Category Archives: martial arts classes dublin

Katori Shinto Ryu Seminar – Free to Beginners

Good day,

I’m a student of the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto ryu bujutsu under Menkyo Shidosha Jeffrey Balmer from Ireland. We are all students of Otake Risuke sensei.
This email is to cordially invite you to the Katori Shinto ryu seminar to take place on Friday March 20, Saturday March 21, Sunday March 22 and Monday March 23 here in Dublin.
This 4 day event is going to be free for beginners.
We will count with the presence of Menkyo Shidosha Jeffrey Balmer.
We expect to have the pleasure of welcoming you to this seminar. Find the timetable below
– 10:00 to 17:00 with most advanced training from 18:00 to 21:00. (Times may vary)
The location:
– Friday and Monday:   
The Liffey Trust Studios, Liffey Trust Centre, North Wall, Dublin 1.
– Saturday and Sunday:
Wild Geese Martial Arts, 14 Magennis Place, Pearse St Dublin 2.
– If you do posses Navy keikogi and navy/black hakama and a bokuto would be ideal, if not, comfortable clothes would do, we will provide the needed equipment.
– Confirm your booking by emailing me back saying you are interested (we have only 10 spots left).
– If you cant make it to the start of the session, tell me what days and what times you can come, do not drop without letting know first!
– Bring the best of you to this training session, leave your ego behind.
Contact Details:
Giancarlo Sanchez – 0899514362 –

The Art of Power

The weekend that just passed saw yet another great workshop at Wild Geese Martial Arts.
This time we had world renowned Self Protection expert Mick Coup in to teach a two day workshop on Power Generation.

Over two 4 hour workshops Mick presented his view on how to create a seriously powerful punch and kick.
Now this wasn’t just his opinion, the information he teaches has been very carefully scrutinised, analysed and tested.
What Mick finds true, he teaches.

More so than that, Mick’s goal isn’t to show you a system or a style, rather it’s to help you understand, as he does, the in’s and outs of a particular movement. Or as he quipped, “I’m giving you the fishing rod, not just a fish.”

Oddly enough for a 4 hour day, only a small portion of it was spent actually banging the pads. How can this be on a power generation workshop?

Mick has the eye of an engineer. He takes apart movements and looks at the underlying principles and processes involved.
He then looks at which areas are most important and which need the most work to improve them.
He then re integrates the parts and tests.

Sound familiar? It’s exactly what your mechanic does when you take your car to get fixed. He doesn’t just get in it and drive it around, he takes it apart to find and fix the problem before driving it to ensure the fix is good.
This is the same way in which Mick Coup looks at his training and encourages you to look at your own.

This eliminates everything except logical, evidence based improvement. There’s no blind loyalty to any one system, style or instructor. All that matters is the result.

So after 4 hours, with only a small portion of that actually punching the pads, every person in the room made significant improvements in striking power. How do we know this? Well, there is only one way to tell how powerful a strike is and that’s to ask the target.
It was a unanimous decision amongst everyone who held pads that they were feeling the effects. It is this feedback from the pad man that tells you how effective your being, its not how much effort your using. Often when the guys were told to “not try” or to simply concentrate on their feet, or their hip rather than the target, they felt that they moved with far less effort yet the pad man always reported an increase in power. Or at least they did when they recovered their wind!

The second day reviewed some of the information from day 1 allowing the guys to ask questions, before moving into the “Low Line” strike aka low kick.

The same processes and principles were applied and the same results were seen.

As an aside to the technical information, Mick also gave out some training tips to develop the body. He’s a advocate of hard physical training saying that we should look to the world of athletics for our inspiration. He showed methods for developing explosive power, starting strength structural strength. He talked about tricking the Central Nervous System into over delivering and recruiting more muscle fibres and therefore more power.

All in all the weekend was excellent. And I highly recommend you spend some time training with Mick Coup at some point, regardless of your style or system, he will improve what you do.

The next workshops/seminar to be held at WGMA will be:

Rapid Response Knife Defence Skills – Nov 4th with Dave Hedges
Tuhon Pat O’Malley, CQC and empty hand FMA street combatives – Nov 24 & 25
Iain Abernathy, date TBC, this is being run by Kevin Callan of Kyohushin Karate, WGMA are hosting.

Get in touch to get involved, simply email: or better still, join our Facebook page and sign up to receive our email newsletter here:


Wild Geese

BJJ & Kettlebells now avaiable on Saturdays

Due to the high demand for the Brazilian JuJitsu and Kettlebell fitness classes on offer at our Dublin HQ, we are expanding our class schedule.
We have added more classes to the Saturday afternoons so it now looks like this:

10:30am – 12:30pm Iaido

12:30pm – 1:30pm Kettlebell Beginners

12:30pm – 2:30pm Muay Thai

1:30pm – 2:30pm Kettlebell Inter / Adv

2:30pm – 4:00pm Brazilian Jujitsu

4:00pm – 6:00pm Kickboxing (invitation only)

Abnel from the Morceago fight team, our Brazilian jujitsu instructors has also suggested that he and Andre, would like to hold an extra class during the week that will only be open to a few handpicked individuals. A closed door session for their fighters, this will not be advertised, if you wish to attend these special training sessions, you’d better ensure that you are attending the regular classes, amking consistent improvement and doing some extra training outside of the BJJ class.

What extra training?

Take advantage of our Dave’s.

Dave G is our Muay Thai coach, he does all his own training in Thailand where he spends several months a year. Muay Thai and BJJ go hand in hand in the ever popular mixed martial arts, Wild Geese are blessed to have top coaches in both arts under one roof.

Dave H is our conditioning specialist, currently training himself for the Irish Kettlebell lifting championships in Kilkenny in July, he has brought many an athlete and combatant up from average to exceptional by improving
their athleticism, strength and endurance.

Another option, and one that has already been taken by Andre, the BJJ coach, join the judo class. I often hear how wrestling is the missing link in many an MMA fighters chain. You may have great striking and amazing submissions, but that middle ground, the devastating takedowns could be the deciding factor.

A good Judo takedown is poetry in motion, the opponent seemingly helpless as he goes from standing to slamming into the mat and the whole time you are in control, deciding where he will land and how you will finish in a control position. There is no guess work in Judo, quite often the opponent doesn’t even realise a technique is being applied until it is too late.

For a dedicated MMA athlete we can offer a full package, each range of combat plus the strength & conditioning to last a fight.

Think you’re man enough?

Wild Geese

Paul Cox interview on

Wild Geese Martial Arts founder and chief instructor, Paul Cox, has just been interviewed by, supporting and empowering young people. offers young people a platform for personal and social development leading them to increased all-round wellbeing in their own lives and in how they engage with society as citizens. . is youth-led in design, development and content, ensuring it reaches young people in a way that appeals to them. Using the pull factors of youth written magazine-style articles and a vibrant online forum for discussion and debate, provides a safe online space for young people to realise that they are not alone in the issues they face whilst growing up and, importantly, that they can make a positive change to their own wellbeing and to the world around them.

Since its launch in mid-2005, has received over 400,000 website visitors, directly involved 100s of young people in its development, reached millions through the media, and received awards and widespread praise from young people, parents, educators, youth workers and health professionals. This ongoing success is testimony to the demand that is out there, not only for ways of addressing our young people’s health needs, but also for the provision of innovative and meaningful platforms for catalysing social change.
Only by taking new approaches to engaging and involving young people can their needs, and the needs of the wider society, be understood and met. is leading the way in this regard and signals a powerful opportunity that, with the right support, can only get better.
See our blog for all the latest news on MAKING A DIFFERENCE! is developed and managed by the youth-led Community Creations charity, is endorsed by key youth, health and community bodies and receives funding from a range of public, private and philanthropic sources

Now here’s the interview:

Wild Geese
every cause but our own
Kenpo / Eskrima / BJJ / Strength & Conditioning
+353 87 672 6090
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Who’s the new guy at Wild Geese?

Wild Geese is pleased to welcome a new instructor to it’s line up.

We already have not one, but two National Kickboxing Champions, a World Champion in Kickboxing and another in Doce Pares Eskrima. We’ve a man who took a bronze in the Kali Stick World Championships.
The list goes on.

So lets see how the new guy matches up to the standards expect. Here’s a list:

Atlanta Masters – 3rd place
Hungarian Open – Silver
Irish Open – Bronze
London – Gold & Bronze
French Masters – Gold
Hungarian Masters – Bronze
Waterford Open – Bronze (senior men & masters)
Irish Closed – Silver (masters)
Irish Open – Gold (masters)
NI Open – Bronze
British Masters – Silver
Hungarian Open – Bronze

Well you get the idea, my fingers are getting sore so I’ll not continue. Between 2002 and 2009 this guy has amassed 2 golds, 5 silvers and 8 bronze medals, as well as a number of other championship titles.

And that’s just the ones he’s told us about.

Interested in learning form this man?

Who is he?

His name is Donal Tannam, he holds 3rd Dan black belt in Judo and is a respected member of the Irish Judo Association.

He’ll be teaching every Wed 8pm and Friday 6.30pm. Beginners and experienced are all welcome.
Special note to the MMA guys, this guy will seriously improve you take down ability…

Drop in and meet Donal any Wed or Fri.
Or better yet, jump into his class.

Wild Geese
every cause but our own
Kenpo / Eskrima / BJJ / Strength & Conditioning
+353 87 672 6090
Facebook / Twitter / RSS feed

Knives – Again…..

In the news again this week, another fatal stabbing.

The quiet country town of Tullamore, Co. Offaly, a woman stabbed to death receiving in the region of 40 wounds.

The weapon of choice…… A bread knife.

Thankfully our government saw fit to ban Samurai swords, otherwise the situation could have been a whole lot worse!

Apologies, I’m being facetious. I mean no disrespect to the victim or her family. I do however wish to take a look at the larger picture, one in which she has unfortunately become a detail in.

The picture is this, weapons are easily accessible to anyone who wish to cause harm. Right now, as I write this i have a steak knife left over from dinner beside the laptop, a glass bottle (yes, it’s a beer bottle) beside it, a steel pen on the other side.
All of these, if I so chose, could become offensive and potentially lethal weapons, and I haven’t even got u from the table.
Imagine if I took out the tool bag from under the stairs and grabbed any one of the screwdrivers, a chisel or stanley. A few extra steps has me in the kitchen, well enough said.

What is there to possible stop somebody like me in a such a weapon rich environment as the humble family home?

There is only your own training, your common sense, your awareness. The prevention beats cure mindset is always the best, but you must have a cure ready just in case.
A powerful, repetitive right hand pummelling into my skull may just slow me down enough that you might make your escape or a well timed disarm or “return to sender” could end my attack there and then.
We’ll never know, but it’s worth thinking about.

In your house, right now, as your reading this post, can you see your escape route if someone attacked you, what weapons are close to hand?
Even if you have a weapon, do you have the knowledge, training and confidence to use them?

Maybe that woman could have survived if she’d been able to put the man down or disarm him. Maybe.

Perhaps if she’d seen the event before it occurred she may have escaped. Maybe.

It’s easy to sit here an hypothesise, but put yourself in her shoes, how would you have coped with a lunatic coming at you with a blade, murder in his heart. No amount of harsh penalties or sword ban is going to stop a man like this only you can.

If you have the training.

Drop us a line now, we may be able to help you help yourself.

Don’t become a statistic, take a personal responsibility for your safety and the safety of those around you. Get down and do some training, your not too old or too weak, but without it you are too vulnerable.

I’d like you to come to us (or book us to come to you) but there are plenty of others teaching good stuff, there will be someone in your area, you just have to find them.

Get some training.

Stay safe

Wild Geese
every cause but our own
Kenpo / Eskrima / BJJ / Strength & Conditioning
+353 87 672 6090
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Knives Don’t Kill People, People Do

A few days ago I was asked to speak on Radio Kerry regarding my views on the ban on the sale of samurai swords.
In short, while I’m in favour of getting blades off the streets, I don’t think the ban is the right way to go.

While driving to and from Wild Geese HQ, I have time on my own in the car to spend thinking about various aspects of life. Since the phone call with Radio Kerry, I’ve been thinking about knives a lot. Then I thought, well it’s not the knife’s fault, it’s the person wielding it. Then I started to think back over the most recent incidents.

The phone call from Kerry was due to a clash between two rival feuding families. During this clash various weapons were seized by the Garda (Irish Police), these weapons included a few Samurai swords, several Slash hooks, hammers and various other weapons.
The most recent event leading to the sword ban was a chopping in Dublin, where a samurai sword and hammer were used in an attack which left a man missing a hand.
There was an incident in one of Dublin’s more affluent areas where a lad walked off, only to return with a kitchen knife which he used on several people before ending his own life. If I remember right, he actually walked around to a nearby shop to buy the knife before returning.
While we can successfully ban the outlandish, speciality knives, but slash hooks are a farming & gardening tool, kitchen knives are well, we know what they’re for, fancy living without them?

Then in the news there is talk of harsher penalties for those that are caught carrying a blade. Again fair enough. But still, I think they’re missing the point.

When asked about the ban and the various penalties I often compare knife attacks with shootings. In Ireland guns are illegal, they have never been legal and most likely never will be, yet there are still people getting shot in Dublin with alarming regularity.
If guns are banned, and the penalties for owning one, never mind carrying or using one are serious, what difference will it make for those who favour the blade?
In my mind, none.

So, back to knives. We’ve got two warring families using whatever’s at hand. We’ve got gangland choppings, most likely as a punishment or warning. We’ve got a disturbed young man on a suicidal rampage. All used blades in their attacks. Which of the three do you think was considering the possible penalties from their actions?

Most likely none of them. So what if the blades they used were unavailable, ie banned?
In my mind they’d simply find an alternative weapon. Hammers, screwdrivers, chisels, glass & bottles, baseball bats, hurls the list goes on. These things are merely tools, inanimate objects, without an operator to use them they are absolutely harmless. This was illustrated in Thursdays Independent newspaper there were two reports following the deaths of people beaten to death. Punched and kicked in the head so brutally as to cause death. Now we’re hardly going to ban shoes, or are we?

So if a ban isn’t going to stop people destroying other people, what is?
This is a whole other issue, one that I am far from qualified to talk about. There is however a comments button below this post, please use it and offer your opinions if you have them. Maybe we’ll come up with a few answers.

The final point I’d like to make, is that the majority of these attacks and their victims are targeted. Criminal gangs and families that are fighting and feuding for whatever reason. The reasons are unimportant to you and I, we merely have to make sure we don’t get caught up in the crossfire.
Many people are unlucky enough to get caught in these things, with a little bit of training in awareness and self defence, perhaps they’d be able to get out before things turned nasty.

Obviously there are attacks with purely vicious motives, thefts and even random attacks where the attackers don’t know their victims. These our the main types of attack we need to prepare ourselves for.
Your safety is your responsibility, keep yourself aware of your surroundings and undertake some form of training so that you can get yourself out of trouble.

Remember the bodyguard mantra:
Avoid – Stay away from the threat
Escape – Get away from threat
Confront – If all else fails, go on the attack and dissolve the threat.

If you choose to learn how to defend yourself against a knife, Wild Geese chief instructor Paul Cox is one of the few European Doce Pares blackbelts to be registered in the Philippines. It is commonly accepted by those in the know that the Filipino Martial Arts are at the top of the food chain for when it comes to weapon defence. Paul regularly travels over to Grandmaster Danny Guba, a man with, as he says, a record.
I myself learn from Paul, when I have opportunity, Danny Guba and also have put together self defence training programs that are now being implemented by our associates over at ESTS (

Dave Hedges

Wild Geese
every cause but our own
Kenpo / Eskrima / BJJ / Strength & Conditioning
+353 87 672 6090
Facebook / Twitter / RSS feed

Knife Fighting Myths

This video was recently posted up by one of my facebook associates.

I feel it’s one of the most important videos I’ve sat and watched.

I’ll ask you to watch it now then carry on reading:

As you can see knives are extremely dangerous, two of the clips even show how a gun may not be enough to protect you from the blade. Others show how decisive responses may just save your life.
They may not save you from harm, but you just might survive.

The last few scenes from the video show images taken from old manuscripts, the type of training texts that medieval warriors would have studied. Needles to say, knives and bladed weapons were far more prominent than they are today, look at the illustrated techniques and you see things that many instructors say don’t work.

Most instructors wouldn’t have a clue.

Some do.

Wild Geese instructor Paul Cox is one of the few people in Europe to be registered as a Doce Pares eskrima black belt. Many hold black belts, but only a few are registered in the Philippines, Paul is one of these. He also has real experience of defending against armed attackers.
Paul is a direct student of Grandmaster Danny Guba. Danny is a man who has used blades and has had blades used on him. He knows what works. He learned from legendary blade fighters such as Vincent Carin and others in the Doce Pares fraternity.
The Philippines have a strong blade culture, if there’s going to be a fight, somebody is going to get cut.
These are the people we at Wild Geese learn from.

We don’t water down their information when we teach it, we know ho important it is and how it just may save your life.


Wild Geese
every cause but our own
+353 87 672 6090

Violence is a learned behaviour

Listening to the radio in the car the other day, an ad came on. It was an ad talking about domestic violence and a support group for it, I have to say I really wasn’t paying attention, until the tag line came out….

Now I admit I read a few articles on marketing and the like and I realise the importance of a snappy tag line to capture your audience’s attention, I was impressed at this one, but not for the reasons the company wanted (I can’t remember the name of the company or what they’re actual message was, only this line)

The line was this:

“Violence is a learned behaviour, it can be unlearned.”

How very true.

We can learn to be violent, we could it learn from our peers, our parents, the telly or even head down the martial arts club to learn it.
Some people grow up knowing it, others learn it later in life, often as a result of something external.
Unlearning it is not something we at Wild Geese are really into, after all we’ve made a name by being damn good at violence. Our particular brand of violence is being taught to security forces in Mexico, the Gambia and Paul is currently in Cuba checking on our instructors there.

But what really separates our approach to violence is that it is controlled, it is directed, it is taught to be used as a tool.
It’s not violence for violence sake. We’ve had students who have wanted to become more efficient at hurting people for the wrong reasons, people who just wanted to fight other people, these never last long in our school, they are encouraged to leave pretty quickly using whatever methods are most appropriate at the time.

However most of our regular students are just people who want to learn to defend themselves or wish to get fitter and stronger while also learning a useful skill set.
May abhor the thought of actually hurting another human being, but will happily spend hours developing a powerful punch on the bags and study the intricacies of a joint manipulations to be able to dislocate arms.

They are learning violence.

Yet in doing so they are doing something more.
They are facing the thing that most of us fear most, the fear of attack, being helpless against an aggressor. They are learning things that just may save their skins,
In doing so they develop as a human being, knowledge is power and this power shows through.

If you’ve spent multiple hours every week hitting and being hit, locking and being locked, grabbing and escaping in the martial arts classes, do you really have much to fear in the outside world?
You’ve willingly stood in front of another person and allowed them to attack you over and over so that you may practice your defences. And you’ve been the person doing the attacks and have received the defences, which often times hurts.

This power, this knowledge breeds confidence. You know you can defend yourself, you know you can take a hit and keep fighting. This confidence shines through, others especially the people most prone to violent outbursts, the bullies, can sense it.
This simple confidence can be enough to keep you safe from harm, if it doesn’t, then you at least have a punch to back it up.

Yet at the same time as learning violence, you learn respect. Having a man allow you to hit them so that you may practice technique breeds respect, especially as it’ll be your turn next.
You learn that while violence is a tool, it is a tool that should only be used when absolutely necessary, and only to the point where the job is done.
This video was passed onto me by a friend, it demonstrates my point exactly:

Violence is a learned behaviour, as is respect, come to Wild Geese and learn it.


Wild Geese
every cause but our own
+353 87 672 6090
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Perfecting the Side kick

Last Friday I was down at Wild Gees HQ, two of our kickboxing lads were in doing some extra training, and working hard.
There were no classes on, these two had decided to get together and just do some work, these are the kind of students we like and encourage.

However, as they were going through some of their kicks, I noticed they were uncomfortable and not happy with their side kick. It’s a kick that’s not used much in Kickboxing, and really not the most valuable kick in the 2 dimensional arena of the ring.

That’s not to say it doesn’t have it’s merits.

Lets first look at the correct execution of a side kick.

The 2 lads were going wrong by not chambering their kick, while you can get away with this on the front and roundhouse kicks, the side kick really does need to be chambered if you’re going to get any use from it.

To chamber the kick you must first pull the knee in tight to the body, for a right leg kick, bring your right knee across towards your left shoulder.

The tighter you are able to chamber the leg, the greater the power. The foot on the ground will turn completely around during this kick so that as you impact, your heel is pointing towards the target.

Next extend the leg out in a stomping action. To teach absolute beginners I’ll often have them just stamp the floor like a child throwing a tantrum, do the same action out to the side and you have a near perfect side kick.

Ensure you are close enough that you are able to kick through the target, side kicks can be used at a great variety of ranges from long (as in the famous Bruce Lee scene) to right in close.

The kick should recover along the same line as it goes out, the knee returning to a tucked position across the body. There should be no hooking action, it is a straight out and back kick.

Although after you have perfected this basic method, you are free to explore the possible variations.

The last point is to ensure that you push your hip through. The angle formed between the standing leg and the kicking leg ought to be greater than 90 degrees, but not so great that you fall over if you miss!!

The most common errors are:

  • Not chambering
  • Not turning the standing foot
  • Hooking the kick

Now, why isn’t it used much in the ring?

The Side kick is awkward in the 2 dimensional world of sport fighting, you need to turn completely sideways before the kick can be executed, it can be a slow kick, regardless of it’s power, the set up must be spot on.
I personally have great success using it as I step off and change the angle. For example if you slip a right cross by moving to the outside, this opens up an opportunity for you to put a right side kick into your opponents ribs.
It also comes into it’s own if things have gone a little wrong and you find yourself sideways onto your opponent, here a quick side kick with the lead leg can create the time and distance to get your self back into the fight.

On the street where opponents can come at you from all angles, the kick really comes into its own. If your tied up with one opponent, maybe in a clinch scenario, the kick can be used to keep a second opponent away from you.
Even better, it can come a surprise if launched unexpectedly at an opponent who is attempting to blindside you.

With this kick, more so tan others, technique is of paramount importance so diligent practice should take precedence over hard training, at least at the beginning. Up the intensity once the technique has come good, then spend time exploring the myriad of variations and uses for the side kick.


Wild Geese
every cause but our own
+353 87 672 6090