Sunday, 23 May 2010

Tactical Edge Battle Camp


I've had a few students & instructors speak to me over the past couple of years about the possibility of doing a camp. They had heard about the legendary 'Riddle of Steel' in the USA, of which I'm delighted to have been a part of, & wondered if we could do something similar.

Well our first one isn't going to be in the middle of the wilderness, its going to be in the middle of Edinburgh; hosted by Marcus Houston at his gym 'Combat Ready'.

This is going to be a packed weekends training. We'll be working through a massive amount of material from Tactical Edge & ComTech, working through Unarmed combatives, Drawpoint, Bowie, Asian Bladecraft, Single stick, Double stick, Stinger, Short stick, Cane, Bandanna, Weapons defence........a tactical buffet from which to stuff yourself silly.

Combat Ready is in central Edinburgh, & is about a 5 minute walk from the city centre. The course is residential, we'll be staying in the gym so we can train late so you just need your training gear & sleeping bag. There are hotels & B&B's nearby for those wanting more creature comforts. All are welcome, the camp is open to anyone; & its the perfect chance for Tactical Edge students from our Tactical Edge classes around the UK to get together for some training under the founder of Tactical Edge & some of the first & second generation Instructors. Contact Marcus Houston at for booking details. The camp is £100, & includes a Grading at the end.

Tactical Edge Counter Knife Seminar- after action report

This seminar was a follow on to the last Counter Knife seminar we did in Edinburgh for Marcus Houston. The last seminar we worked on situationals, & we concentrated on 'threat positions'. This time we worked soley on skill development to work against the 'active attacker'- that is someone who is actively stabbing or cutting. We started off using Hubud as our base of movement. For training purposes Hubud is a great 'fight simulator' & allows us to train our applications in a matrix of movement. We went through how we could aquire the knife hand reliably, & then through our 'quick strips'. We then added in strikes & takedowns to complete the mix.
We then looked at using the same movement to 'strip & retain' & bring us to a position of negotiation. One thing to bear in mind is that the strip & retain movements you see on dvd's where the weapon is stripped & then used against the attacker would in reality see you charged & very probably convicted. Once the weapon is out of the attackers hand the "immediate threat to life & limb" has ceased, so in most situations you would not be justified in using the weapon to fillet your attacker. Hence the reason we were emphasising the use of negotiating positions where we can stop the attack, or take a human shield if there are multiple attackers.
After this we moved onto using the same techniques as a 'returning blade' where the weapon is retained in the attackers hand. We changed the base drill to power passing as we changed to low line thrusts, & looked at how we could aquire the same techniques in this drill. We looked at some use of the environment around us, & how it could be used to enhance our techniques.
Our next Counter Knife seminar will take everything we've covered & work purely on situational training, so keep up the drills & develop those skills!

Sorry for the silence

Sorry for the silence of late, it's been a while since I posted anything. Things have been very busy with work & family stuff. I'm back from my latest training trip to the USA. I went for a week but then the trolls under Iceland decided to start shoveling coal on their fires & I ended up with two weeks training with Unkle Jim.

Having the two weeks made a MASSIVE difference to me. The week where I got stuck Jims student Jay very kindly put me up at his house, & I have to give out a massive thanks to Jay & his tribe for looking after me & making me so welcome.

Jay has been a long time student of Jim, & he now teaches Kung Fu from his home to a hand picked tribe. I had a great time meeting his guys & doing a little training with them. The next time I head over Jays Kung Fu Temple should have been built outside his house, which will be very impressive. Jays tribe are a great bunch, & the training is very relaxed; & everyone stays after for good food & good times. Jay & his brother are Tattoo artists & run a Tattoo Studio in Walla Walla- - & Jay very kindly slotted me in to get some work done; so I finally got my Tactical Edge logo done on my back. These guys do great work, & I'm delighted with my new ink.

Having two weeks training with Jim made a massive difference to how much I got through & retained. We spent a lot of time working on double stick in the developmental & attribute building mode; & the relationship between double stick & empty hands, knife, single stick etc.

Jim is an absolute devil when it comes to the use of trapping in close range engagements, he can tie you up like a pretzel as he beats on you, & then shoot you out in a crumpled heap from some weird angle. So it was great to have extra time to work with him on trapping skills, as thats a personal area of interest for me that I want to develop more.

A treat this trip was to make the Oregon Knife Show in Eugene. Jim, myself, Big Jay & Dan left Walla Walla at 4am for the looooooooong drive to Eugene. The first part of the trip was stunning as we drove down the Columbia river. The knife show was a hoot, & it was great to meet Sal Glasser & his wife Gail from Spyderco; who's knives I own a bunch of. I met some great knifemakers, & bought about a ton of sharp pointy stuff. I also met some of my USN bretheren from across the pond which was really nice. We're hoping to make the Oregon show a yearly thing now.

All in all, it was the best training trip I've made yet.........absolutely fantastic. Thanks to Jim, Jay, BJ, Frankie, Ryan, Randall & the rest of the crew for a GREAT trip.