Photos by Kirsty Cox Photography
Photo by Liam Hartery
I am a Martial Arts and Self Defence practitioner, coach / instructor. I have been training since 1993 and have cross-trained in multiple disciplines such as various forms of KungFu, Karate, Aikido, JiuJitsu, Hapkido, Arnis and Silat, to name a few. I have spent over 25 years training under an SAS Instructor, who I have taught seminars and workshops with.
Traditional Martial Arts nowadays is watered down from generation to generation; it is essential for an individual to learn the essence and principals of a discipline and assimilating it into his or her own ‘style’. Rules control whereas principals guide. Learning the rules of a style will limit one’s development to progressing solely within that one paradigm. However, learning the principals of a style will allow for the individual to continue to progress and transcend the paradigm completely. This results in the creation of a new fusion and new expression that becomes unpredictable and unique.
My approach to Martial Arts is to continue to learn and evolve my own paradigm. Being good at one style is comparable to being good at one musical instrument; a musician does not want to run out of songs to play either. S/he should also consider different genres as well as different instruments. This comparison can be made in principle with regards to the Martial Arts.
I do not train the same routines over and over as real life situations are never the same and are always subject to change; the same routine will only work again if the conditions are the same. As we rarely have influence over those conditions, we can only train in as many different scenarios with different techniques, combinations and principles as possible to contain and handle the situation accordingly.
Is this Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)? The answer in short is yes, but in the most literal sense of the term. It is important to train in both armed and unarmed combat against one and multiple assailants who may be armed or unarmed. Traditionally, Martial Arts was used in war times with movements and techniques to encompass various weapons as well as multiple opponents; training today, whilst techniques may be modified to suit the needs of today, should be no different in principle.
I am not freestyle; I am simply ‘style free’.
A true Martial Arts practitioner should be disciplined, righteous, be of sound mind and being, whilst having complete control over his/her mental, physical and spiritual faculties.
As a coach, my aim is to encourage and help students realise their potential by exposing them to different Martial Arts disciplines whilst providing them a challenging environment in which to thrive whilst appealing to their creative side. I will also coach my students so that they will have skills to lead classes. As I am a certified life coach, I inject much of these principles into my teachings.
It is the student who wants to be the master, but the master who knows that he himself will always be the student. The more you learn, the more you realise there is to learn; we are students for life.
Photo by Hannah Anketell