Without Writing

The art of writing without writing… about fighting.

Tag Archives: training

Empty Force and Empty Promises

Another exposé of no-touch knockout bullcrap has been doing the rounds. In this one, a wonderful group of skeptics attended an “open seminar” by a Finnish pseudo-martial artist named Jukka Lampila.

Those courageous skeptical fool-smokers really did a number on him, specifically by asking a set of very basic questions, by not flinging themselves in the direction of his pats, wafts, prods and pokes and generally not being willing accomplices to his cultish buffoonery.

I could spend the entirety of this post taunting his poor, misguided followers that leap into the air and fling themselves on the floor at the slightest provocation, and metaphorically shaking my head in disbelief that he’s probably still teaching the same nonsense back home, even after this very public experience. But this would not be the best use of anyone’s time, and I’ve already done it so often in the past relating to similar incidents, that it would be redundant.

Instead I’d like to take the opportunity to address two points. Read more of this post

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Kill Your Ego… Before It Kills You (Part 2)

This is the spectre... of EGO!

This is the spectre… of EGO!

My first post on this topic examined how one’s ego can drive one into potentially violent situations for no good reason. Hopefully anyone who reads these posts will have the strength of character to recognise their own ego in some of the examples given, and strive to bring it further under the control of their better nature. Because we are all controlled by our ego at times, and our best defence (as is the case across the board) is an awareness that this is happening.

However, the ego has many faces, and bleeds into one’s life with great subtlety and wearing many insidious disguises. In this post I shall examine some of the less obvious ways that one’s ego can interfere with one’s pursuit of safety and security, and look at the consequences of leaving it to run unchecked.

How can one be fully aware of one’s own ego, when the ego’s raison-d’etre is to conceal itself? Read more of this post

Steroids and Performance Enhancing Drugs: defining the issue

Most of the public are familiar with the word “steroids”. This word automatically conjures up images of ridiculously inflated body-builder types, blind rages and shrunken genitalia. But very few people are familiar with the realities of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) in sports, and still fewer are au fait with the real ethical and philosophical issues surrounding PEDs.

In fighting sports, as in other professional sports, anabolic steroid use is rife, as is the use of other performance enhancing substances. It’s impossible to put numbers on the table, as it is a clandestine phenomenon and subculture, but some professional fighters and industry experts have estimated that up to fifty percent of pro fighters are on performance enhancing substances of some kind.

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Learned, but not taught

The difficulty of teaching ANY movement cannot be overstated.

I have discussed in a previous article how easy it is for those of us who are familiar with the motion of two bodies- one applying a throw and one attempting to resist the throw- to tell when a move will work on a technical level (a wrestling throw, for instance) and when it will not work on a technical level (e.g: an Aikido “throw”).

This kind of physical intellect, an awareness of how the human body really works in combat, cannot be taught. It must be developed by each fighter himself/herself, through many hours of actual practice.

Equally however, it could be said that many moves themselves, such as throws, cannot be “taught” in any normal sense of the word. Read more of this post

Harry Cook Update

Just a quick one.

Henry Wilson Cook, better known as “Harry”, has admitted in court to committing the latest plethora of dire and disgusting crimes he has been charged with.

I blogged recently about the rather depressing obviousness of Cook’s failings as man and as a martial arts instructor, and noted that even if Cook hadn’t been a disgusting sexual predator, he would still have been a predator of sorts: one who preys on the gullibility of the average person, and sells them a crock of useless “martial” skills to make a buck for himself.

There are predators in all walks of life. Not necessarily sexual predators, but mental predators. Predators writing for the mainstream press, predators working as MPs, predators who manage financial institutions… all these predators will take your livelihood- if you let them- and will run off and buy expensive stuff with your hard earned cash, for themselves.

Let us make sure when reading about Cook’s sexual misdeeds that we do not forget that he was one of these predators; that he was also guilty of the lesser- but still insidious- moral crime of lying to people and charging for goods (karate) that were not fit for purpose.

Why I Write… Without Writing

I have touched in past posts on my reasons for starting this blog, but they are many and varied, and interesting enough (I feel) to warrant more detail.

The martial arts have been the main focus of all the articles I have written for this blog so far, and this is primarily due to my personal passion for the field of combat; there is no more stimulating game, I assure you. “Human Chess”, some have called it… but to call it that is to undersell the game. Chess has finite combinations of moves and outcomes- breathtakingly complex by human cognitive standards to be sure, but still limited by the 64 squares and the prescribed motions of the pieces.

Combat on the other hand is as close to infinitely complex as any game can be; Read more of this post

Sofos News Update Alert Update!!!!11

An update on our favourite fraudster’s media exposure: The recent article by one Tom Foot that was discovered in the Camden New Journal has also appeared in the Islington Tribune (presumably a sister paper of some sort), and a similar though slightly less fawning piece has appeared on the Barnet Today website, under the byline of one Daniel O’Brien. 

This latter article at least demotes Sofos from “Kung Fu Master” to “Kung Fu Teacher”, and likewise downgrades him from having “Taught Lennox Lewis and Steven Seagal” to having “Trained with” those two… but it’s still a pack of Sofos’ own lies, parroted back relatively uncritically by a journalist who simply can’t be bothered to fact-check his stories. Read more of this post

The pros and cons of MMA

Often I rant about the superiority of MMA training when compared to esoteric and exotic pseudo-martial arts such as Karate, Aikido, Systema etc. This is becoming a more common thing to say than it used to be, when only the lonely figures of men like Bruce Lee, Steve Morris and later Geoff Thompson were shouting in the wilderness.

These days, websites like Bullshido have made it their stock-in-trade to advocate for all fighting arts other than those used by the current crop of MMA fighters, (e.g: muay thai, brazillian jujutsu and amateur wrestling) to be summarily abolished. A tiresome attitude in my view, but more intellectually defensible than the attitudes of many pseudo-martial artists who fetishize a kind of hippy-esque one-world inclusiveness, and value it over practicality. Read more of this post

How To Spot a Fraud

While discussing my blog post on Sid Sofos (and people like him) with some friends, the following question came up: Is there a hard and fast way of spotting those in the field of martial arts who wish to pull the wool over your eyes by giving you ineffective techniques, and taking your money in the process?

It’s true that Sofos is a painfully obvious example of a completely fake, totally meritless excuse for a martial arts instructor. But people still seem to have been taken in by him, especially those without previous martial arts experience. So how can prospective martial artists possibly protect themselves from frauds who are more convincing than Sofos? And let’s face it, any fraud will be more convincing than Sofos. Read more of this post

Q & A on the Ephemerality of Niceness

After having read my previous blog post, a friend of mine e-mailed me the following query:

“because you have honed your fighting skills you are free to be nice to everyone as you no longer fear others or at least don’t fear them as much. The reason being that you are pretty sure that you could beat them in a fight or at least defend yourself from any kind of attack that they may throw at you. What would happen if you stopped training or could not fight anymore?”

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