Spot the differences

Spot the differences In my last article I wrote about how aesthetic forces lead to a shift in the appearance of things that can impede their original function. It’s time to revisit the wonder of the natural world and see how and observe how environmental conditions and needs take things from across time, space and…

The English bulldog and the fighter

The English Bulldog and the fighter   Ah, the English Bulldog, companion of Churchill, symbol of courage as a small island fought back against a continent overrun by genocidal Nazis. I like to think that the title of this post will attract feisty patriots bursting with national pride. Attract them and then go somewhere unexpected….

Beyond mechanics

Beyond Mechanics I met a long term Aikido practitioner recently who had a deep faith in his art. You could say it bordered on woo-woo, though when I pressed him he admitted that dojo practises was a long way from the dynamics of resistance and was unlikely to reflect the reality of violence with only…

War and play

War and Play Cosplay and Kung-fu This post is a reply to Jesse Conley’s article  Make war the Roman way  about some patterns he sees in self defense teaching that get on his nerves. Essentially I agree with him, I’d like to take a parallel path to some of his points then rejoin him at…

What does Natural motion offer?

What does Natural Motion offer? Natural motion/movement is an approach to movement that makes some quite specific and impressive claims. It is the creation of Monya Gorelik, based on several decades of martial arts practise, the application of mathematics and the research of biomechanics – with a special emphasis on Eastern European sources (more about…

Lu Baochun seminar review

The weekend of July 1-2 Lu Baochun was in Paris and I managed to catch the last day of training. I had meant to go earlier but life got in the way. How was it? Well as my friend Michael Rook said to me recently “Lu is awesome.” Now awesome is a much abused word,…

Luo Dexiu Paris 2017 seminar review

I’ve been in two minds about writing up this year’s Paris seminar with Luo Dexiu. I’ll explain why later. Clearly I’ve decided to go for it. More by luck than design I picked a series of topics that complemented each other extremely well. Or perhaps it is Luo’s teaching skill that allow him to show…

Emmet Louis M3 review

I’ve just unpeeled my closed eyes on the Eurostar coming back from London and Emmet Louise’s Modern Methods of Mobility (M3 seminar). Why did I go, what did I learn and was it worth it? There are a whole lot of approaches to mobility or flexibility or stretching or whatever you want to call it. There…

Unbelievable!? Face, politics and money.

For a moment I thought that something was happening. If you have not seen ex Sanda and MMA fighter Xu Xiaodong is on a campaign to call out what he considers to be frauds in Chinese martial arts. He has targeted the Chen family and other famous Chen Taiji people – who charge €26000 for…

Book Excerpt: The appeal of the obscure and pond size effect

From How to choose your Internal martial arts teacher – full table of contents below I am curious about the appeal of the exotic and obscure in martial arts. This is what I have observed. In the world of martial arts there are fads and fashions. For various reasons people fixate on the desire to learn a specific…