Sifu Marc Davis has been featured in the following places:
on Sunday, I’m starting martial arts training with Sifu Marc Davis. Because if Superman’s going to have to fight Batman, I’d better be ready.
Truth be known, it’s unlikely Jean-Claude Van Damme is going to come at you with a knife. Which is both great news, and oddly disappointing.
However! If a knife expert (MD Martial Arts System founder, Sifu Marc Davis) who’s helping promote The Expendables 2, wants to tell us how to defend ourselves against a blade-wielding JCVD (who plays the movie’s villain, named Jean Vilain), we’re all ears.
View the article here.
Click to enlarge the images.
Below is the interview that Sifu Marc Davis had with Combat Magazine in June 2010
“My Journey so Far!”
Thank you Sifu, for this opportunity to interview you. One of the things that I’m always curious about is how people got started in Martial Arts. Can you tell us a little bit about your story?
MARC DAVIS: lt is my pleasure; many members of my family have practiced some form of Martial Arts so it has always been a part of my life. I can remember being as young as five/six years old practicing boxing, kicking and basic blocking techniques with my uncles and cousins. However my main interest grew when I was six/seven and a friend of the family showed me my first Kung Fu film, which happened to be Fist of Fury starring Bruce Lee. He also showed me some footage of an old master demonstrating his martial arts skills against multiple attackers. I could not take my eyes off the screen and after seeing such speed, power and technical skills, I knew that I must study martial arts and develop this skill to one day become an expert.
After gaining a strong foundation and studying many different styles you developed your own unique system of mixed martial arts known as MD Martial Arts, that you have now been teaching for 18 years. What was the reason for this?
MARC DAVIS: The reason for developing my own system of martial arts is very simple. The various styles that I had practiced did not cover all areas and therefore made me feel incomplete. My intention when I started martial arts was to become an expert in all areas of combat, in all ranges physical, mental and spiritual.
What is the main emphasis of MD- Martial Arts?
MARC DAVIS: The main emphasis is on street effectiveness, and body conditioning i.e. hardening the body, training the mind to respond naurally, flowing techniques and using your opponent’s strength and energy against them, and finally to be proficient and complete in all areas of combat and martial arts.
Over the years, how many students have you taught?
MARC DAVIS: I have been teaching for the last 18 years and in that time I would say that I have taught around 1,500 students – all levels from beginners to people who are black belts or experts in their own right.
You have been practising martial arts for over 30 years now. This is a long time to train. Any advice for the readers on how to keep going in Martial Arts for so long?
MARC DAVIS: I am a firm beliver in not just doing something half-heartedly but fulfilling a journey and achieving your full potential. Martial art is not something that you do just for five or ten years but it is a lifelong study (a pursuit of excellence). I think that once you see and feel the health and fitness benefits and the constant mental self it drives you on to keep training, stay dedicated and progress to the next level
What is your proudest moment in Martial Arts?
MARC DAVIS: My proudest moment was becoming an expert and opening my first kwoon/dojo. This was followed closely by writing my first book and getting published.
Do you still get to train as often as you’d like given everything you have going in your life? Do you training every day and what would be a typical training session for you?
MARC DAVIS: From the age of about 12 to 26 I practiced for three and half hours every day without fail. As I am now a lot busier with teaching and running my full time martial arts academy, I have to balance my time between many things. I currently train for two hours a day five days a week. My training varies from practicing different areas of empty hang combat techniques to weapons training, bag work, skipping, running, body conditioning, stretching and meditation.
What are your views on the more traditional aspects of the martial arts such as kata?
MARC DAVIS: Traditional martial arts must always be given full respect because it is from this very source that all forms of combat started. The most important thing is to do what suits you as an individual, your size, personality etc… Some people many prefer to stay in a traditional style all their life and I respect that.
However for me it’s all about moving with the times and whichever direction martial arts goes in then I will be right there pushing boundaries and striving or the most effective method. But remember whether you practise traditional or modern martial arts it always comes down to the individual and how they use their style or method.
Many people are saying now that traditional martial arts are all but useless for street self-defence. Do you think this is true?
MARC DAVIS: I disagree. Nothing in traditional martial arts is useless; it just depends on what you want from our art and what the rules are. Everything can be good and bad depending on how you use it – whether it is traditional Kung Fu, Karate or MMA.
How can traditional martial artists modify their training to better prepare themselves for a real self-defence situation?
MARC DAVIS: In many martial arts there are moves, techniques or training drills that are not necessary. In my humble opinion just focus on what is really needed and what will work in that situation or environment- street, cage or ring.
Do you believe the view that the only consistently effective technique in street encounters is the pre-emptive strike?
MARC DAVIS: No, it depends on the situation and your skill level. However, if you know that you are going to be attacked and you can intercept your opponent/enemy, it can be one of the most effective and important things you can do to defend yourself.
Do you have students coming into your Dojo wanting to fight like the guys in the UFC?
MARC DAVIS: All the time, I myself enjoy watching UFC, boxing or any combat sport. I try to make it very clear however, that one is a sport which many rules and the MD System has none. It all depends on what the student is looking for and what they want to achieve. I will give you the best advice that I can and then teach you accordingly. For me personally, martial arts are not about getting into the ring, it’s about street effectiveness, where there is no referee.
Do you think students and instructors have to change their training if they want to be effective at self-defence?
MARC DAVIS: You have to adapt your fighting style and training for whatever the competition is and learn to play by their rules, be it boxing, Thai boxing, JuJitsu or MMA.
Do you think martial artists address the psychological aspects enough in their training, or is there too much emphasis put on learning physical technique?
MARC DAVIS: The physical and mental side are both very important in martial arts an in my humble opinion many fight practitioners never fully develop the full potential of the mind and spirit which I believe is the most important weapon in combat.
Do you think it is possible to gain real success in life without first mastering self?
MARC DAVIS: People measure success in different ways but I believe achieving self-mastery is an invaluable tool in order to know yourself and others and to overcome anything that life may throw at you.
What inspires you?
MARC DAVIS: Nature, and all great people.
Thank you for your time Sifu, Any parting words for the readers?
MARC DAVIS: Train hard, strive to be complete and always respect others. There is always more than one way.
Martial Arts Illustrated’s Bob Sykes interviews Sifu Marc Davis
Bob Sykes: OK, Marc, could you start by telling us how and when You became involved in martial arts?
Marc Davis: At the age of nine I saw a Bruce Lee film, Fist of Fury, and that same day I saw a live demonstration of different martial arts. I was hooked, and immediately started to train. l knew this would be part of me forever!
Bob Sykes: Tell us about your background in the martial arts?
Marc Davis: I have now been studying martial arts for over fifteen years. I started off in Karate – Renshinkia, Wado Ryu among others.. After this I moved on to Boxing, Aikido Grappling and Silat, however, for the last ten years I have been studying various styles of Kung Fu – Wing Chun, Chinese boxing, Tai Chi to name a few.
Bob Sykes: You have since developed your own system?
Marc Davis: Yes, that’s right. I am the Founder, Chief lnstructor and the only authority in this art, hence the term M.D martial arts is my initials. lt is my way of expressing myself and I pass this on to my students for them to express the art in their own way. I look at my art as a form of self-defence, since it is my belief that the individual is more important not the style. I would like to add that a lot of people claim to have developed their own system, but they have simply copied other styles and put different techniques together – this is often easy to see because there are cracks or everything looks glued together rather than solid and fluid.
I wanted to mention the above because my system is not just thrown together; it has taken many years of hard work. It is a solid and complete form of martial art, which has been tried, tested and proven over the years. Having said that we only have one head, two legs and two arms, so of course there is only so many ways that we can move, but it is also our concepts, principles and philosophy that make us unique.
Bob Sykes: What are the areas that you cover in your system?
Marc Davis: A vast amount of martial artists have to do many different styles in order to feel complete. I wanted to have everything ‘under one roof, therefore we cover all ranges and forms of combat. Long, middle and close range. Joint locks, grappling, throws, pressure points, weapons such as knife and stick, and so on…(you name it we do it).
Bob Sykes: What does a typical class entail?
Marc Davis: As mentioned above, all ranges and forms of combat are covered. Therefore, many of the above elements will be practiced, along with many different ways you could be attacked – not just one-dimensional. We also do a lot of drill work to develop softness, awareness and sensitivity among other things. There is also a great deal of pad work, I am a great believer in pad work, so many people lack that type of training, when it is important to learn how to hit/strike a target especially a moving target, so that you can learn to focus and penetrate with your strikes and become very sharp. All of the training in my classes are realistic and logical for the street, there is no sport element.
Bob Sykes: Speaking of Your classes, I know that you are a full time instructor, tell us about that?
Marc Davis: Yes, that’s right; I’ve been a full time instructor now for the last eight Years. As you know it is not easy, but it’s what I have chosen and I love it’ I wouldn’t have it any other way, it’s what I do l’m sure you know what I mean, being a full time instructor Yourself .
Bob Sykes: I certainly do! Are you planning to expand?
Marc Davis: Always, but I’m a firm believer in quality, the quality of my schools and teaching and the standards of my students at the moment is what my emphasis is on. I currently have five different schools throughout South East London’ one every day of the week, and I also teach privately throughout the week and the weekend, along with my own training there is little time for anything else.
Bob Sykes: You’re a very busy man!
Marc Davis: Definitely however, because my students cannot acquire information about my system from just anywhere I have made two teaching/instructional videos and have just completed my second book on the system with more to follow in the future.
Bob Sykes: What is your current training and are you studying with any teachers?
Marc Davis: I currently train between two to four hours a day, this includes a lot of bag, pad work, and technical skills, strength training and cardiovascular also. ln short I’m a perfectionist, so I keep trying to develop and improve everything. We can all improve and we can always learn more (that’s my outlook anyway). I’m not currently studying with any teachers, but l’m always on the lookout, so at the moment life is my teacher and the experiences that I gain from life.
Bob Sykes: Marc, thank You for a very Interesting interview.
Marc Davis: Thank You, Bob, it has been a Pleasure.