Saturday, 24 December 2011
Wednesday, 30 November 2011
Law of Fives.
Weishaupt believed in a “Law of Fives.” Seeing things as cyclical and having five expressions before reverting back to the original ‘setting’.
His cycle of five below is very interesting and mirrors a cycle of sorts we seem to be going through….Looking at it as a prophecy / prediction I see us between the end of 4 and going into 5 in the cycle.
1. Chaos, the starting point of all societies. It related, in Weishaupt’s mind, to the goddess cults of antiquity; especially to the worship of Lilith, Eris, Diana,Isis or Kali.
2 Discord, where a ruling class emerges and seizes control. Weishaupt related this period to introduction of the worship of Marduk or Osiris.
3 Confusion, where folk would attempt to restore a balance between the two preceding forces. He related this period to the child-god Loki or Horus or to a kind of devil.
4 Bureaucracy, the result of the synthesis of stage 3 failing. A spiritual void where absolutely no deity would be acknowledged. People cannot abide this void and escape into fantasy, drugs, or madness. During this phase the destruction of the middle class takes place.
5) Aftermath, where society implodes and reverts to chaos. The bureaucracy crashes under the weight of its own red tape and things spiral out of control. Magic and nature now rule again, and the cycle is in preparation to begin again.
Relating the first three to sacred geometry we can see the first three stages expressed as the 345 triangle....Isis , Osiris, Horus.
It does however maybe suggest a training program of sorts...where light and dark energies run through chapters of a play, creating a temporary stage for the players to participate in over many incarnations / life times...based around a life and death seasonal cycle of nature.
Taken from: http://www.templarmechanics.com/templar_detail.asp?templarid=226
Sunday, 13 November 2011
Saturday, 12 November 2011
Saturday, 5 November 2011
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
OK to be fair the nice picture of Berenice Marlohe above is not there because my old Silat teacher used to throw lighted cigarettes into people’s faces to distract them, it came about because I typed nice eyes into goggle looking for an image. Anyway Berenice is still hot and so we will make do.
This week’s topic is the humble eye jab, which looks more like this:
Eventually I starting working my techniques off the Geoff Thompson fence and found that I could launch an eye jab off of either hand, with little or no preparation, making it hard for my training partner to stop if I launched it from conversation range. Conversation range is also called hands on range.
HRH The Queen demonstrates conversation range
Next we teach the “duelling eye jab drill” by gearing up two students with eye protection and allowing either both students to attack or one to attack and the other defend. This is a dual and somewhat distant from reality but I find it’s a nice game that builds confidence, so we include it in our training.
The last stage is to add the eye jab into our scenario training.
The downside of the eye jab is that fingers by their very nature are fragile and so the two variations I teach (straight and whipping) are performed in fast relaxed manner, with fingers slightly bent. Students are encourage to tryout different ways of throwing the eye jab and chose just one.
The interesting thing about eye jabs is that it takes little power and most people can do it with little preparation other than getting into the right mindset. The affect even if you don’t actually hit an eye (aim for only one), is your attacker will turn away, flinch or close his eyes, which may give you time to escape or follow up.
On last thing if you do decide to add the humble eye jab into your tool box, make sure you train safely and adhere to the law with regards to self defence in your area. It hurts when eye jabs go wrong and there may be other unplanned for costs!
Sunday, 2 October 2011
DHM1413. Sacrifice at Mirbat, Dhofar, Oman, 19th July 1972 by David Pentland.
When 250 well armed and trained rebel tribesmen attacked the small SAS outpost at Mirbat few would have given good odds on their survival. At the height of the battle Corporal Labalaba and Trooper Savesaki, both Fijians and both wounded fought off relentless assaults by the attacking Adoo. Firing a World War II vintage 25pdr field gun at point blank range Labalaba finally fell to a snipers bullet just as Captain Kealy and Trooper Tobin reached the gunpit to aid its defence. Within minutes however Tobin was wounded (he passed away from wounds three months later) but Kealy and the remaining defenders critical position was saved by the timely arrival of 2 Omani Strikemaster jets, and helicopters carrying 24 men of G Squadron.
Sunday, 4 September 2011
OK for the last three months or so I have been trying to get back into shape and as you will see from the video above I have about half a stone in fat to lose, sadly that’s mostly around the belly. So not doing too badly lost half a stone so far but still with a few months to go.
The video we shot above is of me showing pre-class warm up or loosen up exercises that I have done before class (MMA, Muay Thai and BJJ) since the early eighties. Over the years I have added things and taken out sections etc, so what you see is the basic exercises. I modify it for the full contact stick class or the BJJ workout. Please feel free to try it and alter it in any way you see fit, which is what I have also encouraged my students to do.
This series of exercises sits between a basic temperature warm up of nine minutes of skipping and shadow boxing or juru work or grappling solo drills. The idea is to loosen up the body from head to toe and prepare it for combative sports training.
Please remember I am not setting myself up at a fitness guru, these exercises are I just something I picked up along the way and they seem to help with being able to walk the next day.
Have fun and stay safe.
RichardPS the best news of all is that you can use my warm up moves on the dance floor at your firm’s next Christmas party!
Thursday, 2 June 2011
Leaving aside the MMA side of things I do, right now I am mostly working Silat for my continued education. For my current situation I only need an art that provides basic self protection and gives me a greater depth to my understanding, which coincidentally has a lot of cross over into the other arts I study and also in to other areas in my life. Well actually that’s no coincidence as truth is truth whatever the endeavour.
One of the things that happens when you switch to a different (read traditional) method is that come up against your and others bias. Firstly I get statements like “well that traditional training just does not work” and then when you prove it does; you get “well it may work on untrained people but try that on an MMA guy”.
Today I want to write about the self protection fight, or as I prefer to call it the struggle. I call it the struggle because no matter how good and well trained you are, if someone attacks you with genuine intent to do you harm it will not be an easy fight. Even if you put up your fence and do a text book one punch knockout ala Geoff Thompson, it will still be a struggle mentally, physically and spiritually.
To explain the fight further I am going to refine what most people define as a fight (or struggle in my case) by removing the things that I consider are something else outside of self protection but that are often used as data to prove a point:
MMA - Wanderlei
Firstly sportive contests such as MMA and Muay Thai are just that, sportive contests and that’s not to say that you cannot use MMA skills for self protection, because you can. However both MMA and Muay Thai also have their limitations for self protection because they don’t train for weapons or ambushes. If those two areas are not built into your art, you will be lacking. Typically there are many other pay offs to training in sportive arts such as improved health and fitness etc.
Traditional challenge match
Secondly match or challenge fights, these are fights when two martial artists get together to have a one on one contest. The motivator can be style vs. style or just you don’t like the other guy. A friend and I once took part in some Wing Chun vs. Wing Tsun challenge matches in the eighties. We did not train Wing Chun, just Muay Thai but turned up to fight anyway, which freaked a lot of people out. In a way despite the lack of rules, these matches were much like sportive matches in that they lacked the ambush and weapons element.
Things I would consider to be in the realms of self protection fights can be broken down in to two areas:
Rage incidents, a good example would be when you cut someone up on the motorway or any situation where people get agitated due to overcrowding etc. I also would include alcohol or drug fuelled incidents in this category.
Ambushes, a good example would be muggings or possibly revenge or racially motivated attacks. These may planned or spur of the moment actions but either way, you are likely to be behind the timing curve.
Both rage incidents and ambushes have a few things in common, you are likely to be unaware they are about to happen and there is a likelihood they will involve weapons and possibly multiple adversaries. Both these short falls can be addressed by your training, you can learn about improving you awareness and what South Narc calls MUC (managing unknown contacts) skills here: http://www.shivworks.com/.
You can learn about the fence from Geoff Thompsons books and videos and also how to deal with the post fight situation here: http://www.geoffthompson.com
MMA and the above awareness and verbal judo skills actually make a great fix for self protection issues.
The Clinch Pick
Weapons defence is a different matter because that has to be pre-built into your art right from the start. I think it’s much harder to take MMA and bolt on knife or weapon defence. Not impossible as people like the Straight Blast Gym have added the STAB knife defence program etc. I am not a fan of the bolt on system and prefer to use an art that has the weapons defence built in from day one such as Silat. You still need the above awareness skills and to drill in an “alive” fashion and that will be the topic of my next post.
Thursday, 5 May 2011
Saturday, 26 March 2011
Monday, 14 March 2011
Thursday, 10 March 2011
Having travelled the martial arts path for a while, I have been in a number of different teaching situations as a student. Leaving aside family training and also my military experiences, my first formal martial art training came in a regular thai boxing class. Twenty of us lined up on a Tuesday for the beginners class and were introduced to the art of using eight limbs. We did not know it then but the instructor, who was a Thai national, used the first two hour class to weed out people who were not committed. We started each class with up to forty five minutes of body weight exercises, shadow boxing and then we started to hit pads. The next class was the following Thursday and five of the original twenty turned up.
The instructor related to me latter that he just did not have time to waste on people who lacked spirit and was looking to cut out the undesirables as soon as possible, much in the same way as Special Forces selection works. Whittled down to five people, the class now had four coaches to five fighters and each coach specialised in their sections. In my case it was felt that my knees had the potential to be something special and I worked a lot on the pads and big banana bag with a coach who had used knees a lot when he fought, learning how to set up my knees.
The coaches had taken part in lots of fights and did not spare any of the trainees’ blushes. Do again, do again would ring out across the training area and there were often points when each of us left the training area to throw up in the toilet. The head instructor was very much of the attitude that you had to fight to call yourself a boxer and if you did not turn up for training it was your problem as he was results orientated.
During the course of the class the head instructor would walk around chatting to the coaches about you in thai and then your drills would be modified or you would be given the special joy of doing three rounds on the thai pads with the head instructor a he refined your technique or timing.
That was my martial arts life four times a week for the first couple of years with the only variation being when we students met up in our own time to do pad work, spar or go running.
The next class I attended was not local to me and I had to travel up to London to attend, which meant a two hour journey each way. This was more of a commercial class and the class was unofficially split into two groups, one being the general students who were there to socialise and have fun and the other being those who were there to scrape. The instructor was happy for the student to be of either type. The class often numbered over twenty and that meant there was little time for one to one instruction. One thing I noticed about this class was the instructor actually seemed to care if you turned up and would ring if you had missed a couple of classes to check all was well.
About this time I became aware of something called a private. The private was a one to one class, outside of the main class with the head instructor where he would coach you and take a personal interest in your progress. This cost as much as a full months of regular classes but I learnt more in the first private class, than in six months of the normal mixed class. Being a critical thinker I realised early on that a lot of what I was learning in the big general class was actually better transmitted on a one to one basis with someone who already had the skill. The teacher already having the skill and timing down is a key point in helping the student progress.
The other key point was the depth of the knowledge, in the main class we often just skimmed the surface but in the private class the teacher would go into depth. I think it would be fair to say that those of us taking regular private lessons had a far greater depth of knowledge that we could utilise than those in the regular class.
I was very aware of the above when my informal training group voted for me to lead the instruction in boxing, kickboxing and stick fighting and structured our classes accordingly. I always tried to give each students progress my attention and this worked well for a small group of ten students. In 1987 our camp won all of the fights it entered which if my memory serves me right was over twenty Muay Thai fights. We were turning over some of the full time thai camps.
Later our informal group became a regular class, taught part time by me and our ranks swelled to over twenty students per class, however it’s fair to say that the skill level dropped. Eventually things sorted themselves out number wise and I reach an ideal class of around ten, which I taught on a part time basis until I retired from teaching in 2005. During that time I always looked at other arts and took a mixture of privates and regular classes.
My advice to beginners is; know why you are training and try to get a mixture of one to one training and regular classes with an instructor who has his or her art down. Be a critical thinker and enjoy each moment, because you never know when the class you are in, is your last ever training experience.
The above was the standard for traditional training which was normally transmitted on a one to one basis. First weed out the undesirables (you must have spirit, when you get knocked down, get back up and when you are hit and hurt, hit back).
Then the instructor should transmit the learning experiences in a planned controlled way, which is results driven, taking in to account the short and long term goals. Then the student should be given the chance to assist in the instruction of others. I have found that by coaching others, my own martial arts knowledge has really grown.
On final point: Just because that’s the traditional method of transmitting the art, there’s no reason it could not applied to the contemporary arts such as MMA or even combatives.
Sunday, 27 February 2011
Sunday, 13 February 2011
Last week I was working something new into my daily Juru practice and I spent about forty minutes working the same movements over and over again in a slow and low manner. I am only really at beginner level in Silat, so it takes a while to make changes in structure, before my Juru were two dimensional but this week I added a third dimension.
Anyway I kind of spaced out as I was concentrating so much on my upper half, I forgot about my legs and suddenly became aware of that screaming pain you get from low stance work. No matter how hard I squat with weights, the low stances get me every time. Steve Perry talks about legs in his contribution to Guru Stevan Plinck’s Silat blog here: http://silatseraplinck.blogspot.com/2011/02/legs.html
Many years ago a Special Forces soldier said to me: “Weak legs equal a weak soldier”.
My first Muay Thai instructor used to say something along the lines of “if your legs go (get weak); the fight is as good as over”.
Guru Stevan Plinck says “your martial art is as good as your legs are strong and limber”.
I realise now after thirty years training in combat arts, they were all corect, which was fine as most of the arts I have practiced have stressed leg strengthening. However about ten years ago I managed to damage my back and as a result had to cut out things like squats with weights and to a certain extent the regular running I was doing. The trouble is I never replaced them with any form of leg training and as a result my legs are the weakest they have ever been.
No matter if it’s MMA, boxing or judo, legs control the distance in a fight, and distance helps you control timing. Not being able to control timing equals being hit without being able to hit back, which is the opposite of what you actually what.
I had also sorts of plans for this coming year but I am going to concentrate on building strength in my legs and also my cardio, as the heart is the engine that drives the legs. Lots of low stances for me and lots of hill hiking.
Now back to the Juru training.
Llyn Cwm Llwch from the Craig Cwm Llwch ridge
Saturday, 8 January 2011
The Sackville Loop
I have inadvertently invented something called the Sackville loop; it happened out of alive training in the clinch and went down like this.
I have been working clinch with my training partners, and during alive drilling I started to get a certain double wrap position. This was working very well for me and in post training analysis I picked up that I was pulling this move off against everyone. At first I figured it was because I was tall and have long arms, so I taught it to my sparring partners who are different heights etc. They all pulled it off in sparring and drilling as well.
Soon, I had a whole series of moves off my “invented” double arm wrap move, which I dubbed the Sackville double arm wrap clinch series. A quick look on YouTube and lots clinch DVDs, showed me that no one else seemed to be doing my move. I showed my move to a couple of people outside my group, and it worked for them as well in MMA class.
Great news, as the future of clinch will be Paul Sharp, Southnarc, and Richard Sackville. I will be elite amongst my peers.
Then on Thursday I was working clinch, and I countered my own secret move in alive clinch drilling, in a totally spontaneous way.
Great news as now I have a secret counter to my secret move. About three minutes later I was sitting on the side lines, thinking of how to teach the secret counter, by breaking it down and coming up with some alive drills (using the three I’s), when I realised that my new secret counter was at its base level, basically something every good grappler does automatically i.e. bring their elbow back to their ribs and into what most people call dinosaur or T-rex arms. All I had done on Thursday night was finally get the timing right in alive drilling, thanks to mat time...
So from “inventing” (or re finding) a new clinch move, what I had really done was invent a move which was easily countered subject to enough mat time for the timing at a basic fundamental level by every grappler we know...
I generously share this training lesson here, not so that others can avoid the same delusional state but in the hope my name can still be famous within my peers training circles here in the following way.
In memory of this occasion, I submit that from now on when someone invents a new technique that it is easy countered by the other guy doing the basic fundamentals of a delivery system, and the inventor subsequently finds that out; it’s called from this day forth the Sackville Loop.
Kind Regards and happy new year!