Signs you’re doing martial arts right….

images Signs youre doing martial arts right....

Signs you’re doing martial arts right….

So originally I was going to write a blog post on signs you are, or are becoming a McDojo, the McDojo that never compete, never travel to other clubs, internally promote and have 10th Dan 10 year olds….but then someone made a great point that this has been done to death, and that bad schools dont care they’re bad schools, they just care about making money and churning out Grandmaster Shihan Sensei Ninja Turtle toddlers! So let’s focus on the positives, signs you’re doing it right, signs you’re teaching martial arts/self defence as they’re meant to be taught! In the future I’d love to travel round and see some of your guys schools, do some training with you and a little bio for the blog so let me know if you’d be interested!

5 – You yourself as an instructor develop

Self development in my eyes is key to running a great martial arts school. If you yourself are constantly developing and learning in order to get better in your field, I think you’re on to a winner. This keeps your students up to date with the latest, cements your place within the martial arts community and keeps you on your toes and not getting too complacent. I’m sure we can all agree that none of us will ever reach perfection in our chosen field and that martial arts are a lifelong pursuit! Keep developing!

4 – Competitions

For those that teach arts with a competitive edge, what better way to see how you and your students are doing than by letting them compete if they feel fit and ready? Martial arts are about practice and cooperation, but a great way of testing what you’re doing is with an uncooperative partner such as in a competitive arena. Even if you do an art that isn’t competitive such as Aikido, competitions can still exist between schools to up everyone’s game and to see how you compare to those around you.

3 – You get students with minimal advertising, pushing etc

The best advertisement is word of mouth, if you’re doing a great job with your school, people will hear about it both in the martial arts world and those looking to dip their toe in to it and try new things.

2 – You cross train and bring in visiting instructors

Martial arts are a community. We’ve discussed before the internal politics and general bitchiness that can surround the martial arts, but where you have people, politics will exist. Cross training ups your own game and knowledge, gives your students another angle on their training, and helps you build contacts within the community. The same goes for visiting instructors. A change of pace and instructor for a seminar or weekend can give your students a new outlook and new passion and drive as well as again, networking.

1 – Your students

Your students are probably the best test as to how you are doing. Are they buzzing at the end of every class? Do they get involved in discussions, go home and research, look at YouTube videos etc? Do they travel to seminars with other instructors? These are all great signs that you are really into what you are doing, and a good sign you’re doing the right thing! It’s true that a teacher’s ability is reflected in their students, and if you have a group of passionate, dedicated and skilled students, chances are you’re doing a great job! Pretty simple right?

GHOST – Interview with Phil Norman

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GHOST Fighting – Interview with Phil Norman

Here we are lucky enough to read about the GHOST fighting method developed by Phil Norman that is taking the combat world by storm! Phil talks about the development of GHOST, as well as his plans for the future and his business relationships with Andy Norman of Defence Lab, Bob Breen of 4D Combat, and Eddie Quinn of The Approach! As always, if you enjoyed the article share, like, comment your thoughts, and subscribe to The Martial View!

Thanks for taking the interview Phil! Let’s start with how you began your journey in the martial arts.

I started my martial arts journey with Kung fu at a local club before going to a Dan Inosanto seminar in 1989. I was immediately hooked on his teachings and spent the next decade travelling to the USA and Europe for his seminars. I would then come back to the UK and pick up door work in between trips.

I then became a full instructor under Guro Dan Inosanto in 2000 in Jeet Kune Do/Jun Fan and also in Kali and Silat. I had already become an instructor in Thai Boxing under Ajarn Chai, Savate under Professor Salem Assli, Combat Submission Wrestling under Sensei Erik Paulson and I was ranked in Shoot Wrestling under Sensei Yorinaga Nakamura. Back in the UK I was training with Sensei Dave Kavanagh in Judo and I trained for many years with Trevor Ambrose who at that time was 5x world kickboxing champion and also a professional boxer. The latter two would be a big influence in my day to day training when I started competing. I competed in different styles just for kicks and giggles because it helped me focus in my training and I won a World title and 2 British titles. Towards the end of my days competing I was knocked out and took my first loss in an MMA match. My peers said I would grow from this and become a better martial artist.

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Can you talk me through the development of the GHOST system and what makes it different to other training styles?

What actually happened was the start of what has now become the Ghost System. The fight I lost was probably my easiest one. It was pretty much one sided but then I got caught by my opponent who pulled out a last ditch strike. To ensure this would never happen again I looked at what I could have possibly done to avoid this. This brought new shapes and structures which then required new striking angles to make these shapes fit for purpose and effective. The problem was to then to convince fighters to do it. Needless to say they didn’t! It took a young student (5 years later) who just received his black belt and wanted to know what was next to get Ghost going. His name was Jake Clarke and he helped me develop the system by literally competing and trying it out. It wasn’t long before he started beating up the more experienced fighters I was training and the techniques I taught him became an elusive fighting system which needed a name. Initially the system used big evasive movements which are similar to the weapons based system Kali, so thought about calling it competition kali, but when I demonstrated it to some kali instructors they said that it wasn’t kali.

I remembered my first sparring session with my boxing coach Trevor Ambrose and how I couldn’t hit him and that it was like trying to hit a Ghost and then that was it! I realised that I had created a style which systemised the unorthodox evasive movement that was natural to boxers like Muhammad Ali and Prince Nassem and made it so that anyone can do it.

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I see that you have developed partnerships with people such as Bob Breen, Andy Norman and Eddie Quinn, how did these relationships come about?

We started to develop it further through fighting and started to get a lot of interest from people who wanted seminars. It was whilst I was doing a seminar hosted by Eddie Quinn (friends of the Approach) that I managed to catch up with Andy Norman from Defence Lab. We had known each other for years on the JKD seminar circuit; he was originally a private student of Guru Bob Breen. I was really impressed with what I saw when he did his set. I had only really seen actors trying to do it and it was nothing like the real thing. I was about to go and speak to him when he stopped the seminar and congratulated me on what I had done on the set before him. We got chatting and he offered me guidance on developing the business side of Ghost. We have been in communication weekly ever since.

Andy was also helping his old instructor Guro Bob Breen and brought us together and created the cross branding of Defence Lab, Breen 4D and Ghost. This has lead onto us joining forces for many events and more recently our involvement with Defence Labs World Conference with our good friend Eddie Quinn. It was the best martial art event I have been involved in. They (DL) are light years ahead as a professional martial art organisation.

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So what’s next for you and the future of GHOST?

For training I want to develop the instructor program into the USA (this year we trained instructors in Germany and Spain). I will be working hard to get the online program up next year and my fighters are still making waves so my long term goals are to break into UFC. The other is to get Jake boxing in the Olympics and also to raise the profile of Ghost via Hollywood! I have already been in front of a second director and stunt coordinator courtesy of Andy Norman and it looks like we are going to be involved in a project next year!

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