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Martial Arts and Conditioning Advice from Mick Coup

Well, what a weekend!

Mick Coup was at Wild Geese for a 2 day Core Combatives seminar, I’ll be writing a full report for the Wild Geese Martial Arts Newsletter (make sure you’re on the list by signing up over on I have to say that I don’t train much in the way of Martial Arts these days, the little time I dedicate to the combat arts are spent on the absolute basics, the foundation work. I found Mick’s outlook, viewpoint and methods very much in line with my own current thinking. The information he taught was relativly low maintenance, which means you don’t need hours each day to train it once you’ve mastered the basics. It means that you don’t need an encyclopaedia of techniques once the principles are understood. It means that time can be spent on the rest of your life rather than struggling along in the gym/studio.

Long story short, I really enjoyed his methodology.

Mick and I also had several discussions about conditioning. He is a firm believer and even asked at the conclusion of the weekend “Who does some kind of conditioning work?” When only half the group put their hands up he simply stated that, “You all should” Many in martial arts have been brought up believing that technique will always trump strength, and yes there is some truth. Technique will only work as long as you have the strength to apply it.

He gave an analogy which I’ll paraphrase:

Imagine I’m in a race against Micheal Shumacher. He’s obvioulsy a far better driver than I am, his driving technique outstrips my own. But in this race he is driving a 3 wheeled Robin Reliant, while I am in a Ferrari. Who would win? Obviously I would. My Ferrari is stronger than his Reliant, even though his skill level is higher.

Turn your body into a Ferrari.

I also overheard him giving advice to another in the group that was asking about conditioning work. Something about how much time to spend in the gym, Mick’s answer, “Train like you’re in a hurry” This is a golden nugget of advice. Ok, so if your a Power Lifter or Body Builder this may not hold true, but for fighting, absolutley.

As a combat athlete or professional combatant (Doorman, Police, Military) you will be forced to fight, which means being able to generate power and maintain fine motor control while under fatigue. Mick uses heavy dumbell, kettlebells and battling ropes to create circuits that maintain his impressive size, strength and tenacity.

I’ll wrap up now as I’ve clients waiting, but as a martial artist and former security proffesional, I can’t recommend Mick’s work highly enough, there’s no nonsense, no sporting applications, just martial arts in it’s purest sense.



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