Review | Methods of Modern Mobility Seminar with Emmet Louis

I first came across Emmet’s work on Youtube via his videos on the illusive topic of Loaded Progressive Stretching a couple of years ago and since then have seen various other clips on his approach to gymnastic movements, progressions and protocols etc.

Since starting my own service of providing mobility assessments and programming to clients, I wanted to continue my personal learning around the realms of mobility, flexibility and all things stretchy. Partly for myself and partly for my clientele.
Cue Emmet’s Facebook advert; Modern Methods of Mobility Seminar in London.
His ad caught my eye for two reasons; the cover photo of a partner stretch which looked pretty intense, and his name attached to it. Immediately I was interested but price would be the deciding factor for me. How much a seminar costs will usually turn on my bullshit detector, as I know when someone is milking it in this industry. I was pleasantly surprised with Emmet’s Early Bird pricing option of €300 for 12-14 hours of instruction, split over two days. (Note; if someone is charging over £400 for a weekend seminar in the UK, on subjects relating to physical training, ask yourself seriously if it is worth it and what you are really going to learn in those two days.)

Emmet demonstrates a Pike fold partner stretch

Emmet demonstrates a Pike fold partner stretch

Continue reading

LIVING IN A VAN | PART 4 | DON’T YOU EVER THINK, “FUCK THIS, I’M GETTING A HOUSE!”?

Probably the number one question I have received over the last four and a half years, ‘Don’t you ever think, “Fuck this, I’m getting a house!”?’

In short, no. Housing’s for quitters!

Fuck this, I'm getting a house!

Jokes aside, there have been many times where I have contemplated the age-old question What the fuck am I doing?, usually when the van is freezing cold, something crucial breaks or I have a close encounter with some kind of perceived authority. However, I think asking yourself this question from time to time is a healthy type of reflection. If you’re asking yourself weekly, though, then it’s time to take a harder look at yourself, behaviour, environment and situation.

I’ve never thought about packing in my van lifestyle in exchange for a house, though. Ever. Why would I? Let’s look at my two sparkling other options. Again, these are my views. I am not saying these are practical steps for everyone or that everyone should do this. It collapsed my reality and turned me into somewhat of a societal outcast. Imagine what it would do to you!

Continue reading

No Gi Reflections #6 | The Principle of Localised Force feat. John Danaher

The legend that is John Danaher, perhaps one of THE most successful sports performance and BJJ coaches of all time, speaks again, this time about the Principle of Localised Force.

Upon reading you’ll see how the Danaher system of leg locks likes to utilise the heel hook as an area to focus on to apply force, no matter the size nor strength of the opponent.

The principle of localized force: The central feature of jiu jitsu is to use mechanical advantage to control greater strength and aggression with less. How is this possible? It is done largely through the principle of localized force. Let's say we have an opponent who can apply an average of one hundred units of strength in standard strength tests while we can only generate 50 units of strength. As a whole, he is roughly twice as strong as us overall. How is victory through grappling possible in such a case? The key is to understand that it is possible to use a very high percentage of our overall strength to attack a small percentage of my opponents overall strength at a point of his body which, if attacked successfully, will end his ability to continue the fight. If I can use the various movements of jiu jitsu to maneuver into a position where I can create a temporary LOCAL strength advantage at a critical point of my opponents body (neck or joints), I can overcome an OVERALL strength disadvantage. The whole basis of our sport is precisely to develop the skill of maneuvering into these local advantages as efficiently as possible and using that to create a threat to a critical but vulnerable body part in a way that leads to submission. A good example would be ashi garami, where a very high percentage of our overall strength – both legs, both hips, back and both arms are used to restrain an opponent's single leg and hip in a way that allows us to threaten severe damage. If a good ashi garami allows us to use 90% of our 50 units of strength against an opponent's single leg, 33% of his 100 units of strength, then we shall have a considerable local strength advantage on an opponent twice as strong as ourselves overall. This is one of the core principles of our sport and one which we must constantly keep in mind as we train and develop. Here, Gordon Ryan uses a high percentage of his total strength on the isolated leg of his opponent through a variation of ashi garami, creating a local advantage long enough to threaten a break and get a submission on his way to victory at EBI 8

A photo posted by John Danaher (@danaherjohn) on


The principle of localised force is a conerstone in any effective combat system. What I like about jiu jitsu and the world of the floor is that once grounded, strength isn’t so pinnacle as the principle of leverage, i.e. properly applied leverage can easily overcome non-calculated strength. And perhaps more so on the floor than in the standing world. So, when it comes to women, I think grappling is such a powerful asset for them to understand and delve in to, as strength is not a priority compared to localised force, leverage and strategy; facets that can be improved and mastered, regardless of gender.

Jiu jitsu, the great leveller!

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

@brucelee @tmxofficial

A video posted by Eddie Bravo (@eddiebravo10) on

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.

Continue reading

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!

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

The Gymnastic Bodies Coach Sommer Interview | The Cloudfoot Diaries #67

Christopher Sommer Gymnastic Bodies

Coach Sommer
doesn’t really need an introduction from me. If you’ve never heard of him, it’s worth your time checking him out. In a nutshell, he’s coached a load of gymnasts to championship level over a few decades and knows what it takes to build a real gymnastic body – one that can function and perform to a high level but can also adapt and manage day-to-day realities and challenges. Sans bullshit.

Tim Ferriss did a wicked interview with Sommer, questioning him lots on the training process and various important points surrounding it.

A personal favourite takeaway from the interview was that it takes 211(+/-) days for soft tissue to adapt to a stimulus, apparently. I didn’t know it took that long for a change to be made but it makes sense when you realise muscle adapts nearly twice as fast compared to other softer tissues.

In terms of your own experience, what’s easier to build in less time, guns or range of motion?
Continue reading

How Weightlifting Gave Me Patellar Tendonitis | The Cloudfoot Diaries #65

Now that I have your attention, this post should have been called ‘How I Gave Myself Patellar Tendonitis’.
Why?
Because it doesn’t really matter what the sport or activity is, if you’re body has a weak link, it has a weak link. The straw that breaks the camel’s back can represent any discipline. Shit, it can even be bending down to pick up the mail off of the floor. Where there are weaknesses, there are heightened probabilities of those weaknesses being exposed whenever you move the body around. Especially, if like me, you are a moving human who enjoys moving through new planes and axes and exploring just what is possible.

Patellar Tendonitis Diagram

Continue reading