1) Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do at the Kombat Cave – what’s the Cave all about and how did it come to be?
I have been training for 12 years and started my interest in martial arts in the 80s at the age of 13, with Judo, then Wado Ryu and Shotokan.
Then discovered cars and girls and had a 20 year lay off!
When I started again at the ripe old age of 35 it was in Chinese Kickboxing. During my time training I was attacked at work with an axe and started to realise the shortfall of sport based arts on the street.
I started attending Krav Maga seminars in Leeds whenever I could and also started attending seminars with the best reality based instructors in the UK.
After obtaining my first Dan in kickboxing I decided I wanted my training to go down the reality route, but could not find any clubs locally, so decided to open my own.
A chance meeting on Facebook and a phone chat with Simon Morrell lead me to make the three and a half hour drive to north Wales on a regular basis to become an Instructor under Fight Fortress worldwide and the BCA.
The Cave was finally born in April 2012.
2) How does self-protection fit into what you do?
Self Protection is the basis of everything we do, we teach people to defend themselves in the real world.
We cover everything from awareness and the law to adrenaline and aftermath, and students have to demonstrate knowledge and ability through physical and written gradings.
3) What motivates you in your training? How do you get yourself going when you’re not in the mood or you have other things to do?
I want to be better than my students so need to put in extensive personal training.
I’m also not getting any younger so want to achieve a lot more in the arts before the bath chair beckons!
4) What would you say is your greatest skill or attribute as a teacher?
Honesty with my students, if I don’t know the answer I will say so, we will then work the solution.
I’d like to think I am also good at communicating with students and always striving to evolve my syllabus based on their needs.
5) What would you say is the most important aspect of your training, skill you develop or attribute you cultivate at the Kombat Cave?
People are able to develop skills that are natural to them and are more likely to be delivered under pressure, I don’t believe in changing their skills but building on what they already have.
The CSD (Cave Street Defence) syllabus is built around making defences that deal with attacks and we offer various solutions, it’s up to the student which strategy works best for them.
6) What is your favourite exercise, training method or drill?
I love Pyramid drills and pad work, punching and kicking drills using the length of the Dojo and increasing/decreasing in intensity.
We start each session with Kombat Fitness designed to improve the skills/endurance used in training and defence situations as well as overall strength and fitness.
7) What do you like to do aside from training and teaching? What interests you?
I read a lot (martial arts books I’m afraid), watching movies and I like to go to the theatre with my long suffering Wingman (the misses who is the brains of the club).
8) What advice do you have for the students out there reading this?
Make sure you are training in the right art for you, work out what you want to achieve and ensure your art will deliver, if not, find one that does.
9) What advice do you have for the instructors out there reading this?
Teach what you are happy teaching and be adaptable as the arts are changing.
Many people no longer want to spend years studying one art, I believe with the quick fix mentality of today we must evolve to meet the student’s needs.
Don’t get drawn into the world of the keyboard warrior and be honest about your ability, leave the ego at the door and don’t get involved in martial politics.
10) What is your ultimate goal with the Kombat Cave? Where do you want it to lead?
Ultimately I would love a dedicated Centre and teach on a full time basis.
I want the Cave to be a recognised reality based club that teaches people from all walks of life the essential physical and mental attributes to protect themselves and families.
As well as a fun and friendly place to train.