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Year's Parting Shot

It has been a dynamic year for Indomitable Mind Body Combat Academy with seminars, gradings, media exposure, blogging, organizing course and seminar content and the general running of the school has presented plenty of challenges and growth for me as an instructor. I have had some students make good progress and advancement. Consistency is the key as mentioned previously. The mental aspects of combat need to be practiced as well as the techniques to ingrain the indomitable spirit in the subconscious.


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This is just a short blog that really will probably be ignored, but it comes with a question at the end.

I've been lacking in training lately, and so to try and get everything back into order, I've started doing stance training, particularly my Horse Stance.  Now, I've been put back quite a bit, I used to be able to hold one for up to two to three minutes(which I know isn't a big deal), but now I'm down to approximately 60 seconds.  Just figured I'd vent about that.

Now for the question:  What does everybody do to get themselves in the mood to train?  I find that kung fu movies do it quite well for me, but I don't always watch them.  Any advice would be helpful.

Listening to Eminem’s “Recovery” CD it dawned on me that the main appeal of Eminem and to a certain extent hip-hop in general is that people from disadvantaged backgrounds, without emotional or family support are able to achieve magnificent things. With people with superior education, talent and ability failing to reach their goals it makes me wonder what does the achieving underdog have which puts him so far ahead. The answer is the will; this is what gives such individuals their personal power.

Success and failure are not overnight phenomena, it about action, it’s about following through and giving 100%. It’s about successfully following through and training at home, making that professional contact and breaking personal limits. Only this afternoon I was on the phone with the operations manager of Armourguard and the ambulance service explaining about Krav Maga and how Indomitable Mind Body Combat Academy is working to create safer community in Rotorua.

People making a decision to train in Krav Maga have already won their first victory by making the decision to take control. They have defeated their inner opponent in deciding to invest time and effort in building a more powerful self. This is analogous to the seed that starts to breathe under the soil, expanding and forming roots. The seed pushes through the soil with some struggle as shoots begin to form. In time the stem forms and then the branches and then new buds form.

The young sapling begins to stand stronger as its roots grow deeper. With each season the sapling grows bigger. It changes in girth and height, the roots go deeper, foliage and flowers appear which in turn attracts birds and insects. The buds form into fruit and slowly ripen. It sheds its foliage in the fall and hibernates during winter, then turns green again as the seasons cycle and repeat.

Indomitable Mind Body Combat Academy has now been operational for a year in Rotorua. I have seen students come and go, some have stayed and others dropped out for one reason or another. As my school’s reputation has grown through promotions, seminar work and student gradings I have had members from other Krav Maga associations contact me wanting to train with me. I have also had people from other schools and styles approach me wanting to try Krav Maga.

After I graded a batch of students in September one individual who trained with me on a few occasions approached me asking whether I would grade him. According to my log book he had not trained with me for over a month and his attendance record was inconsistent. I told him that if he continues training regularly for the next three months I will grade him if I feel he is ready. The point I am getting at is that the IKI certificate has a cost and I don’t mean the grading fees. The currency that I am talking about is time, dedication, commitment and overcoming your own fears. The certificate is there for anyone willing to pay the price; if not then they will simply be window shoppers.

When I used to work the doors I was determined to be effective at my job working in a busy and often violent night venues in the UK. I knew that a mistake on the doors could lead to a visit to the hospital or worse. In my time on the doors I have seen edged weapons, bottles, glasses and chairs used and knew that most of the dojo stuff goes out of the window when responding to an incident. Operational tactics often would involve immobilizing and restraining the attacker, disrupting balance and sometimes using takedowns.

I and other doormen yearned for training which would closely resemble the operational environment. The SIA licensing scheme that had come into effect in the UK only addressed the customer service side of door work and did not provide any hard skills in terms of restraint and close quarter combat. Personally I view this as a big mistake by British Home Office and since then I have seen amendments to the SIA scheme at the cost to the patrons injured by untrained door-staff. I and many others felt let down that after so much planning and pilot testing the SIA scheme just did not deliver the standard which it set out to maintain in the security industry.

I’ve been so busy. A couple of gym sessions, Tai Chi on Friday. Then a two day Systema seminar this weekend, just massive. Unfortunately meant I couldn’t train Uechi on Sunday morning

The instructor was Adam Vounoridis from Melbourne Systema, has trained with Vassiliev and Kevin Secours, and others. Excellent, enthusiastic instructor. I cant possibly remember all  the stuff we did over the two days, just a huge amount of amazing material.

When I started training in Krav Maga I was a black belt in TKD and ran two morning and two evening classes a week at the local dojang. When I mentioned the Krav Maga training to other instructors at the dojang they would tell me they have a lot of respect for Krav Maga, but it is just not their thing. The master who operated the business even said to me that I am wasting my time with Krav Maga and should fully focus on Taekwondo. When I told him that the system deals with many threats not covered by our Taekwondo and Hapkido training the master simply told me that martial arts are not truly about self defence; he went on to say if someone wanted me dead they would just shoot me.

It is that time of the year when we start thinking about our kung fu or martial arts gradings and whether we are able to sit them or not. Are we ready? Do we know all the elements we need to know?

Last night in class I covered the basic plucking defences against chokes. We must be wary of the law of familiarity where we start to take the basics for granted as we progress and learn more advanced techniques to add to our arsenal. Fundamentals need to be practiced daily particularly in Krav Maga where many techniques are built around several instinctive principles.

This week I was watching episode ten of the ultimate fighter season twelve where Freddie Roach made a guest appearance. This is a man whose stable consists of four world champions and who has trained twenty seven world champions in his career. Freddie said that if he can make someone a better fighter he would; this is what he was born to do. Watching him train the Ultimate Fighter contenders he was simply working on basics, one two combos, advising one fighter not to bring the head forward as he jabs, footwork and staying loose until the moment of impact.

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