Friday, 21 October 2016


We started off looking at some common defences against straight and circular attacks. We looked at pre-emptive strikes and vulnerable points around the body.  We paid particular attention to the throat and the pros and cons and striking tools and outcomes.  I will try and do a video on this subject at some point in the future.  From there we looked at solidifying our 360 defence against empty hand and edged weapon finishing off with a pressure drill where we used repetition to help aid muscle memory.  



Wednesday, 19 October 2016


During training its very often tempting to drop your hands after you have finished a combative set.  In Krav Maga it's essential to keep your hands protecting the jaw line as you have to factor in multiple opponents and being hit from the side by one of them. Even when you are clearly dealing with one attacker only in the class imagine there are more enemies and keep the hands up and scan the area for exits, more bad guys and anything you could fall over.

Even during sparring sessions when you tie your opponent up in the clinch position for example as you reign down with knee strikes perhaps you should already be looking for an exit or planning your next manoeuvre.

Sometimes as a coach its helpful to walk the room with a padded stick and simply hit anyone who isn't looking or who is dropping their hands.  This will encourage good tactics and also add a small element of stress which is essential in some areas of Krav Maga training.


Wednesday, 20 April 2016


For the majority of us our training is not our job or what defines us in life.  It’s meant to be enjoyable, social and in some cases a way for us to release the pressures of daily life , job, kids, money, family, friends etc.

Whatever you are training for be it CrossFit, Martial Arts, football, rugby or running there is one thing that should feature in your training, and that is pressure in the training environment.  A small bit of pressure does wonders for your confidence so that you can deal with real life events.  You will only grow as a person from your training if you operate at some point dealing with the feeling of being uncomfortable. You’ll recognize this feeling as you might want to stop the workout, give up training or you'll be making all the excuses of the day.  Training doesn’t have to be hell on earth all the time but you should feel the need to have push and fight through some sessions.  When it becomes easy and you don’t feel wary about going to train you want get the best results you are capable of.

Getting through a tough uncomfortable session that you can talk about at a later date with teammates is a great feeling.  If training is occasionally punishing then you can draw on this experience from the training environment when you encounter something stressful in life.


Sunday, 14 February 2016


When you are training you should look to develop your ability to transfer through ranges both forward and in reverse.  So if we start at kicking range look to close the gap to punching range.  Then you could work from grappling range and get back to close and then medium range. This idea would fit right in with the Krav Maga ground fighting principles of getting back to your feet as quickly as possible. 

So on the pads with a partner work out a combination starting with a kick and close to punching range and finally close range which could simply be a clinch with you adding in some knee strikes.  Look to develop as much variety as possible.  

Once you have practised this skill you will find your sparring gets better and your abilities in multiple attacker drills increase.

Generally we should always be moving forwards however, it's not always practical and you need the ability to go backwards and clockwise and counter clockwise in confrontations.  

Get in as much practice as you can when you are working your situational drills.  


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