Martial Arts Flow Drills

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Martial Arts Flow Drills

Martial arts flow drills are but one way, there are multiple ways to train martial arts and over the next few weeks I’ll cover some of them.

All are useful, some you’ll prefer. But don’t just stick with the ones you like. Get out of your comfort zone and grind it out.

Martial Arts Flow Drills

Martial Arts Flow Drills – Tools to enhance

Flow drills can be used in all arts, kickboxing, Jiu-Jitsu, Self defence and so on.

What I personally like about flow drills is once you have the drill memorised. You have the freedom to flow and see opportunities inside the work. When you are shown new work, techniques etc, you are too busy just trying to remember where your hands should be or remember to breathe. If you train you know what I mean eh.

Martial Arts Flow Drills – The basics

I’ll use a Self-defence MMA example here.

In pairs, it would go something like this. Strikes, takedown, ground position, counter, strikes on ground, submission, escape, back to feet. REPEAT left and right reference.

Now we have the flow we can begin to study

Martial Arts Flow Drills – Study time

Once the drill basics are memorised you are free to flow. Now once you are flowing you’ll see things appear. Your mind free’s up enabling you to see things you’d normally miss.

It’s a wonderful learning experience if you relax and go with it. Now finding a great training partner who’s not trying to crush you is the hardest bit.

Martial Arts Flow Drills – Royalise it all as my BJJ coach John Will says

We have the flow drill, we are finding things we couldn’t see before. Now what?

Now we take out one part of the drill, say an armbar. We work on the armbar until every detail is world class. We drill it in isolation thousands of times.

Then when its Olympic gold standard we drop it back into the flow drill. A wonderful thing now happens. The rest of the drill looks shabby in comparison. Like when you buy a new pair of shoes and your clothes look scruffy, the nightmare of many an old punk rocker. So what to do?

Royalise the lot, over time you make the flow drill world class, do that and hey presto you’re getting good.


Next week Chaos drills followed by shadow drills


Laser Beam Focus

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Laser Beam Focus

Mental Strength

Laser Beam Focus at Function First Lincoln

Laser Beam Focus

Focus and attention play a huge part in martial arts. When someone is moving around in front of you throwing kicks and punches it pays to be in the moment.

The mind is a tricky little thing though before you know it, there it goes. Thinking about PS4 or whats for tea.

Laser Beam Focus – New ways we have been working it with the kids

So in our kid’s classes, we have been working with some new simple techniques to improve focus. Into laser beam focus of course.

Thes can be used at home by the parent for two minutes at a time twice a week. We noticed almost instant results. Though saying that it is something that should be done with persistence. Over many years if you really want a warrior mindset

  1. Simply get a meditation bell (follow this link) Now sit down with your child, eyes closed. Ring the bell and when you can’t hear the bell any longer raise your hand. You can stop the bell ringing at different times. Or let it fade away naturally. This really does focus the mind and you can do it along with your child. Hey, you might feel the benefits too. Actually, let me rephrase that. You will definitely feel the benefits if you do this.
  2. Get a cushion, lay down and put it on your child’s belly. Instruct them to breathe in and move the cushion up, breath out and bring it down. Repeat, do this twice a week for two minutes at a time. Breathing techniques are at the heart of martial arts and meditation. Breathing helps you control your power, emotions and resistance to strikes. Join in with your kids, as with exercise 1 you will benefit from this enormously.

Laser Beam Focus – In a crazy distracted world

Just a few minutes a day can have a profound effect. In todays world the skill of controlling the mind, not being distracted. Well, I think we all know, Facebook, Twitter and on and on it goes.

Theis is not wishy-washy hippy nonsense. The studies are out, they have been confirmed by science and millions of people worldwide.

Look after your mind because the revolution is internal

Noteworthy Articles on our site


Kickboxing Classes Lincoln

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Kickboxing Classes Lincoln

Mixed Martial Arts

Kickboxing Classes Lincoln

Even before the UFC popularized footage of men using martial arts techniques to bloody their opponents, the idea that martial arts might promote violence has been a major concern for people looking to get involved in kickboxing. It made sense to believe that in educating their students on how to punch and kick effectively, martial arts instructors would be implicitly teaching that violent behavior is acceptable and that being skillful at hurting others is even praiseworthy. Some parents and teachers worry that children who train in martial arts will be encouraged to use the harmful techniques they learn to hurt and bully other children. This long-held belief has prompted multiple studies on the effect that training martial arts can have on the aggressiveness of young children, and the results of these studies may surprise you.

Kickboxing Classes Lincoln

Instead of showing martial arts to have a negative effect on the violent tendencies of children, studies have consistently pointed to a reduced, rather than a raised, level of violence among children who train in these kinds of combat sports. One of the first studies carried out on the effect that martial arts training has on aggression was performed in 1981 by Dr. Nosanchuk. This researcher found, much to his surprise, that the longer a person had been training martial arts, the less aggressive they tended to be towards others. [i] This study was followed in 1986 by a study entitled “Martial Arts Training: A Novel “Cure” for Juvenile Delinquency,” By Michael E Trulson. Which concluded that the traditional elements of the martial arts training, including meditation, philosophy, an emphasis on respect, and memorized forms called katas, had a positive effect on at-risk youth who might otherwise be prone to aggression.

Kickboxing Classes Lincoln

The study demonstrated, among other things, that students who participated in the traditional martial art of Taekwondo for six months showed “decreased aggressiveness, lowered anxiety, increased self-esteem, [and] increased social adroitness” in comparison with students who participated in a regular exercise program that did not include martial arts training. The students in the exercise program, in fact, showed no significant improvement when it came to reducing their aggressive behaviors or increasing their self-esteem and social skills.

Kickboxing Classes Lincoln

Based on the results of the aforementioned studies and multitude of other research papers on the topic, some elementary schools have recently attempted to implement martial arts training as part of their school curriculum to try and cut down on the amount of bullying among their students. A 2008 study analyzing the results of one such program confirmed some of the earlier conclusions made about martial arts classes in previous articles. This study, entitled, “Effects of Participation in a Martial Arts- Based Ant bullying Program,” showed that third to fifth-year boys who participated in more sessions of their schools’ martial arts-based anti-bullying program were reported to have a lower frequency of aggressive behaviour as well as a higher frequency of helpful behaviour towards victims of bullying. The study attributed this change in the boys’ behavior to the way these classes taught “empathy, self-control, and peaceful strategies to resolve conflicts.

Kickboxing Classes Lincoln

It is natural for young boys to exhibit an increased level of aggression as they get older, but martial arts can help eliminate some of the more negative forms of aggression by providing an appropriate outlet for the children’s anger and hostility. Instead of hitting classmates on the playground or getting into fights with their siblings, growing boys can redirect their feelings of aggression by hitting punching bags or sparring with classmates in a controlled manner. Sparring with other martial arts students may seem to encourage peer violence in an age group that is already prone to hostile behaviour, but according to Jamie Seabrook author of “Martial Arts Revealed, Benefits, Problems Solutions” “When an instructor emphasizes respect and courtesy towards his students, sparring actually teaches students self-control and humility. Students learn to not swing wildly but to hit with only limited contact.”


In other words, martial arts helps students to become masters of their own natural aggressive tendencies by teaching them how to handle their bodies in a controlled manner. Having better body awareness and a sense of control over their own aggression helps students to eliminate inappropriate violence towards others.

Kickboxing Classes Lincoln

Kickboxing classes Lincoln can also help reduce violence among children by instilling a sense of confidence in them. Children often fight because they want to feel powerful or prove themselves in some way. Being able to command and manipulate other children through aggression and intimidation helps young boys especially to feel more in control of their surroundings when they are suffering from feeling helpless or weak. Very often, however, this kind of violent behavior only serves to decrease the confidence of the victim of the aggressive child without significantly increasing his own. Training in combat sports, on the other hand, increases a child’s level of confidence by increasing his awareness of his inner power and strength and providing him with skills that make him feel safer and more in control of his own person.


This prevents the child from feeling the need to get into fights with other children in order to mask an underlying sense of insecurity or powerlessness. When children gain empowerment through martial arts, they become better equipped to avoid their “tense, defensive reactions to pressure and conflict which so often only create more violence” and to walk away from conflict instead of further aggravating a situation. This renewed sense of self-control and confidence, therefore, decreases a child’s tendency towards violence and teaches him to step away from his habit of fighting to direct his energy towards more worthwhile pursuits.

Kickboxing Classes Lincoln

Hopefully, now that you have seen the evidence, you are convinced that martial arts training does not lead to the increased levels of aggression that some have mistakenly associated with it. But along with ensuring that your child does not hurt others, you also want to make sure that he is not going to hurt himself. A common misconception parents tend to have about martial arts classes is that they have a high rate of injury and are therefore dangerous for children to participate in. When parents envision children punching and hitting each other in class, it is understandable that they become worried about their children’s safety, but the reality is that children are much more likely to hurt themselves while rollerblading than they are by participating in a martial arts class. In 2003, the Scottish Medical Journal published an article in which they analyzed the number of sports injuries seen in children in the Accident & Emergency Department of a certain hospital over a three-month period of time.

Kickboxing Classes Lincoln

According to this article, a large majority of the sports injuries observed were obtained by children while playing football or rollerblading, with rugby, basketball, and school physical education also causing a fair amount of damage.[vi] Out of the two hundred thirty-eight sport-related injuries treated at the hospital during the time frame of the study, only two per cent were a result of martial arts training. This is less than half the amount of injuries that occurred as a result of ice skating or cycling, both of which are activities that most parents would feel completely comfortable allowing their children to participate in.

Kickboxing Classes Lincoln

Children training in organized martial arts programs are under the strict supervision of their sensei and his or her assistants, and in striking sports, they are usually required to wear protective gear that helps prevent injury. A retrospective study done on children and adolescents who participated in a karate class found that of the sixty-eight students surveyed, none had received injuries critical enough to inhibit their participation in the class for any period of time. Twenty-eight per cent of these students sustained some kind of minor injury while training, but these injuries consisted mostly of bruises with only a few students obtaining minor sprains and strains.[vii] The conclusion of this study was that karate is a safe sport for children to participate in as long as the proper protective equipment is worn and the children are adequately supervised.

Kickboxing Classes Lincoln

The perceived violence and danger of martial arts have also added to another misconception about the sport, which is that it is not an activity for girls. The idea is that because girls are not naturally as aggressive as boys, they will not be interested in a sport that involves punching, kicking, and wrestling. This mentality has unfortunately prevented many girls from becoming involved in an activity that has as many, if not more, benefits for them as it has for their male peers. Parents tend to enroll their sons in martial arts classes more frequently than their daughters, and even when girls do participate in combat

[i] Nosanchuk, T. A. (1981). The way of the warrior: The effects of traditional martial arts training on aggressiveness. Human Relations, 34, 435 – 444.

[ii] Trulson, M. E. (1986). Martial arts training: A novel “cure” for juvenile delinquency. Human Relations, 39, 1131 – 1140.

[iii] Twemlow, S., Biggs, B., Nelson, T., Vernberg, E., and Fonagy, P. (2008). Effects of participation in a martial arts–based antibullying program in elementary schools, Psychology in the Schools 45(10), 947-959.

[iv] Seabrook, Jamie A. Martial Arts Revealed: Benefits, Problems, and Solutions. New York: IUniverse, Inc, 2003.

[v] Aikido Association of America. “About Us.” 2010.

[vi]Boyce, Stephan and Quigley, Micheal. “An Audit Of Sports Injuries In Children Attending An Accident & Emergency Department.” SMJ 2003 48(3): 88-90

[vii] Zetaruk, M N, M A. Violan, D Zurakowski, and L J. Micheli. “Karate Injuries in Children and Adolescents.” Accident Analysis and Prevention. 32.3 (2000).



Mediocrity Vs Mastery

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Time & Attitude 

So it’s common to hear martial arts coaches to claim its more than punching and kicking and it is, of course true. Though the usual examples of weight loss, fitness, confidence and so on are really default benefits that happen regardless in most cases.

When we coach at Function First we have a philosophy of “Off The Mats As On The Mats”

  • Multidisciplinary Synthesis: Their thinking process involves linking different ideas from different disciplines. It’s valuable because most of today’s problems are solved by applying not only one branch of knowledge.
    A tip: read more to build a lattice work of mental models.

Now this is is a huge area so in this blog we will briefly cover our time and attitude coaching method

The Stuff Winners Are Made Of

So the average Function First Adult member trains 4 hours a week so let’s look at 1 class or 1 hour of training and break it down

  • Train passive pad feeding and your already down to 30 minutes training in that hour
  • Now add drink breaks, take off 5 minutes, now down to 25 minutes in that class
  • Now add changing pads and gloves over, another 5 minutes. Now down to 20 minutes
  • Now when coach says lets go, you smile and say a few words to your partner and another 5 mins of training gone chatting. Now down to 15 minutes
  • Toilet breaks, coaching talk time, arriving late and on we go

Add it all up and its scary, with a sloppy mindset in one hours training you could actually be doing 10 to 15 minutes actual hard work


With a fighters mindset you make every second count, that of an engineer building a bridge over a 1 mile river. You know, 1mm out at the start and by the time you reach the end you fall into the river.

Time management and attitude can mean more than you think.

Be that person who turns up early, starts hitting the pads immediately, pad feeds like you are fighting, and keep the mind in the arena. 

This way you can treble what others in the same class are doing.

Thats the secret to getting ahead, you both travel to get there, you both spend the same time on the mats but one of you does 3 times the work.

Remember practice does not make perfect but perfect practice does

  • Now think this… They do 1 year’s training and with applied mind in the same time you do 3 years
  • Now think this… They do 10 years and in the same time you do 30 years
  • This is where mastery is hidden

This is how we teach our kids and adults to get ahead in the world, not just on the mats

Now Apply Off The Mats As On The Mats

Anything you care about or value, apply this mindset to it, kids, relationships, listening, finance, sport, nutrition, health and so on

You decide, leave this earth having given something your best shot.



Punch Power Seminar Feb 2017

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Punch Power Seminar

Saturday 4th March 2017

Matt Chapman returns to deliver his fantastic improve your punch power seminar

This time round we will be looking at

  • Improving your punch power standing
  • Improving your punch power on the ground

Seriously, last time Matt held this seminar at Function First we all stopped halfway through to wrap our hands from the heavy hitting, very cool indeed

Secure your place by paying below or see our lovely ladies on reception




K1 Amateur Title

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Recent K1 Title Win

Defending Them Soon

So we recently came home from Contenders fight show in Norwich with two amateur K1 titles.

Piotr and Dom have both been with us for a few years now and have been fantastic students. They listen and they simply apply the work we study and train in the FTX Kickboxing classes

They followed the Function First fight team process and it paid off, it truly was a team effort and the results speak for themselves

They both fought tough opponents and both matches went the full 3 rounds.

Contenders fight show as always was a well run professional affair with all fights streamed pay per view and everyone well looked after on the night.

Returning In February

So this Feb we are returning to defend the titles which means we are currently in fight camp mode which it tough and intense but necessary.

We also have Alfie Lewis making his debut on the next show which is Feb 25th so were all looking forward to that

So 2017 starts off with a bang and looks to be another exciting year

Remember the revolution is internal


Recovering After your Martial Arts Workout

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Recovering After your Martial Arts Workout

A lot of time, effort, and study is put into how to perform during a martial arts class. This is definitely a good thing. You do want to be prepared and to be in great shape when you attend your classes. However, you also will be required to put some time into thinking about what to do after class. Even a moderately paced martial arts workout can be a little testing for the body. When you have finished with your session, you will need to do what is required to properly recover after the workout.

Invest in your Martial Arts workout recovery

Not everyone puts much thought into recovering from their workout. They simply just look forward to the next class. There is definitely nothing wrong with this attitude, but it is also well advised to also invest time in making sure you do what is required to aid in your body’s repair of muscle tissue and to replenish its lost nutrients.

Good nutrition helps recover from your Martial Arts workout

Good food = good martial artsNutrition should not be ignored after a Martial Arts workout. When you are investing time in a high intensity cardio workout, lot of vitamins and minerals will need to be replenished. There are quite a number of nonstimulant workout recovery drinks which can do this. Beware of the sugar content on some of those drinks though. You ideally would want to keep refined sugar low. Others may suggest going the natural route and simply eating an orange as this fruit is considered perfect for recovery. A bit of protein in the form of chicken or brown rice is helpful. The key here is you want to add some carbs to your system so you have energy and you need the protein to rebuild and repair the muscle tissue stressed during the class.

Water is vital to your Martial Arts workout recovery

Water is vital to your recovery from a martial arts workoutYou definitely will want to drink some water after having worked out quite intensely. Sweating means you will have lost quite a bit of water during your workout. Martial artists surely need to replenish that water or else you will end up feeling dehydrated. Then again, you won’t just feel dehydrated. You probably will be dehydrated.

Give your body ample rest after the workout to recover. Rushing into the next workout without taking time out to help your body heel a bit can be the path to injury. If you feel excessively sore, you are going to end up in even worse condition if you do not take time out before the next workout session.

Recovery is a very important component to your martial art training. Never skimp or avoid doing what is required to properly recovery from your workout session.

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Matt&Phone3 Contact us now and book your FREE trial. Phone 01522 543787 or email

How to Keep Getting Value Out of the Martial Arts – Martial Arts Lincoln

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Tips to get the most from Martial Arts Lincoln

Not everyone in the martial arts is a beginner. There are those that have been in the martial arts for some time. While they have not yet reached the level of an expert, they do possess more knowledge than the average student. These would be those persons that have been involved in the martial arts for five or so years. They have a strong love for the arts, but that love can sometimes wane.

What can you do if your once very beloved hobby is now starting to become a tad boring? This is not very likely if you are training at Function First Martial arts Lincoln, but we appreciate that the artistic temperament can have its ups and downs; and occasionally your interest can wain a little.

Do not fret too much. There are a few simple things you can do to make martial arts a bit more exciting and invigorating again.

Private lessons with Martial arts Lincoln

Taking a private lesson can often help stimulate renewed interest. Sometimes, group classes become dull because they may not be catering to your needs. If you have been doing martial arts for five years and everyone in the class only has a single year, you may feel a little left out. A private lesson will focus on your needs and yours alone. This can have a hugely positive effect on how you train and allows you to become a little more enthusiastic again.

Take a break from martial arts Lincoln

Take a little time off. This might seem like one of the weirdest suggestions for improvement in the martial arts. Why would anyone wish to take time off from training if the goal was to get more out of one’s training time? The answer is there will be instances where training without a break can lead you to become short sighted about your sessions. This is not a good thing which is why it is suggested to take a break now and then. After a month off, you might find yourself very enthused about starting your lessons with martial arts lincoln once again.

Become an assistant with martial arts Lincoln

Offer your services as an assistant instructor. Senior students commonly are responsible for these duties. Your instructor might not know you are interested in such responsibilities unless you inform him. Working as an assistant instructor has many benefits and values. Among them would be the notion you can review material as you instruct. This will enhance your ability to learn immensely.

Blog about your experiences. Finding your creative muse is not commonly suggested as a way to enhance your learning in the martial arts. However, writing your notes on a blog may help bring a little lost enthusiasm about your training.

None of these steps are all that difficult and they can all contribute greater to getting more joy out of your training once again.

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Contact us now and book your FREE trial.

Phone 01522 543787 or email


Researching the Training Programs of the Martial Arts Masters

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How martial arts masters train

There are a great many inspirational figures in the world of martial arts. From Bruce Lee to Jigoro Kano to Bones Jones, many great fighters and teachers have helped raise awareness of the martial arts and help it grow. Looking towards these legends definitely can be quite the inspiration. For those that wish to become more skilled at the martial arts, it may be best to look at these legends from more a glance. Students of the martial arts, both those new to the arts and those well seasoned, might find much to learn from these legendary figures.

Bruce Lee - Martial arts master

Bruce Lee – Martial arts master

Top names in the martial arts often have great training regimens. In order to perform at the level they do, they have to be in solid physical condition and have effective training strategies that contribute to their winning edge. An elite MMA fighter likely has a great diet and exercise program that is worth investigating. Often, a lot of valuable information can be derived from these training methods.

Choose an appropriate martial arts training regime for you

A bit of clarification does have to be noted here. First, not every top martial artist is a competitive athlete. Second, you likely have to tone down any training regimens a top athlete takes part in.

Someone that is involved in legitimate self-defense training might not be a competitive athlete, but he may have an excellent training system to follow to deal with violent assaults. Special drills designed to deal with aggressive, violent behavior could be valuable to anyone wishing to gain attributes to deal with serious assaults. Examining these training methods is advised. It is not advised to be too hung up about whether or not the trainer has actually competed in a sporting environment.

Jigoro Kano - Martial arts master

Jigoro Kano – Martial arts master

That said, well conditioned and successful athletes are worth emulating as well….but only to a point. A professional athlete may be able to train a full three hours a day. The average person likely will not be able to do. Those that try might end up burning out rather quickly. They also may have trouble duplicating such an athlete’s diet. Tweaking and modifying the diet to meet one’s physical fitness level would be a helpful strategy.

Researching what works for the many greats in the martial arts world definitely has value. Often, these trailblazers provide the helpful insights required to get the most out of training. While modifications have to be made, using the training strategies of a legendary figure as a base can be hugely helpful.

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Contact us now and book your FREE trial.

Phone 01522 543787 or email


Building Concentration in the Young Ones is a Major Benefit of Martial Arts Training

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Martial Arts helps concentration in kids

Martial arts lessons for kids can have very positive effect on those enrolled in the classes. One of the biggest benefits would be improved focus and concentration. This is a good thing because our technologically driven society is one that does not always contribute to improving the lost skills of focus and concentration.

Martial arts helps kids concentration

Technology is a good thing and no one would ever say the technological improvements we see in the internet and television are not without value. Neither television or the internet are solely for entertainment. There is great informational benefit to investing time on the computer and even watching television. Educational programming can help very young kids supplement their learning quite a bit as long as they are watching the right channels.

The problem that arises is so many choices in television programming and internet websites can lead kids to switching channels and surfing websites with great frequency. Bored after only watching three minutes of a program? Change the channel! The first images appearing on a website are unappealing? Jump to a new site! While convenient, kids might up discovering their attention span suffers and suffers greatly. A poor attention span is not going to be a good thing when attending school or even when in situations designed to promote socialization.

This is where martial arts classes for kids can be a huge help.

A lot is mentioned about martial arts classes for kids being good for concentration and discipline, but the reasons why are not mentioned with much clarity. The truth is there are some very simple and basic ways in which kids martial arts classes can develop such skills.

A martial arts class will be one hour long and follow a specific structure. This does not mean the class will be overly regimented or not be fun. Rather, a full hour must be spent in the class and the class will be spent on the performance of the tasks at hand. There is no channel switching or internet surfing involved!

In all seriousness, there will be times when a person cannot simply walk away from something that bores them quickly. Getting through an eight hour or more workday is critical for all adults. Kids need to learn what is required to handle necessary tasks and do so with the right attitude. Martial arts training just may help them do just that.

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