Regular readers of my blog will be well aware of my respect and admiration for Geoff Thompson. To my mind, Geoff has done more than any other martial artist today to educate people on the ways of true self defense and how to adapt traditional training methods to meet the demands of real life situations.
On top of that he also manages to inspire and motivate many people across the world into seeking personal growth and affecting real, positive changes in their lives thanks to his many published books and DVDs. So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I finally got the chance to view this DVD Masterclass, which is basically a distillation of everything Geoff has taught so far in the fields of martial arts and personal development, two fields that he quite rightly views as being one and the same.
The set is made up of six DVDs in total, with each disc being one hour long which totals six hours of sheer inspirational gold. As compared with the usual fare released by most martial artists, this particular set is unusual in the fact that it is a summing up of all the knowledge and wisdom that Geoff Thompson has accumulated over the years while travelling along the warriors path. In general, this Masterclass manages to put across three major objectives:
- It teaches how a person can help themselves achieve whatever goals they have set by following the highly coherent philosophy and methodology that he has set out and indeed followed himself to great effect.
- It teaches everything one needs to know about effective street self defense and how to train for it.
- It teaches the psychology of violence and how to escalate or de-escalate a fight according to individual requirements.
All of those things are not held in isolation however, and the real value of this Masterclass lies in the fact that it is greater than the sum of its parts because it teaches so much more besides. This is a total system of development on offer here and one which is immensely practical and relevant to anyone who happens to be privy to it, as you will be when you watch the DVDs.
The Street Self Defense Stuff
Now, most people who know Geoff Thompson obviously know him for his self defense stuff and this is what most people will watch this for, to learn the art of self defense, and the viewer will certainly not be let down in that respect.
So the physical techniques start of with what Geoff sees as the first line of defense and that is punching. To him, if you can end proceedings before they begin by getting in a well placed pre-emptive strike in the form of a punch (whatever punch you are most comfortable doing- he prefers the right cross) then you can potentially save yourself a lot of trouble.
He starts of with single punches before building up into combinations, emphasising full commitment and power behind each one. That’s one of the things I like about Geoff’s teaching methods. He always makes it clear that in order to get good you have to really push yourself and give every technique 100%, even if doing so pushes you to your physical limits. As he constantly emphasises, “the growth is in the discomfort”.
Constant drilling of these techniques is always emphasized, especially when it comes time to move on to the techniques done from the clinch. If the pre-emptive striking fails then the clinch is where you are going to end up and you will then have to rely on vertical grappling techniques, most of which are throws and takedowns taken from Judo (in which Geoff is highly skilled). A bit of BJJ style ground grappling is also thrown in as well, though the techniques on the ground are still done with self defense in mind, as opposed to competition purposes.
Besides striking and grappling, the viewer is also introduced to the fence and techniques for psyching out and calming down opponents- the psychological aspects of violence that I often talk about on my blog. It’s all very valid, very interesting and very useable information that you won’t come across too often in many dojos, at least not explained in the expert way that it is here.
The Personal Growth Stuff
The self-help (I hate that phrase so I won’t use it again) stuff is spread throughout the six discs and each disc usually starts with Geoff talking about the different ways you go about changing yourself in order to get what you want out of life. He touches upon many different concepts and ideas, probably too many to mention here, so I’ll just tell you about some of the more important ones (even though they are all important in their own way).
One of Geoff’s biggest concerns is that people should always move towards discomfort, to make friends with it, to get used to it, for that is the only way any growth can take place. If you are not in the discomfort zone then you’re in the comfort zone and there is no growth in the comfort zone. He argues that what keeps people in the comfort zone is fear, a fear of change, a fear of pain, a fear of having to put yourself out there a…
More courses from the same author: Geoff Thompson