This is the second seminar I have done at Jesse Glover’s school. For all the people who don’t know who Jesse is, he is the very first student that Bruce Lee taught his martial art to in the States. Jesse has been a friend of mine for more years than I could care to mention, he has done more seminars for me here in Scotland than anywhere else in the U.K.
The thing that always gets me when I do a seminar at Jesse’s school is that I’m standing here invited to teach at the school of Bruce Lee’s first actual student. The very thought of it makes me nervous to begin with, however the feeling doesn’t really last that long as once I get into it the nerves go away.
Getting back to the seminar, well one thing that I will say about Jesse’s student’s is that they train very hard, harder than any other group of people I have ever seen in any schools that I have visited. So I know from the start that I can push them and that they will train hard with it no problems or excuses.
Well what did I teach; I have to rewind my brain back a few months to recall the event. The first thing that we started with was footwork with getting the guys to warm up and get there feet moving. I like to do all these drills with a timer, doing them in 3 minute rounds. I usually start of with moving forward and back, the main focus here was on the footwork that was going to be used in the rest of the seminar. This seminar was focusing on punching, so we initially covered all the footwork for punching in all directions, that would be forward back right and left. We used the bounce as a neutral position where everything comes of that, its not an even bounce, its not got a set way or set rhythm. The emphasis is to make the bounce totally broken and unpredictable. We started with this and I called out the commands, advance, retreat, move right, left, pivot, or shift and etc. This was done in rounds where we done one part of footwork for one or two rounds adding to it as we go on until we have all of them being used in the rounds. At this stage I would use everything, calling out the patterns where everyone would adjust as fast as possible, advance, retreat, step right, left, bounce. If I am right we did over 20x3 minute round of this.
After the footwork drills we looked at the lead punch and put it with the footwork. We started by just doing the forward lead for a few rounds followed by the retreat lead for a few rounds. The feeders were being corrected as we were going through the drills, what they should be feeding, getting them to correct their height and distance was important for the drills. This job is more skilled than most people could care to mention or focus on. Following on every punching movement and direction was stacked with the previous one until we had all of them together, being able to move in any direction. Once we did that with the lead we did the same thing with the left cross and the right hook.
There were only three punches that were covered that night, the lead, rear and the right hook. However the ability to move in any direction with these punches is totally amazing, you can go in so many different combinations, I am told its well over 700 possibility’s with these three punches alone. To get to this stage took hours and after that the job was to put them all together getting the feeders to feed them as unpredictable as possible and to get them to flash the gloves as fast as they could to make the puncher react faster. We also took the pad away to simulate missing the attack and being able to readjust to the next punch. If you were to throw too much into it and miss, well I’m not going to tell you what happens I’ll leave it for you to just try it.
Anyway getting back to the night, I think by this time we maybe had gone somewhere near the 50x3 round mark. Everybody who was there trained very hard and I’m sure you can see from the photos the hard work that was put into it because they were all sweating. As the seminar was coming to an end everybody had trained very hard over the 4-5 hours so I started to slow everything down in order to finish.
This was a great night and so much of an honour to be asked to teach at Jesse’s school. Jesse is such a great martial artist, teacher and has been such a good friend to me. He has told me so much about Bruce, how he trained and what he did over 30 years ago. I still get excited by it all and when I think back about when I started to get into Bruce’s stuff all those years ago in 74 and the fact that I’m still doing it now and learning all the time, trying to improve what I have, it’s amazing.
After the seminar we got dried down, changed our clothes and went across the road to the TAI TUNG restaurant. This restaurant was a regular with Bruce and Jesse, I have been there many times with Jesse and friends. I’d like to say to all my friends over in Seattle, thanks for making it a great night, Jesse, Tommy D and Chris Sutton another very good friend of mine and a very clever martial artist who showed me some very interesting sticking concepts, but that's another story for the future. Also not forgetting my two students who assisted me in Jesse’s school and at the BLF event, Lee and Paul thanks.