FIGHTING FIT

WE WILL SURVIVE

Many many years ago, I was strongly influenced by the writings of Sun Tzu and his work titled 'The Art of War' (500 BC). Written 2,500 years ago by this renowned scientist of war, his book has been revered by Academics and Students, Kings and Presidents and almost every warrior who has tread 'The Path'.

One of his strongest claims for success on the battlefield was 'Know Your Enemy' (equally applicable in todays modern business boardroom).

In 1964, in my home town of Melbourne, I was involved in support security for the Beatles tour when they stayed at the Southern Cross hotel.

By a mere twist of fate though, I spent less than an hour with John Lennon.

Morihei Ueshiba - The Art of PeaceOur time together was implanted in my subconscious. Seven years after that chance meeting, he released one of his top selling albums 'Give Peace a Chance'. Ten years after (in 1980) he died a violent death with multiple gunshot wounds ripping his body to pieces.

At the beginning of this millenium, I was strongly influenced by the writings of yet another infamous martial artist, Morihei Ueshiba and his book 'The Art of Peace'. One of his strongest points of view about how to live our lives was, 'Your Enemy Does Not Exist'.

The John Lennon experience along with more deaths and near death experiences than l care to recall, reminded me of my own experiences of life, and if that was a book it would have to be called 'The Art of Survival'.

It is this concept of 'The Art of Survival' that prompted me to create a new millennium martial art for all 21st century searchers of truth.

What you are currently reading is my way of presenting knowledge to you by way of a gift about many of my life's experiences for you to share with me by following my footsteps on the path of the martial arts training together as warrior/hunters.

This journey I call Fighting Fit.

I recently released the first part of my autobiographical trilogy 'Let The Good Times Roll'. This is the story of me travelling the world as a bodyguard to the rich and famous and the best known Rock 'N' Roll celebrities of the 70's, 80's and 90's.... It's a ton of fun! I hope you get the chance to read it for the experience of knowing more about me as we now travel lifes journey together.

Miyamoto Musashi - The Book of Five RingsAnother favourite book of mine worthy of note is an epic martialists 'Must Read'....Miyamoto Musashi left transcripts with his closest students and their translation several years after his death became 'The Book of Five Rings'.

In this book he uses the five elements of earth, air, fire, water and the void as his stratagies of survival.

I borrow from this concept in the second book of my trilogy. Titled aptly 'The Greatest Story Never Told', this will be the story of my martial lifestyle. How I defeated my own inner demons and how this rather ordinary guy with a limited education and background, went on to build a martial arts empire.

Then my book explains that this is only the beginning, now that the 21st century has unfolded, so now will the Bob Jones Story.

Prior to Black Belt I will take both beginners and Black Belts on a new journey.

The Fighting Fit 1-5 system has five modules (see chapter on Coloured Belt Ranking Structure). These modules are identified with five colours of yellow, orange, blue, green and brown.

From Sun Tzu's Art of War, these modules are designed for you to totally 'Know Your Enemy'. They will teach you everything you need to know about handling a violent situation. You will be taught techniques that if necessary could cause maximum damage to your attackers.

Through the study of the thirteen chapters in Sun Tzu's, 'The Art of War' we learn to convincingly 'Win Any War' against any enemy. Eventually we come to realise and acknowledge our only enemy of note is within, we alone are our own worst enemy.

Armed with this knowledge it would appear the battle could be won. Am l now ready for Ueshiba's theory in 'The Art of Peace', 'The Enemy Does Not Exist' ?

I am reminded here of yet one more book; my third book of my trilogy 'The Violent Years'. This book is a post war story of a country coming to terms in the aftermath of two world wars, a world depression and a war no one wanted, Vietnam. It's a story about a convict colony that was born on unspeakable mass violence, crime, corruption and church abuse. Except for the white Australia policy and mass importation of destructive narcotics....little else has changed.

Arriving near the end of this story that evolves over a little more than two hundred years is this unusual character, Bob Jones. He comes on the scene at the time of the devastation of World War 2 around the middle of last century. For much of his life, all was grim.

Enter the miracle...Bob Jones is introduced to the philosophy of the world of martial arts. He trains hard and with total dedication. Eventually he is introduced to the world of books and he begins to study as hard as he trains.

As I continue to train and read, l begin to think 'Yes I can make a difference'. I have the John Lennon story, along with every major rock band and identity to remind me of the black dragon (ie. Narcotics: One of the worst inner demons), his violent death (following 'Give Peace a Chance') is a grim reminder of the state of the planet.

Even with all of this, if you and I train hard, develop as many Black Belts as we can, get 'them' and 'theirs' on 'The Path'.

We may not always win the battles but you know and I know 'We Will Survive'.

 

 


1 - 5 Modules

The 1 - 5 Modules within the Fighting Fit Freestyle system was an evolutionary process through Bob Jones' experiences and martial development. Below is a brief explantion of the history of Fighting Fit - Freestyle and eventual development of BJC Freestyle-Modern.

BJC MUAY THAI™ Fighting

MUAY THAI FIGHTINGThe 1 - 5 system was originally developed by Bob Jones to help enhance the training of full contact Muay Thai fighters. Every weapon (hands, kicks, elbows & knees) was grouped into sets of five techniques to simplify drilling procedures and create a better system of communications between trainer and fighter during a contest.

The system was developed in 1995 to prepare Ben Hamilton (Heavyweight) and Michael Kenna (Welterweight) who were competitors at 'The Crowning', a kickboxing event held at the then Glasshouse in Melbourne.

This system was then adopted to enhance the training procedures of BJC students within both Zen Do Kai and BJC MUAY THAI™ .


BJC Shoot-Fighting

JudoWell before the introduction of Brazillian Jujitsu on Australian shores, Bob Jones began the full contact ring sports known as Shootkarate and Shootwrestling. The term 'Shoot' mean to take your opponent down off their feet by means of a throw or takedown.

Shootkarate rules allowed contestants to compete without gloves in a 'Boxing Ring' using hand strikes (closed fist or open hand), kicks, elbows and knees. Hand , elbow and knee techniques could not be used to strike the head. They could also at any opportune time 'Shoot' their oppponent and even follow through with what Bob termed as a 'Bunker Shot', which is to use only one well timed hand strike to the chest of the felled opponent. The term was used by Bob in reference to how WWII war planes would drop bombs on bunkers - when an opponent was 'Shot', their first instinct is to protect themselves while on the ground, they would create their 'bunker' by closing in both arms protecting the face and chest area. The more dominate open would have to step over, rip open the arms/bunker and drop a shot on the chest of their felled opponent to score a crowd pleasing and high scoring shot.

Pankration SculptShootwrestling rules saw two contestants using all of the above with the exception of hand strikes. However, when the dominant contestant shot their opponent, rather then strike their opponents 'bunker', they would seek to follow their opponent to the ground in an attempt to make the person submit. Once on the ground, dominance was sought by using immobilisation techniques soon followed by submission techniques such as anti-joint locks, chokes or strangulations.

Bob saw the benefits of this type of training and promoted the system on regular self defence segments on Bert Newton's Good Morning Australia program.

BJC MUAY THAI™ , Shootkarate and Shootwrestling all rose in popularity amongst the higher ranks of the BJC, helping them to enhance their class training drills and 'fite nite' shows around the country saw eager and regular contestants compete using either Thai or Shoot fighting rules.

Each system was advancing at a rapid rate using training drills to suit their system of fighting.


Martial Arts Marketing

It was in 1997 that Bob Jones began to work on a 'door to door' martial arts marketing project. However to kick start this project, he sought to develop a new BJC system where students would learn a martial art without forms or patterns. This new system became known as 'Fighting Fit'.

The first 'Fighting Fit' club was opened at Tullamarine Primary School by Michael Kenna with the help of Barry and Michelle Greenwood and some eager BJC students. The Tullamarine club was successful established with students who were introduced by the marketing program. The second 'Fighting Fit' club was soon opened in Bundoora at Parade Seconday College by Joe Defrancesco.

Fighting Fit consisted of three programs:

  • Kidz Fit

  • Fighting Fit - Freestyle; and

  • Fighting Fit Kickboxing

All programs had grading systems established where students would more through 5 coloured belts being Yellow, Orange, Blue, Green, Brown before progressing through the 10 Black Belt degrees. Each coloured belt stage became known as a 'module' where students would learn a mesh between muay thai and the shoot fighting systems perviously discussed. After Black Belt, students would then learn 'Lull Before the Storm' - the one and only Fighting Fit form.

Although 'Fighting Fit' had a strong following by those that had established it or joined during it's inception other BJC instructors did not feel the need to adopt another Bob Jones Martial Art. However, it remained constant with Fighting Fit students continuing to persist and develop themselves. BJC MUAY THAI™ also continued to flourish especially in our country Victoria areas, but the shoot fighting systems began to decline in popularity at fite nites.


Insurance Hassells

Let The Good Times Roll by Bob JonesIn 2002, Bob Jones wrote and published his book 'Let The Good Times Roll' and it was in this same year that a series of world-wide disasters occured.

Terrorism and vandalism were at the media's forefront with the September 11 attack on the New Yorks World Trade Centre and the fire that threatened to destroy Australia's Capital Territory, Canberra.

These events amongst many other disasters had an impact on insurance that saw almost any disaster as possible and inevitably inflated their rates to astronomical proportions.

This effectively moved insurance companies to look at martial arts that relied on training activities such as 'sparring', a practice that in their eyes was 'high risk'.

As we all know BJMA instructors supervise these practices with professionalism, control and without injury to our students, but to the insurance 'pen pushers' this was an excuse to make more money and therefore rates were sent sky high.

Worse yet, martial sports such as Muay Thai, Boxing and even Brazillian Jujitsu could not even apply for insurance causing many local BJC MUAY THAI™ clubs to close their doors for risk of an accident occurring while they did not have public liability.

More turmoil came later for BJC clubs when the cost of student accident cover was also inflated and made unaffordable to the BJC Headqarters. Each club instructor would then have to apply for their own student accident cover on top of their public liability insurance.


Fighting Fit - 2003

Bob Jones did not want his clubs to close and advised the BJC MUAY THAI™ instructors that there was an alternative - Fighting Fit Freestyle.

The Shape of Things to ComeAfter almost 7 years of laying dormant, Fighting Fit was about to flourish as Bob Jones with the assistance of Michael Kenna completed a 'new' Fighting Fit curriculum.

The new system would adopt and encapsulate the personal training techniques of Bob Jones and move into his desired direction in preparation for the next millenium.

He felt that it was time for a 'modern'* freestyle martial art, one that would be pure self defence, create a new awareness and would appeal to the attitudes of today's society.

Fighting Fit Freestyle would adopt the moniker of BJC Freestyle 'Modern', while Zen Do Kai with it's 30 year heritage and 9 forms (aka Kata) would be thought of as the BJC Freestyle 'Traditional'.

This time each body-weapon was divided up and allocated to a coloured belt 'module' and black belts would study Bob's new training techniques known as EPC (Enter, Pass, Control).


Module Explanations

The following are basic explantions for each coloured module within the Fighting Fit Freestyle system.

Module 1 - Yellow Belt

The White Belt has his/her identification card marked in ‘Ten' (10) individual squares, then add assessment date in the Yellow – Module 1 section as they achieve Yellow Belt .

This assessment identifies each practitioners boxing (hand) skills. After ten (10) one hour lessons , the student will have learned many things – I am concerned only with their offensive/defensive boxing skills at this point in their training.

Module 2 - Orange Belt

The Yellow Belt must have another ‘Fifteen' (15) lessons to prepare and test for Orange Belt .

This assessment is to identify a 25% improvement in their boxing skills. Plus the focus of this assessment is their understanding of ‘Clockface' – Orthodox/Southpaw offensive/defensive kicking drills.

Module 3 - Blue Belt

The Orange Belt must have another ‘Twenty' (20) lessons to prepare and test for Blue Belt . This assessment is to identify a marked improvement in their boxing skills. I expect a 25% improvement in the Clockface Kicking Drills. Plus the focus of this assessment is their understanding of grappling plus elbow/knee offense and defence drills.

Module 4 - Green Belt

The Blue Belt must have another ‘Twenty Five' (25) lessons to prepare and test for Green Belt. This assessment is to check the progression of their boxing. To check for a marked improvement in kicking drills. At least 25% improvement in grappling – elbows/knees. Plus the focus of this assessment is their understanding of their ability to ‘Enter' and set up the 1-5 throws.

PS. Whenever training without mats the throws will be set up just short of the opponents balance being broken.

Module 5 - Brown Belt

The Green Belt must have another ‘Thirty' (30) lessons to prepare and test for Brown Belt. At the brown Belt assessment the student is expected to have impeccable boxing attack and evasion skills. They will be meticulously checked on their clockface kicking drills.

There is expected to be a vast improvement over all the other coloured Belts kicking technique. There should be a marked improvement in their grappling – elbows/knees.

Again that 25% expectation of extra ability in their entering and set up of the 1-5 throwing techniques (same principle of mats/no mats applies). Plus the focus on this assessment is their understanding of their ability to apply the Fighting Fit 1 – 5 submissions (locks and strangles).

At this point of acquiring their Brown Belt, our student has clocked up exactly one hundred (100) training sessions and they have come up to their ‘Crossroads' .

‘This Stepping Off' time in their martial arts training must be accompanied by a serious lifelong commitment to themselves not to stray off the path (beyond this point you may stop training – but you can never drop-out).

One hundred training sessions at twice a week (allowing for approximately 25% missing sessions ie. Ill health, overtime, exam-studies, boyfriend/girlfriend etc) it will take the average student 15 – 18 months to make Brown Belt.

Approximately another 15 – 18 months is average time achieving three (3) individual Black Bars in readiness to attempt the Coveted Black Belt Grading.

 

 


EPC - Enter, Pass and Control

Ju Ming, one of the Peoples Republic of China's most revered artists and sculptors is responsible for these solid concrete blocks (three metres tall) being transformed into the flowing spiritual grace.

Please take some time to gaze into these postures...If you can see or feel energy swirling from left to right, then you have the ability for learning to Enter, Pass and Control...

EPC is the title I have given my latest training mode.

Early in the year 2000, I began serious training every morning at 7am at my house with a bunch of my old mates. The basic rule is fourth degree black belt and above (including 5th, 6th, and 7th degrees).

Due to our higher rank status, none of us are as young as we used to be (although not that much older either) we have named ourselves 'The Wizards Club'.

Due to some of the amazing guests from other 'systems', and some of our own higher ranked visitors, we have come up with some exiting 'new' (new to us anyway) concepts.

Three last century Masters & Honourary Members of the Wizards Club

Three last century Masters & Honourary Members of the Wizards Club

David Brown - 21st Century WizardNaturally, as we become higher ranks (this is generally when 'ordinary folk grow old') the power of our kicks, knees, elbows and fists become harder to maintain. Speed, agility and flexibility slowly takes its toll...This is when your outer (physical) journey of the martial arts has to tread the inner (spiritual) path...[Mans ability to penetrate and unite all things of matter and spirit].

Now with age, comes a different concept of strength.

Thus my higher ranks and I are developing my personal logo (square, triangle and circle) up to the next level.

We walk briskly with square shoulders (entering) into 'any' altercation, within range of the opponent/s being able to strike. At that instant we turn our hips off line, body shaping a triangle using 'the shape' of avoidance (this shape naturally being one of the 'secrets' of the masters).

SENJOAt this point of contact with the predators strike action, we send our (passing) spirit (a 'secret' mixture of self confidence - security, martial - attitude) 'through' our opponents.

Then connecting our physical energy back up with our spiritual energy, we turn around behind our predator, giving us the choice (control) of counter techniques.

After turning (i.e circle of control) we now have covered a 360 degree viewing zone, we are aware that the predator is alone, he's safe, he'll simply fall to the ground suffering no serious injury.

Alternatively, on turning we have observed mass predators all with weapons of mass destruction...This is when the martial arts are not dissimilar to military strategies that have been mans law since the beginning of time.

My square, triangle and circle has me enter, pass, and control allowing me to interllectualize my ability to penetrate and unite all things of matter and spirit.

Except in the above situation of mass predators with weapons of mass destruction -
control becomes kill!