Interview With Daren Sims, 5th Dan Aikido

I first met and befriended Daren Sims, 5th Dan Aikido and 1st Dan Combat Ju Jutsu in 2010, when I was organising a multi-style martial arts festival.  It was to raise funds for 2 charities that had helped my and my family through some particularly difficult times.  I selected 12 different martial art schools who had about 15 minutes each to demonstrate their system.  Daren was the contact point and organiser of the Aikido section.  During the build up to the event, I visited most of the participating schools to have see how their preparations were going.  Daren’s Aikido team where so well organised, dynamic and impressive; that I put them on first.  I wanted to start on a high note and get the audience excited from the beginning.  He was also very supportive of the whole event from start to finish.

Here is the demo from that day, with Daren in the middle a lot of the time throwing people all over the place:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOB4O9h9pmg&t=13s Continue reading “Interview With Daren Sims, 5th Dan Aikido” »

Correct Elbow Position For Punching

Following on from the last post on spinal alignment, here’s another video on the correct elbow position for punching and how it affects the shoulder alignment and fist position.  It’s a small detail that it often overlooked, especially as the elbow is often hidden by the gi/dobok (uniform).

This is something that I’ve written about before back in 2011, but I think sometimes it’s easier with a video.

So enjoy and please leave your comments or questions below.

Technique: Spinal Alignment

In most traditional martial arts the spinal alignment is maintained in a straight upright position.  But despite telling students over and over again, many of them still tend to lean forward.  In the video below, I hope to provide a demonstration of why keeping the back straight and upright helps techniques to flow more easily, fluidly and efficiently!  If you’re an instructor, it could be a good way to teach your own students.

Line Up For Pre-Emptive Strike

When somebody is trying to bully you and it becomes apparent that they are likely to attack you, the tactics you use at that “pre-fight” stage can put you into a position of enormous advantage without the aggressor realising what you are doing.  You can line yourself up to strike them decisively on a vulnerable point without them having any idea of what you are preparing to do.

The video below demonstrates how to Continue reading “Line Up For Pre-Emptive Strike” »

Self Protection Vs Political Correctness!

I’ve always believed that boys/men should respect girls/women and that girls should be brought up to EXPECT men to treat them with respect.  Women being treated with respect is not a privilege, it’s a right!

Please check out the video below.  In the Kenyan capital of Nairobi where rape is rife, a programme was introduced teaching girls to defend themselves and teaching “positive masculinity” to boys.  Within 6 sessions, boys attitudes change from thinking that women deserved to be raped in certain circumstances to not accepting it at all.

Rape has been reduced in areas where this is taught by 50% and boys successfully intervened when witnessing an assault 74% of the time.  Continue reading “Self Protection Vs Political Correctness!” »

Practical Application For Haito Uchi: Ridge Hand Strike

A strike that is often not very well explained is the Ridge Hand Strike.  The focus is usually on striking with the hand, making it of limited use under pressure as it requires quite a lot of accuracy and the small bones in the hand can be damaged if they strike the wrong target.

A simple modification to focus on striking with the forearm makes it more powerful, requires less accuracy (very useful under pressure), can be used at multiple ranges, reduces the chances of damaging yourself and can flow very easily into other applications.

Please check out the video below for a more full explanation.

The Conscious And Subconscious Minds In Martial Arts

This is a very big topic which you could probably write a whole book about, so I will attempt to do justice to this topic but please accept that I can’t cover it all in just a single post.  There is much written about the subconscious and conscious minds, but this post will mainly focus on how the 2 parts of the mind relate in a martial arts context.

The role of the conscious and subconscious mind has been likened to the captain and crew of a ship.  The captain (conscious mind) makes the decisions and decides on the direction of the ship, and the crew (sub conscious mind) makes it happen.


Basics Techniques

So lets start with simply practising the basic movements.  Your conscious mind decides that you will perform a giventechnique.  As we repeat this technique over and over again, specific cells in our brains called neurons join other neurons which control this movement.  This creates Continue reading “The Conscious And Subconscious Minds In Martial Arts” »

Violence Never Solves Anything . . . . Really?

How many times have you heard well-meaning people say something like, “violence never solves anything”.

The idea that violence never solves anything has been has been around for a while in world of ever growing political correctness.  As a society, it’s a laudable goal to try and eradicate violence so that nobody has to be unnecessarily hurt and it is something that we should all work towards.  We’ll never achieve it of course as violence is part of the human condition and we are all capable of it given the right circumstances!  It’s only social training and conditioning that makes it unpalatable to us today.  With different conditioning, you can end up with the excesses of the Roman Games, where they’d take their children to watch a day’s sport!  The social conditioning (political correctness) goes so far in some cases, Continue reading “Violence Never Solves Anything . . . . Really?” »

How Important Is Discipline In Martial Arts?

This post was actually stimulated by a conversation with one of my former instructors, Sensei Graham Mead, a man from whom I learnt a great deal and who I hold in very high regard. Unfortunately Sensei Mead no longer teaches due to health issues, but an older tiger is still a tiger!

Since I started teaching regularly in 2012, Sensei Mead has honoured me with a few visits to my Dojo to see how my school is getting on.  During the recent conversation, discussing the deeper meanings of martial arts philosophy over a few beers (as one does) it became apparent that he was happy with the standards of my school and with what I was teaching; the only thing he had some doubt about was that he felt that the discipline was not strict enough.

This got me thinking, as any such comment from Sensei Mead should be taken seriously.

So here are my thoughts which I’ll share with you: Continue reading “How Important Is Discipline In Martial Arts?” »

Positioning For Multiple Assailants

I came across the video below from the London Wing Chun Academy which I thought was worth sharing as goes beyond style boundaries and should be of interest to anybody who is into real world self protection.  It talks about being aware of your surroundings and how to positional yourself when facing multiple opponents.

Anyway, I’m not going to tell you all about here, I’ll let you watch and see what I mean.  Please leave your feedback and comments below. Continue reading “Positioning For Multiple Assailants” »