Mick Shore Interview Feb 2015

Ben Lee recently sat down with Mick Shore to talk about his 40 years in the Martial Arts, his array of teachers over the years and his Jeet Kune Do instructor course.

Hello Mick Shore, thank you for your time. Could you start by telling us a bit about how you got started in the martial arts?

I started nearly 40 years ago in judo at 7 years old to avoid being bullied. Which was great for self defence. My dad always was a big fan of wrestling/grappling and it was his idea. In my teens I got into the Kung Fu craze/Bruce Lee etc. I started training Lau Gar Kung Fu for a few years into my late teens doing competitions etc. In my early twenty's around 22, I found a teacher in Filipino [Martial] Arts called Dave Irwin. Who I trained under for many years, while training under him I was exposed to a lot of other different arts such as Muay Thai, Silat, Savate and grappling.
L-R: Guru Glenn Lobo and Mick Shore over
20 years ago training Silat

After a couple of years training with him, I went to a seminar where I met Guru Glenn Lobo my teacher in Silat. I trained Silat alongside the Filipino martial arts. I forgot to add, at the same time as training Filipino [martial] arts I was training Tai Jitsu with Sensei Brian Lister. I always loved to have a grapple.27 years old I represented the UK as part of the national team for Eskrima in Spain. I fought a good few matches in the UK, where I picked up a few medals along the way. I had always wanted to train with Sifu Larry Hartsell. So I went to a seminar. I then started training with his UK representative named Chris Brown. Eventually Chris passed me onto Sifu Larry and over time I became his UK representative. Chris Brown recommended me to Sifu Larry for this.At the time I was doing a lot of grappling and ran out of sparring partners, in the gym where I was there were a couple of guys doing there own sparring but in a gi. One became a BJJ blue belt under Motta Mauricio Gomez. I needed more sparring so joined in. Next thing I know I am sparring Brazilian Ju Jitsu as well all the time and competing, about 2003/2004 picking up a few silver medals at European and national level. All these arts have kept me quite busy until about 2006. Where I got itchy for more knowledge and started training

Sayoc Kali with Guro Krishna Godhania, under the watchful eye of Pamana Tuhon Chris Sayoc.
At 30 I became a full time teacher, as I was already part time working as a plasterer, which was my trade and part time martial arts. Being self employed helped. As soon as I went full time, I had the time to teach and train other arts as well. I get to stick/knife spar regular, quite a few times each week. JKD [Jeet Kune Do] the same and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu I spar with other instructors/black belts. I am brown [belt - under Professor Neil White] at the moment and at their gyms a couple of mornings a week, as well as sparring with some of my own guys.

We are looking for, not just potential instructors but good caretakers of the sifu Larrys arts. He put over 35 years of research into it. We are keeping the research going so to speak and need also to pass this information on for future generations

You have trained in many martial arts, which do you feel has had the largest impact on you?

The grappling arts has had the greatest impact on me. This includes BJJ, Filipino [Martial] Arts, Silat and JKD. Without the open mindness of JKD and influence of Bruce Lee and his philosophy. I would have been less open minded in my approach.  I watched Bruce Lee in the hit film 'The Game Of Death', grapple Kareem, who was considerably larger than him. I then read Sifu Larrys book 'Entering To Trapping To Grappling'.  It then all started to make sense, the aim was to become good at all ranges. If you cant out punch or out kick him, you could always drag him to the floor like a pitbull. Then you could subdue him.

You trained JKD under Larry Hartsell, why Larry and how does his JKD differ from other instructors in the same style?

I chose Sifu Larry, as in my opinion his JKD experience in life encounters by far outweigh most other instructors. Don't get me wrong the others are great instructors. I just feel that most seniors or high up instructors have tales to tell about Sifu Larrys fighting. He was very rough and ready in his approach. He took this from his teachers, and practiced what he found worked on the streets. Sifu Larry held various job roles including a ex-vietnam veteran, a military policeman, a sheriff in the USA and a doorman. Above all he was one of the most sought after bodyguards. Guro Dan Inosanto has always stated that Sifu Larry, was the most highly regarded JKD street fighter of our time. He was a quiet and humble man who was always quick to praise his teachers. He also acknowledged where his training was held. His system was very street fighting focused. His rough and ready approach held emphasis on the clinch position and grappling. He was aware from his first experience that the fight could often end up there.

You have a new JKD instructors course could you tell us a bit about this, how it works and where we can complete it?

The [Jeet Kune Do Accelerated Training/Instructor's] course we offer is not new. It has been going years but with facebook and the internet its getting more widely known.The apprenticeship course offers training, in the arts of Sifu Larry Hartsell from beginner to instructor level. To learn how Sifu Larry boxed, grappled and did jkd etc. This course will teach you how. It is held every two months at the UK headquarters at my gym in Doncaster [Mick Shore's Academy]. Training is ongoing, as their skill progresses the skill taught in the arts will progress aswell.
We will show you how sifu Larry boxed for example, dirty boxing, old school western boxing influenced by boxers like Archie Moore. As well as Filipino boxing methods.

How have you found the time to learn so many martial arts and in such depth?

Well from a young age I was obsessed. I trained 24/7, the same in my twenty's. Relationships and social life came second. I was quite selfish to be honest. Martial arts was self absorbing I trained around jobs 7 days a week. Morning and evening etc.

Who has been your most influential instructor and why?

The person that introduced me to the arts was Guro Dave Irwin, which I am thankful for. These days Pamana Tuhon Chris Sayoc has been quite influential in the way I look at bladed /Filipino combat. Overall it has to be Sifu Larry Hartsell. From reading his books to training personally with him. Not only was he a great instructor, but my mentor and very good friend with it. I got the opportunity to train with a legend who had influenced me, all throughout my teens and twenty's. He changed my ideas regarding boxing and grappling extensively. My approach/outlook on life was similar to his and was similar to that which I got from my parents particularly my father. When my dad and Sifu Larry were together we all gelled. Usually over a few pints of beer with plenty of stories to tell.

What advice would you give to a new student to help them on their way?

Advice for any new student is believe in yourself, you only live once. Go for it. I've had school teachers telling me I would never make a living teaching martial arts but now look.

What plans do you have for the future?

Spread the arts of sifu Larry, keep the seminars going both here and abroad. Keep grappling as long as the body allows me too. Advance in my Sayoc Kali and go for the black [belt] in BJJ. My knees are not good but I'll get there. Persistance in training gets results. I will keep researching the arts wherever that journey may take me. I would like to look at a little more Krabi Krabong and different styles of Silat. Maybe even train a little Kalayipayyit the Indian [martial] art. Just out of curiosity to see how it compared to Kali for example. I was in India last October and plan to return in future. Irish martial arts I have had a little look at have some interest to me as well. There is lots out there to learn. It will be interesting to see where my journey takes me.

Interview by Ben Lee

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