Here are testimonials from some of my peers in the fields of Karate & Self Protection and participants in my Sim Days.
Reviews of some of my books are included here as well.
There are supposed, empirical works on Karate and self defence that are simply not in the same league as this work
To say this book is a collection of selected articles written by John over a number of years is to do it an injustice. There are supposed, empirical works on Karate and self defence that are simply not in the same league as this work and most certainly not as thought provoking; this is no small offering either. Running to over 150 pages it is both comprehensive, very well structured and especially well written and in a style that holds one’s attention. Whilst it is a book that one can dip into at any point it benefits from treating it like any book and working from front to back, with each article essentially a chapter, flowing naturally from one subject to the next and with a history of the particular article at the end of each one. The thought provoking thread running through the book is John’s endeavour, over more than two decades of training and researching, to square how an Eastern martial art such as Karate serves the purpose of working against what he terms ‘habitual acts of violence (HAOV) and how he has adapted the key principles of a traditional karate system to the imperatives of this western ‘curse.’ This is a book after my own heart and I thoroughly commend it to anyone who questions what their current karate training is geared towards, but also to those who don’t need convincing about the efficacy of their karate in dealing with real life violence but need a plan to affect change. This book will answer both question and need.
adds to the body of knowledge
Dr Titchen’s current work adds to the body of knowledge in the martial arts.
Karate is undergoing a revolution
Karate is undergoing a revolution. Not a revolution that uproots the past, but instead one that returns to the past to water the roots of our tradition so that, after decades of stasis, it may grow and flourish. There is no doubt in my mind that John Titchen is one of the leading lights of this modern revolution (re-evolution?). John is someone who I always enjoy discussing karate and self-protection with. Every time we talk in person or online I find myself reassured by our commonalities and excited by our divergences. John is also someone who, to me, embodies the warrior spirit. Easygoing and thoughtful in nature, but who has a determination and love of what he does that is as infectious as it is inspirational.
John Titchen and his scenario training is excellent. John would probably be, in the UK at least, the go to guy (for Scenario training). Instructors want to know what they are teaching is realistic, but how can they be sure if they’ve never had been involved in a real situation? Getting involved in real situations is obviously not the answer! So how to we solve the seeming paradox of wanting to gain the vital experience needed without doing anything illegal, stupid or unethical? The answer is realistic simulation training and, for my money, John Titchen is the number 1 guy when it comes to providing such training in a professional, realistic and ego free way
I am the Canadian Director of the Jeet Kune Do Athletic Association and have been involved in martial arts and Law Enforcement for many years now (far too many than I care to mention). John is someone who I have known for some time now and I wholeheartedly endorse his approach and his teachings. Everyone – especially “seasoned” or experienced martial artists – should train with John Titchen any chance they get to see how much of what they know is applicable and more importantly how much isn’t. I don’t endorse many people, and believe me I do get asked a lot; this is one I am happy to offer without being asked.
One of the most enjoyable days training ever, after many years of traditional tkd training this felt like the missing piece of the jigsaw! Well constructed with good feedback, a great leveller, physically tough and emotionally challenging but ultimately most enlightening……. must come back!
Excellent session as ever
This is my third time visiting with John. Excellent session as ever, development of everybody that comes up here. It is a challenge for any martial artist to come and test what they’ve done through the years, and see how they cope in enclosed environments and tough challenging situations, wearing the body armour just makes it so much more real for people. Fully endorse it. Thank you John.
a remarkable seminar
Sensei John delivered a remarkable seminar, leaving us with a deeper understanding of the 5 Shotokan Heian Kata. His knowledge on the subject is staggering, spanning some 25 years of training. His teaching method was structured and pleasant and kept all of us involved and interested throughout. It was a fantastic experience for all who took part. Truly an amazing experience for us all by a gentleman Sensei who not only shared with us openly an integrated system of Heian applications to make our Karate more complete, but also taught us invaluable life lessons with his example, attitude and indomitable spirit. Thank You Sensei John.
Fantastic seminar today with Sensei John Titchen, thanks to everyone that came …. fantastic turn out, we look forward to more in the future.
loads to take away
My second simday, another enjoyable and rewarding day. It reassured many aspects of my training under pressure. It also showed some weaknesses and areas to concentrate on. Again loads to take away. I highly recommend John Titchen’s Simday, if you want to test what you think you do.
Sensei John was fantastic as an instructor and as a person. His teaching method was structured and pleasant and kept all of us involved and interested throughout.
a must do for any serious student
This course (Simulation Day) is a must do for any serious student to park their ego and examine their skills and train under a true pressured environment.
John’s methodical approach to Kata application is amazing
Excellent book, John’s methodical approach to Kata application is amazing. I can highly recommend this work to every Karateka that is searching for meaningful, useful and no nonsense info on subject of Bunkai.
I have been training in Shotokan Karate for around 30 years and came across John after attending one of his scenario days (which I would highly recommend). Chatting with John after the scenario day I decided to try out one of his classes. Since the start of 2016 I’m at the High Wycombe dojo once a month making the 2hr round trip to train with John. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to make their karate work in modern day situations.
transformed my understanding of kata, karate and self-defence
Even as a Third Dan with long experience of Karate (Shotokan and Goju Ryu), plus Aikido and MMA, it was John’s books that fundamentally transformed my understanding of kata, karate and self-defence. Drilling the book series through, against habitual acts of violence, really gave me the insight to unlock the full genius of the katas; the multiplicity of applications and how to flow them together fluidly and dynamically. After 20+ years, it wasn’t until I put this series of books into practice and drilled them through that I really got it. Each book is about the cost of two karate lessons and I guarantee you that the insights gained in each will impact you much much more.
a wealth of knowledge
If you want to make your Karate a practical tool for self defence then look no further. John has a wealth of knowledge on his subject, and is open and friendly in his approach and you will learn skills that will stand you in good stead should you ever need them (plus, it’s just plain good fun!).
thorough, considered and pragmatic
Having had John do a number of seminars for me I can say that he is thorough, considered and pragmatic in his approach, detailed in his explanations and also extremely knowledgeable on legal aspects of Self Defence training. I would recommend him to anyone.
one of the very best I have come across
I first trained with John in 2017 at a seminar In Birmingham, having read the Heian Flow System and Pinan Flow System books, and it was a lightbulb moment in my karate. The interchange between various kata that I had spent years learning all of a sudden made them become much more alive.
Since then, I have been fortunate to train with John on many occasions and each time I find new things learnt or something to go and improve. The clear process of the system accompanied by his wealth of knowledge in karate and self-protection make it a great tool to any karate-ka’s repertoire. The overlap and layers of drills which have a range of applications to various attacks aid the practitioner’s understanding of what these kata are truly about and capable of. From the last Pinan Flow System course, I found the failure cascades and fluidity between drills and kata to be extremely useful with each giving a host of options and subsequent back up techniques found within these kata.
Over the years I have trained under many instructors and John is one of the very best I have come across and his influence on my karate and teaching approach can not be understated.
full of fantastic insights
What an amazing and well thought-out book. It caused me to really question myself and my training in some points. It’s full of fantastic insights and points of view on the process of training karate and studying kata. The analogy of “melting ice into water” is spot on too. Thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to any other experienced karateka.
All Karateka should read this
All Karateka should read this and really understand how to turn their Kata into a meaningful and relevant part of their training. I like how everything starts from the basic principles – John has done a very thorough job of analysing and explaining his applications. This is a book I feel I’ll be referring back to frequently!
a true understanding of his subject matter
I have been training in the martial arts for over twenty years and have been fortunate enough to have had some very good instructors. It is not often that I am truly impressed by another instructor, but John Titchen struck me as being on a different level to most. A true understanding of his subject matter, backed up by a very impressive CV. Since training with John and his students I am keen to expose my own students to his training.
I’ve had some really good feedback today from staff. Two members of staff contacted me directly to say how good it was and how much their students enjoyed it, and are still talking about it today. These are some quotes from their emails:
They came back absolutely buzzing in the morning
He pitched it absolutely right for our students with the language he used, and the examples he gave we could all relate to too.
One student remarked,” it didn’t feel like an hour and a half, it felt like ten minutes!
common sense advice
We have used John for a number of years for self protection training as part of our L6th Life Skills days. Different training is offered to boys and girls, reflecting John’s philosophy that such training should be focused and relevant. Feedback from all the students has been very positive, especially from the girls who have appreciated the common sense advice regarding threats and threat avoidance. His two hour sessions have invariably been deemed ‘too short’ by participants and we will continue to make use of Archilochus’ training as a crucial element of our Life Skills provision.
lots of positive feedback
The more boys and staff I get round, the more positive the comments seem to become. Several staff emailed me, unprompted, to tell me how much they enjoyed it. Comments from feedback forms all very positive from the students. Q. What did you learn? A. Lots!!! …Thanks so much for yet another successful session. I’ve heard lots of positive feedback and I also know that the teachers really enjoyed it
will definitely book another course
The course was well run and was much appreciated by the girls. They learnt valuable information about attack avoidance, and then took part in a range of physical activities to enable them to escape physical attacks. All those who took part enjoyed the course a greaat deal and I will definitely book another course for next year’s seniors. I thoroughly recommend that senior girls are given this type of training.
highly informative professional presentation
A highly informative professional presentation was delivered to the Lower Sixth students. The feedback from the students was very positive resulting in a repeat booking for next year.
an excellent teacher
These self defence classes were an excellent introduction to the skills needed to feel confident about being attacked on the street & in one’s own home. We were taught that the adrenalin of fear is really adrenaline to confront an aggressor. As a woman I am not a mere “weakling” but someone who is ready to defend myself using the skills taught in these classes. John is an excellent teacher with the knowledge to inform about the most effective strategies to tackle an aggressor in any situation. I would recommend these classes to anyone who feels the need to learn how to protect oneself in any confrontational situation.
informative, instructive and enjoyable
Highly informative, instructive and enjoyable. I feel more confident inside already.
a great teacher
If you’re looking for practical applications to your kata John Titchen is a great teacher, his mix of traditional kata, his own flow system and the use of body mechanics leads to an insightful use of techniques. The club is very welcoming and everyone there is very friendly. I always look forward to training there when I can.