The physical self defence and karate tactics I teach are predominantly close range. While I do teach some longer range approaches, my emphasis on tactile strategies reflects the reality that even when space is available, the majority of non consensual violent confrontations begin, proceed and end at close range regardless of any training to maintain […]

Training in the martial arts can be a serious business. Physical Fitness Personal Discipline Improved Concentration Competition Self Defence Listing the most common reasons why adults and children join or study a martial art, they all appear to be serious. Despite all the rewards that they bring, training in the martial arts can be difficult, […]

How many times have you heard someone remark “That won’t work!” about a particular tactic or training method? Here are my top ten reasons why your tactics or training methods won’t work: You’re too close! You’re too far away! The angle of entry/application is wrong. This technique relies on a particular attack. You’re not unbalancing […]

Written in 2004, this article was first published by Traditional Karate Magazine in the UK in August 2005 as part of my ‘Practical Techniques’ series. Practical Techniques  There are many different elements that can combine to make a martial arts technique ‘practical’. Here ‘practical technique’ is defined as something that you would be able to […]

It’s not what you think… When I say ‘bend over and take it’ I’m envisaging the difference between form and function in combative posture. In many of my application pictures there is a noticeable difference between my posture in paired work and that in the solo form of the kata. As karateka gain experience they […]

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. Isaac Newton, 1676. Isaac Newton was not the first man to recognize that while he had achieved much, he owed it to those who had gone before him. In 1159 John of Salisbury wrote that Bernard of Chartres used to compare […]

The beginning of the new year is a time when many of us set ourselves a list of  targets. Among this list many people include a series of goals relating to their health and fitness. These are worthy endeavours, but ones that can fall prey to the pitfalls of inadequate planning. Most new year’s resolutions […]

So farewell 2014… At first glance it has not been a good year. On New Year’s Eve 2013 I cancelled my plans to go out because of a sore throat. A week later, while training with a visiting guest from Argentina, I felt tired, sloppy and without focus. A few days later still I was […]

The essential karate book by Graeme Lund is a working text that I wish had existed 25 years ago. Just under A4 size it is one of the best laid out and clearly presented karate books that I have ever seen, with great line drawings and bright colour pictures illustrating techniques. It is filled with […]

When I am delivering personal safety training I occasionally get asked whether a car should be parked ‘nose in’ or ‘nose out’. Often the person asking has a preconceived answer based upon what they’ve heard or read. I also have a preconceived answer, but it might not be what you think. When it comes to […]


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