Tuesday, 29 December 2009
Sunday, 6 December 2009
Thanks to everyone including Corey, Carl G and Jesus who came along too.
In the clips below, I was teaching a mix of Wing Chun, FMA and JKD concepts agains the jab and cross, looking at angles, posture and positioning
Like everthing learned in life, these tehniques and drills need to be put into perspective, because everything works in the right situation.
Hope you enjoy them!
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
This month I have a special XMAS treat for you courtesy of Alan do Nascimento - aka 'Finfou'. I managed to 'twist' his arm whilst training and he agreed to shoot a couple of positions to share with you guys this month.
I have to tell you that he is a real humble, nice and down to earth guy and a really good teacher too.
In this first video, he teaches an omoplata from the spider guard
In the second video, he explains a particular defence to a common guard pass 'attack'. the attack may be common but let me tell you, the defence is not!! In fact it was so good, we shot it twice!
Always feel free to comment :)
Getting to grips with the finer aspects of the triangle!
Finfou and Jesus Finfou and Savash
Corey, Finfou and Malandro
Finfou and a few of the crew.....
Interview with Alan do Nascimento - BJJ Black Belt - Mundial & World Cup Champion (conducted 18.11.09)
DO: 'Finfou', thank you for taking the time out to conduct an interview with me. Can I begin by going through some background info with you?
F: Sure. My full name is Alan do Nascimento and I was born on 12.3.82. I am currently 27 years old. I was born in Sao Gonsalo, Rio de Janeiro.
DO: Can you tell me about your BJJ history and how long you have been training
F: Yes. I started training BJJ when I was 12 years old. My first teacher was Fernando Augusto aka 'Terere" I started of course as a white belt, and progressed through yellow and orange, gaining my blue belt at the age of 15. I received my purple belt from him when I was 20. Terere then moved to Sao Paulo to teach and then Ricardo Vieira started teaching in the Favela VB project and I have been with him ever since. Ricardo gave me my Brown belt when I was 23 and one year later on 29.7.06 he honoured me with the Black Belt.
DO: Only 2 teachers and they just happen to be 2 of the best in the World
F: Exactly. I have been very fortunate and thank GOD for this.
DO: Can you give a summary of your competition successes in recent years
IBJJF - European Champion - Black Belt
- 2007 - Middle
- 2008 - Middle
- 2009 - Middle Heavy
- 2008 - Middle Heavy
- 2009 - Middle Heavy
- 2005 - Purple Belt at Light weight
- 2006 - Brown Belt at Light weight
- 2005 - Purple Belt at Light weight
- 2006 - Brown Belt at Light weight
- 2008 - Middle weight
I first became involved with WC in 1983 when I was introduced to Sifu's Martin Ruiz and John Sahakian who were teaching in Ealing. I had only heard of the art through a good friend of mine Asari St Hill. I discovered that their lineage was Sifu Simon Lau and I would describe it as a 'hard' style. I trained with them for approximately 3 years, until they closed down.
I continued to train with fellow students and friends generally thinking I was much better than I really was, which unfortunately is often the case with martial artists. In early 1986, quite by accident, whilst I was at college I was asked to start teaching a group of ladies who wanted 'self defence'. This led to the 'Womens school of martial arts and self defence' taught by yours truly.
In 1988, I had 'a visit' from representatives of Sifu Nino Bernardo, who encouraged me that perhaps I need to learn more WC. I did want to go and study with Sifu Nino but I could not afford it at that time. However it did start me researching alternative places to train.
In April of that year I joined Sifu Eddie Yeoh's school (Grandmaster Lee Sing lineage) where I trained until I met Sifu Michael Louison in October 1988. He was visiting our school. I learnt he was starting a new school in Greenwich and made an open invitation.
At that stage, Sifu Michael was one of a small handful of students who had completed the entire system under Sifu Nino and he had also trained with Master Wong Shun Leung and Si-bak Ng Chun Hong.
I studied with Sifu Michael as his first student from 1988 through to 1993 and was one of his most consistent students. I had the pleasure of travelling with him to Italy in 1990 to teach a seminar and I would cover classes for him in his absence. I also managed to train with Si-bak when he came to london a few times to teach and also on trip to his school in Hong kong maybe 9 years ago. That was an amazing experience training with such a talented group. They did their best to make sure that I knew their Wing Chun was the best!!
Back in London, I did get involved in some challenge matches defending my style and I am pleased to say that fortune favoured me in those outings!
Funnily enough, my first introduction to the filipino martial arts came through training with Sifu Michael and training at the 'Basement' becaause at that time, Sifu Nino was an apprectice instructor under none other than Guro Dan Inosanto. That was in 1990.
So far as WC is concerned, in my opinion, Sifu Michael's interpretation and understanding is of the highest level.
Here is a video I have found of him training along with a good friend of mine whom I introduced to WC & Sifu Michael maybe 12 years ago.
See what you think
The WC, that I use now has influenced every aspect of my martial arts!
Woke up this morning (early!!) and it was freezing!! Car iced over....welcome to XMAS!! :)
Last month was a busy month for me and this month will undoubtedly be busier. I managed to achieve most of my targets for last month but unfortunately I didn't manage to film any CSW/MMA stuff. That will probably have to wait a while as I begin to prepare for the European Championships at the end of January 2010.
This month, the BJJ 'techniques of the month' are performed by BJJ whizz Alan 'Finfou' Nascimento and once again I thank him for the time he spent with me last month.
In adddition I have a short interview with him to help you guys have a better insight into his life and BJJ.
I should also have some more Filipino martial arts info and any other updates.
I will also have some info on one of my first martial art loves...Wing chun!!
I also congratulate Suleyman Cetin who formally completed his Phase 1 training in FMA even though his general skills are way above that level.
Hope you enjoy all, and as always, feel free to comment.
Friday, 27 November 2009
This week we made good progress and everyone seems to be picking the material up pretty quickly.
The beginners continued with the basic program and many of you were able to complete the open to closed Kob Kob drill. As a result of this I took you through the 10 count drill which helps you to understand why you need to be able to do this. That 1st video is shown below.
For the intermediate and advanced students, we went back to the the Lacoste 6 count - Heaven 6. Here, we examined changing the first strike from heaven six and replacing it with something else. Obviously what would be appropriate in each situation would vary, but the drilling gives you variations and dexterity in different situations. The ones we covered in class were:
- downwards X
- high abenico
- low abenico
You may remember that in terms of the variations, you can use them at the following places:
- as the first strike then completing the 5 remaining strikes form the drill or;
- as the first AND the fourth strike so you are then able to do it on both sides
Finally, we experimented with mixing up the variations at the first and fourth strikes, for example:
- bacalau and low abenico
- X and high abenico
- low abenico and X
Please note that there are many variations buit these are just some of the ones we covered.
The video below summarises the drills in action. Thanks to Black Belt Jamie Hutchins for his assistance. Enjoy!
Finally, as a little treat, here is a short clip of Guro Breen in action on Tuesday before my class, killing the packed class with conditioning!!! Hehehe!
Monday, 23 November 2009
Thursday, 19 November 2009
On this list, I have ONLY included the people that I have personally trained with, by that I mean:In a private or semi-private class; in a regular group class, and certainly on more than one occasion.
I have NOT included those I only trained with at an open seminar. I also want to thank them all for their help in the development of my BJJ, since the journey started in 1998.Here's my list (in no particular order).
What about you guys?
RODRIGO CABRAL - BRUCUTU
THIAGO BORGES - MONSTRO
FELIPE - LINGUISTA
ALAN DO NASCIMENTO - FINFOU
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Gary is an excellent student, and his progress has been noticeable over time. This can also be seen via the development of his own students. Gary is also an Instructor under Sifu Rick Faye and a representative of the Minesota Kali group.
Secondly I offer congratulations to Carl Greenidge who I promoted yesterday to Trainee Instructor in both the Jun Fan Arts and the Filipino Martial Arts. Carl is a very good martial artist with over 20 years of training under his belt. I first met him in the late 80s when training under Sifu Stan Brown in Lau Gar and WAKO kickboxing and we have been in touch ever since. I taught him some Wing Chun and introduced him to the Bob Breen Academy nearly 9 years ago. He also took and passed the infamous Academy Black Belt test. He now teaches at the Bob Breen Academy at 'The Space'.
Getting on to the CFS instructor program is not easy at any level and he joins the 10 other active Instructors.
For full details of the other instructors, please go to
What a great turnout last night with close to 50 people training. Here is a review of what was covered.
The complete 'newbies' covered open and closed Kob Kob, downwards half X and 3 count entry.
The others covered open Kob Kob to closed Kob and added in the rest of the basic package.
You covered 6,8,10 and 12 count. You then went on to the first stages of 3 count Sombrada with double stick by isolating roof block, inside sweep and then low wing. Next week, you will do the drill as a whole.
You continued with the development of 5 count sombrada and using different methods of dealing with various angles but managing to maintain the flow of the drill. We did the following:
- Angle 1 - block and stab (angle 5) - KDL method
- Angle 1 - block and upwards strike to other hand - KDL method
- Angle 1 - gunting and angle 2 strike - Lacoste
- Angle 4 - simultaneous strike to hand and head (like Gaan sau) - KDL method
- Angle 5 - as per angle 4
- Angle 3 - as per angle 4/5 but in the opposite direction
The previous reports have the video material containing ALL the beginner and intermediate material so continue to refer to that. As for the advanced stuff, the material is not going to be available in video on this blog :)
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Carl and I stick sparring at the Bob Breen Academy last year. Sorry about the poor quality but it was great fun. Carl has got a lot better since and picked up some national and international medals since....hmmm...I could be in trouble now.........maybe...... :)
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Ok Guys, as promised last week, I managed to film the current material we are working on to help supplement your training. This week I am helped out by Guro Bob Breen Black belts Carl Jackson and Carl Greenidge.
Monday, 9 November 2009
Great effort from the CFS and BBA Instructor
Thursday, 5 November 2009
Great news - World Class BJJ Ricardo Vieira Blackbelt is coming back to London courtesy of the London Fight Factory.
Finfou is a really nice guy and one of the best in the World in the Middle and Middle Heavy division. He has been European Champion 2 or 3 times and has placed in the top 3 in the Mundials.
Every time he is in London I get to train privately with him and this time will be no exception. If you want to arrange to train with him, feel free to contact Luiz at the LFF on 07944 574046.
As a side note - isn't life funny. Alan and I have many things in common:
- we are both black
- we both study BJJ
- we are both good looking (shut it!!!)
- we are both roughly the same weight
- we fight for the same team and have the same head teacher
BUT our skill levels are a WORLD apart - Hehehehehe!
Oh well, at least I'm funnier - Right?!!!
This week, we switched from single stick to the double stick emphasis. Due to a technical hitch I will sort out the video probably next week.
For the beginners, the basic double stick program (which I suggest you print out) is:
- Open Kob Kob
- Closed Kob Kob
- Open to closed Kob Kob
- Downwards X (angles 1 & 2)
- 3 count entry (high forehand, low backhand, high backhand)
- Combination of 1-5 in any order
For the intermediates, the basics are:
- Lacoste 6 count - heaven 6
- Lacoste 8 count - high, low, back hand, back hand
- Lacoste 10 count - 1st 2 strikes from open Kob Kob into heaven 3
- Lacoste 12 count - 1st 2 strikes from open Kob Kob into angle 1/high abenico (same stick), followed by double backhand (alternative sticks)
Please remember your stance and posture and to keep your hands back between each strike to avoid losing the use of your hand!!
For the Black Belts we covered:
- Nos 1-4 as per the intermediates
- Villabrille 8 count
- Gunting series using the following feeding patterns - Right hand, left hand, alternate hands
- 5 count sombrada - basic and then using 'lin sil dar' type approach when being fed with various strikes
Train hard & Enjoy
Monday, 2 November 2009
On Friday 30th October, my principal martial arts instructor since 1996, Guro Bob Breen , turned 60 years of age. A fantastic milestone by anyone's standards. Life is something to be cherished and never taken for granted.
His life so far has been once of achievement. His reputation and skill is legendary and he is the main reason that Guro Dan Inosanto is well known in the UK as he was the first person to bring Guro Dan to these shores close to 30 years ago.
If people really knew how far his 'hands' have spread in the UK Martial arts community in particular, they would be surprised. Many Filipino and JKD style martial artists who are now well known were at some point trained by Guro Bob or can at least trace their roots back to his lineage. Whilst you may not hear alot about it, those that know, are aware of his influence on the grappling and MMA scene. For example, in the late eighties and early nineties, he brought over people like Marc Mcfann, Larry Hartsell and then went on to bring John Machado and MMA supremo Sensei Erik Paulson. It was only health issues that limited his own personal grappling growth but that never stopped him hitting the mats.
Even when I took my Black belt under him in 1997, grappling was part of the syllabus and the extremely hard test.
Above is a picture taken of Guro and I in spain in 2000. Guro had gone to teach a seminar for Justo Diegez of KFM. I was fortunate to travel with him as his assistant. We were by the pool and engaged in some no armour padded stick fighting before lunch. It was an experience I will never forget and I confess it took my stick fighting to another level. Quite simply, using his skill, timing and accuracy, he beat my hands to death in such a way that quite apart from no longer being able to hold the stick any more, my hands were so swollen that I had to be fed my lunch as I could not eat myself.
I take this opportunity to wish Guro Breen all my best and thank him for the time he has invested in me.
Happy Birthday Guro!!!
November is going to be a very busy month for me (but every month usually is :) ).
This month, I hope to carry out the following for you:
- video technique of the month - BJJ
- video technique of the month - Combat Submission Wrestling/ MMA
- Video & written material covered in the Bob Breen Academy classes
- Any other interesting news
What a great way to start the month. My good friend and training partner Nick Brooks, the owner of Mill Hill Combat and conditioning academy has been awarded his Black belt in BJJ by Professor Roger Gracie.
I am over the moon for him and wish him continued success and growth for him and his academy
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
This week we covered the last section for the moment on close range single stick training. There are 2 videos below. The first covers the techniques I taught the main class today whilst the second video covers the techniques I taught the Black Belts
In the main class we concentrated on locks and takedowns with the stick:
1. From the angle one strike with the punio, roll your left arm and underhook their stick arm. Simultaneously you use your stick to attack the eye and then rest your stick on their straight arm bring them to the floor. From there, knee their deltoid with you left leg then use your straight leg to spin their body around
2. From the angle one strike, you cover it in the normal way. You then conduct the lifting movement and move their stick arm to the right side of your body. You then use your left forearm to extend their arm and put them on the floor. Pin them on the floor with your knee
3. As per no 2 but instead you set up the armpit take down with the punch to the head (see video)
4. Here, you set up the V arm lock using your stick. As you pull them into you, you are able to choke them, take them down or use the lever motion to crank them to the floor
In this section we concentrated on timing and how to 'beat' their angle 1 strike with a 4 count counter strike sequence. We also did a similar thing to the angle 2/ backhand strike whereby we countered the strike with your stick, stab them in the stomach and move to the vine disarm.
This needs to be drilled alone and within Hubud to get the timing.
Friday, 23 October 2009
A bit late in reporting on this but in truth I was waiting for a photo of the seminar.
On the 11th October The London Fight Factory hosted a BJJ seminar with UFC Champ Lyota Machida's BJJ coach.
It was a well attended seminar with a good range of belts attending. He taught a variety of techniques from guard and half guard. Not to forget the trademark position of his teacher, the De La Riva Guard.
Everyone got something from it and I must say he is a real friendly guy with no ego
Here are some of his accolades:
3rd Degree BJJ Black Belt & No-Gi Champion
BJJ Coach of UFC Light Heavy Weight Champion Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida
2x Black Belt Mundial World Champion
2x Black Belt Mundial Silver Medalist
2x Black Belt Brazilian Nationals Winner
6x North & North East Champion
3x Brazilian Nationals Champion
Professional Record with 11 Wins
ALL via Submission
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Welcome to the 1st BJJ training video to be posted on a monthly basis. There is a lot of instructional information out there now in the form of you tube, dvds, books etc.
The purpose of these videos is to help supplement the training that I am giving to those who I train with. It is not about posting the 'latest' technique out there because there are much better places than here to find them.
My goal is to see all round improvement for my student, friends and training partners as well as myself and that means sharing what you have in an unselfish way.
Whilst I hope the video speaks for itself, this is what I cover:
Only one grip is covered here from the guard position. Here, my right hand has the deep cross collar control, whilst my left hand controls their left facing arm at the tricep. Using this grip I perform the following
- Simple/scissors sweep
- Arm bar
- X choke with over grip - palm facing down
- Failed or fake simple sweep attack into arm bar
- Failed or fake arm bar attack into X choke with over grip
Feel free as always to comment, and thanks to Steve for taking time 'out of the dark' to help me demo. Also to Top Osteopath Savash Mustafa for holding the cam :)
I am fortunate to be counted as one of Guro's students even though I do not get to train with him as much as I would like to for obvious reasons.
His style is one of the best I have come across, and certainly has the most effective use of the double stick that I have seen.
Below is a link to a video demo of his style from his site and I hope you enjoy it. It is my future goal to bring him to the UK for a seminar.
Kali deLeon (KDL) is a Filipino Martial Art based on the creative but disciplined use of various weapons including, -- but not limited to, sticks, knives, improvised weapons and empty-hand techniques. More than that, KDL is the melding of battle tested traditional techniques with modern teaching methodologies. KDL offers a complete curriculum built upon progressive skills development that has been shown to both quickly advance and deeply inspire each and every KDL student. Guro Jun deLeon , the founder and chief instructor of KDL, has always been selective about whom he allows to be his students. Starting from humble beginnings where only a few chosen friends and family were taught, Guro Jun decided go public with his teachings to a wider audience. He did this for two reasons: first, he wanted to promote the arts and culture of his Philippine homeland to Canadians and especially Filipino-Canadian youth who may have been truncated from their own culture, and: secondly, he wanted to give back to the country that had accepted him. Guro Jun wanted to show Filipino Martial Arts in a modern perspective with relevance to today’s world. Beyond its obvious applications in self-defense and combat, Guro Jun wanted to teach it as an art form that developed not just the physical body but also the spiritual being. He did this by connecting today’s practitioner to the sacrifices of those who came before and build upon that tradition, history and culture. Guro Jun welcomes those who wish to join him in promoting and developing the Filipino Martial Arts.Despite world-wide recognition for his accomplishments as a teacher and martial artists, Guro Jun maintains that he is a student first and a teacher second. KDL is a dynamic art with an ever developing curriculum because Guro Jun continues to learn from and develop new approaches. The KDL of today is not the KDL of a decade ago, nor will it be the KDL a decade from now. It is because of this that the standards remain high and the curriculum stays relevant. Guro Jun is assisted in this task by Guro Romelle Espiritu, his senior student. Guro Romelle offers perspective, insight and expertise from his experiences not only as an accomplished martial artist but also from his background in sports sciences.
Stick Training - Bob Breen Academy - Tuesday 20th October 2009
Another packed class yesterday. Great fun and a good atmosphere. Above is a picture of those who trained and a video summary of some of the stuff we did.
This week, we continued with close range stick training from Hubud, but looked at trapping possibilities. Here is what we did:
- 1 for 1 basic from pary parry series
- 2 for 2 basic from parry parry series
- Using the pak/tapi entry in to angle 2 strike to the head, your partner counters with a centreline parry. You then use your left hand to trap their countering hand and punch them in the mouth with your stick hand like a cross
- As above instead of punching them in the mouth, you gunting their left arm with your punio whilst moving to your left
- As above except when you punch them in the mouth, you hit them from angle 1 with a hammer type or straight blast punch
- Using the same attack entry, your partner counters your strike with an over centreline parry. This time you react with a lap sau type movement (berehon) pulling their parrying hand to your left and then striking them to the face with the centre of your stick OR with the punio.
- Finally, following on from no 6, after the strike to the face with the centre of the stick, place your stick on the left facing side of their head, use your left hand and pull them to your left and then put the choke on (see video)
As I explained in class, these drills are to help you with timing for attacks and responses to attacks. They will also help to enhance your sensitivity when determining the correct attack and response. There is no substitute for drilling, becuase even if you are aware the technique exists, if you cannot actually perform it in training it will certainly never materialise in actual combat or sparring.
The video clip should help you to put things into perspective.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment and I will respond ASAP.
Monday, 19 October 2009
And then I cast my mind to one of my Martial arts mentors and teachers Guro Dan Inosanto who in his early 70s trains harder and longer than I do every day.
Here is a link to an old video of Guro training with my first BJJ teacher John Machado. John gave me my blue belt in 1999.
This video was shot in 2007 and I believe Guro had just turned 70.
I think I just persuade myself to stop whining!! Have a great day
Thursday, 15 October 2009
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
The Italian Connection - Fabrizio, Vitaliano, Me and Corey after a CFS seminar in Assisi, Italy - 2007
Vitaliano Promoted to Apprentice Instructor Level 1 - FMA & JFGF
The first was an empty hands class covering boxing basics. We looked at:
- bob and weave
After practising them in the air, it was then done with a partner. One person simply slipped all jabs and crosses thrown for a defined period then swapped over
The same thing was then done with the bob and weave in response to lead and rear hooks.
Next we combined both by using the slip and bob to avoid jabs, crosses and lead and rear hooks.
We then used a 6 punch combo drill to practice covering punches thrown;
- lead head hook
- rear head hook
- lead low body hook
- rear low body hook
After practicing both sides, we added the cover drills to the slip, bob and weave drills to enhance evasion skills
Finally, there was light sparring where the emphasis was to do all of the above whilst hitting your opponent too!!
All of this was done within 'punching range', so as to enhance reaction time and sensitivity.
I then continued with the single sick close range series from Hubud which I started last week.
We practiced the following basics from Hubud:
- parry parry
- 1 for 1
- 2 for 2
We then looked at striking at the same time as parrying hitting on angles;
- 2 - to the arm
- 4 - to the rib
- 10 - to the leg
- All strikes were of course from right to left
We then looked at why it is you actually parry the stick and then why and how to counter the parry on the high and the low line
Finally, there was Freeplay!!!