Afterwards I asked which of the methods used on the two days made the learning process easier, form first or function first?

Unless your strikes have no power, when you hit a person, they will move. Unless they believe your strike has no power or will not land, if people see you trying to hit them, they will move.

It is possible to study a martial art and neither be learning self protection nor self defence. It is possible to study self defence and not gain an understanding of self protection, nor become proficient in any martial art. It is possible to train in ‘self defence’ and not learn anything applicable for self defence. It is also possible to study self protection but not learn anything applicable to actual self defence.

It is an oft-repeated maxim that as you train your karate should become your own. It is also, I feel, a much-misunderstood concept.

I really like to see positive innovation in training and teaching. I particularly like seeing exercises that help students develop the ability to move beyond single techniques, beyond combinations, into the ability to make seamless transitions to appropriate techniques. But sometimes I see things that while fun and popular appear to me to actually be […]

This pithy analysis is attributed to Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, but despite the clarity of his insight and his credentials as one of the greatest generals of the 20thcentury, this simple premise seems to be largely unknown or ignored amongst martial arts and self defence groups.

“I liked that drill. It wasn’t complicated like the other ones.”

Most people realise that collecting tools does not necessarily make you an able, efficient or skilful tool user.

Anyone involved in the martial arts who uses social media will no doubt have seen many different memes purporting to inform them what a black belt is, and what a black belt isn’t.

“Hi, I’m calling about a karate class for self defence, the Leisure Centre gave me this number, it’s for my nephew.” “Can I ask how old your nephew is? The youngest I teach are thirteen years old.” “Oh, he’s four.” Sigh. Despite my websites giving my minimum ages in several places, and having no photos […]