Cross training in the martial arts is not a nicety. It’s a necessity. If there was an Ultimate Martial style, then we would all be doing it, and the fact that there is not proves how important it is to be open to new ideas, be it techniques or philosophies.
On Saturday 14th March, members of Ishin Ryu Lionel Ju Jitsu joined forces with Eilean Siar Muay Thai Club for an afternoon dedicated to the art of striking, led by British and two-time Scottish Muay Thai Champion, Norrie Mackenzie.
In a world filled with the likes of UFC and Strikeforce, it is easy to forget that a good jab or kick can be as effective at ending a confrontation as a rear naked choke or arm bar. With open minds, the participants got their sweat on with a quick warm up before moving in to some basic hand work.
We began with a simple jab and cross, and Norrie reminded us all how to generate additional power by rotating our hips, and striking through the target. From there we moved downstairs, with the brutal basics of the turning kick into the knee and floating ribs.
The afternoon passed by quickly as we moved into combination punches and kicks, showing how important it was to move between the body and the legs, maintaining the guard and using distance as an effective weapon. Towards the end of the session we worked on Ishin Ryu’s favourite area – closing the distance to work on the inside of an opponent.
The joy of Mixed Martial Arts is taking a technique from one discipline, tweaking it, and making it your own. In the final hour of the seminar, Norrie and I worked on a Muay Thai clinch that could be modified into a choke and then a throw – we’ll definitely be trying that that on Monday night.
Too quickly five o’clock came around, and after a quick warm down we said our goodbyes. It was great to make new friends, and Norrie is a fantastic instructor. We were all sad to see the Muay Thai Club leave Ness, but hopefully we will see them again soon, when I run a grappling and groundwork seminar in Stornoway in the coming months.
Ishin Ryu is run every Monday and Wednesday, 7-9pm, at Sporsnis, by Sensei Martin Adil-Smith
Muay Thai is run Monday and Wednesday, 6-8pm at Fitness Studio, Cabar Hotel, by Norrie Mackenzie.
Many thanks to Muriel Mackenzie for permission to use her photographs.