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 Scouseland via China - hello!

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sehughes



Number of posts : 7
Localisation : North Wales
Registration date : 2012-11-11

PostSubject: Scouseland via China - hello!   Sat 29 Jun 2013, 07:07

Hello! I posted after a last-minute attendance of the C&R seminar last year, but for anyone who's interested here's a little training history. I'm just shy of 24 years old by the way, back in East Asia until September when I MIGHT just be arriving back on the weekend of the next International (September 7th).

Judo, 1994-1995
My coach was a North Wales policeman who sadly had developed MS, hence the short training time as he was forced to close the club. I never learned his name, but I know he succumbed to the disease some years ago. Very sad.

Even for kids I don't think you can fault judo. I didn't have enough time to learn much, but it seems I never forgot how to breakfall! Great stuff, I wonder what might have happened if the coach had been well and I kept it up longer.

Shotokan, 1997-2002
A mixed-age class but which really ought to have been reserved for kids. If nothing else it taught me about training consistently when the option to quit seemed so easy (a good 20 just from my school started, only my twin brother and I saw it through to the end) and got me some decent hip flexibility and pushups numbers! Alas, this was not learning to fight which had become the only goal by the time I decided to pack it in.

Wing Chun, 2003-2004
In your face! Vicious! Scientific! BRUCE LEE! All the usual stuff it conjures up to those that know no better. Maybe "the real Wing Chun" is out there somewhere, but this was not it. Complaint one-step at exaggerated distance they had in droves, and of course their chi sao was given lots of training time. Body conditioning? Impact development? Hard sparring? You'd be lucky. I had around this time stumbled across both Peter Consterdine's double hip and Russell Stutely's waveform, and decided to give it a go. The technique clicked one night when we were training straight Wing Chun punches on a focus mitt that our partners held on their chest. I was generating as much impact as I could with the WC body mechanics to no real effect. I thought it would do no harm to shift my weight to the front leg, set the hip off first and... well, the unlucky WPC who was holding the pad didn't exactly go down like a sack of shit, but she had to sit out for a good 10-15 minutes. Maybe this is a reflection on poor standard in the police, but I was 6ft tall and less than 10 stone dripping wet at the time! How would she have fared against some fully grown man who was intent on doing her real harm? As far as I was concerned it shouldn't have happened, and I lost my faith in that club at least.

Wilderness years, 2004-2008
Sorry, couldn't resist. I don't remember when I first came across Fairbarn and Sykes (the ebooks have been floating around the net for years), but I know the first modern practitioner I was aware of was Lee Morrison. Wow! Built like a tank, training for hard impact in a no-bullshit array of physical skills. What was equally impressive was the display of INTENT, which was clearly far more real than I'd seen before in my traditional classes. This was the springboard to reading up more, and getting my first look at some grainy video of a certain Simon Squires hammering a bulletman into oblivion. WHAT IS THIS SORCERY I asked myself? I was amazed, but at the time had no means of accessing this type of training. Later I really tried to understand what made this and combat sports so potent, which had clicked when I read of aliveness from Matt Thornton.

Oh, I started weightlifting around this time, and got rid of my dreadful shoulder-length mane. It's funny what taking your squat from 50kg to 140kg does to your body shape, and to people's reaction to your presence...

BJJ and Olympic wrestling, 2008-2009
Very short-lived under a brown (now black) belt in London. Conditioning was brutal and I was dreadful at it, but I knew this was necessary. I didn't stick around though for two reasons. One, the coaching was very unstructured in such a way that might have been alright had I gone in as a blue belt, but was no use for a white belt with no basics. You know what they say about the best athletes versus the best coaches... Two, one of the guys who rolled there was a terrifying Brazilian with a few missing teeth who as a white belt managed to break the wrist of a purple belt during a roll. I heard later that he'd been sent down for kicking the shit out of his girlfriend. I wasn't going to take any chances.

WRESTLING. I absolutely fucking loved it, run by London Amateur Wrestlers in the bowels of City University. The first time I got the wind knocked right out of me,dropped from a great height by a man of 6'4... it was an epiphany! A perfectly thought out 12 week beginner's cycle, superb conditioning, lots of drilling individual techniques and a chance to go for it at the end. One 19 year old Swede called Johan with a Greco background particularly impressed, as I watched him drop a man 4 or 5 stone heavier than him with a beautiful suplex. I'd have gone every bloody day but unfortunately they only had one training day a week and I couldn't find another club to make up the time.

Mick Coup, 2010
A one-off training day, but getting an idea of how Mick's system fits together, and how he trains techniques from a static pad drill to the shit-scary live drill, just blew me away. He needs no more introduction here.

Goju, 2011-2012
Gavin Mulholland's DKK London was a tentative step back into the world of traditional martial arts. Suffice to say, this ain't ya momma's karate. A small but growing stable of MMA fighters, absolutely fierce conditioning and a shit-ton of hard sparring Kyokushin style as well as a fair nod to ground fighting. Gavin is evidently hard as nails, and the sheer number of black belts and long-term students speaks for itself. Honestly, there are some aspects of the traditional training, especially ippon kumite, that I think he could drop with no effect to the student's ability. Also, as far as I'm aware he and all his best students cross-train, which blurs the line between what actually constitutes "Goju" in what they do. Regardless, I wonder if I'll ever meet a "traditional" class quite like it again? To be that conditioned, and with that ability to switch on the violent mindset? Fuck me, chuck in a fend and send them through a few iterations of a suitman drill, and see what comes out the other end with those black belts. Great stuff.

That's me! Kudos if you made it down this far...
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Rob [Gutterfighters]

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Localisation : Liverpool
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PostSubject: Re: Scouseland via China - hello!   Sat 29 Jun 2013, 10:17

Wow! thats some intro, an yes I did read it. Welcome aboard and enjoy the forum.

Rob
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Dennis
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PostSubject: Re: Scouseland via China - hello!   Sat 29 Jun 2013, 11:38

Welcome indeed

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Teapot
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Number of posts : 280
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PostSubject: Re: Scouseland via China - hello!   Mon 01 Jul 2013, 02:03

Welcome mate...and yes, Gavin is awesome. His book 4 Shades of Black is one of the best, if not the best, karate book I've ever read. Anyone who really wants to know what kata is about should read that book.

Teapot.
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Dennis
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PostSubject: Re: Scouseland via China - hello!   Mon 01 Jul 2013, 10:37

Quote :
Anyone who really wants to know what kata is about should read that book.

Agree 100%
I wish there had been a book like that when I was training in Goju-ryu

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sehughes



Number of posts : 7
Localisation : North Wales
Registration date : 2012-11-11

PostSubject: Re: Scouseland via China - hello!   Wed 03 Jul 2013, 19:33

I think Gavin's got a very honest approach to kata. A lot of the specific applications will inevitably have been lost over time, but the general checkpoints on the map are still there and provide a way of conceptualising the transition from the really basic attack and smash down to the more subtle redirection, grabs and infighting that come later.
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