This months article is on the issue of ownership..of technique, yourself and your art

I see so many people in the course of my teaching along with Al Peasland at CSP pushing themselves to become better martial artists and often ask myself why they do it.

Now, I know you’re asking yourselves “shouldn’t Mick already know?”

Well, no I don’t.. And the reason is I always refer to what Guro Rick Faye once told me, ” everyone has different reasons to train, it’s not our job to know what they are, it’s our job to give them what they need.”

Now what they want and what they need is a topic for a whole other article! And trust me, that’s a whole other can of worms! One of the things I think a lot of us need is a feeling of ownership, not just of the jab, cross, hook and cross combo but our feeling of ownership of ourselves.

Now don’t worry dear reader.. I’m not gonna break into a chorus of kum by ah my lord..the fuzzy-wuzzy schizzle is not my style, as I’ve said before I’m a meat n potatoes sort of guy.. But even this blue collar construction worker understands the value we need as adults to put on our existence and contribution to society..yet another of the problems the hunter-gatherer mindset in a digital age poses to us!

So for technique ownership..what do we need to do?

Well firstly we need to learn,understand,practise and drill the technique. Notice the glaring addition I’ve added to this formula that most martial artists don’t ? Well, in a lot of cases it could be any or even all of the above!

  • If we learn, then who from? Where does their lineage/knowledge/experience come from?
  • If we understand, then is this based on good solid dare I say it empirical wisdom?
  • If we practise, then is it under tutelage of someone well versed enough to fine tune the burgeoning technique?
  • If we drill, is it under pressure? Against a non compliant partner? Have we the mental strength to push ourselves when we want to quit?

If you query any or all of the above points then you have as much chance of ownership of any worthwhile technique as I have of buying a maybach..harsh but true! Now, if you noticed the subtext I alluded to in the above paragraph then you’ll have noticed a good teacher and classmates will fulfill all the criteria and more!

For technique ownership is based on having selfless people around you to give you what they already “own” and then paying this forward. In my own experience I’ve been ridiculously blessed by generous instructors,training partners and students.. And even now 28 years into this wonderful journey I find myself being gifted the friendship of Professor Neil “Bugga” Simkin and all the great guys n gals at Simkins Martial Arts Academy, a group of folk of all ages making me reappraise my training and teaching.

Ownership of self for me personally comes from being comfortable with who I am, and the easiest way to achieve that is by doing what I love…sharing what I own and paying it forward.

Complete self protection was always based on protection from ones self.. As much as protecting yourself.. A heavy concept I know.. That’s why we serve it with a large flourish of humour and fun..otherwise it’s group hug time, and we have a Multiple Assailant DVD to cover that lol 😉

Ownership of ones Art? Well, Guro Inosanto actively encourages all his instructors to label their own interpretation of the arts they teach.. Another example of why we are truly living in a golden age..here’s a man, who gives away everything in terms of art.. And then asks you to put your own name on it, for me that’s akin to michaelangelo painting the cistine chapel and I do a little doodle in the corner and allows me to take the credit.

In summing up, ownership comes from someone giving to another.. Not hoarding it like a survivalist.. Go get out there and start giving!!!

Til next time… Play nice

Mick x


  1. Nice article! Gonna have to follow your blog, who knew you were so smart?!?

  2. Robert W


    Great article!

    • Thanks Ray, it’s a ghostwriter! 😉
      Not really, thanks though guys x

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