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52 Blocks UK Student Callum Beeckmans Wins 3 Gold Medals
& 3 Silver Medals At WKO World Open...At Age 15!

Howdy all! I had originally started writing an article this week about swordplay and it's relevance to modern martial arts / self defense, especially as a secondary source for Kali / Arnis / Escrima players...

BUT then out of the blue I got an email from Dink the Professor in the UK and it was a "hold the presses" moment!

If you don't know Dink (David Wells) he's the first UK Coach for 52 Blocks with Lyte Burly who you see on Footwork Vol. 1-2.

He's also the man who taught me one of the strangest skills I've ever learned in the martial arts - how to cheek and spit razor blades!

Dink let me know that he'd just been at the WKO (World Kickboxing Organization) Open World Championships over the weekend and that they brought home 6 medals - 3 Golds and 3 Silvers!!!

The Gold Medals were in Light Contact Kickboxing, Full Contact Kickboxing, and Fusion (one round each of Boxing, Kickboxing, and Kickboxing with Leg Kicks).

Two of the Silver Medals were in Boxing (both by split decision) and third was in K1 Rules Kickboxing.

And to make the feat even more impressive?


Callum has trained with Dink for 2 years in 52 Blocks and Kickboxing in addition to also training with Coach Ian Freeman (the first Englishman to win in the UFC) for 3 years. He fights for Machine MMA in Stanley, County Durham.

According to one local newspaper his hat-trick performance over the weekend at the World Open was so impressive that the president of the WKA has asked him to fight on July 26 for an English title.

At only 15 years of age, Callum is a rising force in the fight world, able to compete and win under many sets of rules including MMA where he is 4-0-0.

In his last MMA fight which you can see below he tapped out a 31 year old competitor in the first round with a leaping guillotine choke to the guard...

MMA Fight Callum Beeckmans Vs. Jonathan Webster

So with no further ado, here is the video of Callum's recent fight for WKO Light Contact Kickboxing just as the opening bell rings. Callum is the fighter on the right side of the screen wearing the red and white outfit. You'll see Dink in his corner wearing his 52 Blocks hat and giving Callum advice between the rounds.

2019 WKO Light Contact Kickboxing Gold Medal Win

Because the rounds are short and you've just got 3 rounds to show what you've got the pace of the match is very quick and the action is quite exciting. These fights are not the 12 round snooze-fests you may remember from cable TV in the 80's.

The fighters here are looking to score points and win the judges decision, not necessarily going for a KO, but at times they'll stand toe to toe and exchange volleys of shots (something we Kali players would never dream of doing but it's a different animal; no weapons are involved here! In Kickboxing *everyone* gets hit, that's just part of the game.)

(Right to Left) Callum With His Father & Dink the Professor
(Photo from the Hexham Courant Newspaper)

I think Callum's win was clear from the end of round one. He was always moving in and being the effective aggressor; the one pushing the action. And you could see it was also his FOOTWORK which helped him set up his attack.

Always remember the primary strategy of Boxing, Kickboxing, and even Fencing is this - You must get into position to attack from the furthest distance away without getting hit in return.

And how do you get into position? Footwork!

The fact Callum felt comfortable enough to use spin kicks I think shows he was confident at the moment in the fight. That's a technique probably you all know but would you use it in the critical instant and risk the counter? I sure wouldn't!

Because of the need by the sport to fight aggressively (ie. Not defensively like we do in 52) you see a lot more of the kickboxing training that Dink has given him over the past 2 years vs. pure 52 Blocks which is fine. Each student should "absorb what is useful" and be different in that way depending on what they like or need at the moment.

Still, one place you did see the 52 in action was when Callum launched himself off of the ropes into an extended front kick at 4:00 into the clip.

You've always heard 52 is a "prison fighting style" (which isn't true, but that's an article unto itself) but it IS a style that knows how to use walls and limited spaces to our advantage and coming off the wall with a kick or punch is a technique that Dink is well known for. Here it was the ring ropes.

When Dink did a 52 Blocks seminar for the Bartitsu Lab UK earlier in 2019 he demonstrated moves off the wall of an old prison cell where the group was holding the event. On the right side of the group picture you'll spot Callum in his classic red fight trunks and team shirt.

You can see more of the 52 influence in this earlier Boxing match of Callums where you'll see more of the head movement and evasion skills that he got from Dink. There's even a little windmill in the third round! The person he defeated here is the same guy he ended up losing a split decision to in Boxing at the WKO event.

Callum's Last Boxing Match Before WKO World Open

And of course, this being the Training Tips I wanted to get the into the training aspect of how Dink prepared Callum to share with all of you, so this is what he said:

"We always train outdoors; you can't beat fresh air and grass under your feet. Also being outdoors where anyone can walk past and watch gives you more confidence in what you do. You should be focused on training so that you don't really notice people watching. This aspect puts off a lot of people but I think it's because deep down they lack confidence in their ability."

"We spend a lot of time working distancing, timing, rhythm and footwork. How to exit in various directions at the end of combinations is a constant theme. Pivots, bump pivots and shifting are always done as these can be applied to any rule set. Lots of head movement before during and after combinations, so it becomes part of the natural rhythm and can start to be used along with dipping the shoulder as a feint."

"We do light clinch work like we did when I was in Ithaca; start from neutral collar and bicep tie and use light slaps / punches to head and body, careful knees and elbows or call out loud as you pull it short. We do padwork setting up combinations off blocks and spend time free sparring without any intent on "winning" just trying things out and flowing, so you are free to try things out and don't have to worry that you will get hit hard."

I asked him if there were any special drill he taught Callum, and was (quite pleasantly) surprised to hear that these were drills to focus the mind and spirit:

"I know this by the name Rising Drill. I'll explain it and no doubt your readers will know what it actually is. I'm no expert and probably miss stuff out but it works fine:"

  • Stand on grass, hands at belt level palms facing up finger tips together.

  • Breath in through the nose filling from the belly up over moving your hands up to match the speed of the breath.

  • When you reach the top of the chest with full lungs, turn the hands over so palms face down, index to index, thumb to thumb (a triangle pointed at the ground)

  • Then breathe out moving the hands down visualizing pushing all the old air out.

  • Repeat 16 time, then make 3 circles in front of the naval imagining sealing in the energy

"We also do a standing meditation that must be done on grass / earth."

  • Stand knees slightly bent, hands a little away from sides palms facing forward

  • Eyes closed, imagine the sun coming in through the crown down through the body, light flowing through you anchoring you into the earth. (You can imagine rainbow colors through the chakras if you like)

  • Then just stand still. You will start to notice noises you didn't before (birds, wind, etc) and sometimes the vision inside your head will become brighter, you will sway as your body balances out. When you open your eyes you will notice the picture you had in your head will shift compared to what you see with your eyes

  • Do it for as long as you can, a couple of minutes is fine.

  • It reconnects you to your senses, proprioception etc

You can contact Dink at dink73@hotmail.co.uk for training in the UK and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/dink52

On a personal level I want to say congratulations to Callum and best of wishes for the future! You're a great looking young fighter with the world ahead of you. Follow Floyd's example and be the guy more committed to training than your opponents both in and especially out of the gym. And if you ever want to see NY with Dink you're more than welcome!

All my very best to you,

Pete Kautz

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52 Blocks DVD Specials 20 Each This Week!


52 Blocks Basic Training Vol.1
Coaches Lyte Burly and Pete Kautz cover essential drills for 52 such as the rolling punch, shoeshine drills, blocks and counter punches, head movement, sensitivity drills and the science behind why the blocks work to trick the eye!
Read About 52 Blocks Basic Training V.1 HERE
(80 Minutes, Just $20 This Week)


52 Blocks Footwork
Coach Lyte Burly covers footwork drills that will turbo-charge your feet and put "wheels" under all the blocks and strikes that you've learned so far. You've seen Lyte's footwork in countless YouTube sparring and training clips, now gain these skills for yourself!
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(55 Minutes, Just $20 This Week)


52 Blocks Advanced Footwork
Coach Lyte Burly covers advanced two-man footwork drills with special guest Dink the Professor from the UK. Bonus footage of Blocks 11-20 done with the focus mitts is covered as well!
(48 Minutes, Just $20 This Week)



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