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 Gutterfighters 10th anniversary

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PostSubject: Gutterfighters 10th anniversary   Sun 15 Jul 2007, 08:18

From Den

LIVERPOOL GUTTERFIGHTERS TENTH ANNIVERSARY SEMINAR
SUNDAY 24th JUNE, 2007, MERSEYSIDE



We are holding a very special training event to mark the tenth year of the Gutterfighters being established in Liverpool.
The training team will comprise several long-term members of the Gutterfighters, well-known guest presenters and, of course Dennis.
The program will cover a variety of topics.
This will be a unique event, and will be a great opportunity for all to come along and meet a great and inspirational group of guys.
Further details from DenCQB@Yahoo.co.uk

See you there
Den
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==============================

From Den

For details of how to get to the venue, in Prescot, and other relevant information, check here.
The seminar will assemble at 10.15am, for a 10.30 start.
Cheers,
Den
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==============================

From Den

We are putting the finishing touches to the program, and it's looking good. The guest presenters are going to make this very special.
See you all there in a couple of weeks
Cheers,
Den
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================================

From Giles

Hi Den,

Hope things are good with you and all the guys. Ben and myself, as well as a couple of people we train with, are coming if that's ok. We're looking forward to it!

See you then, Giles
================================
From Den

Giles,
It will be great to see yourself, Ben and your guys again.
I understand that the regular hotel in Rainhill is filling fast. For those needing accomodation there is another hotel nearby. Checkout details of the Village Hotel, Whiston
Cheers,
Den
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==================================

From Richard K

Do this events ever get filmed for those of us who have a baby due on the 22 June? Would love to come up but have no chance.


happy-sad-happy -sad-happy-sad Richard

==================================

From Den

Richard,
There is always the International Seminar, during the first weekend in September. You would meet a lot of good guys then, and really get into our combatives comunity
Cheers,
Den
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=========================================

From Den

KITLIST
As well as Focus Mitts and kick-pads, if you have a Hammerhead target, please bring with.
Also, if you have boxing gloves they may be useful.
Anyone with a Kettlebell who can bring it would be helping a lot.
As usual, notebook/pen, water,snack, mouthguard, cuddly toy.
See you at the weekend
Cheers,
Den
_________________
www.CqbServices.com

====================================

From Den

As usual on our courses, we welcome the guys bringing any interesting items of kit to show and discuss.
"Shackleton" has asked that if any of you involved in professional security/CP work want to bring your med-kit along he will cast an eye over them, and advise on contents, as part of his Tactical Medic presentation
Cheers,
Den
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www.CqbServices.com

============================

From Shackleton


What a quality event.

Thanks to Dennis and all involved.

A shoulder injury prevented me getting involved in any of the physical sessions, although this did enable me to take a step back and appreciate the effort and intensity of those who were able to get stuck in.

The opportunity just to watch can sometimes be as informative as or at least give a different perspective from actually taking part.

Once again thanks and well done to all.

============================

From Sijkd1


Congrats to all the new instructors - they all presented quality sessionss AND put out an amazing effort during their testing phase!!!

Well done to all.

Well done to all who attended the weekend and a great big "thank you" to all of the people who presented those sessions.

And once agai, thanks to Dennis for all his effort and foresight into putting together THE best seminars on the circuit.

Really enjoyed the sessions and training..........in between the decorating!!!

Si

===============================

From Giles

Hi there all,

Thank you very much Den and everybody else that organised and presented pieces at the seminar, and for everyone that, as usual, put 110% into the training. Congratulations to the new cadre too - knowledgeable and good instructors that you all are, I look forward to learning even more from you all over the years.

Myself and the bunch of guys that I train in Leeds and come to these events with, always succeed in going away full of information and enthused for more training - and always remark on how genuinely friendly everyone is, so I'd just like to pass on my thanks from them too.

See you all soon hopefully – Giles

===================================

From Den

Thanks guys. Shackleton, Si and Giles were all heavily involved in presenting the program on Sunday, along with Phil W, Brian and the Gutterfighters group led by Tony.
We really broke the mold on this one, with some very thought-provoling, and varied topics.
I'll be giving more details, plus photos over the next couple of days.
Finally, a big welcome to the Generation-3 Instructors, Larry, Shackleton, Ian, Dave and Brian
Cheers,
Den
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www.CqbServices.com

===================================

From Dave McC

Really enjoyed the weekend with everybody.
The encouragement I got from people was tremendous.

Every one was working so hard.
See you all at the international.

Dave McC

=======================

From Simmonds

Another excellent day, thanks to den and all the instructors for a very informative day and congratulations to the new instructors.

Steven

=========================

From Fraser

That was a brilliant training event. Well done to everyone who presented modules yesterday.

And congratulations to Larry, Shackleton, Ian, Dave and Brian, the new generation of instructors. Looking forward to learning from you all again soon.

==================================

From Jared

would just like to add my thanks to everyone who instructed and participated at the seminar. It really is being with you guys that makes it so great a day.

Congratulations to the new instructors

Once again thanks for a great day to you all.

Peter

======================================

From Paul Scothern

well done all

respect to den and the gutterfighters for keeping a group going 10 years, no easy task.

cheers

paul
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PostSubject: Re: Gutterfighters 10th anniversary   Sun 15 Jul 2007, 08:20

From Leeds Ben

Thanks Den and all the instructors for another great training event.

The journey home was largely taken up discussing the various drills and presentations, and planning to train them in future. I'm looking forward to a lot of funny looks from the people of Leeds as we scramble in and out of vehicles and hit pads on the street outside our training venue!

Congratulations to the new instructors. From what I'm told that certificate is hard-earned. Well done and good luck.

See you all at the International.

Ben

=====================================

From Den

As promised, an overview of the program.
Following an introduction and brief history of the Liverpool Gutterfighters, and how we came to be established, we kicked the day off with a two hour block on Circulatory Compromise presented by Shackleton; who is a highly qualified military medic.



This was condensed from the material covered on the previous Tac Medic Program.
This essential topic was taught mainly by hands-on work, with appropriate background information to supplement the practical scenarios.

[The lads work with the latest military dressings]

There was a great deal of interest in this topic, and the prospect of a future full training weekend was warmly welcomed.

[Patrick inserts a cannular into Den's arm in order to infuse tea into him even more rapidly!]

AWARENESS DRILL
Next, a cadre from the Gutterfighters, led by Tony and Ian, took the class through an aggression/situational awareness drill.


We have been using this drill since before we founded the group, mainly for a multiple-assailant situation training method. However, the lads came up with a novel addition to the drill, to add a whole new dimension.

ALL-IN DRILL
Similarly Giles and Ben took our established All-in drill and added several new variations. Giles was a regular with the Liverpool group before moving permanently to Yorkshire, where he established a thriving and enthusiastic group of Leeds Gutterfighters. Another superb block of instruction.

[Giles monitors the action]


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PostSubject: Re: Gutterfighters 10th anniversary   Sun 15 Jul 2007, 08:21

EDGE OF BOOT KICK


I then discussed the WW-2 attack to the shin, by blasting in with the Edge-of Boot.


The class tried it as a touch drill, before graduating to pads, then finishing on riot shinguards.

VEHICLE TRAINING
Starting with a PowerPoint presentation on the essentials of Vehicle security and awareness, Phil then moved the class out into the carpark for practical drills in the vehicles.


[Phil discusses vehicle factors]
As a operator on a Specialised Firearms Team, Phil has done much vehicle related training, and he presented the positive and negative aspects of self-protection while faced with carjack or road-rage attack. Again, the class really appreciated this highly topical and relevant lesson.


[Al strikes as Dave holds the Hammerhead target]

BODY SHOTS
Next Brian, another longtime Gutterfighter, and now our youngest instructor discussed body shots.



Starting with the anatomy, then discussing where bodyshots fit into the self-protection toolbox, before finishing with applications on partners wearing torso shields.
A BLAST
To finish off the day Si got everyone sweating and breathless with an arduous set of Straight-blast fitness drills. An ideal wrap-up to a great day of training.
It only remained to present the certificates to the Generation-3 Instructors, who had finished their training series on the previous day. Si Squires was also given a special certificate of recognition for his expertise in High-Stress Scenario Development.


Then Tony and Ian were presented with embroidered shirts as founder members of the Liverpool Gutterfighters. They were there ten years ago when we started the group, and they are still regulars.
Following the group photo, several of us went for the traditional post training scoff.
Most of the guys have committed to attending the Fifth International in September.
See you there.
Den
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PostSubject: Re: Gutterfighters 10th anniversary   Sun 15 Jul 2007, 08:24

From Lynx

Friday 22nd June.

Well, things started out nicely. Got packed, no problem, although my way of packing is rather unconventional (if I don’t have to do it in a rush) – I prefer to do all sorts of things simultaneously... Last time I did manicure, pedicure and face masks – this time I spoiled myself with cleaning the flat, taking care of my little flower beds at the back of my house so they’d survive me leaving them alone for a few days, another manicure and putting on a face mask again. All while singing and dancing around to my favourite music…

Since I had a plan to go walking for a day in Wales (and had bought myself a brand new pair of boots just for the occasion), I ditched the high heels, the new jeans, summer skirts and jackets and went for a more comfortable look for my stay. Didn’t think I’d be running around any city centres or do much else than training so.... But - I had this weary feeling that something was off about this trip though… Still, I put it down to just a little outbreak of “travel fever” and thought nothing of it…

At about midnight – I woke up and for some reason felt I should look at my cell phone. Which I did. There was a text saying the walk in Wales was cancelled… Ok, these things happen but… still saddening. Three hours until I had to get up to get ready to go to the air port, and yes, I am a GIRL so tears were actually slowly working their way down my cheeks out of sheer disappointment, even as I tried to close my eyes to sleep… I do love the country side. My bag was packed with regard to my plans and I just decided there and then with a deep sigh that no way was I to unpack the whole thing and bring more girly stuff just because of this. So bag stayed packed as it was and I tried to get some sleep on my moist pillow.

Saturday 23rd of June.

- Finally heading off for the UK!

I’d been looking forward to this for months!!! I have never really travelled anywhere like this before the International last year, the EPIC trip was my first on my own, and this felt like a little adventure, maybe even more so as all plans were going out the window, changing like the winds before a storm. In a way I like that, but sometimes it can become a little too much . Everything went smoothly in the morning as I headed off to the air port. My friend Mika came to pick me up and he was very kind to help me out and he also made sure I got checked in alright. It felt good to finally get to head off for the UK – and I feel fast asleep on the planes again. There’s not much else to do except sleep on a plane – is there?!

When I went to pick my luggage up I understood that it had been lost – again! This happened last time I changed planes in Copenhagen as well, in February for the EPIC. So I got myself to the SAS luggage desk to fill out the forms and then I realised that I didn’t have an address for where I’d be staying. And I had only made plans for the weekend – after that I had yet to decide which hotel to stay at. Hmm, I decided to call Den and he kindly let me put his address on the form so I at least could have it delivered somewhere! lol

Waiting for me after the luggage chaos was Peter from Manchester, who together with his girlfriend, were my hosts for the weekend. And as it later turned out – the rest of my stay as well... It was very kind of him to pick me up and drop me off at the training centre in Prescott with Den and the guys.

It was great to be a guest there with you guys! Thank you ever so much Den! I loved just being in that room with you all. Kind, calm atmosphere and interesting topics. I felt right at home, sometimes maybe a little too much – I know – when I get interested I tend to overflow with questions and thoughts but I did my best to keep silent and just be in the room… Even though I wasn’t an active attendee I will try to give my impressions of the day and the anniversary, as requested. I will do my best and hope you’ll enjoy the read.

My impressions from the Instructor’s Enhancement Program

Immediately walking through the door a ray of sunshine burst its way out inside me and I felt myself smiling. I got a warm welcome and some equally warm smiles even though my guess is that most were a little surprised to see me there! Den got a hug and some Swedish tea (as ordered) and the guys sorted me out with writing material since most of it was lost with my luggage. But one person was definitely missing – Where was Slackbladder? Car trouble I was told… too bad. (I had TWO bags of those Swedish candy cars for you!!!)

Den started out with explaining about the Instructor’s Enhancement Program, its background from RSA training and how the training for the day had evolved from that. Basically, Den gave a quick and brief overview of how to be a good Instructor. He prefers to have people take the material they’re taught and run it through their own heads - No clones wanted there! = He made a point about how the role of the Instructor is to enhance the natural abilities of the student, with a reference to Socrates and other sources. By addressing the historical inheritance of the self protection arena, Den then asked the question “what can we change?” It made me think of: How can we improve, carry on the inheritance and still continue to develop the material and ourselves?

Den also explained about different presentation skills, tools that all instructors have and can use - like posture, tone of voice, credibility, visual aids or other aids – and music which can be very powerful. In all it was a quick, and to the point presentation of how an instructor can create a good learning environment for their students, or trainees.

After the theoretical part of the day, the guys had some presentations of their own to present to their “seniors” and my humble little self. Since I understand some of that material may be used at future seminars I won’t go into that here. Then the physical drills started and I looked upon those with envy, as I didn’t know how long my luggage would be lost and I had nothing else but the clothes I wore on me – I didn’t want to be a sweat stinking heap by the next days seminar. So I helped Den out with taking pictures and filming the last drill which was impressive, and extremely tempting!

After the finishing physical drill, most of us went on to a Chinese restaurant, beautifully situated by the riverside and had a delicious meal. I really enjoyed that meal, the view and the company. Afterwards Den and the guys safely “handed me over” to Peter (my host) and I got a good nights sleep in a wonderful double bed, with lots of pillows, all to myself!

Sunday 24th of June

I was hoping to have a text on my phone from Den waking up saying “Your luggage has arrived” but there was no such text. Ok, up and get ready. I would have to do with what I got!

I was really looking forward to the day but still a little sad from the mishaps, some I’ve not mentioned but why should I? I just felt like I was in a bad movie and I was determined not to let it get me down! I was to have a good time regardless. And I did.

First guy out to present his topic was “Shackleton” who taught a brilliant lesson on how to handle “bleeding”. Even though the topic is somewhat intimidating, I was fascinated and captivated, especially later when the guys from the tac med course got the IV needles out and I got to stick John-Mon with an IV needle! I do hope I didn’t hurt you John (!!!) – but I have to say – that you did OFFER voluntarily and now my mind won’t come to rest until I’ve actually managed to DO this for real and get it RIGHT sometime! lol

Shackleton had a way of making this topic, which could easily be made complicated if anyone would choose to, into something very simple, and confidence-boosting.

[Karen from the Leeds group during the pad drills]

I missed out on the fighting drills after that - since I was kind of busy sticking a horse sized, huge cannula into John-Mon’s hand while the guys and girls were screaming and hitting and – throwing small colourful plastic balls (?!?) at each other… Cute! The balls I mean – not the cannula! lol

The crowd seemed to really enjoy the drills by Ian and Tony, Giles and Ben and after that we were all taken outside into the parking lot by Phil. Just before walking outside I had realised that I hadn’t eaten all day – so I grabbed a banana and soon my head straightened itself out again. I think I got just enough fuel in to run around that car in the last drill! lol


[Lynx attacking with a Face Claw]

Anyway - Phil must have done a good job doing some sort of anti-rain dance the night before or something because it was really lovely when we stepped out! I really enjoyed this – since I’ve actually had a taste of attacks to our vehicle and ourselves in it as well, at my previous workplace. So it was interesting to learn from someone who knows what he’s talking about. And some really fun drills - Yeha!!! Loved it.

[The Leeds group during the vehicle drills]


After this mood lifting little treat we went back inside and Brian gave an interesting lecture on body shots. I was, again, enchanted… I have long missed exactly this kind of thing and now I didn’t want to miss a word! When we got to do the drills – I loved it. Thanks for training with me Tony! I can’t really explain why to you guys but this kind of unlocked something in my little head for me and I just had a blast!!!

Si’s drills were as always intense and sometimes I wonder what he eats to keep his energy up? Is his metabolism fission-driven? Anyway – Si is an inspirational speaker and instructor, who puts his whole heart into what he does.

I took the Group photo and Fraser kindly presented me with a cute little bottle of Highland Park whisky! Now that really brightened my day. Thank you.

After the training some of us went for another meal at the Chinese restaurant and had some pleasant chats. Then I was off for Manchester to get some sleep and rest – and wait for my luggage. Now I really wanted it… It’s one thing to “roughing it” in the woods but entirely different in an urban setting! At least for a Swedish Blonde Lynx!

(travel report continues in the next post >>)
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(>> report continuing from the previous post...)
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PostSubject: Re: Gutterfighters 10th anniversary   Sun 15 Jul 2007, 08:24

Monday 25th of June

Luggage had arrived to Dens. But today my host took me shop-sightseeing in Manchester.

Ok, I must admit. I’m probably not a real girl – at least not until now! I have always been practical, although I have a thing about tops, can’t get enough of them. But I don’t shop unless I think I need something and hardly ever on impulse! After about 4h in Manchester city centre I had what must have been some sort of sensory overload. I’ve never seen so many dresses! So much feminine clothes at once in my entire life! And they were in all colours too… lol… I had to have something to eat and sit to digest the experience and then some more shop-sightseeing. And – I’ve never understood about shoes… I’ve never found any that I like. On this day – I found at least 4 pairs that I would’ve liked to bring home with me and that I’m pretty sure I would’ve worn as well. Though – high heels aren’t good for the back or ankles…

I do regret that I didn’t buy that red skirt and those beige shoes... I have a top, a jacket that would go very well with them. Oh well – dream on. At least now I understand why some like shopping, you guys over there have made it into an experience. Altogether we did 6h of walking in Manchester that day, 20 min of lunch, so I did get good use of my new boots, although not in Wales! They are a true delight to walk in and I’m soo happy to have them. And I’m so glad Den lent me a jacket because otherwise I’d been soaked head to toe from the delightful British rain.

Tuesday 26th of June

This day I spent in Liverpool with Den, John-Mon and Nicky. The day almost started off with a car crash as a taxi pulled out of nowhere when they’ve just picked me up at Lime street station. We started off going to Crosby, to the river beach and looked at some art, statues standing in the water. I love the smell of sea water and a brisk breeze. And the sun was shining so altogether it was a lovely experience. We ended up having tea at a picturesque little hotel by the sea side.

Then John drove us into the city centre and me, Den and Nicky got off and left my big Berghaus backpack away with one of Den’s friends. Then we headed of for a museum where I and Nicky dragged(?) Den around looking at an aquarium with all sorts of fish, then off to see bugs and dinosaurs… We had to fight for room in front of the aquariums to watch the fish together with toddlers, their mums and school kids. And every now and then we’d grab Den and tell him “you’ve got to see this one – it’s sooo cute” or “that’s an ugly one” “come look at this”… It was great fun. Then we headed off into Liverpool and we were now starting to feel hungry. Den took us to an Italian restaurant and I had some very nice lasagne and topped it off with a good fruit salad. We had some nice chats about this and that and then we headed off into the city centre again. We walked around and I just took the city life in and then we headed off to Lime street station to have some tea and pick up my bag again.

It was good to sit down a little actually. And tea is so much better over there in the UK. I don’t know how you do it… And I was so happy to finally have my luggage – even though Wednesday was my last day in the UK!

I took the bus with Nicky to get guidance to the training centre where my host was training with Si’s group in the evening, so I’d planned to meet up with him there and then go back to Manchester.

After a nice little stroll for another 30min or so with my backpack on I arrived at Si’s. And he immediately offered me to train with them. Of course I couldn’t say no to that but I was indeed quite exhausted. But it was an offer to good to refuse.

We were just getting started as I was doing a drill, and as I felt myself falling down towards the floor - just before I hit the floor I sense “this isn’t going to end right” and my left wrist snaps and CRACK! DAMN IT… I’ve broken my right several times and this felt exactly the same… The guys helped me to put on a bandage and I felt I had to step to the side because now I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore, or maybe I should say “I didn’t want to”! My arm was pounding although it was all numb as usual and all I wanted to do was go on and fight. I tried to collect my thoughts and feelings, think and tell myself that I really needn’t to and then when I decided I really wanted to, I first made sure that it was safe to do so… first checking my arm and after adjusting the drill I went out and did it anyway. No way was I to quit! I know I can control myself enough to do it safely, I’ve done it for real and there’s nothing like simulating an injury like a real one!

We discussed the stress scenarios but I wanted to do them – and so we did. Poor Si! First thing this Blonde does it hit with her LEFT – and Goddamn it – that hurt so I wanted to scream out loud! Good fuel though… I loved the way I felt when the first scenario ended. Yippee – I wish I could’ve seen myself. Then Si offered me another scenario when the other guys were done. And I thought about it and said yes. I felt I could protect my arm so – in I went. And this one was weird but I got a good knee in – that I think would’ve put Si’s balls up in his brain if he hadn’t been wearing a suit and after some nice, indecent punching and elbowing he went down again. And this time I protected my left wrist but still used what I could, all the time (some from Brian's body shots lecture popped up in my head during that one). Well done to myself! It was just lovely…

When I went to sleep – I woke several times during the night. I realized then that I had put my arm in an elevated position by itself during sleep – is that first aid by unconscious competence Den?

Wednesday 27th of June

Arm aching and really tired. Had plans to go to Liverpool and meet up with Nicky but I needed some rest. Had a pain killer party instead (yuk ) and chatted to my hostess while recovering.

In the evening I finally got to train with Den’s Gutterfighter’s which was indeed lovely. Oh you’re such a good nice bunch of guys! I was feeling faint and something was “off” by now so I took it easy – but Den did some grappling stuff and then I got to play around with the HAK.



[Using the HAK trainer from a grounded fighter situation]

I had a blast and I didn’t have to miss the use of my left as much. I could still do most stuff. Thanks for the pics Den. They are really great!

[Training with the live HAK on a cutting target]

Thursday 28th of June

I went to the air port pretty early in the morning.
Though – troubles weren’t over! Of course my bag got searched.
Then I spent the afternoon and most of the evening at a Swedish ER and doctors were almost certain of a fracture. They had already started talking about plans for rehab etc but when the x-rays got back there were no fractures! I actually got so happy I did a little dance in the room which got the doc and nurses smiling! They wanted to put on bandages and give me pain killers but like I said – the first 2 days are normally the worst so I would be fine. I got a few anyway and they sent some bandages home with me. The next day I was close to dead in a cold/flu like thing.. which is still affecting me but hey – I don’t mind. I did have a GREAT TIME over there. This is just my body telling me to take it easy and I promise – I will do so for a while now! And when I get better from this cold I’ll be in my bikini at the local beach just 5 min from home!

Life is what you make of it.. in a way. But sometimes it’s easier and sometimes it’s not so easy. But the sun’s just hiding behind that cloud – waiting to come out!

This was such an educational trip. I’ve learned so much.
I’m very much looking forward to meeting up with you all again at the International or future seminars.
My sincerest thanks to all of you who I’ve met during my stay, and especially to those who helped me out in some way.


Stay safe and train well
See you soon!
Lynx
================================

From Den

Lynx, many thanks for posting your overview of your latest trip to Liverpool. Hope travel to the International goes smoother.
Just noticed that this thread has notched up over 500 hits. As ever, I'm gratified by the amount of interest in our activities.
Cheers,
Den
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=====================

From Lynx

I hope it'll bring out some smiles or laughs. I just shake my head and smile over here.

I learned a lot from this training event, then brought some good stuff with me from the extra training sessions with you and Si, and had a blast - sometimes things go smoothly and sometimes they don't. Things happen and plans sometimes change and I had a great time regardless. It added a bit of spice to Life.

But yes, a smoother trip may be nice? No injuries and staying healthy? I will make it so too, hopefully. Lessons learned, noted and added to checklist.


Smiles,
Lynx

=======================

From Lynx

Hi again, all.

I just want to make a little note...

When I made the choice to train with my injury, it was a personal choice, one that I made sure to make on, what is to me, sensible grounds. And today I'm glad I made that choice because I got exactly what I wanted from those sessions.

However, I would never suggest, or advice anyone to make that kind of decision. It was mine to take and my responsibility, I evaluated my reasons for it as well as my injury to the best of my ability before going in. And I was open about it to the guys I trained with as well.

Training with pain is a serious endeavour and especially dealing with injuries and training under adrenal stress. That's also why I took a time out to really calm myself down and ask myself why I wanted to do it and be real to myself about the risks involved in doing it.


In my opinion, training safely is just as important as any other part of SP.
And what constitutes "safe" in that context is often a very personal choice.
Take care,
Lynx
========================

From Dave McC

Sorry to hear about your arm.

Nice write up and Pics.

See you in September.

Dave McC

===============================

From Wolfy

How do all.

Brilliant day it was, I always enjoy the trek over the hills to Merseyside.

On that note I realised the fact that I wasn't training in our usual venue, on a Wednesday evening with all our regulars threw me a bit. It had quite a profound effect on me to be doing pressurised drills with people I don't know very well in a different environment, it made me nervous and added some very palpable stress to the session.

If I'm honest, to a degree I feel the need to compete/prove myself in these situations. It's almost like the first time you ever went training there's a level of stress and nerves that dissipates over time.

I recommend every now and then changing the time, venue/environment and if possible, partners, of your training as a pretty easy way of adding some extra tension. It works for me.

I also have to say that Brian's presentation on body shots was spot on. And I like his 'fundamentalist' attitude to conditioning, good for the body and good for the mind.
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