Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Mark Davies Tactical Edge Seminar Review

The focus of the day was working at extreme close range. The type of
range that you commonly experience in a pub or a club when you can't
move in any direction and its almost impossible to back up, create space
and form a fence. It's not impossible action but often if you are being
realistic it is very difficult so it make sense to train at this extreme
close range.

After a warm up Mark had us working through a series of drills and part
of this introduced a new concept in defending a low round kick taken
from knife work defence. This involved footwork and a fast counter. I
liked this approach as I commonly use a Thai style block however it
hurts, plain and simple. With that standard Thai defence, its all about
percentages. I hope I damage an attackers leg more than he does mine.
However, with Mark's defence there is no need to worry about damaging

We then moved onto to developing a series of close range strikes on the
pads and using the double tap method. We then went on to develop these
strikes as situationals. A lot of take downs came from the Kino Mutai
system of ripping and tearing and had the guys screaming and hitting the
deck without much effort. As ever Mark would wander round and introduce
you to variations on each technique and add in failure drills. He gives
you so much to play with then you take it away work on it and make it
your own.

A number of the sets we worked on were combative Silat. Mark gives you
a movement which can be used for any one of a dozen things. Its all
about thinking conceptually with Tactical Edge, which is where its
beauty lies. So if you can remember a movement from the day you can
turn it into anything in the gym. You simply go away and play with it.

We also focussed on hand gun defence. Mark thoroughly explained the
workings of the handgun we went to look at realistic methods to defend
against threats. There are so many hand gun defences out there at the
moment and with my hand on my heart I can say that the ones that we
practised with Mark are the most efficient and SAFEST I have seen.
The day finished off with Mark conducting the first grading for the
Tactical Edge students in Edinburgh with everyone passing. I encourage
everyone to come along and train next time Mark is down in Edinburgh.
An afternoons seminar is equivalent to a months training. There are
instructors and then there are instructors. Mark has a wealth of
nowledge from so many arts and systems. He has devoted his life to
this stuff so If you want to learn regardless of whether you are a
student or an instructor then you should come along. Ego prevents a lot
of people from learning something new or different, don't be one of
these people. If you want to introduce a more combative approach to
your traditional art then don't try and do it yourself as you will more
than likely short change people. Come and learn from someone who can
easily transfer that knowledge to you. Similarly if you already
instruct in a RBSD then get out there and see what else is available.
Questions what you know, are there better ways of doing things. I
regularly train with other people in other arts to learn as much as I
possibly can. I take aspects and add them into what I already use to get
a more complete package - true cross training. I never stand still and
neither does Mark. He flies round the world to train with his
instructor. Don't be a cult, get out and train with other people outside
your system and see how you grow.

Some video clips from the day will be posted shortly.

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