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Fight Fit

What is "Fight Fit"? It  is NOT my interpretation of Billy Blanks "Tae Bo" or the generic version thereof, offered under labels such as "Kata Box" or "Cardio Kickboxing" at your local gym. I have met Billy Blanks and have great respect for him, but the "Fight Fit" classes are somewhat different, both in terms of what I teach and also what the intent behind the training is.

The techniques taught in the local "Kata Box" class will very likely get you killed if you attempt to use them against a serious predator (as opposed to, say, a groping drunk at the office party). If you do not mentally program yourself to go for the primary vital targets such as eyes, throat and groin (or secondary targets such as eardrums, shins, insteps etc.) then your techniques will have no effect.

Also, the pace of most "cardio kickboxing" type classes is so fast that correct power production using the whole body is very quickly abandoned in an attempt to keep up. So not only are you going for vague or ineffective targets (punching to the head or face, for instance, is not recommended. Boxers wear wraps and gloves to protect their hands and wrists from breaking and do you really want to cut your knuckles on some Aids-infested-animal's teeth?), you are not even generating enough force to do any damage if you would make impact.

By slowing things down to where you can correctly generate power, you can still generate the increased heart-rate, since the integrated use of the whole body requires you to work harder, if not necessarily faster.

I could go on, but I believe I have made my point. As cardio training it has it's uses, but from a self-defence point of view it has exactly the usefulness of a Zumba or "Bums and Tums" class. Saying that it's not intended for combat useability is a bit of a "cop-out", since many people attending such classes have a vaguely held belief that what they are doing is "a little combative", which to anyone experienced in the reality of street self defence, is similar to the idea of being "a little pregnant".

So then, what is "Fight Fit" and what makes it different, and, I believe, far superior in terms of what you get from your training hour?

First, the warm-up: This combines joint mobility work with bioginastica bodyweight exercises I learnt from Orlando Cani in Rio.

A number of basic combat techniques are then trained, first solo so as to get the power dynamics right, and then against targets such as focus mitts. These techniques include eye gouging, hand strikes to the windpipe, groin kicks, cupped hand strikes to
burst an eardrum and suchlike. Every technique is executed with power, once you can do the technique correctly. This has the side-effect of making you sweat buckets and shed kilos (over time!).

Interspersed with this are a variety of bodyweight and mobility exercises. Many of these have "easier" and "more difficult" versions, you do whichever one you are capable of doing!

Also included are movements from two arts that I am qualified to teach and that are very combat oriented: Piper (www.piperknife.com) and classical Hsing Yi Chuan. The Piper movements are intended to be used defensively with an implement such as a sturdy ball point pen. If you are being attacked by a rapist and you rake him across the face with a pen, you will have bought yourself some time to escape (or follow-up).

There are two aims then to these classes:
1. Learn to move more freely and sweat copiously in the process and
2. Learn some seriously useful combative techniques and get feedback via hitting actual targets rather than just "thrashing the air".

As in all of my teaching, you are welcome to attend a free trial class so as to see how you feel after doing it!,

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