26th September 2004
To celebrate two years since the International Alliance of Martial Art Schools, IAOMAS (as its affectionately known) held its second England seminar.
Fantastic martial artists from all over England had voiced their support for the event, with no less then nine different & diverse martial arts being taught on the day.
Everyone gathered at Rayners Lane Academy for the start of the event, some have travelled for over 6 hours to get there.
The seminar got under way at 11.30am, with a short introduction of all the various instructors that would be teaching throughout the day & a thank you to everyone for their support.
The first section was conducted by Paul King, Chief Instructor of Goshin Ryu Kempo
Jujitsu who got everyone into it straight away by demonstrating disruptive quartering
techniques. Paul got everyone practising wrist locks against a lapel grab, followed by an
outside hook defence against a lapel grab & punch. This followed with a disruptive double
punch defence against a round kick which sent a few participants flying, especially his
Uke for the day Jonathon Amess, who clearly showed the pain this technique inflicted.
Paul also demonstrated the effect of concentrated attacks & finished off his section with
a nice defence against a punch, which turned into a solid wrist lock. Paul aptly
demonstrated the spontaneity his system teaches & really kicked off the seminar well.
Next up was Oliver Van Overbeek who took everyone through the principles and theories
at the base of his art, Wing Chun. Oliver taught some basic Lop Sau/straight punch
applications as he described certain aspects of his art, explaining the theories behind the
techniques and encouraging everyone to block & counter simultaneously, also using the
pivoting principles of Wing Chun. He then went on to utilize and build on this into an
effective counter, using the same application against a more forceful attack using the
second hand, finishing further with a counter counter technique using the trapping
elements of Wing Chun. Oliver, utilizing his stand in assistant, Justin Goh showed well
the beauty, as well as effectiveness of this art.
After Oliver came Stuart Anslow, who took possibly the most basic block in his art of
Ch'ang Hon Taekwon-do and went through many applications & uses for this block.
Explaining the usage of chambering, reaction hand, gripping and follow though, all as part
of the actual applications of the technique. The block was used to perform releases,
elbow breaks, pressure point strikes, chokes, a release from a rear bear hug, neck crank
and a take down. As the seminar was being arranged, many people had expressed an
interest in trying out some of the kicking techniques Taekwon-do is (in)famous for. So not
wanting to disappoint, Stuart finished his section with some advanced kicking techniques.
Staring off with some basic reverse turning kicks, then onto the jumping reverse turning
kick before going onto more advance kicks like a 180 degree flying turning kick and a
spiral kick which has most jumping around like mad men and women, some of whom pick
them up really well and very quickly despite coming from a totally different system .
Stuart finished by explaining the principles behind applying kicks in Taekwon-do and how
it differs in perspective to many other arts.
To conclude the first section of the seminar, Self Protection instructor Alex Catterall took the
floor. Alex started off by taking everyone through his crime triangle, explaining what is needed
for someone to become a victim and how to change the equation for the better. Following this
Alex demonstrated his 'Bare knuckle pain test', designed to instil confidence in students
techniques and showing how little is actually required to hurt someone with a basic punch
and got his first assistant, Lyndsey Sainsbury to actually punch him in the cheek and jaw
progressively harder.. then he got everyone doing it! This followed with the same techniques,
full power on the focus pads and the difference was very clear for all to see. Alex created a
few chuckles by saying that "he knew everyone was good hookers!" Finishing off his section,
Alex took everyone through line ups, pre-emptive striking and explained trigger techniques,
aptly demonstrated on Simeon Howarth.
After a short break for lunch, Gary Hoptroff took to the floor to take everyone through his art
of Kali. Gary teaches Jeet Kune Do, Kali and the unarmed section of Kali called 'Pananukan'
. Everyone was kitted up with some short sticks and Gary demonstrated block and (nasty)
counter defences against the stick, using the stick and hand, that ended with neck wrenches
and choke techniques applied to his willing assistants Ricardo Howard and Timothy Mckinlay,
who's pain was clear to see. Gary developed this into a good flow drill for everyone to practice.
Gary then demonstrated the unarmed Pananukan section of Kali. He demonstrated 'gunting'
a jab to take out the attackers lead arm, that flowed into a cross-hook-cross combination.
Then he demonstrated a defence from a cross punch, utilizing a technique called the 'Upper
Salute' that flowed into a takedown technique.
Jason Davenport, head coach of Martial Arts Unlimited, official rep of Royce Gracie in the
UK, took to the floor literally with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Jason started by demonstrating 'Upa'
(an escape from being pinned under your opponent), following this he demonstrated a scissor
sweep from the guard position, moving into a submission technique called the 'Americana
lock`. Then he put all three pieces together into a drill, allowing everyone to flow from one to
another & finish with the lock. Following this he show a devastating choke called a rolling
guillotine, which had everyone tapping out pretty quickly due to the pressure it created.
Finally, his assistant Ed Burbidge, who up until now had to be the fall guy for Jasons
techniques, got to demonstrate a wonderful finishing technique on Ross Dunning called a
helicopter arm bar, which had Ross twirling round in the air by Eds feet, and landing straight
into an armbar. A great round off for the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu section, which everyone had great
Alan Cain then took the floor to take everyone through military gun and knife disarm
techniques. Alan is a Military Unarmed Combat Senior Instructor and Lance Corporal for the
London Regiment (TA) and had just returned from a six month tour of Basrah. Alan taught
applications from Modern Defendo (which is the unarmed combat system of the Canadian
Armed forces) and actually brought a real gun to demonstrate with (though it was made safe),
but many were surprised how heavy the pistol actually was. Seminar participants were kitted
out with training versions of Beretta's, Brownings, Glocks and SIG 228s ( for those that know
their guns) and Alan proceeded to show everyone some quick and painful disarms if facing an
aggressor with a gun pointing at you, resulting in a painful finger lock on his assistant Robert
Agar Hutton, using the gun itself, followed by either a quick succession of strikes (some with
the gun itself), or the more reserved locks used to take prisoners into custody, similar
disarms were also shown with the knife. This proceeded onto disarms from the rear for both
guns and knives, with some nice little strategy elements included. The defences were quick, vicious and effective.
Marc Jones was eighth up and enthusiasm was still very high as each section had been so
different. This was not to change as Marc straight away demonstrated (very well) the circle
principle of Hapkido. Then got everyone applying the principles as he demonstrated escapes
from chokes, inverted and reversed wrist projections and throws. He then continued with both
straight and circular neck throws on his unfortunate assistant Mathew Reid (known as Little
Big Matt) which had Mathew falling about all over the place.
Then, along with his assistant Emma Brown, he demonstrated defences with rope (or belts in
this case), rope restraints and an S-lock., again with poor old Matt on the receiving end, this
time from Emma. At one point Marc took Matt down with the belt, and to demonstrate a
simple knot, had Matt tied up round the throat which enabled him to walk Matt like a dog…
very funny to watch. Marc finished off his section by demonstrated pressure point and throws
using the Hapkido cane.
The final segment of the seminar was taken by Reikijitsu instructor Andy Wright. After almost
seven hours of non-stop training, Andy started taking everyone through some deep breathing
exercises, which turned out to be more than they looked. As everyone relaxed and focused
on their breathing, certain principles were explained. Each exercise led onto another, with
Andy getting everyone lying down and though relaxed, visualising the aches and pains of the
day to help them ease away. Followed by some more special breathing exercises, Andy
went onto explain that they wernt just doing relaxation techniques, or simple breathing but
actually Chi Kung exercises. To prove this, Andy then asked everyone to look at their hands
with which many were surprised to see were all speckled (from the Ki), then he got every to
face a partner and move their hands closer togethor, to which many felt heat or tingling
sensations and some even felt small shocks in their hands. Andy concluded his section
with some sensory work.
At around 7.15 pm the seminar finished, some group photographs were taken. Everyone agreed it was a great day as we all bowed out. Following the seminar, many of the instructors and students carried on a verbal version at a local restaurant late into the night, which was great.
What was interesting was that even though we are all connected, firstly as martial artists and secondary as members of the International Alliance of Martial Art Schools, many could also see certain connections from on the surface, what appeared to be vastly different arts, which in fact had common themes of threads.
Another nice thing about this seminar was that many got to meet people they had only chatted to before via the IAOMAS forum (www.iaomas.org) and there was no 'style wars' because everyone was gracious, friendly and open minded to everyone else and everyone elses styles. I feel many bonds were formed that day. I actually got to meet Anthony `Antz` Whitaker, someone I had known for 12 odd years but never actually met. Anthony by the way, knows everything about the Hong Kong movie scene, so if you ever want to know anything, he can be found on the IAOMAS forum.
As well as the instructors mentioned in the article, a big thank you must go to other instructors who attended with their students, like Richard Steel, Keith Gardner, Jeroen Van Beers & Robert Agar Hutton, plus the students themselves and those of the demonstrating instructors, whom without, there would be no one to do a seminar for!
To conclude this report I would like to leave you with some comments sent after the event, which may leave you with the thought - If your not a member of the International Alliance of Martial Art Schools (a free, worldwide organisation)… why not?
"I personally thought the whole day was brill… how could you improve it? Difficult.. hmm,
I dont think you can! seminar rating of 10+ (out of 5!), absolutely brill day out, if you missed it,
you missed the event of 2004!" - Andy Wright, Reikijutsukai
"Just to say T-H-A-N-K-S it was great - I really enjoyed meeting everybody and being beaten up
by so many friendly folks - All the instructors were great. I know it was a good seminar as today
there is not one part of my body that is not either aching or bruised!" - Robert Agar Hutton,
Protectics Martial Arts
"Wanted to say thanx to all the instructors for making yet another excellent seminar. I have
bruises in about 15 different colours and everything hurts (sign of a great session), hope I
remember enough stuff to inflict some pain on the rest of the class that couldn't make it..
Hope there will be another next yr. Thank you all" - Karen, Kicking Lincs ITF
"I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for the seminar it was great i really enjoyed all of
the different styles it was really nice to experience them all, I learnt a lot!" - Emma Brown,
Jung Shin Hapkido
"A great day we have had the best so far!" - Keith Gardener, Red Lion Taekwon-do
"What a top way to spend a Sunday totally enjoyed it mate.All my lads had a blast & enjoyed
the various arts taught at the seminar." - Gary Hoproff, Hertfordshire Martial Arts
"Thanks to everyone involved. It was a great day, loved every minute despite being up first to
teach, I enjoyed teaching a friendly and receptive crowd and more importantly I enjoyed learning
from a group of superb instructors.
Oliver, Interesting to see moves which have crept into other styles, I just wish you had more than the 30 mins. Stuart not only did you organise a brilliant event you went on to show real self defence applications of your style and you showed them well (thanks). Alex, straight to the point, no nonsense un-cluttered self defence and put over excellently, more please! Gary, never done your style before, I will seek it out now enjoyed every minute. Jason, we are coming to invade your club, excellent jujitsu, excellent teaching. Alan, couldnt get enough. I would have liked more time, brilliant. Marc Jones, I have seen Hapkido a couple of times before and been indifferent, however your delivery is superb, you have the knowledge and ability and your circle demonstration is so simple yet so effective (it's gonna get nicked) again much more please. Andy, definitely worth the travel. Where do you teach? We would like to visit.
Thanks again to everyone we all had a great time. Keep it up and here's to next time" - Paul King, Chief instructor Goshin Ryu Kempo Jujitsu
"The second International Alliance Of Martial Arts Schools Seminar 2004 was, in my view, a very enjoyable gathering of martial talent and even just people who shared a common interest, namely in that they were all martial artists. In some ways it's kind of a shame such gatherings don't happen more often, because it's a great way to meet new people, and the sheer range of martial arts out there means there'd be little chance of running out of conversation material.
As well as all of those teachers who gave us half an hour each of a portion of the wonders
of their arts, particular thanks must go to Stuart Anslow, who no doubt was largely
responsible for making this event possible in the first place.
I had known of Stuart for about half a decade before that day, but finally after all that time
we actually met in person. Bloody good spinning kicks, by the way, Stuart! Actually, I was
completely blown away by his abilities in techniques that were clearly outside of the
Tae Kwon Do spectrum (such as during the Wing Chun section). Another thing that I feel
made it more enjoyable than counter-productive was the overall light-heartedness of it all,
which I was surprised about as I was expecting it to be quite serious, especially
considering some of the teachings would involve techniques taught to the military (Alan's
section), but even this was done with a bit of humour thrown in.
Although I didn't exchange words with everyone there, I was touched by the kindness of both the more mature ones and the younger ones. Thanks to all of them for making a nervous guy like me so welcome.
Loved the Equilibrium demo, too...!
Alex, despite your concerns about speaking in front of all those people, you did a sterling job (don't worry about the 'h**kers' thing; I don't think anyone was offended!
I wonder if anyone caught me on film during the spinning hook kicks where I slipped over and fell on my butt (I was kicking with my left leg, which is my recessive leg, and my right foot doesn't grip floors as well as my left)? That was pretty embarrassing, especially after some of the encouragement Stuart was giving me when we were all (?) having a go at the spiral kick." - Anthony Whitaker
To find out more about IAOMAS, or contact the instructors mentioned in this article please visit either www.iaomas.com or www.raynerslanetkd.com (and follow the IAOMAS links). A video clip of the event can also be found there.
International Alliance Of Martial Art Schools