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

Solution

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.

 

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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

NO PAY ON THE DAY – COMMIT OR QUIT

 





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Talent Vs Hard Work

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The Hare and the tortoise.

Success mike and stu

Ive seen this a lot over the years, new member joins the gym and picks stuff up so fast. All the other members are blown away and impressed by the seemingly effortless talent. I immediately think, “slightly higher maintenance relationship”

Now thats not a negative thing to say, its my job to notice these things and deliver the required coaching.

So heres how its played out so many times over the years, and i hope this resonates with some of you.

The ones who pick it up quick often get bored quicker or lose interest quicker and go looking for alternative stimuli. While their away missing a class or 2, i mean a class or 2 is no big deal right?

Well during those classes the tortoise gets the basics drilled and drilled and the tortoise never misses a class and stays consistent. The tortoise gets 10 reps in to every 8 of the hare, now that might not sound a lot but that means the what the hare does in 4 years the tortoise does in 3, thats a whole year of extra training and thats without missing any classes. Just attending the same classes and getting in 2 extra reps with a methodical consistent approach can make all the difference.

Now what happens is the hare returns to class after flying their remote control plane at the local model plane club where their also regarded as talented and the swimming club and the football club and the, yeah you get it talented at everything they touch club.

So they return to the martial arts club and they grapple with the tortoise, but now the tortoise is in control and the talent isn’t cutting it. They now feel frustrated and de moralised, i mean this just doesn’t happen at the other clubs (YET) they are the kiddy the gifted but now the scrawny little kids are all over them.

They go home deflated and now miss a few more classes, i mean why would you want to go to a class and be dominated and lose against tortoises?

And here lies the vicious circle of unfocused talent.

Consistency and focus are not just important for martial arts but in many areas of your life.

Wherever you are, be all there and be there often as hard work will almost always beat talent. 

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How to Use Cornering Techniques to Your Advantage

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How to Use Cornering Techniques to Your Advantage

There is a skill that few martial artists possess. This would be the art of dealing with cornering. Cornering is when an assailant tries to get you sandwiched between him and an object. In doing so, your ability to escape is limited and you lack the space needed to defend yourself. Well, this might be the case if you have not been trained to deal with such a scenario. The truth is, it might be easier to deal with being cornered than you realize.

A simple drill to deal with cornering

self defence lincolnHere is a very easy drill to employ to work some of the attributes of defending yourself when cornered. Simply shadow box elbow strikes without performing any footwork whatsoever. You are basically a statue from the waste down and from the waste up you are working your elbow combinations. Again, this is just a drill and you would not want to fight like that in a truly serious scenario. In real life, one or two elbows could be used to set yourself up for an escape from cornering. However, you have to be versed in how to deal with elbows in tight corners. This simple drill can help slightly with that.

 Among the best ways to learn how to deal with objects or tight corners would be to simply borrow a few training methods from combat sports. In MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), fighters have to deal with being pressed up against a cage all the time. In kickboxing, the fighters have to deal with corners. Getting stuck up against a cage or in the corner is not exactly a lot of fun. There are ways out and ways to defend. If there wasn’t, MMA and kickboxing would be very dull sports to watch. Thankfully, techniques for dealing with cornering in the ring or cage have been developed. Such techniques can be easily modified for use in a serious combatives scenario.

Cornering tweaked for self defence

Again, there will be a need to tweak the techniques because the scenario and the situation will have changed. Sports based techniques have certain aspects to them that are born of the environment they are intended for. The tweaking for self-defense may be little more than a few minor alterations, but these changes will have to be made. The environment is different so this will need to be addressed as well.

The way to do this is not hard. All you have to employ would be different training strategies. Sometimes, the differences entail doing little more than making minor changes.

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Matt&Phone3 Contact us now and book your FREE trial. Phone 01522 543787 or email Paula@s2c8.co.uk
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Insights and Tips for Sparring in the Martial Arts

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Get the most out of your sparring

Sparring is something taken very serious by those that are equally serious about their martial arts journey. Sparring might not be everything there is to the martial arts, but it is definitely a major part of the learning process. Whether you are training for competition, for self-defense or even personal development, you want to be sure your skills at sparring are at  solid level.

Questions do arise among martial artists regarding safety and sparring. While many would like to spar, they will be concerned about suffering any potential injuries. These concerns are not the result of being overly cautious. It is definitely important not to get hurt in sparring because doing so will undermine any benefit you are seeking from a sparring session.

Simple rules to sparring safely

To be sure you get the most out of your sparring, you should follow a few basic rules:

  • SparringAllways have the proper safety equipment. A mouthpiece, knee pads and a groin protector will be a must for any sparring whether it be standing or on the ground. Errant injuries can occur when you do not have these basic pieces of equipment in place.
  • When you are performing boxing and kickboxing sparring, you definitely will want 16oz boxing gloves, headgear, and thick shin guards. For those sparring MMA style with MMA gloves, be very careful as these gloves do not offer a lot of protection.
  • Where you spar is equally important when safety is concerned. You need an environment that is safe for sparring. A boxing ring, a cage or a Judo/BJJ mat are designed for the safety of the practitioners. Training in the local park might be fun but you would be taking quite a few safety risks in such an environment.
  • Train under adequate supervision. When you are new to sparring or are a relative beginner in the martial arts, you will best served sparring while an experienced expert is watching. This will boost safety levels immensely.
  • Only train with partners that are considerate and conscientious. It would not be of any benefit to train with people that can present a safety risk to you. Such people have no place in the dojo.
  • Train slow and in a controlled manner. This will reduce injury potential immensely. Being reckless in sparring is a very, very bad idea. Always spar in a manner that enhances safety. Do this at all times!

Sparring safely and effectively in the martial arts is not hard to do. Just following a number of common sense tips will ensure you achieve the desired results.

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Matt&Phone3

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Phone 01522 543787 or email Paula@s2c8.co.uk

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Power side forwards or to the rear??

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Power Side Forward vs. Power Side to the Rear: The Eternal Martial Art Discussion

Power side forward vs. power side to the rear: which is better? This is a commonly debated topic among the striking arts. To a degree, whether to put the strong side forward or to the rear is also a common discussion in grappling arts circles. In truth, personal preferences and goals will factor into whether or not the power side should go forward or remain in the rear.

Power side - Sport at the rearWhat is your power side?

Strong side vs. weak side will be based on whether you are right handed or left handed. If you are right handed, your right hand would reflect your power hand. Hence, strong side forward means your right hand and foot would be forward. The rational here is both the right hand and foot would be far more capable of handling the tasks required of them since they are stronger. This is why so many self-defence arts stress the strong side forward.

Power side in sports martial arts

Sportive arts will follow a different paradigm. In sportive endeavors, the weak side is put forward for the purpose of setting up a massive power shot from the strong side in the rear. In a sportive endeavor, there are very few options available to those in the ring or the cage. The reason is an opponent will be moving and jabbing. Therefore, it becomes harder to find a clear shot. As a result, it becomes necessary to set up shots through using the weak lead hand and cutting lose with the weak side when an opportunity arises.

Power side in self defence

In self defence, this might not be a wise approach because time is not on the side of the person who is being attacked. Assaults commence and end rather quickly. Due to this fact, striking with the most powerful tool is vital and placing the tool closer to the target makes sense.

That said, you will likely be in a natural stance when you are assaulted and that means your weak side may be forward. You would have no choice but to act from the weak side. Rarely do you ever have any choices when you are dealing with an assault situation. This is do to the rapid nature of such clashes. So, for self defence purposes, it is best to train both the strong and the weak side to ensure you are capable of handling anything that comes your way. With the right effort and training, the weak side can be made much stronger.

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Matt&Phone3

Contact us now and book your FREE trial.

Phone 01522 543787 or email Paula@s2c8.co.uk

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The Foot Sweep: Making a Classic Martial Arts Technique Relevant

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The Foot Sweep: Making a Classic Martial Arts Technique Relevant

One of the huge benefits of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) training has been the modernisation of the martial arts. This is definitely a good thing because modernising the martial arts helps with improving training methods. There is one drawback though. Namely, there are a few old school (so to speak) martial arts techniques that can become somewhat forgotten due to the emphasis on MMA. One such technique would be the classic foot sweep.

Foot SweepThe foot sweep is found in scores of traditional martial arts. It is not commonly taught in many MMA programs and this is unfortunate. It is perplexing though since the foot sweep is found in both Muay Thai and in Judo, two arts that are a major part of MMA training. Granted, many Thai boxing classes opt not to teach the foot sweep due to the injurious nature when a foot sweep is performed as a kick.

So what is a foot sweep?

We are getting a little bit ahead of ourselves here. A foot sweep is a takedown or partial takedown performed by pulling, kicking, or otherwise dragging an opponent’s foot. In Muay Thai, this is traditionally done by kicking a fighter’s ankle as a counter to his kick. Since he is on one leg, the foot sweep is quite dangerous.

That said, there are other times a foot sweep can be performed and done so in a far less dangerous manner. Off balancing an opponent and dragging the foot can take him off balance. In a self-defense situation, someone may try to grab you, you could sweep his foot out making it very difficult for him to move efficiently and you can quickly run away. Of course, in more serious situations, the foot sweep could be used to break the structure of an assailant so you can strike more efficiently. Often, this is a technique used in traditional Muay Thai, but trained fighters know how to counter so they will not get knocked over all that easily.

One thing about foot sweeps is they require an understanding of the proper angles to hit in order to disrupt the opponent. If the angle (often based on the triangle position of how the person’s stance may be), is hit correctly, the person will fall over. Often, it is necessary to attack the feet in combinations in order to hit the correct triangle point. Each time an untrained person struggles to escape a foot sweep, he/she will become more likely to be swept.

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Matt&Phone3

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Phone 01522 543787 or email Paula@s2c8.co.uk

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Dealing with Weapons: A Critical Aspect of Martial Arts Training

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The truth about weapons

One very popular aspect of self-defence training would be the ability to deal with weapons. While learning such tactics is popular among would be students, the truth is most of their impressions about weapons are based on what they have seen in the movies. While it might seem easy to disarm a knife or a gun in a film, that is because the scene is choreographed. In other words, it is not real. There are certain factors that must be understood about dealing with weapons. These factors would be you will be at an enormous disadvantage when dealing with weapons. Attempts to engage an assailant that has a knife or a gun can lead to being severely injured or even killed. Therefore, a more judicious approach to dealing with the weapons must be used.

Movie style weapons

Weapons –  types of predator

First, you must understand there are two types of predators that will try to use a weapon. These would be the resource predator and the process predator. The resource predator. wants something from you. The process predator. is someone that is interested purely in committing acts of violence.

Dealing with the resource predator generally means you are dealing with a thief or someone that wants property. While a violent person, the resource predator may only be interested in using a threat to get what he wants. In other words, he may draw a knife or a gun, but he is only interested in, say, your money. Once you hand over the money, he will leave knowing the longer he stays where he is, he runs the risk of being caught or getting into a confrontation. When you can diffuse the situation by giving him what he wants, you increase your chances of survival. Trying to engage him likely will cause the situation to get worse.

Weapons and the resource predator

The resource predator is a far more dangerous animal. Worse yet, you may have no other option other than fighting him even if he has a gun or a knife. The resource predator is the rapist and the murderer. He will try to kidnap a victim, move the person to a new crime scene or tie others up. Obviously, you cannot allow this to happen. Escape is certainly the better option, but if you cannot escape you have to fight. Improperly fighting an armed assailant is not going to end well.

Therefore, you have to train with someone that does really understand what is required to engage a weapon. There are realistic and serious ways of doing this and these tactics are taught by those martial arts instructors that are highly skilled at what they do. Look for a legitimate personal defence instructor when wishing to learn about the weapons defence aspect of martial sciences.

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Matt&Phone3

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Phone 01522 543787 or email Paula@s2c8.co.uk

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Sport MMA Emerges for Kids

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MMA competition for kids

Kids and martial arts seem to go well together. The thrill of competing in  safe and controlled environment allows even very young kids the ability to learn the sportive side of an art. Most are familiar with the traditional point karate competition circuit. With the newfound interest in grappling, more kids are enrolling in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu events. And now there is emerging a MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) oriented kids competition circuit.

At this point, many will think the emergence of MMA for kids is impossible. How can kids compete in cage fighting. Actually, they won’t. Kids mixed martial arts tournaments are not the MMA you see adults competing. Rather, the events for kids are scaled back and made a lot safer.

These events are commonly called “Pankration” and “Sport MMA” events. Probably the best way to describe them would be a combination of point karate, judo and submission wrestling. Basically, the designers of these events have simply taken three different tournaments that have a long tradition with kid’s competition and combined them. The events do not take place in a cage or a ring. They take place in the traditional format for a kid’s event: a tournament mat. This not only creates for more appealing visuals, it adds to the safety of the event as well.

Honestly, safety is the prime component to these events. The promoters of kid’s tournaments realise the purpose of the events is for the kids to get out and have fun. Of course, they also have the potential to walk away with a trophy or a medal which is another benefit. For those kids wishing to build up their self-confidence, competing in such an event can be a true self-esteem builder.

The time invested in training for a kid’s MMA/Pankration event also has the benefit of teaching a goal oriented approach to learning the martial arts. Training in the dojo takes on a different phase when there are tournament oriented goals on the horizon. As such, the training can make such events quite the experience for the young ones taking part in it.

These events are becoming quite popular and will likely continue to grow in popularity. Why would they not? They have a great deal to offer the young practitioners of the martial arts. Who knows? The next great mixed martial arts superstar might get a start on the Kid’s Sport MMA circuit.

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Matt&Phone3

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Cardio training for martial arts

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There will always be questions that arise regarding how important cardiovascular conditioning is to martial arts training. For those that are competing for a fight, the answer is cardio work is enormously important. This is certainly true and reflects advice that is well worth taking. That said, there is a somewhat troubling assumption that comes out of hearing such an assessment. Namely, people assume if they are not training for a competition, they do not need to worry about their cardio work.

This really is not the best attitude to take for two reasons:

  • The better your cardio is, the more enjoyable you will find your classes to be.
  • The better your cardio is, the healthier you will be.

Battling RopesHowever, it would be accurate to say you do not need to really put in the full amount of cardio work that would be on the same level as a performance athlete. A significantly high level of endurance is not required to get through the average martial arts class. The intensity level of such a class is not really that high. Here is a true fact for those whose cardio might not currently at the level they want: a martial arts class is a cardio workout. That means you will be improving your cardio and conditioning as you attend classes regularly.

However, you just might be struggling right now. You may be new to the classes or you might have had a layoff from training for quite some time. Regardless of the reason, it is well advised to take a few simple steps to improve your conditioning. This way, when the time comes to take your class, you will be in good shape and condition.

How to improve your cardio fitness

The way to improve your conditioning is not all that difficult. You just need to perform some basic cardio work for 20 minutes a day for about three days a week. Obviously, this will not turn you into a cardio dynamo. However, you will see your endurance levels improve dramatically. Running, jogging, jumping rope, and step aerobics can all contribute to enhancing your cardio for your martial arts class.

Once your cardio improves (and it will with consistent effort), you will discover getting through your class is easier and the class itself becomes a lot more enjoyable. You won’t be able to improve in the arts if you do not enjoy your sessions. Investing time enhancing your cardio will ensure your workouts are always positive and eventful ones. Even a little bit of cardio work can go a long way.

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Matt&Phone3

Contact us now and book your FREE trial.

Phone 01522 543787 or email Paula@s2c8.co.uk

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