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Category: MAT PERFORMANCE


Thinking Through The Body as a Tool for Martial Art Performance

On the mat, I often see people getting incredibly pissed off with themselves when they cant get something right. More so, they get angry at their body for being so dumb. I get it. I have done this too often in the past, but less so these days. What I have tried to do is to surrender to my body, allowing it to be my teacher — specifically in respect to mind, emotions and spirit. If approached from this way, the experience of martial arts can allow each of us......

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The Clausewitz of Sparring

Carl von Clausewitz was a Prussian general and military theorist, who’s book On War has become a seminal work in military strategy. In the following article I share some personal reflections on how his work has influenced my understanding of peak performance in sparring.

“But everything takes a different shape when we pass from abstractions to reality. In the former, everything must be subject to optimism, and we must imagine the one side as well as the other striving after perfection and even......

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The Musashi of Sparring

Outside of being a noted swordsman, what always intrigued me about Miyamoto Musashi, was his understanding and use of the mental game. He had an uncanny way of recognising his opponents mental weaknesses and using it against them. I have had a lot of success applying Musashi’s strategies to sparring. In many instances, I was already doing them, but to see that they were already tried and tested by someone like Musashi — is a testament to the perennial nature of the strategy of battle (be that in a ring,......

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Moving to Fight, Fighting To Move

I have always felt that one of my strengths is my ability to see the subtle nuances in the fight game, that often go overlooked. One of these strengths is looking for patterns in an exchange in sparring, rather than a single technique. For example, I may see someone land the perfect shot to an opponents jaw, but beyond the obvious fact that he or she used a jab, what were the circumstances that lead up to that perfect punch landing? In fact in this......

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