No Gi Reflections #5 | No Gi classes are still a rarity here in the UK

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In the quest to improve my own No Gi game by breaking through a recent stagnancy phase I have been experiencing, I took to our friend, the search engine to see what classes were available to me within as smaller radius as possible.

The result? Not many! Though there are a few clubs in the Surrey county area, all of them offer only one No Gi class per week. One! I would have thought the recent boom of Mixed Martial Arts’ popularity over the last decade would have spawned more interest from the community, creating such a demand for No Gi classes that clubs would have to lay them on more frequently. Not the case.

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No Gi Reflections #4 | Working with stunt performer Lucy Cork

For the best part of the last year, I’ve had the pleasure of working with renowned stunt performer Lucy Cork, teaching her the art of Submission Grappling spliced with elements of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

lucy cork combat

Lucy has an impressive track record considering she’s only been in the stunts game for a few years.

Lucy Cork Filmography

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No Gi Reflections #3 | John Danaher – Jits, Darwinian Theory and Coaching 101

I could listen to John Danaher speak for hours on end. There’s not a lot of press or content surrounding the guy but believe me, as and when I find it, I will post it!

This is a fantastic interview that elicits a little insight towards John’s approach to his coaching system, his ideas behind his world view (based on Darwinian Theory) and some interesting thoughts behind the phenomonon of violence.

 

No Gi Reflections #2 | ‘Invisible’ Jiu Jitsu and applying the ‘stick’

Rickson Gracie, arguably one of the best jiu jitsu players to walk this earth, has a concept known as Invisible Jiu Jitsu.

Rather than me try to laboriously explain it, the video below does a good job. Two things to bear in mind, however.

1) From my Wing Chun background, I found it far more comprehensive to think of this invisibility in terms of the ‘Stick’ that is spoken about within drills like Chi Sao, or Sticking Hands.

2) If the above makes no sense to you at all but you’re familiar with Weightlifting or Powerlifting terminology, think of the invisibility factor as the equivalent of taking the slack out of the bar. Except it’s more like taking the slack out of the contact with your opponent.

 

Now comes the interesting and lengthy process of applying this concept to the mat. Sensitivity takes a long time to develop and with such a fast pace in the No Gi world, it makes for an extra challenge!

No Gi Reflections #1 | Transfer of skills from Muay Thai to No Gi BJJ

Muay Thai BJJ

No Gi Reflections is my blogging series that reveals insights from my own journey with No Gi training and practice, as well as revelations and lessons from training others.

For the past few months I’ve had the pleasure of training stuntman Doug Robson of Kaskadare stunts in the basic applications of grappling; mainly No Gi Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Wrestling, down at the ever-impressive Locker 27. His background is varied, predominantly based in Muay Thai from what he’s explained to me.

What I’ve found interesting since teaching Doug is how fast he has adapted to moving on the floor once he understood the various principles of weight displacement, how to move and scoot the hips, and most notably, engaging the legs. I’ve boiled this down to Muay Thai. Why? Because I’ve recently started teaching world, european and british Muay Thai champion, Sheree Halliday, in the same fashion, and her adaptation has been very similar.

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Queuing with good-looking cattle; when Fury met Patience | The Cloudfoot Diaries #69

Models Queue

Hey, sorry for the short notice but you know how these things are…,” started the message. It was an honest introduction, more so than usual and it had caught my ego’s attention.

[Big UK Brand] are casting for their AW16 / SS17 lookbook today and have asked to see you.” Me!? Little old moi!? My ego began to dilate, rapidly, salivating like Golem at what this could mean.
I’ve been selected.
I’ve been noticed.

Funny how the ego feeds off of recognition and the illusion of being unique, isn’t it? Needless to say, I had already fallen for these traps and instead of taking a step back, re-assessing the message, its contents and subliminal meanings, I was already on my motorcycle smashing it to central London before my balls were too swollen to ride.

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Floatation Tanks – My first experience of sensory deprivation craziness | The Cloudfoot Diaries #68

I first read about the borderline-crazy invention of an ‘Isolation Tank‘ in a book called ‘The Centre of the Cyclone’ by a very interesting chap named John C. Lilly. That was a few years back and I’d never forgotten about the possibility that one day, I too would climb into a pitch black box filled with salty water to try and trip my balls off.

Since listening to a podcast called The Joe Rogan Experience (highly recommended) I discovered that the host had a tank installed in his house and I became exposed to floating, yet again. Joe clearly was a massive fan of the float tank, as he had his own wizard build him one (spicy pricey). Check it out;


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The Presence and Development of Slacklining in Las Vegas *Sponsored Content*

lasvegas1

Photo: pixabay.com

Las Vegas truly embodies the notion of being “Entertainment Capital of the World” by featuring a plethora of events that capture the essence of the city. Yes, it’s still synonymous with casinos, but with the constant growth in technology and the emergence of many amusement venues, the desert has had no other choice but to adapt.

Casinos, as you might have known by now, have branched out from the typical land-based establishments to their similarly viable online counterparts to provide gamers with convenient options without losing the authentic experience. More platforms began exploring this idea, so much so that the likes of Gala Casino started providing welcome bonuses and live dealers streaming features to new players. This is just a simple reflection of Las Vegas’ continuous evolution and how it embraces the general concept of innovative entertainment.

AndyLewis1

Photo: Wikipedia.org

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LIVING IN A VAN | PART 3 | DISPELLING THE HASHTAG ‘VANLIFE’ MYTH

There’s a lot of hashtag hype going around at the moment regarding #VanLife. I’m not even sure I feel comfortable using that term, considering how it has started to gain momentum within the mainstream, surprise surprise, in a rather deceptive direction.
It’s interesting because when I moved in to a van it was not popular, it definitely didn’t have a hashtag and was not sold to me as being a glamping option; not as a weekend package nor a way of life. Might I add, when I first came across the hashtag hype a couple of years later, it was #homeiswhereyouparkit popularised by the legend, Foster Huntingdon. That was when living in a van wasn’t cool. Now look what’s happened.

Upon first draft, I entitled this post ‘Shitting in a bag is not glamorous’, because that statement is true if you’ve ever been fortunate enough to experience the process.

Quitting your well paid job to travel continents in your confined, pinewood, rolling conversion, which is barely big enough to spread your supermarket fecal-capturing device, accompanied by your lover who you describe with something flimsy like ‘bohemian’, is not Van Life. It’s a glorified sabbatical with a romantic, edited-by-head-office-twist and I can only wish my dingy, electricity-free existence was half as sexy. Or as shallow.

Read on as I debunk the romance of being one above homeless. Again.

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