THE ARTS


At the McLeod Academy we teach functional martial arts skills that can be applied under pressure in a sporting environment such as Mixed Martial Arts competition or in a self defence situation. Our Chief Coach, Neil McLeod has trained extensively in many martial arts and has many 'Black Belt' credentials. Using Bruce Lee's philosophy of 'absorb what is useful and reject what is useless', we have taken the most functional techniques and training methods from these arts to teach to you under one roof.   Class info...



JKD & Jun Fan Gung Fu



Jeet Kune Do (JKD) is the martial art developed by the late great Bruce Lee. Although Lee is mainly thought of as a film star his achievements in the martial arts cannot be ignored. His philosophy and concepts were far beyond his time which led to him training and teaching the World Champion fighters of that time such as Chuck Norris and Joe Lewis.

Bruce Lee studied Wing Chun Gung Fu while living in Hong Kong and was one of the first to bring Gung Fu to America. He began experimenting with various fighting systems from all over the globe in an attempt to find the most functional ways of defending oneself. He found that the Wing Chun he had been studying was effective in given circumstances but was at a loss in others. Lee stated that there are four basic ranges of combat for unarmed defense. These are Kicking, Punching, Trapping and Ground fighting. We now refer to these as Stand up, Clinch and Ground. The style Lee had been studying emphasized trapping range with emphasis on limb trapping. He realised after training with boxers, wrestlers and other martial artists that he needed to evolve to be a complete fighter that could fight from any given range against any given style.
 
His modifications and additions to the Wing Chun style were so severe that he could not call it Wing Chun anymore. He called his new method Jun Fan Gung Fu which literally means Bruce Lee's Gung Fu. It consisted of long range kicking techniques, boxing (Bruce Lee felt boxing was one of the best fighting systems), various wrestling and grappling techniques blended with his former style of Wing Chun.
 
In 1967 he coined the term Jeet Kune Do (JKD), which translated as 'the way of the intercepting fist'. JKD is a conceptual approach to combat as well as life. It emphasizes self expression, which Lee felt was lacking in the martial arts. JKD's philosophy was to absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own. The martial art Jun Fan Gung Fu was specifically Lee's own. It was his experiences that lead to this expression. So this was Bruce Lee's expression of JKD. What worked for Bruce Lee may not have worked for another who didn't have his speed, timing, and awareness. So another's expression of JKD may not be the same as it's founder, Bruce Lee.

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competition is basically Sport JKD, with many of the top MMA coaches being direct students of JKD.

Click here for a video of Neil and Rachael McLeod's instructor in Jeet Kune Do, Sifu Dan Inosanto explaining and demonstrating some of things that Bruce Lee taught him.


Combat Submission Wrestling



Combat Submission Wrestling (CSW) was created by Sensei Erik Paulson, the former Lightheavyweight Shoot Wrestlng World Champion. Originally it was a blend of various striking and grappling arts compiled by Sensei Paulson to give a well rounded curriculum for a Mixed Martial Artist. These have now been seperated by Sensei Paulson into 3 programmes, STX Kickboxing, CSW No-Gi Submission Wrestling and an MMA programme.

In the CSW class at the McLeod Academy we teach the No-Gi Submission Wrestling system as taught by Sensei Paulson. The system is a blend of Greco Roman Wrestling, Freestyle Wrestling, English Catch-as-catch-can Wrestling, Japanese Judo and Shooto, Russian Sambo, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and Filipino Dumog. Students learn takedowns, pins, controls, escapes and submissions from all positions.

Click here to for a clip of Sensei Erik Paulson demonstrating some of his infamous leg locks.


Filipino Martial Arts



Most commonly known as Kali, Eskrima or Arnis, the Filipino Martial Arts are complete, consisting of weapons training as well as empty hand training. The "mother" art, Kali has traditionally twelve phases to learn. Ten of these phases use weapons such as sticks, knives, swords and axes with some areas covering less known weapons such as oars, yo-yos, stingray tails, blow guns and even portable cannons! The last phase traditionally taught is dance, ethics, history, meditation and healing arts.

In the empty hand phase of Kali there is Boxing (Panantukan), Kicking (Pananjakman) and Grappling (Dumog). This system of combat has many similarities to JKD in it's directness and emphasis on real combat. Why the similarities? Kali is a weapon based system and Bruce Lee based a lot of his principles on Fencing. Kali has a unique concept of dealing with empty hand attacks. It does not view a punch or kick as something to block but more as a valid target. This concept known as 'defanging the snake', comes from weapons combat ie striking the opponents hand to disarm him, but is expressed just as efficiently in empty hand fighting.

The Philippines were under the reign of the Majapahit Empire (1293-1500). A martial arts style to reflect this has arisen and is known as the Majapahit Martial Arts. It is a composite of the fighting styles from the south east asian countries under the control of the Majapahit empire. These include Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Maralikas (Philippines), Siam (Thailand), parts of Southern Burma, Laos, Cambodia and South East India as well as Madagascar and the Easter Islands.

Fighting arts such as Muay Thai, Kali and Silat are all part of the Majapahit Martial Arts.

Many of the submissions techniques used in Mixed Martial Arts, Submission Wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu competition have existed for hundreds of years in the grappling phases of Kali and Silat. These include armlocks, triangle chokes, kneebars, heel hooks etc.

The weaponry training improves a students reactions, reflexes, timing, coordination, body mechanics and positioning in relation to the opponent. This can be compared to an old school boxer who chopped wood or a modern mixed martial artist who pounds tractor tires with a sledgehammer to develop torque in his body (body mechanics).

Truely a complete fighting art.

Click here for a video of Neil and Rachael McLeod's instructor in The Filipino Martial Arts, Guro Dan Inosanto demonstrating at the Smithsonian Museum in 2010. The video is an hour long but well worth the watch!



Muay Thai



Known as the 'Sport of Kings', Muay Thai or Thai Boxing is the national sport of Thailand. Punches, Kicks, Knees and Elbows are all permitted which gave rise to Muay Thai being referred to as the 'Art of Eight Limbs'.

The punching techniques in Muay Thai are similar to Western Boxing though it is the devastating elbows, knees and kicks that have become more associated with the sport. Unlike boxing, clinching techniques are permitted with the classic plumm or double necktie being a common place to offbalance the opponent and to strike with elbow and knee combinations.

Muay Thai is very similar to the Filipino arts of Panantukan, Pananjakman and Sikaran, the Burmese art of Lethwei, the Cambodian art of Pradal serey, the Laos art of Muay Lao and the Malaysian art of Tomoi. These arts each have their own nuances but essentially they are all kickboxing styles.