Is it real or is it make-believe?

Have you ever stood to watch a technique and saw the “ instructor” describe in detail how to do it in the real world and you thought to yourself, this is b**l s**t! Unfortunately I have attended many of these so-called self –defence courses when they have been nothing more than an ego boosting fantasy trip for the instructor.

Who gives any person that wears a black belt the right to lie to the public about saving their lives? It would be like sending someone that has just played Call of Duty into a real war zone and making them believe they can fight!

Over the years that I have trained I have been lucky enough to have been beaten up (in a good way) by the likes of Geoff Thompson, Keith Porter and John Dawson among others; all real fighters that teach realself-defence; like the dog brothers say: “higher conscious through harder contact,“ and take it from me – they did! Lol. There has been many a time I have woken up after a little nap due to this style of training.

Some people would think this is too harsh a way of training, but I have found that the more I feel a technique the more I learn about the movement and the effect it would have on a human body…. Oooh the pain. When you are learning self-defence, you should find out what works for you as a person and not the coolest move you saw on you tube or trying to steal the moves off the latest fighting game from x box. KISS is what I try to use (Keep It Simple Stupid) though you should not go around kissing people as a self defence move unless you can back that shit up, as they say. I did have an arm bar put on me for fun in a bar by a big ex-marine and he asked how I would get out …so I kissed him lol he let go! Whatever works?

I have looked at many forms of fighting over the years but what it boils down to is what suits you and what fits with your character. I could teach someone to throw a great right hook but if you have not hit anyone in the face before you will freeze when you should be throwing the punch and you will blame me for teaching you wrong! A lot of times, if you are a nice person that does not look for trouble but it finds you (it sounds like a western… just outside the saloon the posse stood waiting for the showdown) most people would freeze and be “gun shy” in the face of mortal danger, but if you tell people and show them maybe a strike to the sternum would be able to but an attacker down they would find it easier to hit them there instead of the face!

With weapons being used at an alarming rate at the moment people still teach people to go inside the arc of the weapon; if a stick can be swung at about 70 mph how fast would you have to be to get inside that arc? Iron man fast…  if you don’t believe me get a friend to hit you with a padded stick or a really good friend to hit you with a real stick (just kidding) and see how many times you will get hit and every time you get hit let your friend count them and for each hit you have to give a pound to charity.

Everything should have good reason. Just to show you what happens in a fight, as the great Steve Morris says, when we realise how many times the moves you practice will fail in a real fight it does make you think differently about a lot of the movements we do in any art we train in.

As I predicted the rise of the MMA Fighter has hit the streets and every tanned, tattooed tap-out wearing cage fighter (after a dose of growth hormone and 3 weeks intense bag hitting and choking friends at parties) thinks that every taxi rank and kebab shop is the octagon and wants to try out their new found skills on drunks and people not as “skilled“ as them until reality hits them in the sternum and flashes them back to the real world… oh that day will come and for me it could not come quick enough so for all you b***s***t instructors teaching bad self defence to line your pockets and all the fake cage fighters that could not fight – sleep pleasant dreams for the rise of the real people is coming !!

For all of those who I have just written about…

Enjoy yourself in the land of make believe,

Who are you trying to make believe? Us or yourself?

Love you all (apart from the cage fighting b***s**t instructors)

Play nice until its time not to be nice
John Atkin

To find out more about The Advanced Fighting Centre visit: or e-mail John Atkin at

Leave a Reply