Sunday, 7 February 2016


Its important in training not only to scan the area but actively move towards an exit when you are working through your situationals.  For example, you are training your 360 defence against an outside attack.  Your at medium range and your hands are up in a passive guard trying to de-escalte matters.  You've brought your hands closing together to shut down your centre line forcing an attack on the high line to come around your hands making its slightly slower than a straight attack.  Its not going to be easy to stop but hopefully easier than reacting to a straight jab or a cross.

So you work through your verbal portion and your physical defence.  Counter as appropriate and then make your way to the exit.  If you practice just running a few metres towards an exit after the confrontation it's of real benefit to your training.  Building muscle memory that you want you flee danger if appropriate. Maybe you can't just run because you are with other people or your jacket is in the cloakroom off the club and you really love that jacket!  Come back and get it the next day, do everything you can to get home safely which is the purpose of Krav Maga.

Also, after you stop running, don't just run back.  Take a second, a breath, calm yourself and walk back to begin again fresh. Otherwise you are training to run back to a danger spot which isn't a good thing.

Train smart, train safe and have fun.


Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Be Excellent to Each Other

A few days ago I was running a PT session for a new client, who has a long personal history of being sceptical about gyms, gym people, and even the very notion of exercise full stop. She was struggling with an exercise, and, as I coached her through it, one of the other lifters offered a bit of encouragement and some kind words about struggling through a tough rep. My client successfully ironed out her issue, and we continued with the rest of the session, nothing more said. Last night, however, my client said that she found the encouragement extremely helpful, and was very surprised that someone she barely knew would be so helpful, for no reason and expecting no response. This threw me a little, isn't that what you'd expect from a decent gym? Nope, her prior experiences with commercial gyms had left her thinking that any large gym rat, covered in chalk and sweating out the eyeballs, was only going to be patronising, if they spoke at all. She compared it to going round to a friends for wine and cheese, as opposed to going to a club for a drink; okay, in both contexts you are there for the same reason, but, depending on which you go for, you are going to have a completely different experience. 

'Be encouraging. Be welcoming. Don't be a dick.' I'd write it above the door of the gym, like a kind of reverse Dante's Inferno, it weren't for the fact that we have a lot of kid's classes at the gym and it might be frowned upon to have profanity scrawled across the fornication. But the point stands, if you are going to come to CRG Crossfit, or Krav Maga Edinburgh classes, then no matter how you are outside these walls, you better not be a dick inside them. None of us are perfect, and yeah, sometimes its good to get into your own zone, train hard and get out, but, have a thought for the other people in this shared space, and remember that a few encouraging words here and there can go a long way to changing a person's entire gym experience. 

'Be encouraging. Be welcoming. Don't be a dick.'

Lawrie Clapton

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Pictured here is Big Lee Faetz who  was instrumental in building the club up.  Here is smashing a couple of guys up from the early days when we trained in the Judo Club. I think one of the guys was called Stephen Black, he was a Hearts fan so now doubt was getting it tight here!

Me and Lee early on in training went to a Battlecamp in Norway for a week training with Rune Lind and Major Ole Boe. Both these guys were very highly rated and we had a fantastic trip.  If you ever get a chance follow Rune Lind and get to one of his camps.  He runs them every August and has done for years.  The best value for money training you can get for sure.

This was one of my early promo pics with my son thinking its great to gouge my eyes out.  He's a keen boxer nowadays but when we scrap he always reverts back to this sort of stuff in times of trouble!


That’s me been teaching Krav Maga for 10 years now. 
I stared off teaching at satellite venues over the country weekly and doing seminars all over the place trying to make Krav Maga more popular, as back then hardly anyone knew what it was. Then I put an advert in the Edinburgh Evening News offering a free trial class at Edinburgh Judo Club. I had around 18 people show up to that class. Some were friends boosting the numbers and giving me support. Off the back of that class I signed people up and started weekly classes. I then ventured out and did a class in Glasgow as well. Once I built up that core group I made a huge jump and opened Combat Ready Gym. Worst time to be opening business as everything around me was closing down with the recession. I had faith, had worked hard so I never doubted I wouldn’t succeed. 
I just want to thank everyone who has ever come through the door and trained. I learn something from every one of you. And a special thank you to the guys that have stuck with me since the early days and the ones who are now coaching in their respective fields. I Couldn’t do it without you. 
Thanks again

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Women Only Krav Maga Class

Last night we opened up with a chat concerning controlled aggression, attitude or as Bruce Lee said emotional content.  After that we used some games to get people moving and warm and generally have fun with some cross over to combatives.  We then focussed on building some solid striking from a position where our hands were low and we were not aware of what was going on.  We then changed our attitude and starting position to a guard position and started incorporating elbow and knee strikes.  I was really impressed with how the class worked together and the general aliveness in the training.  We finished off with a defending against and hooking attack and looked at various options from running away to using a take down.  All good solid Krav Maga

Friday, 2 October 2015


Last night we started off with some of the boxing curriculum and then moved into looking at defending a headlock.  We looked at points of prevention from projectile range to almost being in the headlock.  Then dealing with the final problem itself.  Scott then gave the guys some options if they were then taken to the ground in the headlock.  Remember drill the releases as much as possible but practice prevention more. You don't want to develop a victim mind set which can be common in Krav Maga training when classes drill defence over offence all the time.


Friday, 11 September 2015


Last night we worked on some fast pre-emptive entries on pads and then on a partner.  Certain positions  contained within these movements would be required later on in our knife defence drills. Movement is universal so you should be aiming to use movements in various situations.  It should just be this is empty hand attack the defence is A, this is an impact weapon attack the defence is B. I will try and do a video clip at some point as I drew out some great examples last night.

We worked knife attacks from the front when there is little distance between you and the attacker and from the side.  Finished off the class with some sparring.  Great effort from everyone in the gym.


Wednesday, 9 September 2015


We worked defences against straight punches relying on using our lead hand to parry rather than rear hand sophistication.  It might not feel natural however, on some occasions this is going to happen naturally. You won't have the opportunity to move your feet into a guard when something kicks off and your lead hand is naturally going to swat away at anything that comes towards your body.  The plan was to make you realise that you can use the lead hand but you expose yourself to their strong rear punch if you are on the inside line.

After this we looked at some edged weapon work which was again to enhance our lines of attack and give us structure.  We then did the empty hand equivalent.  From there it was onto defending knife attacks with an emphasis on trying to control the attacking arm.  More of this on Thursday night.


Friday, 4 September 2015


Douglas and Ian took the guys through the kickboxing class last night. Both of them have upcoming MMA fights soon was good for the class to get another coaches perspective on training and some fresh combinations.

For Krav Maga we went through some of the takedown curriculum from static positions and then from various entries.  The emphasis was on proper mechanics, scanning the area and looking for easy ways to get various locks and positions of control.  After than Douglas and Paddy had the guys cover some pad work and then finished off trying to see if we could get a take down with some forward pressure. I stressed that unless its your job and you can't hit someone then a takedown shouldn't be forced. You can use striking to soften and then apply.  In some circumstances you might not be able to hit them so you may have to man handle them a little bit more than you normally would.  Don't go looking for a takedown its just gonna appear from you giving forward pressure, footwork or your opponent crumbling.  The goal is safety so keep that in mind.  Its not about looking like Jason Bourne as much as we all want to.