Monday, 21 November 2016

Dealing with martial arts questions during random introductions at social gatherings

Often after some great training I feel the urge to become some kind of training internet evangelist and tell or show everyone how it's done correctly etc. It's natural to feel like this, especially if you google martial arts etc. and watch the YouTube films that pop up. However, as we all know in our group there is but one main rule, well apart from the group health and safety rules which note to clip your nails, look after your training partner and not smell etc.

The main rule is don't show anything to anyone outside the group. Now we make this very clear in my new comer talk right at the start on the first night but it occurred to me today that we all have to interact with other students or teachers from other systems and we never tell you how to deal with the usual questions.


So here is how I deal with those questions. All arts probably have something positive to offer and some are very good, and when people share their stuff with you, you probably feel a bit of git for not showing them something. We also  need to be polite and the main way I answer  people when they ask me want I train in, is to call it Dutch Indonesian tai chi and I state I do it for good health. If they ask what it looks like I say we stand like a tree for two hours a day. Most people wonder off at this point as they get bored.

Demonstrations of skill

If you go to parties and people know you train in something, don’t give demos because there are three possible results or outcomes of the party martial arts demonstration:

1. You get your ass handed to you by some twelve-year-old white sash level girl who has been doing  wing chun once a week for three months.

2. You kill the twelve-year wing chun white sash level girl in your demo and get thrown out of the social gathering.

3. Everything goes swimmingly well, you don’t get beat up, don’t kill anybody and you even pull off that girlfriend pleasing throw that you never pull off in class. The trouble with this result is that we then get plagued by people wanting to join the group and we don’t really have any room. Plus, we have to keep the idiots out, you know the guys who type in CAPITAL letters on the internet forums and always know best or the “true believers” that actually know their instructor lies and probably leant his skills by watching sponge bob on TV but spend their entire day on the internet preaching to everyone about their cult.

So, when asked to give a demonstration of your skills, if you really have to, stand like a tree for twenty minutes. This works but make sure you pee first if you have been drinking.

If people have a genuine interest in training and you feel you want to be extra nice. You may suggest the nearest good training establishment for them to try out. Something healthy like the Straight Blast Gym or another local great instructor etc. You may even like to pop along with them and introduce them.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Richard's Brexit predictions

My predictions for Brexit

  1. Parliament will vote against the triggering of article 50.
  2. The current May government will fall due a vote off no confidence as they cannot meet their mandate.
  3. During the general election at least one party will offer a further referendum on Britain's membership in Europe. The party offering the second referendum will win against the odds and the usual polls.
  4. The major member states in Europe will act on the realisation that the current union is doomed if the UK leaves as they will have to go to their own parliaments to ask for additional funds to make up the short full in the UK contributions. The additional short fall contributions will trigger a parliamentary vote in their own countries.  A vote that is likely to be lost in Germany and France.
  5. Prior to the referendum there will be a modified offer tabled by the EU mainly around control of immigration. The modified offer will solely be to save and build an enhanced EU which is fairer.
  6. The new referendum will take place but with a vastly improved message, buoyed by the modified offer from the EU. Less about fear more about togetherness and unity.
  7. What ever the result of the second referendum people on both sides will wonder why the modified offer from the EU was not tabled before the first referendum but the President of the EU will remain in post.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Spanish knife fighting 1848

A passage from "The Pillars of Hercules, or, A narrative of travels in Spain and Morocco in 1848", by David Urquhart (VOL 11). This is an extremely rare technical description of Spanish knife fighting/training, written by an Englishman who learned from a Spanish master in Seville.

Page 382



A Sevillian whom I was questioning about the frequent assassinations, astonished me by denying that there were any. " What you hear of," said he, " as murders are duels." I objected the knife;—he said, " Well, the knife ; that is our weapon ; we fence, we do not stab ; the duel has its laws, the weapon its science." I thought this must be a figurative manner of describing some rude point of honour, and asked him to show me in what consisted the science. " I am not expert," he said ; " but if you are curious I will take you to a friend of mine, whom you can engage, as he is the best player in Seville; and, since the death of Montez, in all Andalusia."

I begged immediately to be conducted to the yuecador, and was introduced to the inner apartment; which—as he united the calling of contrabandist to that of fencing-master—was filled with bales of tobacco. The subject was broached as a matter of business. He was willing to give me lessons, but would not undertake to teach me. If I had natural dispositions I might learn " to play" in three months, taking Time by the forelock. I proposed commencing at once ; and next morning he came to me by day-light, at the inn— for it required a large room.

A wooden dagger is used for a foil: it is about eight inches long, and in form like the old sacrificial knife : it is held by the closed fingers, the thumb stretching along the blade, and the edge turned inward. Round the left arm is wound the jacket as a shield. My teacher, putting himself in attitude, at once reminded me of the fighting Gladiator. He thus commenced: " You must hold your right hand down upon your thigh; you must never raise it till sure of your blow. Your feints must be with the eye—the eye, hand and leg must move together. When you look here, you must strike there, and spring when you have cut, corta y huya. The left arm must be kept high, the right hand low, the knees bent, the legs wide, the toes forward, ready to spring back or forward. There are three cuts and three parries ; one point,—the point is low and at the belly—St. George's au bas venire: the cut must be across the muscle on the shoulder or the breast, or down well into the groin, so as to let out the bowels. Unless you know how to cut, it is of no use knowing how to fence.''

He knew nothing of our fencing, and was much surprised when I made application of it, and attributed the advantages it gave to a natural instinct for the art. The result was, that in a week he had gone through the whole course, and the last day of my stay at Seville, he brought two of the proficients, and we had a regular assault d'armes, the guests at the hotels being spectators. He honoured me at the introduction by saying, that he feared me more than either of his two compeers, because I sprang better than the one, and cut better than the other.

The attitudes are a study for an artist. There are not the stiff figures and sharp angles of our fencing ; but the rounded limb, the gathered-up muscle, the balanced body :—instead of the glance of the steel there is that of the eye. The weapon is concealed under the hand, and pointing down, so that not a ray betokens it. There is no boxer's fist or cestus, no crusader's helm or hauberk, no Roman's sword or shield. It seemed as if the hands and the eye of the man were equal to the claw of the tiger, or the tusk of the boar. It was a combat of beasts rather than a contest of men. There was the ambling pace, the slouching gait of the panther or the lion, or, rather, it was a mixture of the snake and the frog; gliding like the one and springing like the other. This is the war of the knife, the Pelea de Navaja, falsely interpreted war to the knife.

After missing a blow with the right hand, the knife, by a dexterous player, may be jerked into the left; but this, if unsuccessful, is inevitable death. To jerk it at your antagonist is not permitted by the rules of the game. By a sudden spring an adversary's foot may be pinned after he has failed in a blow. The most deadly of these feints is to strike the foot of your adversary sideways and so bring him down. A celebrated Juccador named Montes (not the Torero), killed in this manner eleven men, and was at last so killed himself.

The mantle or jacket round the left arm is used, not for the purpose of catching the blow, but of striking off the adversary's arm so that he may not reach. The guarding arm is always within reach, but always avoided ; for to strike at it would leave your side open, and the safety consists in keeping under your adversary. The arms of the players were all scarred ; but that was in " love fights." The edge of the knife is then blunted, or a shoulder is put to it, as in the case of the lances which they use with the bulls.

The Sevillian was right. This is not simple assassination : it is not the stab given in the dark, though of course we could only so understand a man being killed by a knife. A popular song at Seville is, the lamentation of a man imprisoned for " stabbing" another :—he exclaims against the wrong ; justifies his legitimate defence of his maja; calls upon the gaoler to testify to his treatment; and, failing to obtain sympathy, rushes to the grates and appeals to the people:—

"Si venga gente pora aca !"

There is no song sung with more fervour by the ladies.

This is the most deadly weapon I know; the dirk, the cama, the dagger, are grasped in the hand, and impelled by the leverage of the arm. The navaja may be so used, or plunged right on end like the Hindoo dagger, and also by the motion of the wrist alone: it more resembles mowing with the scythe than thrusting with a poniard : it is accompanied by the action of the sword, in which, as in fencing, the limbs come into play, and thus serves the purpose of a defensive weapon. It is the origin of our fencing ; and against adversaries not acquainted with that art, or not armed for it, it still retains all its ancient superiority :—in all cases it would be a valuable accessory to other weapons, without being an encumbrance, and serving for all the ordinary purposes of a knife.

The navaja (pronounced navakha) is a clasp knife, —those worn by professed players are a foot long when closed. There is a spring to catch it behind, to prevent it closing on the hand. When opened there is the click as in cocking a pistol, and the sound is said to delight Andalusian equally with Irish ears. The art of fencing with it is called pelea de navaja.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

The three pillars of Richard Killick's martial arts system

1.       Close Quarter Battle /Combatives.
2.       Vale Tudo/MMA blend.
3.       Knife and impact weapons.

Duende Martial Arts
1.       Pukulan - Pentjak Silat.
2.       Old School Jeet Kune Do.
3.       Filipino Martial Arts, Muay Thai/Krabi Krabong blend.

Well Being
1.       Mindset.
2.       Long term health and conditioning.
3.       Life Code.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Guru Alvin Guinanao and Guru Johnny Silmon joint seminar in Los Angeles 2017.

Coming in Spring 2017. Guru Alvin Guinanao, Chief Instructor of Silat Buka Lingkaran and  Guru Johnny Silmon will be conducting a joint seminar in Los Angeles, California. More details to follow, see the W.A.I page on Facebook!

Awesome, check it out my LA and surrounding areas friends. Both are excellent instructors.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Dealing with crazy martial arts people on social media

We live in a personal media age, where everyone can sit at a PC desktop and write all sorts of crazy stuff. It seems for martial arts blogs and forums this broadly breaks down into three separate sections.

  1. The writing is to educate, offer an opinion and inform in an intelligent way. This kind of post mainly talks about training ideas and avoids naming personalities.
  2. The writing is used to big up the author, which means he or she feels the need to talk down everyone else. This often means naming people and noting their perceived short comings.
  3. The writing is used to irritate people and resembles the scribbles of a five year old who is new to the play ground and who probably really just wants attention.
I hope you will agree that if you use social media to write articles you want to be in section number one above.

I have a great tip from Andy, one of my training partners for when you do find yourself reading a forum or a blog that is from section two and three above.  Basically you change a key word from say Silat to disco. So a sentence that reads I am the king of silat becomes I am the king of disco.  

This works really well and has given me a lot of laughs.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Happy 80th birthday Guro Dan Inosanto

Thanks for training and more importantly teaching and showing us the path, whilst encouraging people to teach and also investigate the arts in a loving way.

It's all about the love.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Getting Great

One training period a week for two years equals ok, well maybe ok.

Three training periods a week for two years equals good.

Six training periods a week for two years equals great.

Twelve training periods a week (twice a day with one days rest) for two years equals supernaturally super. 

Can't make class twice a day, no worries train your jurus, langkah and forms and hit things. Keep in shape and think about it.

Moving forward with my group, up until now when new people have joined the group we have gone back to the beginning and then started again. I have been thinking about this and have decided that maybe that is not the best way.

In future I will cover each subject and rotate between subjects, so those in the group longer will get more depth each time. We will keep going round and round as we spiral upwards skill wise. Practically the class will look like this, solo training, partner training and free play, then back to solo training etc. etc.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Here's a handy definition of democracy to meditate on, hopefully we can then all move on together: 

Democracy, or democratic government, is "a system of government in which all the people of a state or polity ... are involved in making decisions about its affairs, typically by voting to elect representatives to a parliament or similar assembly", as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary.[1] Democracy is further defined as (a:) "government by the people; especially : rule of the majority (b:) "a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

I wonder if Daenerys Targaryen stood in the US elections as a fictional character she would give Trump and Hillary a run for their money?

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Sorting your training equipment

When you decide to sort your personal training equipment and realise why you have three sports bags...

England 39 vs Australia 28 Making History Highlights Video rugby uni...

Meanwhile on the other side of the world. Fans of both teams drank together before, during and after the game. The English rugby team took on the number two team in the world in a tough brutal match. We won and nobody threw bottles or chairs at each other. Lovely result.

Probably the national team you should follow.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Duende is a hugely important element of Flamenco, but it cannot really be included in the list above, because depending on the artist and their performance it may or may not be present.
The word duende actually refers to the mystical creatures like sprites, elves and goblins, but when spoken about in the context of Flamenco, when a person has duende, it is a little bit like saying they have soul. Not something you can learn!
The concept of duende has been the subject of much discussion over the years; it is interpreted in many different ways by different people and given a deep, spiritual significance by many poets and writers over decades.
The great Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca, was fascinated by duende and was once quoted as saying that, ”Duende could only be present when one sensed that death was possible.”
Now that sounds pretty extreme, but here he is perhaps referring to those performances where the artist has entirely lost themselves in the music and let go of themselves completely arriving at a point where they are in a heightened state of raw emotion.
Witnessing the artist behaving in this strangely vulnerable way you could be forgiven for thinking that they may have temporarily lost their mind.
Duende is not thought to be a state that only the artist can reach. It is believed that with an open mind, heart and soul those witnessing the performance can also be possessed by the mysterious power of duende.
For me, perhaps the most evocative description of duende, again, from Federico Garcia Lorca, who relayed a description of duende that had been explained to him once by an old guitar maestro.
I feel this description tells us all we need to know.
“The duende is not in the throat; the duende climbs up inside you, from the soles of the feet”.