7/12/08 by the founder of Urban Combatives; Lee Morrison
On Sunday the 7th December 08 after much preparation and work UC hosted the first in a series of seminars called NEW BLOOD. These events are aimed at bringing some of Britain’s current and most superb Reality based martial talent, into the media lime light. The idea was to incorporate four relatively new and up and coming as well as, already established Self Protection & Combatives Instructors; with the idea of generating exposure and profile for each, whilst offering everyone a unique opportunity to train with some of the best New Blood Instructors that Britain has currently on offer.
This first of 3 events offered the following bill for the first time, in one place; this list was formulated from a large number of likely candidates so many infact that we could only really do any of these guys justice, over several such events. The December event covered Alan Peasland, Simon Squires, John “Awesome” Anderson and Lee Morrison: I myself, was both promoting this event and teaching as well as introducing several of my most experienced up and coming UC instructors; all of whom represent one part of the bill, leaving the three other NB instructors and their assistants to make up the rest of the compilation for the day.
The day started with registration at 10am followed by a brief introduction and overview for the events to come. The format for this event was both practical and unique, splitting the whole class into four groups of the same approximate numbers for each of the four instructors to take to their corner, of this most adequately sized training hall. Each area was matted and kitted complete with Instructor, assistant and students. From here each group trained simultaneously for an hour followed by a 15 minute break then each of the groups rotated, until each group had trained with each instructor, getting a good taste of what each had to offer. The format worked extremely well and each instructor’s material complimented the others forming a varied program of Self Protection study for each of the guys training.
New Blood instructor line up for the day; Simon Squires-Lee Morrison-John Anderson-Matty Evans-Alan Peasland and Mick Tully.
Alan Peasland is one of Geoff Thompson’s most experienced seniors and an early veteran of Geoff’s “Animal Days.” Al is a senior 4th Dan Instructor with the British Combat Assn and today he presented his take on Self-Protection via his heavy influence from Geoff Thompson and adaptation from his own live experience. Al gave an introduction geared toward inducing adrenal stress starting off giving everyone the idea that they were about to take part in the famous “Animal Day” experience to K.O or submission. This was met with adrenal stress, trepidation and a mixture of excitement, especially from my UC lads. He went on to explain that the purpose of the exercise was to introduce anyone who might be unfamiliar, with the effects of adrenaline.
Al taught a balance between theory and practical work relating to his Fence Concepts.
From here he went into detail about the effects such stress has on the recipient during the throws of a potentially violent confrontation. Al demonstrated his take on Self-Protection via verbal instruction along with the use of various training model depictions relating to Soft skills, Awareness and Avoidance & Escape strategies. From here students were introduced to Alan’s Fence Concepts which have recently been introduced to the market via a DVD and book project of the same name.
Al working with Mick Tully; demonstrating variations on using the fence and pre-emptive strikes on the pads, working around his own main artillery of either a straight right punch or a left handed open hand slap.
Next he moved into the realms of physical drills via straight punching off the fence and the use of the palm slap as an angular strike off the same.
Employing the concept of Pre-emptive striking, before moving into the realms of striking from restriction, via a variety of drills incorporating punches and strikes from close range, against a wall and off the floor from a seated and kneeling position all designed to help the student cultivate power and confidence from any restriction, translating to a more effective strike/punch from a more resourceful position such as the fence. All in all everyone loved Al’s take on Self-Protection I recommend you check out his recent Fence Concepts project. I’d just like to finish up this section thanking Al for his excellent presentations for the day along with his equally talented assistant Mick Tully ( :
In each of my 4 presentations I was gratefully assisted at varying times by some of my UC instructors; namely Alban Balliu-Daniel Morrison-Jon Mackey-Rob pepper-Jamie Miller-Tom fryer-Steve Tomkins-Paul Scothern-Dave Mulliner and Pat Martens. My own topic for the day looked at just one aspect relating to counter grappling. Obviously, here we are talking from a street perspective. Within my own UC curriculum we look at the whole subject of grappling to address the following areas; 1. Vertical clinch; where both subjects have clashed bodies in an attempt to stifle movement 2. Horizontal grappling; where both subjects’ have gone to the ground 3.Fighting from the floor; when you are on the ground and the other guy is still on his feet 4. Finishing a floored subject; whilst standing without getting pulled to the ground yourself, and finally 5.Weapon access & deployment by either subject during a grapple.
Of course all of these elements relate to support skills or contingency plans if our priority option of awareness/avoidance and escape and/or pre-emptive impact, should fail. Each New Blood instructor had just an hour to present their chosen topic to each group, so we had to stick to the dynamics and get the guys active for each module taught. My grappling element focused on the stand up clinch or more aptly put the messed up tangle that two combatants clash into if either one of them misses initiative or strikes indecisively from the off. What usually happens if either side gets hit first but not put down, the recipient will crash forward in an attempt to stifle the others movement, preventing him from getting hit further. This ends up more like a messed up, stiff arm death grip push/pull struggle than anything depicted in a sporting grapple and unless this fleeting range is managed effectively both subjects will often end up on the ground.
Examples of a vertical clinch or tie up.
Our objective here was to look at fast and efficient methods to dominant this vertical range in order to bring the fight back to us ASAP. Our options here included restricted striking, biting & gouging, ballistic manipulation and use of the environment-such as walls, corners and edges etc the concept to be grasped was simple; create space via ‘pain’ then get up the ladder of force to striking via ballistic impact ASAP to finish the fight.
Example of a restricted strike to the high line from a closed vertical grapple.
An example of a ballistic manipulation into striking and takedown.
New Blood participants practice counter clinch with non-compliancy.
Biting from an uninterrupted position, as a counter clinch option to create space for striking.
Here is an example of our options at ECQ or Extreme Close Quarters from left to right in sequence this drill depicts; Restricted striking, ear rip to eye gouge followed by ballistic manipulation of the head…
finishing with a head-slam into the wall as use of the environment.
This module concluded with a couple of effective takedowns and finishes, taking the level of force to threat parallel from; controlling the subject’s descent to using the floor as a secondary means of impact to the target.
Ballistic impact via a palm slap to the back of the neck a half-beat behind a shot to the jaw precedes a head-twist takedown.
It was a real pleasure for me to host Liverpool based Simon Squires, who is an instructor under the great Dennis Martin of CQB Services. Simon is probably one of the least known of the New Breed modern day; Combative instructors in Europe, but is most certainly one of the best guys on the circuit with a huge amount of quality information to pass on. What’s so cool about training with Simon is that you will go away having learned something about yourself and that something is how you will perform under stress! Getting a student to operate effectively under the stress of fear, fatigue, pain, confusion and disorientation is where Simon Squires’ method of training reigns supreme. His take on what he calls “Emergency Combatives” is an experience that all serious students of SP should expose themselves to. Straight away Simon will take you into the realms of fatigue and get you working from what he calls “an anaerobic deficit” We all know that it is the ATP non-oxidative energy system that is called upon during the ten all-out manic seconds of a fight, Simon will take you there and beyond and then make you fight a non-compliant padded assailant, who will hit you back, take you down and not respond to anything less than an immediate functional counter response “impact” in order to show you if what you are training, works or not! In short he is installing a big piece of experience under stress, then showing you how to refine the details. Result? A no place to hide confident building scenario that goes some way at least, towards closing the reality gap between the street and the dojo.
Simon giving an introduction to Lofty’s Vital Pyramid along with Si’s take on Combatives.
During each instructor’s hour long presentation all anyone can give you is the basic dynamics of what they teach and there was no exception here. Si started with a fast paced anaerobic warm up then went straight into his series of drills designed to create the anaerobic deficit. His objective was to get the student working from a flat foot perspective. By that I mean from little of no mental or physical preparation straight into the deep end of the fight! One such example was a partner pad drill, which started from when the feeder shouted “GO!” The immediate response from this startle reflex was to aggressively straight blast (a series of continuous short palms or punches) employing the two main tactics of forward pressure and continuous attack in order to regain the initiative.
Working from the startle response to 100 percent aggression with forward pressure.
Counter assault with impact into restraint.
Another was to get slapped around the face as “a wake up” from the pad-man then counter attack with ten aggressive slaps, then arm-drag him into a choke restraint until he taps. One other was the dreaded press up blast; designed to build mindset and the will to win! All of these principle based training ideas show commonality to Lofty Wiseman’s training model for Self-Protection within any and all rules of engagement; the Vital Pyramid. This is a teaching model familiar to all UC Instructors and students and was first given to me by Dennis Martin some years ago via the great John “Lofty” Wiseman.
John “Lofty” Wiseman’s Vital Pyramid.
The Vital Pyramid identifies the essential winning elements during any conflict management, namely Mindset and the will to win, followed by the best tactical options available, driven by skills and kit as a support to the two previously stated priority elements. The grand finale was for each student to be taken into the harsh realms of one final fatigue inducing drill by Si’s drill Sgt style assistant, via an array of push ups-star jumps and burpees, then made to go nose to nose with Simon now donning a fully padded FIST suit and engineered for impact padded helmet.
Each student has no fence and is allowed no preparation, the fight is on when Si throws his characteristic cheap shot and is only ended by the safety man when Simon is deemed as “put away!” Needless to say that everyone enjoyed the experience all putting in a top effort towards Combative efficiency.
Simon suits up for the scenario stress training.
Forward offensive pressure in application.
Pre-fatigue into the Anaerobic deficit then go nose to nose with no preparation..
Commence continuous assault until the man is down!
Daniel Morrison gets stuck into Simon during the stress training as Alban shouts his head off.
John “Awesome” Anderson should need no introduction to anyone here, particularly if you’ve read Geoff Thompson’s best seller “Watch my Back” John was an absolute legend in Coventry as a veteran doorman of the 80’s. A young and eager to learn Geoff Thompson worked along-side John Anderson who helped Geoff forge and hone his martial skills within the live environment of the violent Coventry door scene. John is known for his extremely well honed pugilistic skills as a one punch KO specialist with either hand.
John Anderson works his awesome left hook from a very tight range on the pad.
Today at this special New Blood event John shared his knowledge and demonsratable experience with the rest of the class. Here John was assisted by Matty Evans, another of Geoff Thompson’s senior instructors. The main focus was first and foremost on the Line-Up; this is essential to the success of any pre-emptive strike from a KO perspective. The main message here was that “position” to throw the shot is everything. Add to this the cultivation of being switched on to any aggressive or deceptive pre-attack cue from the guy your facing, such as any attempt to shift weight or stance up, along with developing the ability to punch from a completely unobtrusive and non-telegraphic position with speed, power and aggression and you have the formula for which John had had so much success with on the door and on the street. The above principles were applied to the straight right hand and the left hook on the pads with devastating accuracy before looking at more close quarter tools such as the elbow strike.
John stressed the importance of tool and targeting in punching, with the need to employ the largest two primary knuckles of a closed fist to ideally, either side of the point of the chin, but certainly within the curve of the jawbone for the best KO effect. John explained how this is best achieved by turning the fist over on contact kind of like a corkscrew hook when throwing a tight left or right hook.
John Anderson depicting tool and targeting along the importance of follow through for KO punching.
Here is a great little pad drill to simulate making space from a very close range
To throw a good solid elbow strike.
A pictorial demonstration of the main take-home message for John’s workshop;
Get the position and Line-up right, this is the power base for all KO punches.
One additional element that John and Matty presented was a little horizontal grappling. The main priority worked here was getting back to your feet. Both of these top class instructors gave a couple of options, then got the group working within the realms of non-compliancy with the object of getting up on your feet ASAP. All in all the feedback from the mean and moody John Anderson was “Awesome” and the addition of Mathew Evans assistance was truly a treat not to be missed. So a big shout of thanks goes to Matty for all his help.
John and Matty give their take on getting up from lost initiative on the ground.
In closing I would just like to say that this event was a great success and an even greater opportunity, to get so many great guys all training and sharing knowledge together under one roof. I plan to run another New Blood event next year, as there is still a huge amount up and coming talent out there, little explored. I would like to thank all of the instructor’s taking part along with all my students and family who helped share the work load for this event. Thanks also to my daughter Sinead for all her hard work on the photos and to Neil Harding and Rob Pepper whose superb capture, filming, edit and production has made it possible to produce an excellent DVD of professional quality which will be available shortly. Finally a big thanks to everyone who took part, particularly those traveling from Holland, Germany, all over Ireland and from all corners of the UK, Thank you I leave you with a brief review from one of the Irish crew Jon Mackey. Peace LM
The New Blood Seminar review by UC Ireland’s Jon Mackey
Myself and Rob set off early from Dublin, Saturday December 6th. The destination was the very familiar at this point, Southampton - The home of Urban Combatives. We have been looking forward to the New Blood seminar organised by Lee and UC, since its first mention a few months back. The idea of bringing some of Britain's newest combative and RBSD minds into one room for a series of mini seminars, was one that would stimulate the mind of any person interested in this unique field of unarmed combat.
The seminar itself went off like clock work. The room started to fill just after 9.30am. People had traveled many miles, some from as far as Liverpool and Northampton (which I'm assuming is miles away!). As with all Combative/RBSD seminars, everyone is friendly and welcoming, this seminar is no different. The participants mingle and exchange views and ideas while filling up on some of the fresh produce laid out for the seminar.
There was no shortage of carbs for the day, water, fruit and nuts in abundance. The lay out was ideal. By 10am everyone was registered and the seminar leaders had arrived. I whispered to Rob "Hey Rob, there's 'Awesome' " - John Anderson had arrived. I had been looking forward to doing his session as I've heard so much about him and those legendary anvils attached to the end of his arms. We were in the presence of truly remarkable and capable individuals.
This was going to be a great day. Event organizer, Lee Morrison pulled everyone together and outlined the running order for the day.
Lee was teaching Anti-grappling techniques and ECQ drills.
Simon Squires was teaching anaerobic stress training drills with the FIST suit
John Anderson, assisted by Matty Evans was teaching line-ups and one punch knock outs as well as some ground fighting.
Al Peasland assisted by Mick Tully was teaching his Fence Concepts and restricted striking.
Each seminar went on for an hour and rotated throughout the day. The participants were broken down into 4 groups of ten, which meant every part of the hall was buzzing with Combative attitude and tough training drills.
It was hard to pick a favorite. Each session provided something new, something refreshing and worthwhile. It was my first time to square up to Simon Squires in the FIST suit, that was daunting at first but mental attitude kicks in and adrenal stress turns into super power! Simon’s session was very enjoyable. Holding the pads for John Anderson was a real eye opener, feeling raw natural power wham through the pads left me in no doubt as to why he's called 'Awesome' - and why he inspired the great Geoff Thompson. Al Peasland lectured some very valid points about the 'fence'. I liked his take on it a lot. The restricted striking drills were also very good and highlighted the fact that you don't always have the opportunity to load up on a good shot.
I've trained with Lee many times now, and it's not rare to learn something new from him every time. Lee taught his counter grapping session which included options for ECQ and clinch situations. Lee never fails to inspire.
Over all, the event was outstanding. Professionally laid out, well prepared and very enjoyable. I would like to thank Lee for organizing the event and giving us the opportunity to train again with him and some of the greats on the circuit in Britain at the moment. Super stuff.
A FEW ADDITIONAL TRAINING PICTURES FROM THE DAY: