Real Self-defence

By Geoff Thompson

Punch ups, muggings and even fatalities are frighteningly common in a society that is bulging at the waist with unsolicited assaults. Due to astonishing growth-rate of violent crime in Britain, skills in self-defence are almost a pre-requisite if you want to get from the pub to the Indian and home again in one piece.

Continue reading

An interview with Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris Interviewed by Geoff Thompson.

m_chuck_norrisI was recently invited to teach a self-defence seminar for Mr Chuck Norris in Las Vegas Nevada. Whilst there he was gracious enough to do an interview with me for Front Magazine and pose with his Front Hero medal. When I offered him the medal and informed him of his cult status with the readers of Front he was genuinely delighted and said it was a great honour. When you get to meet celebs it is often a disappointing experience, the minds eye image you have of your screen idol is often blasted half to death in ego.

I am delighted to say that Mr Chuck Norris was ego-less, he was not a disappointment, rather he was a delight. I found Mr Norris to be a genuinely warm and humble man, very quietly spoken and courteous at all times. This is what he had to say;

Geoff Thompson: What was your first break in to the film business?

Chuck Norris: Well, really my first big break was a movie called Good Guy's Wear Black. This was a screenplay that I helped develop and write. I peddled it around Hollywood for four years before I was able to finally make it a reality (laughs). But before that I had a chain of martial arts schools that a company wanted to buy and go nation-wide with. You know, like a whole chain of Chuck Norris schools. I thought that maybe 500 schools was better than owning six schools (laughs), well turns out it wasn't. Anyway two years later I lost everything. It took me five years to get out of that whole and pay all the creditors back. In the meantime I was trying to decide what I was going to do with my life. I was teaching private students at the time and one of them was an actor by the name of Steve McQueen. He asked me what I was going to do and said that I wasn't really sure yet whether I was going to start over again or what. I had a family at the time so I was making it by with private lessons and seminars. So he said 'I would suggest that you try the acting field'. I said 'why? I've never had an acting class in my life. I never even did a high school play (laughs). He said 'well, acting is not just having lessons. You either have a certain presence that comes across on the screen or you don't'. And he said 'I think you may have it. I strongly suggest that you give it a try'. So, of course I tried to go to acting school but, you know at this time I had no money. Nothing. And I was checking into acting schools and they were just too expensive. Finally I found an acting school that I was able to take on my GI bill through the military. So I went back to school to learn acting. Then I went out trying to find work (as an actor) but I was competing against guys with years and years of experience. I said 'this isn't going to work'. So I wound up writing my own screenplay and finally, you know through sheer determination and faith I sold the idea and made it a reality. That was in 1977. That, really was the beginning of my career.

Continue reading

Muscle Cramps

Muscles cramps are caused by prolonged spasms, or involuntary contraction of a muscle. Muscle cramps, especially those of the legs, are extremely common. Treatment is usually massage and stretching and adequate fluid intake, although in cases where cramps are frequent, medication may be recommended.

What is a muscle cramp?
A muscle cramp is an involuntarily and forcibly contracted muscle that does not relax. Any of the muscles under voluntary control (skeletal muscles) can cramp. Cramps of the extremities are very common, especially the legs and feet, and particularly the calf (often termed a "charley horse" cramp). When a muscle (or even a few fibers of a muscle) involuntarily contracts, it is called a spasm and becomes a cramp when the spasm is forceful and sustained.

Continue reading

Taekwon-Do Basic Sparring Strategy

There is a strategic science to sparring. From the outside, sparring looks like random kicks and punches thrown mercilessly with the objective being to injure. From the inside, however, a sparring match is like a chess game. For example, one could not win a game of chess by mindlessly moving around the pieces anymore than one could win a sparring match by mindlessly throwing techniques. Strategy is prerequisite to chess as well as to sparring.

What is strategy?

Strategy goes beyond "What kick should I throw now?" and it answers the question "How can I manipulate the situation to give me the advantage over my opponent?" This strategy comes in two main forms: Overall strategy (macro strategy) and exchange strategy (micro strategy).

Continue reading

36 Useful Sparring Tips

Sparring tips:

  1. Size up your opponent before you engage. If he strikes first then you know he is an OFFENSIVE fighter. If he waits for your attack then you know he is a DEFENSIVE fighter.
  2. Find out what technique your opponent is good at by giving a fake. If your opponent moves his hands then you know he is a puncher. If your opponent moves his leg then you know right away that he is a kicker.
  3. Try to get your opponent to attack first, either by a fake or taunt. You will quickly learn what technique your opponent relies on, (every fighter has their favorite technique) then plan a counter for that attack.
  4. Do not telegraph your attack.
  5. Never show fear when sparring. Your opponent will sense fear and go on the attack, however, fear also can be used as a fake.
  6. When you and your opponent are in hitting range make sure you're legs are never wider than your shoulder width. Wider stands makes your movements slower.
  7. Always set up your opponent before you strike. Set up high, strike low. Set up low, strike high. Most experienced fighters will never get hit unless you set them up.
  8. Always relax the body before you strike. Tension slows down attacks. Visualise a snake attacking it's prey. Calm, relaxed, then strike with lightening speed.
  9. Close the gap between your thought and action. Don't think too long or the opportunity is lost.
  10. The moment to strike an opponent is when he is about to launch an attack or as he is landing from his attack.

Continue reading

A place for martial artists to share knowledge and ideas.

A CORE Physical Arts Ltd property