. He is a real gentleman and a professional and he made the decision to live and fight another day. That other day came at Cage Rage 25 when he KO’d Ken Shamrock. That was fantastic and we were all made up for him.
So at five wins, no losses, Neil was set to fight ex-British Heavyweight Champion, Rob Broughton. Now this was a fight I would have paid to see!...
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FC 85: Bedlam broadcast live from London’s O2 Arena on Saturday June 7th in spite of some serious problems before ever any fighter stepped into the cage! First match of main card brought middleweights Brandon Vera and Fabricio Werdum face to face. They began cautiously enough but then closed and jolted each other with short punches before moving into a clinch, where Vera slammed in some effective knees. Werdum retaliated by taking the fight to the mat and started in on some ground-and-pound using his elbows to Vera’s body and head. Vera was having none of that and used his legs to thrust Werdum away. Werdum grabbed one of Vera’s legs but got smacked in the face for his trouble. Moving on, Vera’s hard left punch clearly hurt Werdum but more so did the following elbow strike. No fool, Werdum closed quickly and took Vera to the ground again.
Davis vs Swick
BUCKLED Moving into a mount position, Werdum began to punch Vera who covered up to try and avoid serious damage. The referee stopped the bout and, much against Vera’s loud protests, awarded that first match to Werdum. A rematch is clearly needed here! Middleweights Nate Marquardt and Thales Leites came face-to-face for one of the best encounters of the evening - a fact that was far from apparent at the outset! The fight took time to get under way before Marquardt surged forward on the attack - only to run into a hard right punch that dropped him to the mat. Ooops! Losing no time, Leites dropped and went for the mount but Marquardt fought his way back to half-guard and from there, to his feet. Once up, he decided to give some back and Leites’ knees clearly buckled after a hard right uppercut. Round two began with a clinch that Marquardt turned to his advantage, taking Leites to the ground and kneeing him in the head as he tried to get back up. One of Leites’ knees was on the mat as he took the knee, so Marquardt lost a point while Leites gained a much needed 5minute rest.
BLEEDING Obviously angry at this, Marquardt came out like a raging bull, taking Leites to the mat and mashing his nose in a fearsome ground-and-pound. He followed this with a hard right but against all odds, Leites managed to get back to his feet. Then Marquardt over-extended himself, rushing in - but being taken down and mounted by the bleeding Leites! This lasted only a short while before Nate ‘The Great’ forced himself back to a half-guard and thence - to his feet.
Marquardt opened round three with some good body shots before taking Leites to the mat - but once again he overreached himself and narrowly escaped Leites’ attempted triangle. Marquardt’s right elbow to the side of Leites’ head was taken by the referee, Herb Dean, to be a strike to the back of the head, so Marquardt lost another point! The two traded heavy punches before Marquardt again took Leites to the mat for some more ground-and-pound. But Leites continued to show extreme courage, at one stage grabbing Marquardt’s leg prior to taking him down. Unfortunately for him, Marquardt saw it coming, picked Leites up and used his head as a pile-driver. What a match! The outcome was anyone’s call, I guess, though I had Nate down for the victory. But I was wrong and the judges gave the match to Thales Leites by majority decision. Now this has to be a rematch! Another Main Card fight began with former TUF Welterweight star Marcus ‘The Irish Hand Grenade’ Davis throwing TUF colleague Mike ‘The Quick’ Swick except that Swick got right back up and took Davis down! Swick couldn’t get to the position he wanted to finish the fight though he did manage some serious ground-and-pound that got the claret flowing from Davis’s battle-scarred face.
jammed his opponent up against the fence. The two traded punches and knees before Davis got the next takedown. Swick nearly got him in a triangle but Davis got back to his feet, only to be tripped and dropped to the mat again. Swick got to a side control position before the bell stopped the action. Round three included some good exchanges of punches though on balance, Swick threw the better ones. Davis managed a short-lived takedown and followed with a second soon after - but Swick grabbed the fence and lost a point for his trouble...
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TRIANGLE Davis managed a good hard left to open the second round but Swick retaliated with a hard head-kick followed by a takedown. Davis fought back hard and managed to regain his feet. From there he slapped in some good punches and WWW.COMBATMAG.CO.UK COMBAT 95
Keep It Standing A Sprawl and Brawl Guide for Mixed Martial Arts
By Glyn Powditch Level: Basic PLUS Glyn Powditch holds a 1st BSc in Economics, Accounting and Finance. He is a martial artist with nearly a decade of experience in martial arts, ...
Sprawl & Brawl a Grapplers nightmare
prawl and Brawl is the hottest thing in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) right now. Just ask fighters like former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell. A kickboxer who prefers to stand and pick his opponents apart with strikes rather than grapple either standing or on the floor, the ‘Iceman’ is one of the best no holds barred fighters in the world, and you can bet it’s because he knows how to stop the takedown. Liddell may be known as a kickboxer, but not many people know that before he started training as a striker he competed for many years in both high school and college as a freestyle wrestler. Not all of us have the luxury to be able to spend that long learning the intricacies of the grappling arts. If you’re a boxer or kickboxer who trains in mixed martial arts, you’ll know how difficult it is to stop a determined grappler from putting you on your back. Once a submission artist has you on the canvas, it can feel like you’re drowning in quicksand, with a choke or joint lock only seconds away. For a striker, getting drawn into a grappling match is the last thing you want. Even if you’re on top of your opponent, a skilled jiu-jitsu exponent can still submit you from his guard, ending the fight and taking away the victory you wanted. Learning how to wrestle is one answer, but it is only one answer to the anti-grappling conundrum; ‘Keep it Standing’ is another. ‘Keep it Standing’ is a revolutionary sprawl and brawl strategy, a cutting edge style of fighting that has found it’s way into cages and rings across the world. Everyone from aspiring fighters to seasoned professionals are now using this highly effective and easy-to-learn system. The keys to staying on your feet and off the mat are simple: good footwork, clean and controlled punches and a knowledge of how grapplers think. Even though it sounds simple, learning how to resist and combat a grappler’s game plan is a subtle and complicated endeavour. You’ll need to learn that distance is the key to preventing the takedown, and that footwork is what controls distance. Punching from a solid and stable, yet mobile base is paramount. One of the biggest errors made by strikers is overcommital, putting everything into shots
that miss and allow a grappler the opportunity to take them down. If you fight with flat feet, you’re asking to be taken down. If a grappler does get in range, then the last thing you want to do is grapple with him. Even sprawling on your opponent gives him what he wants - you’ve entered his world now, a place where your strengths are negated and his will prevail. By entering into the grappling phase you’re deviating from your strategy, and taking away your ability to knock him out. Resisting the temptation to clinch with your opponent is another mistake made by strikers. Even if you remain on your feet, clinching with a grappler allows them the opportunity to not only take
you down but to tie you up on the fence or ropes and work for position. You can’t punch somebody in the face with knockout power when you’re chest to chest. Simply put, if you want to defend the takedown then you need to learn how to Keep it Standing. Leading mixed martial arts coach and trainer of champions Karl Tanswell understands exactly what you need to do to keep it on the feet, and his DVD breaks down exactly what you need to know. Keeping it on the feet is what all strikers want to do. If you’re a boxer or a kickboxer who fights in mixed martial arts, or even a martial artist concerned with realistic self defence applications, then you’ll want to discover the secrets to keeping it standing.
from all at Combat Magazine goes to... Nathan Ward, Leah Moorby, Natalie McSharry, Sam Plummer, Dominic Williamson, Adam Whitaker, Connor Range, Robyn O’Rorke and Rhiannon Taylor from the Strike TKD Club, Keighly, who were successful graded.
11 year old Jade Green of South Ockendon who was the youngest member of the squad from Seitou Ryu Karate Club to achieve victory at the Martial Arts International City Challenge Tournament, London v Munich, held in Germany Sunday March 9th. Jade a brown belt came home with a 3rd place in Kumite. Students from Douglas and St Johns took part in a grading weekend at St Johns primary school with guest examiner Grand Master Tony Vohra 8th Dan and local examiner Master Gun Lee. The students graded for kup belts from beginner yellow tags up to red belt which is the penultimate grade before black belt. Special congratulations to Allan King, Rhys Barlow and Julie Burridge who are now red belts.
Lee Hasdell from the SSJ Martial Arts Studio, Milton Keynes on being awarded his Kudo black belt from Master Azuma from Japan. Lee already holds black belts in Jujitsu, Karate and Kickboxing.
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Battle Hill Judo took part in the Northern Area Open Junior Championships in Redcar. Winners’ are Kieran Tweedy (8) Gold u27g, Tonicha Brown (10) Gold u32kg, Tasmin brown (15) Gold u70kg, Frazer Burns (13) u38kg and Callum Thompson (12) Silver u55kg
Black belt grading success went to Daniel and Thomas Peacock who after 3 and a half years training and 4 hours of being on the grading floor, passed their Junior Black belts. They were helped by 3 other members who were taking their pre-black belt grading, Megan and James Taylor and Matthew Edgoose, all giving 110% throughout.
The SGS & Torite TKD Club took a team of 9 players to the Albion Sports Centre, Derby for the County Championships. They came away with a host of results Morgan Creasey took gold in the U16 coloured belt section and team mate Liam Morrison took silver. Paul Spencer making 4th place in the Weapons U16 and Silver in the U16 black belt traditional patterns. In the Team events and with 3 teams from the club there was also some inter-club competition going on. In the U16s Jacob Chadwick-Dobson’s team took silver with Paul Spencer’s team following behind taking Bronze. Morgan Creasey also took silver in the under 4’4” points sparring. Not to be outdone, the 6th form Torite team of Sarah Forth, Helen Boyd led by Josh Richardson took silver in the adult team forms. Finally, instructor John Burke came back to compete after 4 mon-ths with a shoulder injury to take silver in the black belt adult forms and gold in the Veterans forms.
Congratulations to Iain Walker from Eikoku Satori Karate-Do Kyokai on being awarded the distinguished Student of the Year Award, the award is a hand crafted glass tablet on which is engraved the words, ‘for showing exceptional dedication, outstanding character and genuine respect’.
Tasmin Brown (15) achieved double judo honours 24/25 May achieving both club coaching and junior black belt status. Tasmin joined the Battle Hill Club Cramlington in 2004 and has honed her skills as both a student and assistant coach. Pictured with her are club coach Malcolm Young 3rd dan and assistant coach Kevin Corden 1st dan. To Roding Karate club who came away with 3 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze medals from the English Karate Championships.
British Taekwondo team who enjoyed a successful weekend competing at the 29th Belgian Open Championships at Bloso Sports Centre in Ghent, with a small team of 6, winning 2 gold and 2 silver medals.
Proud members of Sonbae Taekwondo, Killamarsh, showing their grading certificates and awards. Thanks go to Master Paul Oxtoby for overseeing the grading and all of the black belts and parents for helping on the day.
To the Galway Black Dragon Kickboxing club who were recently certified by the Irish Sports Council in the Children in Sport “Code of Ethics’ by Sports Council turor Mr. Martin O’Malley from Castlebar.
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