AAR: Cecil Burch / Immediate Action Combatives - Iowa - Nov 2016

AAR: Cecil Burch / Immediate Action Combatives

5W's and 1H
• Who: Cecil Burch - Immediate Action Combatives.
• What: Critical Skills Combatives.
• When: November 19th and November 20th, 2016 (two separate, one day courses).
• Where: Council Bluffs, IA.
• Why: Essential Physical Skills for Self-Preservation in the Weapons Based Environment.

• Cecil Burch of Immediate Action Combatives has an extensive and mixed background in a variety of Martial Arts to include work in Shotokan, Kenpo, Tae Kwon Do, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Boxing.
• In addition to his extensive background, Cecil is also an avid competitor. Major events include: 2010 Pan-Ams as the Bronze Medalist (as a black belt), 2010 American Nationals Gold (black belt – heavyweight division) & Silver (absolute), 2009 American National Gold (brown belt – super heavyweight) & Silver medal (brown belt – absolute division), and the 2006 Pan-Am gold medal (purple belt – super-heavyweight), 2015 Pan-Ams at bronze, and 2015 World Masters at bronze.
• Full biography can be found at: www.iacombatives.com

• Numbers: Course #1 - 10 Students.
• Numbers: Course #2 - 8 Students.
• Ages: 14 - 40's, both male and females students.
• Backgrounds: Everything from "Beginner" (no combatives experience) on up.

• The courses were held in Council Bluffs at a soon to open "functional fitness" gym.
• Facility - Overall, the accommodations worked well for the courses. In hindsight, we would have benefited from having mats available as the flooring (turf) chewed on our exposed skin...creature comforts.

• Students were encouraged to bring any training guns / knives they would like to train with.
• Cecil also had a mix of training guns/knives available for use.
• Equipment - Mouth pieces and cups were encouraged, I don't think I heard of anyone using either. That said, my training partner mentioned later that he wished he would have...sorry bro!

Topics Overview (abbreviated)
• Focus of the "Fight".
• Training Perspectives.
• Evaluation of "Problems" from a "Background" perspective.
• "Street" vs. "Sport".
• Ground Fighting - Why's, Trends, Goals, Survival Position.
• Components of Survival on the Bottom - Survival Position, Escapes, Final Objectives.
• Defense on the Bottom - Blocks, Knife Attacks, Gun Attacks, Multiple Attackers.
• Stand Up - Concepts of the "Knock Out", Fighting Platform, Default Position, Finishing options.

Course Overview (abbreviated)
• This was my first time training with Cecil, as well as the first time meeting him. We were introduced to each other by Dr. William Aprill roughly a year ago and through a handful of conversations and emails were able to work up something here locally. Initially we set out to bring two courses to CB, one an open enrollment course and the other a women's only course. After several months I decided to change both courses to the open enrollment due to interest, both were focused on Ground and Pugilism work.

• Presentation: From start to finish, regardless of topic or technique, Cecil always introduced, discussed, demoed and then answered any questions we had prior to us working on anything. Cecil continuously rotated through the groups as we worked providing us with tips and tweaks and answering questions. At any time if the questions would benefit the group, he would stop everyone and expand on the question. There were no stupid questions and Cecil encouraged questions and interaction.

• Content: We started off with mindset, training and fighting philosophy and survival. It was then onto ground work which consumed the morning and the early part of the afternoon. During the ground work portions we dove into movement, escapes, defense against striking and weapons and goals of ground work. The afternoon portion was pugilism focused with discussion on knock outs, defense against knock outs, building a fighting platform, default position and lastly finishing options.

• Repetitions and Partners: As mentioned above, Cecil would introduce and expand on topics, then it was off to work on everything with our partner. Repetitions were kept in the "5" range, then we would switch sides so that our partner could get reps. The manner in which Cecil had us work the topics allowed us to layer skills and really ingrain the concepts into our heads. Partners were advised to provide varying degrees of resistance depending on their partner's ability to perform the task. For the most part we all worked with the same partner throughout the day, but did rotate a few times...I did end up getting reps in with every student in the course.

Overall Thoughts
• I don't have anything that anyone would remotely consider to be a "background" in any of the martial arts. With that said, I have attended a few training sessions / courses in BJJ, Boxing, and Krav, and have also attended Craig Douglas' ECQC several times. I mention that only because I want to say that I recognized some of the concepts of Cecil's coursework from previous studies and appreciated the fact that this course allowed me to polish up things I have worked on in the past. The course also provided me with options that I hadn't previously considered. Topics and techniques were straight forward, easy to process and "gimmickless". Lastly, I have to mention that Cecil really pushed the concept of frequency and recency of training in an effort to build on our personal skill sets...as he mentioned, several minutes of training a day adds up over time, and it's all beneficial in the end!

A big "Thank You" to not only Cecil for coming out to Iowa for these two, but also to all those that made this happen on their end, it's an honor to be able to host these events and help those wanting to get better.

V/r - Rob