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Matt Thornton Seminar - Manchester

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    Matt Thornton Seminar - Manchester

    I've just got back from the seminar and I'm exhausted, but in a good way. Unlike saturday, where I could barely move.
    It took place at Karl Tanswells gym in Manchester, which is probably best described as a small basement full of mats. Saturday had about 30 people and Sunday had about 35, so it was pretty crowded.
    Along with Matt Thornton was Tom Oberhue, and the sessions were split fairly evenly between the two.

    Saturday began with a bit of free rolling to get people warmed up beforehand.
    The seminar proper began with Matt introducing himself and discussing ways and means to regain guard when the shit hits the fan. Everything was done with the I method (Introduce, Isolate, Integrate) so we would begin with Matt showing a technique, then we'd go through it slowly with our partners, getting them to point out any flaws and errors. Next we would drill that technique with our partners resisting. This would be repeated for a few variations of technique before they were integrated into rolling where we'd try and get one of the techniques off.

    Tom took the second half, and had a different approach. He split the rolling game into time frames, these being Early, Late and Oh Shit! The basic premise is that if we're drilling escapes from cross or mount or whatever, then we're already in the Oh Shit! stage. Obviously its advantageous to never get to that stage.
    The early stage is when contact is intiated, when you need to remain mobile and prevent them from gaining any dominance. The late stage is when contact has been made, but no weight/power has been applied. A lot of this was about redirecting energy. The Oh Shit! stage is when contact and weight is applied. We didn't do anything on this because thats whats trained in most daily classes.
    Saturday ended with a short Q&A session with Matt and Tom, with many demonstrations of various aspects.

    Sunday followed a similar format, with Matt taking the first half and Tom the second, but the emphasis was much more on Gi grappling than Saturday.
    Matt went into some depth about passing gaurd and how it could be broken down into 5 steps.
    1 - Sat in guard
    2 - Control of the legs
    3 - Control of the hips
    4 - Control of the upper body
    5 - pass guard
    Each new step could only be moved onto once control had been established.
    Also, the converse was true, if you want to prevent someone passing guard, you have to prevent them from gaining control of the key stages.

    Toms set consisted of the application of different types of energy, these being:
    Hug
    Sag
    Smear
    Morph
    Hug is basically holding on as tight and close as possible, restricing movement.
    Sag is just using full bodyweight with no structure, being a dead weight.
    Smear is grinding laterally through the ribcage into the ground, making breathing difficult, and in the case of "The Shoulder Of Justice" driving the jaw through the collarbone.
    Morph was a less simple concept, involving adaptation to capitalise on any movement to tighten up and trap.
    We drilled all four from cross-side top, swapping between as circumstances dictated. Very nice stuff.
    Matt closed the session with a couple of unusual submission then some free rolling before another Q&A session.

    From my viewpoint? Hugely enjoyable. I've already forgotten huge chuncks of what we did, but the stuff I remember is still worth all the pain. I would heartily recommend that anyone should try and get some time with either Matt or Tom.

    Did I say hugely enjoyable? Fucking Ace also sums it up quite well.
    Last edited by SamHarber; 7/19/2004 12:59am, .
    Taking responsibility for my actions since 1989

    #2
    Oh yeah Sam, in case I didn't tell you before, your gym P0wn3. Anyone in Manchester go check it out. Nice review too!!!

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