I went back to my roots on Sunday just gone, attending the Mean Streets Seminar hosted by Russell Jarmesty at his gym in Atherton; Russell had put together the best of the best into one room and delivered a seminar that was tailored to give people the skills to finish live situations FAST! No bullshit. No nonsense. Just seriously pressure tested techniques that have been forged on the doors and on the streets in live situations time and time again.
On the seminar, the guest instructors were Jimmy Kelly, Scott Caldwell and Trevor Roberts, as well as Russell, all of which need no introduction, their reputations and pedigrees speak for themselves and for the next four hours, the seminar attendees were given masterclasses in the art of destroying anyone that stands in your way.
All the drills and techniques taught were designed to get the job done fast, with no messing about and absolutely no rolling around on the floor, the most contact with the floor was one knee at best and if you did end up on the ground, back on your feet as quickly as possible.
Jimmy Kelly started the afternoon off with a thorough warm up and a large number of grappling drills, starting off slowly, then working up the pace and intensity, before going into a number of ways of taking some one down from throat grabs, yet remaining on the feet as you carried them out. Jimmy said these were basic techniques, but these were moves I've been using on the doors for many years; basics when applied properly and after many hours of drilling and pressure tested are all you need, remember we're not here making daisy chains.
Trevor Roberts followed Jimmy and progressed from Jimmy's teaching, moving into the nitty gritty of close contact grappling, when you have to go shit or bust, as Trevor is wont to say; there was much eye gouging and fish hooking, generating that head movement and of Kuzushi, breaking your opponent's balance, all important in live situations, which is essential to get a guy on their toes and then into the concrete as hard and fast as possible.
Scott Caldwell was next and gave the group a taste of his teaching methods and concepts, which starts from an initial step forward into the aggressor, covering with an upward elbow to protect the face and the other hand trapping, before moving off to the side and unleashing hell.
Scott really ramped up the pace in his session, as he spoke about the need for intent and absolute conviction when applying these moves, which was mirrored in the partner drills, which progressed to as full on pressure testing as you can get, culminating in group pressure testing drills, in groups of four of five, with one guy in the middle having to react to each guy's attack and getting them to the floor as quickly as possible.
Russell rounded off the session with a look at pain compliance, both on the aggressor and on the victim, with a lot of emphasis on the ways fights start and how to use verbal cues to switch on and get to work. Arm drags and face bars are Russell's favourite moves and he showed lots of ways of getting into an arm drag position, which made way for the bone crushing pain of the face bars and these were put into practice with some great drills. Dealing with throat grabs and psyching out your attacker rounded off the session and I'm sure most of the people that atteneded the seminar will now have a nice reminder of the day everytime they swallow some food or drink.
Huge congrats to Russell again for organising a hugely informative seminar, there was lots of energy in the room on the day from everyone who attended. In addition to a great day of training and on a more serious and humbling note, all the guest instructors generously donated their fees to help fellow martial artist Anthony Pillage in his fight against cancer. Anthony is undergoing intensive holistic treatment to help him in his fight and monies from the seminar, the guests fees and money raised from a raffle on the day, as well as donations from all who attened, also went to Anthony. Anthony was present at the seminar and gave a quick speech thanking everyone for their generosity and this week embarks on his treatment regime in London. From everyone at the seminar, we all wish you the best with your treatment.
I myself had a really great time catching up with Trevor and sharing the mats with him once again and in finally meeting Russell, Jimmy and Scott and am really looking forward to the next seminar, sharing the mats with some really great martial artists and now friends, which is what it's all about.