Teaching is it’s own art…


Obviously I am partial to all things USMC (Once a Marine… ) but in this case it is also a good example of the difference between

training instructors vs. training ‘martial artists.’

This is a short (and obviously promotional) video on the Instructor Training Program at Quantico, Virginia for the MCMAP (Marine Corps Martial Arts Program).  These ARE NOT ‘martial arts’ students.  They ARE instructor trainees.

What’s the difference?

The focus is not primarily on technical skill, it is on how to teach these skills.  Notice too that there is strong emphasis on role modeling (teaching by example) from personal behavior and historical examples.

Most recreational martial artists are really teachers first and practitioners second.  But, how much ‘teacher training’ have they received or sought on their own?

You can’t teach well if you don’t know what you are teaching, true.  But how many of our fellow ‘martial artists’ (who really are teachers of martial arts) have not spent even half as much time on learning to instruct/coach/mentor as they have on perfecting their technical skill?

T.A.W.G. Workout Rewind 4/12


Thanks to Tom, Tony, Rick, Andy, Sabrina, Alex and Dianne for an awesome class – again!

A special thanks to Andy for joining us.  He brought a great work ethic, energy and enthusiasm.

Training Objectives/Outcomes:

  • The “Layering” of movements – head movement, hand blocks, footwork.
  • “Train like you fight” footwork – practice movement to find ‘avenues of escape’
  • FMA blocking is ‘zone defense’ not ‘point defense’ movement.

We even made the time to shoot the “Hand Flash” drill for the “Skills and Drills” article.

Apologies for no T.A.W.G. Workout Rewind for 4/5/11 – Michele, Tom, and Tony sweat a lot while we tried some twists on standard training drills.

Tactically Speaking: Do you have “Excalibur Syndrome?”


This video was not created for the “Joe or Jane Civilian” audience, but the “Excalibur Syndrome” mentality is not exclusive to Law Enforcement Officers (LEO), Military, and/or other ‘Operator’ types.  Do a quick google search on ‘swords for home defense’ … Continue reading

T.A.W.G. 3/29 workout rewind


Thanks to Tom, Tony, and Sabrina for shredding through technique to get to purpose.

Training Objectives/Outcomes:

  • The devil is in the details – so keep things ASAP (as simple as possible) to get it over ASAP.
  • Training specific ranges (corto/close, medio/medium, largo/long) is only for TRAINING!  Reality means changing ranges to get the job done.
  • Sticks should be ‘punched’ out instead of ‘swung out’ to keep your hand inside the ‘body rectangle.’
  • Blocks are strikes and strikes are blocks.

Habits are hard to break and training habits don’t always translate to good application.  Training drills are essential to get better at specific skills, but should not be confused with application drills.  Tom, Tony, and Sabrina did a great job of changing gears when we switched between training for skill development and when we were training for application.

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T.A.W.G. 3/15 workout a blast again


Thanks to Dan, Dale, Michele, Sabrina, Tom, Tony, Dianne, and Alex for another good workout.

Training Objectives/Outcomes:

  • Highlight circular movements (Single Siniwali concept and application, Downward figure 8 stick strikes, bob/weaving)
  • Reinforce the importance of relaxed/soft motion with circular movement.  It’s about redirection/guiding.
  • See the linear vs. circular relationship for the ‘bigger picture’ of training.
  • COMMIT to a choice – OBSERVE the threat, ORIENT to it, DECIDE on the response, and ACT!!!!!
  • We also did a little forensic reenactment of the “Tony Carpet Slide” incident from last class – too funny.

Next week:  Movement vs. Stance.

Tactically Speaking: Survival


The earthquake/tsunami distaster in Japan and China was the inspiration for this post.

I found different sources that may be loaded with good info, but I wanted to share a source that has good information and is a good link for other information as well. When it comes to internet research/sources, I’m a ‘multi-tasking tool’ guy. I like things that can be used in a variety of ways – like a virtual multi-plier.

Tactical training means…. ?


U.S. Navy Sea-Air-Land (SEAL) members emerge f...

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Tactical is a buzzword getting a heck of a workout in martial arts these days.  The question is, what exactly makes tactical training… tactical?  Is it training ‘like a Navy SEAL‘ or training in the “proven” techniques/tactics/tools that (supposedly) come from military, law enforcement, or some other warrior tradition?

These may give the appearance of all things tactical, but frankly that’s more fashion than function if it’s in a civilian/commercial martial art program.

The core concept of ‘tactical’ training is the idea of ‘tact‘ or the ability to  “do or say the right thing at the right time to maintain good relations or avoid offense.” Normally the term ‘tact’ is linked to social conduct, diplomacy, and negotiations, but the root is to “do or say the right thing…” Connect that to the ‘tactical‘ definition ” (1) : of or relating to small-scale actions serving a larger purpose” then it should be clear that ‘tactical training’ in a commercial martial art program should not mimic military or law enforcement training.  It should teach students how to “do or say the right thing” in order to accomplish “small scale actions serving a larger purpose” but with an “immediate end in view.”

Here’s where a few key questions are essential to really training ‘tactically’ in a commercial program:

  1. What is the “immediate end” for a civilian training in marital arts?
  2. What is the “larger purpose?”
  3. What “right thing” skills to say or do should be in a student’s toolbox?

In a nutshell, ‘tactical’ training – whether martial art, business, or anything else should be brain AND body training that can be applied to real life.

Borrowing from training techniques and topics that have produced effective military and law enforcement operators is a good idea.  But adapting and modifying those techniques and topics to produce effective civilian self defense students is essential.