March 2010 - Athens Seminar

Athens Seminar 2010This was my second seminar in Athens for the host Vangelis. Before I went there they had been doing JKD concepts, when I think about the absolute rubbish that JKD concept instructors are fed you have no idea.  They're told if you do stickfighting this greatly improves your punching ability; if you do grappling then this will improve your power.  What shit.  If you want to be better at punching then bloody punch!  If you want to get stronger lift weights or other resistance type of exercise. They seem to be brainwashed with this, anyway lets get to work.  The flight to Athens was ok, it's long but not that long.  It took two planes to get there but that's no big.  Again, you get good hosts and bad hosts; this one was good but I had found that out last time.  As soon as he picked me up he gave me my fee IN POUNDS right there in the airport which in my books is a very good start.  The hotel was nice and clean and folk there were very nice.  So, that's a great start; if you come from a clean home, a decent bed, and good food why should you have to have any different when your away?  So, the seminar numbers wise was well over 25 approximately.  I started by explain what JKD is then used their white board to draw and explain. I think this is a great way to get the info across because drawings seem to be the best way visually than standing and showing. I don't know how, but in my experince it seems to work better.

Athens Seminar 2010So, we started by going through basic foot work; 360 stepping into the stance at different angles then stepping back in different angles then moving forward and changing angles. This does take a lot of time because you have 4 ways to move but slightly different variations on them. Plus, you have to be able to do this from a relaxed natural position and also from moving in the on guard position. That accomplished you can either punch or kick; if am right we work on the leg obstruction 360 using this thing to defend against kicks and the opponent trying to break into your circle to use hands, to punch or grab.  To the front, the leg comes up as natural as you can lift it, to the side it's the same.  Both are the same concept but the position of the foot is different. The front foot is more or less 10 to 4, on the side its 9 to 3; please bare in mind this isn't easy to do, it seems easy but to use this your awareness has to be pretty shit hot.  As soon as he moves you have to be moving also, but done right it can be very brutal for the opponent when he smashes into your foot. The harder he moves the more painful the thing is; done right it could finish the attack, but thats down to a few factors; one he moves fast,  your awareness is very good, and footwear is also important on your part. If you have hard soled shoes or boots your onto a winner if your wearing training type shoes it's not going to have the same effect. Probably this is why Bruce had Geo Lee make him steel rimmed shoes, deadly ha ha.  One shot and the legs smashed.  Anyway, we worked this 360 as I said but it takes more than a seminar to make this work.  A seminar is only putting you on the right track.  You need to continue your journey to get to the destination.

Athens Seminar 2010After that we worked on punching, I guess most JKD folk I see don't do this.  My question is why the hell not?  You cannot always get your right hand out there fast enough when the opponents on the other side; 360 punching the lead and all the variables work great to the front, when you get to the side back then the back hand takes over.  Again, the backhand has so many different ways to use it from up to down, from long to close, diagonal up, down, etc.  I would say the backhand is my favourite hand technique, it's very versatile.  So, by the time we finished all of this we had completed the first day.

Athens Seminar 2010The second day we worked on the inner circle.  The inner circle is when the opponent is close; he can grab you or push you, he can even hit you with his hands. This is very dangerous to you but it must be dealt with. So, the first drill is push and pull; when he does this you blend with his energy the second part to it is just touch when your touched.  You have to respond by hitting; hitting is hit the closest with the nearest.  Then we put it all together; he touches and you hit, he pushes and you absorbed, he pulls and you blend; simple.  Well ok, not really.  Spend 30 years doing it and 30 analysing your mistakes.  So, we've got leg obstruct, we've got 360 punching, then we've got close quarter blending. You have now put all this into practise.  We do this one on one then two against one;  it would take to long to explain all this to you because naturally there's a lot more to it than I have explained to you here. Think about my explanation; it is like frost, it's thin on the ground, but the whole thing is more like deep snow. Another reason why I don't explain everything in detail is purely down to the fact that others reading this who are attempting to get bits and pieces from different folk then call it theirs.  Well that not happening because if they wish to learn they need to come meet me in person then I see who I have given this stuff to.  It's not rocket science but its taken me years of figuring this out and am not handing this on a plate to folk; not unless there at my school or under my direction.

Athens Seminar 2010So, we put this together working on one to one, then two man drills.  It went fairly well considering these guys only had some 10 hrs training.  On the seminar I would say it went very well.  The host was very nice and hospitable, the attendees were keen to learn, the hotel and food were also very good and getting paid; well, ten out of ten.  ANOTHER VERY GOOD TWO DAYS, now it's up to them I gave them the bones now they need to put the flesh onto it. So, till the next seminar, China see you.
Regards,  Tommy

Athens Seminar 2010