IN THIS ISSUE
1 - There Are No Kids Here
2 - Self Defence Training with Greenbow
3 - Wild Geese Judo Results
4 - Wild Geese Pro Shop
5 - On The Blog
6 - Recommended Products
1- There Are No Kids Here
Dave pointed this out to me the other day when I was training my two nephews in Eskrima.
I had started teaching them a couple of years ago and said at the time that the only special treatment they were going to get was that they were going to have to train harder than anyone else. Now they are 14 and 15 and entering their first competition this weekend in England.
They initially started training with me at home on Saturdays, then a while later started training in the club on Wednesdays where Dave got his hands on them.
They’ve been training for this competition for about 2 months now and have taken everything that has been thrown at them. The only people they have sparred are myself, Dave and Thomas Zezula, another experienced Eskrimador. When I put it to the that they were going to enter the adults team event with myself, they had no problem with it.
So the other day, when taking the mickey out of something I commented, “Hey, there’s kids present!” Dave corrected me – there were no kids present, just fighters.
This was not a comment solicited by me on their behalf, it was recognition of two facts:
1. I was not their sole instructor any more and
2. Within the Wild Geese, they are not children, they are fighters
I stood corrected. So I’m not always right about everything, I remember that there was one other time when I thought that I was wrong about something but I was mistaken then as well.
So why write this before they have even competed?
Well, because Wild Geese aren’t interested in competition. To me competition is something is a day spent sitting around doing nothing, time that could be better spent training.
The challenge in a competition is not in the fight, it is in the preparation, how hard are you willing to train to get ready? How much blood, sweat and tears are you prepared to leave on the training room floor?
To me martial arts are a daily competition against oneself.
I was teaching a beginners class a couple of weeks ago and watching these people who had obviously never done a days training in their lives try and do push ups and I couldn’t help but admire them. Some of them couldn’t do ten push ups, but by God were they prepared to suffer to give it the best they had and then a bit more.
If Wild Geese is to develop as a brand or an image, then that is what it is about. It is not a style, it’s an attitude. I might not be the best, but I’m the best I’ve ever been.
Incidentally, I don’t expect students to do something I don’t expect students to do something I won’t so I have also been training up for this competition, but I have been informed that there is no such thing as a veterans category. Which I thought was a bit odd seeing as Master Rudy Reyes and I both hold World Championship titles in the veterans category. And the Adult’s category just happened to have filled the day before I put my name down.
Make of that what you will..
2- Self defence training for Greenbow
Over the last 10 weeks I’ve been fortunate enough to spend my Saturday afternoon in the company of a very select group of people.
Several months ago I received a phone call asking if I taught self defence courses. Of course I answered yes, even though we usually only ran courses for security personnel, I thought this might be fun. He then told me that this group are deaf and asked if that would be a problem.
My answer? Absolutely not! Self defence and martial arts involve a physical conversation, I’m sure we would manage just fine. Plus I’m always up for a challenge.
He then told me that there would be an interpreter provided to translate my instruction into signing.
The first thing I had to do was rewrite a syllabus I created to teach as part of a close protection course run by ESTS. In my opinion the role of a close protection officer (CPO) is self defence in action, if you search through some of old newsletters you will find a series of articles named “Self Defence – The professionals perspective” (also included in the Martial Musings ebook)
A CPO must keep not only himself, but his client safe from harm. To do this most effectively he must endeavour to avoid trouble and conflict at all cost. After all, if he gets injured, he can’t protect his client, if his client gets injured, he’s no job.
This is the same emphasis I teach in the civilian self defence. The self defence student is taught first the Avoid a situation, if that fails they must Evade the threat and if that’s not possible they must Confront it. This hierarchy of Avoid-Evade-Confront is the golden rule that must not be broken, if you do you are no longer practicing effective self defence.
Almost every class opened with a discussion on Avoidance covering awareness tactics and observation practices. The students had been given awareness homework, drills that they should practice as they go about their daily business. I would then quiz them on it the following session. Some of the gang picked this up faster than others, but by the end of the course every one of the group were telling stories of things they had observed as a result of practicing these drills. Although I must say, the deafness that these guys live with has them already in a heightened state of awareness most of the time.
We also spoke about evasion. How to diffuse a scenario, where to go if forced to run away. We spoke of putting up a fence, a term first used by self defence expert, Geoff Thompson. For most people this is awkward and embarrassing the first time, but for these guys it was perfectly natural. As a deaf person you naturally talk with your hands, your hands are up in front of you directed at the person you are communicating with. This virtual fence acts as a barrier and a launch pad for the techniques we moved onto in the Confront section.
Confrontation, while a last resort, is the bulk of the course. This is what people want when the ask about self defence, even though it’s the avoid and evade sections that save lives, the confront is the most interesting, and fun.
The guys first learned how to move their body from the hips, then how to apply that to a hand strike and then hitting the pads. Later in the course we added kicks and elbows. Once this sank in, we added a defence. I favour the “Wedge” from a Kenpo technique named Thrusting Wedge. It is an incredibly simple “flinch” that if performed right will protect you against any strike to the head area. And since the head is the most commonly attacked area, we focus on this.
From the Wedge we move into various counter attacks, combinations of strikes and kicks. Over time every student started to react quickly and efficiently, going from a defensive position into all out and powerful strikes. Once this is achieved we move to grab style attacks.
The emphasis for the grab defences is simply to escape. And what’s the best way to get someone to let you go? Hit them of course.
This means that the course participants now must learn to strike from compromised positions, to generate power with no space to wind up a strike and to accurately target strikes so as not to require power.
As the course rolled o we spent more time improvising and less time working exact techniques until the very end of the course where we finished up with a test day.
On test day we have people relentlessly attacking the test subject. These may be grabs or strikes, all the subject must do is defend themselves. Every student is pushed to their physical limit during this test day. Over the ten weeks each student has been carefully watched so I knew how far each could go. Some wanted to give up early, but no way, instead we increased the speed and intensity of the attacks, some got banged and bruised but they were made deal with a few extra attacks before having a look at their injury. This is to help them realise that the mind is the most important weapon they own.
It is the mind that is responsible for their awareness and without it they are unable to avoid potential threats. It is the mind that can either shut them down like a fear stricken statue or to attack as their life depended on it. And it is the mind that pushes them to continue even when hurt or if things seem hopeless. Without the mind being strong and engaged we are nothing more than sheep, easy pickings for any old wolf.
I’d like to say a big congratulations to the group and a thanks to Gary from Greenbow LGBT for organising the course.
3- Wild Geese Judo Results
Our intrepid Judo coach has been at it again. He’s just returned from England after attending and winning the High Wycombe Masters tournament.
It seems that this man knows no bounds. When he joined us he provided a CV with and entire A4 page, in small print, listing his tournament record for the last 4 years, there was nothing less than a bronze. Now in a single tournament he has earned enough points to sit the 4th Dan Black Belt exam!
And it’s not just the coach. His students appear to be doing equally well, we regularly post results from the judo guys on the Wild Geese Facebook page. If you haven’t yet become a fan of the page please head over and take a look.
4 - Wild Geese Pro Shop
Wild Geese Martial Arts training gear is now available!
We’ve searched for the highest quality of goods and I think we’ve succedded in finding a manufacturer that has the same high standards you have come to expect from Wild Geese.
In stock we have:
14oz Boxing Gloves
Wild Geese Hoodies
Shin & Insteps (These were snapped up in a heartbeat and are currently sold out! We’ll have more in soon)
All are available through our shop page
Much of the kit is flying out the door, the shin pads are already sold out and the Boxing Gloves are nearly all gone. The feedback we’re getting from the fighters using the gear is all good.
One heavyweight kick boxer states:
"3 days per week, hard bag work and sparring over the last month and they still look brand new. They’re as good as my old Top Pro gloves”
On our next order we will be offering even more gear. We’ve been testing a JuJitsu uniform, using it in both Judo and BJJ classes, so far it still looks brand new. We’ll also be bringing in Cotton T-shirts with a broader range of designs on them.
Which brings me to my next offer:
Bespoke training apparel.
If you have your own club logo and wish to have Hoodies, Tshirts, rash guards etc branded up, please drop us a line. There is a minimum order of 25 pieces per design but I can assure you the price and quality will not disappoint.
To arrange to have your own designs on your training gear, simple send through the logo as jpeg or similar, along with some design info, such as placement, colours, etc. Let us know what items you wish to have the design on, T shirt, Gi, Hoodie etc. And then we’ll get back to you with the best price.
Enquiries to email@example.com
5 - This month on the Blog
Janda Sit Ups - Core Training for Big Boys
Postural Alignment Workshop - 29th May
New Kettlebell Fitness Classes at Wild Geese
Conditioning or Sparring-
Postural Awareness Workshop - 29 May
Just a load of Push ups & Squats
New Kettlebell Fitness Classes at Wild Geese
31 ways to know you’re a TRULY dedicated trainer…
Training For Kettlebell Sport
Week 2 of Kettlebell Sports Training
If you have questions or comments on any of
the blog posts, or even if you’d like to suggest a topic of your
own hit the comments button under the post or drop us a line on
7 - RECOMMENDED LINKS & PRODUCTS
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All the best
The Wild Geese
Doce Pares Ireland / Kenpo Karate / Self Protection / Security Training
www.wildgeesema.com / wildgeesema.blogspot.com
+353 87 672 6090