Author Archives: John Titchen

Game Play

Regardless of how you wish to dress it up, all martial arts and the physical aspects of self protection training are forms of games. There will always be training compromises that differentiate what you do from ‘the real thing’ unless you are already participating in an activity that recognises itself as a  ‘sport’, and even then in the contact sports there will be compromises to reduce injury in training and to maximise fitness for any competition event.

Finding your own way

Anyone who has worked in education for any length of time will be familiar with the ebb and flow of different ideas and trends in teaching

Letting Go

You don’t necessarily have to empty your cup to take on board new knowledge. You may not have to tip anything out at all. You might choose to simply collect and learn more and more things even if they are contradictory, useless or of no feasible value to you whatsoever. That’s your choice.

The Kata teaching experiment

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

Reactive Position Training

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.

A Clarity of Focus

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.

Making Karate Your Own

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.

Going through the motions, on the pull, going nowhere

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 […]

Brains saves both

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.

Failure, flow and complicated combinations

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