Silver Medaller

Big congratulations to Omar today who got a silver medal representing Bushin in his first competition. Competing in the ISKA British Championships in Birmingham, Omar tried his hand at the freestyle semi-contact (point) and light contact (continuous) sparring in the -75kg category. In the point sparring he fought people of a similar grade and came away with a great silver medal after fighting two fights in a row. He was less lucky in the continuous sparring but got beaten by a more senior black belt who went on to win the competition. However, he put him under pressure in the later part of the fight and showed real guts. Omar even got a few interviews in so we may see him on TV. A fantastic experience for Omar who put on a great show and showed true Bushin fighting spirit. Here’s to the next one!

26 Sept

Great training with my good friend Jamie Hillman at the last session of Brixton IFA. Great class and brilliant group of guys. Really nice to see talent, spirit and etiquette all in balance. Sorry to see it come to an end.

25 Sept

Quiet class tonight. Instead of fighting tumbleweeds we worked on putting tights hooks and uppercuts into boxing. Some nice technical work came through despite some Tyson-like dirty tactics from some corners (mentioning no names). Then groundwork to finish off to make the lungs explode. Quality over quantity.

3 is the Magic Number

On Thursday 18th October we will be celebrating Bushin’s third anniversary. A fantastic three years which has seen the style develop and improve and, more importantly, epitomise the true spirit of a martial art. The club’s grown since it started, and even though we’ve said goodbye to a few people (Olly, Paul and soon Clayton) we hope you can join us to celebrate. We shall be holding a special session on the night where I shall be teaching some of the Bushin secrets – dirty boxing, pressure point strikes and internal energy work. No magic tricks this time though.

As usual, we’ll be finishing the night with glorious food. The plan is to go to Lime and Orange which is down the road. Have a look at the menu and let us know what you think: A Facebook event has been set up, so please let us know through it if you can join or not (or let Fiona know directly if you’re not on Facebook).

Bash-Crash vs. In-Out

This week we’ve been working on sparring to help Omar out with his upcoming competition. Bushin normally practises a streetfighting sparring style with elements of Thai, Filipino and Western boxing amongst others. This is designed to defend yourself, crash your opponent as quickly as possibly and finish them off as best you can. The “Crash & Bash” approach.

However, it’s important to have a number of different fighting styles and strategies in your repertoire, as you never know what kind of opponent you will be facing or how many. In this week’s sessions we’ve been concentrating on what I like to call “In-Out” fighting. This is more akin to point sparring like Taekwondo or Freestyle where you have to be quick and busy. It’s not so much about breaking into your opponent and bashing them with power. It’s more about scoring the first shot quickly, following up with a few rapid shots, then getting out of the trading zone before they recover. Generally speaking it’s not really how it works on the street, but having quick reaction times to fire the first shot it’s an extremely useful skill. Often fights can won before they start by a quick, hard jab.

I’ve done many types of sparring in my career…point, full contact, grappling. They all have their merit and if you only have one fighting style, it’s inevitable that someone will eventually beat you, regardless how good you are. The trick in Bushin is to find your own fighting style. Then add to it and improve it. Practise it on juniors then test it works with seniors. The more you want to get better, the better you will be.

On Tuesday we worked on scoring the first point with a long jab or sliding front kick. On Thursday we tried our hand at fast hand and feet combinations, getting in and out quickly. Then of course lots of sparring to build up the aerobic stamina. Anaerobic stamina (i.e. muscles) is also important, but it’s usually the lungs that give out first in a fight. While conditioning, running etc. helps build fitness, really the only way to be fighting fit is to do lots of fighting. First you have to build the skill and then learn the application and strategy. After that its fitness and stamina. Finally, its heart or martial spirit. Anyone who says “it’s not about winning but taking part” is talking rubbish. It’s about having the desire to win or, more importantly, the desire to not lose. The result is irrelevant…but the attitude is everything. You have to know at the end of the fight you gave everything you had. Don’t stop until after the bell goes and never give up a fight, regardless if you are losing or have nothing left in the tank. Win in your spirit and you win on the street.

Gambatte kudasai!
(lit. “do your best”)