Martial Arts Blog

A Philosophy of the Fist The Making of “Cross Training in the Martial Arts 2: The Anatomy of Hand Strikes” - Part 5

 by pad-up on 21 Jun 2011 |
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A Philosophy of the Fist The Making of “Cross Training in the Martial Arts 2: The Anatomy of Hand Strikes”

Mo’s SSTTM system, which is an acronym for Streetwise Strategies Tactics Techniques and Mind-Set, is a long awaited return to looking at the causes behind violence. The hands may be our most efficient tools, but they serve little use if you are taken unawares. “Naivety kills” has always been Mo’s simple proclamation on street-fighting. Before a physical situation is to even be considered one has to be switched on and constantly aware of a changing environment. Understanding what leads up to a violent assault makes you much better prepared. This is why Mo has devised these courses. The introduction of more courses like this, such as Tony Somers “Intelligent Self-Protection”, will hopefully begin to keep the obsessed over physical side of self-defence training (what Mo says only constitutes ten per cent of self-protection) in context. Mo was among the first instructors who embraced Peter Consterdine and Geoff Thompson’s approach and combined it with the experience he gleaned from active military service and as a Guardian Angel. SSTTM forms part of his Functional Jeet Kune Do outlook.  
On the day Mo also worked on the background of the line-ups and gave the students a multiple opponent drill. Mick followed this up with his Core Combatives, working “hard skills” by concentrating simple hand attacks on the highline. Matty Evans followed this over into looking at different angles of attack and different places to strike from, such as the ground. Alan Gibson then moved on with the use of combinations with the hands. Iain Abernethy continued on this theme, looking into methods of referencing and controlling the enemy when applying strikes. Russell Stutely took an apparent tangent with an elbow strike, but underlined a principle relevant to the whole project in generating force. The day was finished, in the best way possible, with the hugely charismatic Chris Rowen. Chris summarized all of the activities. He remains our traditional martial arts stamp of approval on the whole project.
The day bore witness to some brilliant interaction between the different instructors. Iain explained that he learned a new way to look at things every time he viewed a different instructor. His referencing strategies, designed for times of extreme pressure are comparable to Mick Coup’s indexing and controlling methods. Iain was also impressed by simple training ideas such as the way Matty Evans encouraged students to hold focus mitts closer to their faces to promote better accuracy by the striker. Matty set the best example of respect and thirst for knowledge martial artists are expected to show by his training under all the instructors that followed his section. It was great to see Matty and Alan Gibson – two martial artists who usually would have no reason to meet – working through a Karate drill taught by Iain. Whilst some tried out each other’s differing training drills, others enjoyed finding strong similarities that connected their approaches. Mick and Russell, for example, teach a virtually identical concept in generating force. Chris’s final section on the day was watched by Iain, Nick and me, who always found his humour and delivery very entertaining. “You must always have Chris end these seminars” Iain said to us, as we laughed at another one of the Shihan’s eccentric one-liners.
The day proved to be a very enjoyable experience for all those who attended. Afterwards I really got a strong feeling of how well things were changing in the martial arts world in general. Now we had to do our best to get this across in the DVD.


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