Last weekend Brian Cowell attended a weekend of training put on by Crazy Monkey Defense. We had the opportunity of asking Brian a few questions about the weekend. This is what
Brian: The weekend was a closed session just for trainers. It was up in Los Angeles at Center
Line Gym, Jerry Wetzel’s gym—the head CM trainer in the US.
B: Mostly sparring. Anything goes sparring sessions. There were guys there from all over the
country: New York, Tennessee, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, etc. and a lot of trainers
from California. We worked extensively on technical skills in CM 1, 2, and 3.
B: It started Friday and went through Monday. We sparred about 8 hours a day.
Q: What were you hoping to get out of the weekend as you were headed to it?
B: I was hoping to get training and experiences to improve my personal game, which by
default will improve my coaching. I went for personal benefit and for the benefit of my
Q: Was there anything you were surprised with?
B: I didn’t expect to have such a noticeable improvement in my sparring game. Others
saw it too and commented on it.
Q: What did you enjoy most about the weekend?
B: I had a really great time training with the others. They are really great people to
spend time with. Also I didn’t expect for it to be so difficult. I was pulled out of my
normal routine—eating/sleeping, etc. I felt physically sick from the combination of
strenuous exercise while eating a different diet. I eat really healthy at home, eating
different foods and eating out made me sick. I had to really practice mind over matter.
Q: What else can you tell us about the training?
B: I thought Dr. Christian De Quincey, a mental performance coach, was really good. He
taught on combat and intelligence for self defense. The idea that our body has a natural
intelligence, so if we can switch off our analytical mind it will react properly. How to focus
your body and mind and controlling your state of being. Breathing. Moving. By being in the
present moment we can naturally focus on relevant cues. He highlighted how being in the
moment mentally can maximize our sparring ability. In sparring there is a tendency to either
focus on the past (when this happened it hurt) or the future (when they do this I\’ll do that).
This kind of thinking slows reaction time. We spar better by letting go of these tendencies.
Q: Was there anything that really stood out about Crazy Monkey during the weekend, you
know, how they ran things that said something about them?
B: I Really love Rodney\’s approach of being on the cutting edge of everything. He took
statistics from a widespread survey of trainers and our clients. The results pointed stat-
istically to 5 primary USP\’s (unique selling points)— what separates CM from every other martial arts
●People like the “philosophy meets warrior concept”—Combining effective combat with
intelligence and traditional martial arts philosophy and morals.
● A tribe of people connected by shared values—People creating community through
training rather than supporting a dysfunctional “meathead” vibe.
●Life performance coaching through the martial arts—Staying true to martial arts original
intentions as a life performance vehicle, by offering cutting edge martial arts coaching,
grounded in performance psychology.
●Functional martial arts for the every day guy—Making martial arts training attainable for
everybody and not just the “tough guy” personalities.
●A co-created training experience—Asking clients what they want to work during class,
along with the planned training to discover a unique experience.
As a studio, Swiftkick is affiliated with Crazy Monkey Defense. I like that we are on the precipice
and cutting edge of what is going on in martial arts. We are part of a movement that is world
Q: Could you say something of your personal vision for attending training such as this and your
commitment to martial arts as a lifestyle?
B: Overall its about improving who you are as a person in general. More than personal skills,
embodying warrior philosopher in all areas of life. During hard times in life you’ve got to put up
your CM defense and make it through. Martial arts have given me the mindset that has helped
me endure things and accomplish things at a young age I don’t think I could have done without.
It has taught me how to keep a calm composure no matter what is going on. It is about handling
relational conflict, etc.
The Martial arts brings out the spiritual part of me. Sometimes it helps me know when to fight
and when to lay back. Martial arts has been one of the top things that has helped me face life
challenges and overcome. Even more so than my education, and I have a Master’s Degree in
business! I want to share these experiences with others as a coach. If they can face life with
courage and tenacity they will overcome whatever obstacles life offers.