Nudda Max Training-
Over the coming months we will be featuring a wide array of Question and Answer sessions with the biggest names in the martial arts, self defence and fitness world. I am very excited to bring you a fantastic and very honest Q and A session with the creator of Nudda Max Training. His name is Antonio Faedda and I am sure you will really enjoy this interview.
I love to take an interest in all new ‘martial arts/ self defence’ systems out there as I personally think we need to have more creators pushing the boundaries of martial arts. We have seen Brazilian Jiu Jitsu do this really well and Eddie Bravo’s 10th Planet system of grappling is an example, so when I see new self defence and martial arts systems come out I love to learn more. So I decided to reach out and ask Antonio Faedda about his unique training system which is gaining a lot of popularity.
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Q. Hi Antonio thanks for answering these questions, we have seen NUDDA M.A.X.TRAINING both online and in magazines and I am wondering just exactly what it is and how you would describe it to others who may not be familiar with it?
Hi Andy thanks for having me here.
NUDDA® is my own self-expression in the Arts and is something I developed originally as “my very own” training program.
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Having trained with some of the very best Instructors in Europe I have gathered an immense amount of knowledge and Ideas and I noticed everyone had his own take on the different subjects. I guess that is because when you ripe into a mature Martial Artist “you” will become the “Art” you practice, however, I kind of felt the need to “codify” all this knowledge and insights I was given into an actual structure other than a collection of “ideas” and “drills”. I needed a “formula” to follow and as I wasn’t given one, I had to create it. NUDDA® is that formula.
I can describe NUDDA® as a Martial Arts Cross Training system which has a distinctive South East Asian feel to it and that blends together the very best of ancient and modern training methods. NUDDA® does not restrict itself either to a “Reality based Martial Art” nor to a contact Sport orientated style, in my mind there is no difference and everything you train should work regardless the scenario you are in. No If’s No but’s.
The one thing I know is that whether you are looking to learn an effective form of self-defence or you want to enhance your MMA game plan NUDDA® will serve you good.
I would like to say that although NUDDA® has primarily developed from a South East Asian Martial Arts background (Filipino, Thai and Indonesian arts are what lay at the core of it), NUDDA stands as “its own beast”, as Its entire curriculum is something I have developed myself (and I am still developing) therefore as far as “structure” is concerned it has moved away almost entirely from anything I was shown or taught by my teachers. Of course at times I do refer to their teaching when I want to show where some of the ideas originates from.
If I was to teach anyone from scratch I would revert immediately to the “essentials” of Boxing, Muay Thai and Grappling before I can even start showing what is “specific to NUDDA®” as I feel that it would be rather disrespectful and egomaniacal of me to pretend to have created something entirely new. Quite the opposite, however, without being pompous or arrogant I can say with confidence that have indeed developed something rather “personal” with NUDDA®
After many years of training and research I feel that I have found my own personal “expression” in the Arts and I named it NUDDA®. As the late Bruce Lee used to say – It is only a name
q. Can you tell us a little about your own martial arts background and what lead to the creation of NUDDA®?
I will skip my early days in Karate; back in the eighties there wasn’t really much else available and going back in time I would have definitely swapped Karate for either Judo or Free Style Wrestling (or both). There is a great tradition in these arts in my home town Sassari in Sardinia but back then we all wanted to kick and punch like Bruce Lee and Karate was (in our mind) the closest thing to it, having said that, Karate did teach me a great deal in terms of etiquette and discipline and to develop a keen eye for details so it wasn’t a total waste of time, again, quite the opposite.
In 1994 I got involved in Jeet Kune Do and FMA with a local group and it was love at first sight. Regardless the actual standard of the teachers, it was “intoxicating” to be able to get an exposure to so many martial arts under one roof and we were encouraged to experiment with different arts (but only under that roof). The Bruce Lee gospel of freedom was a true breath of fresh hair and I then decided that I wanted to become a “professional” Martial Arts teacher.
Attracted by the high standard of Instructors in the UK on the 1st of January 2000 I packed my university studies and took a one way ticket to London and that’s when I met Terry Barnett which is to these days the most influential figure in my Martial Arts Journey. Terry has set me on the right path of self-discovery in the Arts and allowed me to move away from the “knowledge by accumulation” trap. He taught me to focus on the “attributes” of combat and on body mechanics and fine execution of each single technique, but more importantly Terry has instilled in me a love for the Arts that is unconditional, his mentoring is at a deeper level than just a technical “passing on” of knowledge. Terry Barnett has made me the man I am today and for this I will be forever grateful to him. With his blessing I was always encouraged to train with other teachers. I guess the underline “rule” here is: You can train with anyone “as long as they are good.
Around the same time another Art I was really getting passionate about was Boxing; I was given some fundamentals of Boxing but never learned the real “craft” until I was 28. When I approached Mick Carney at the lodge in South London and expressed my desire to start Boxing he said: “and where were you for the last 28 years?” You see this kid he said? He is 18 years old and has more than 40 bouts under his belt, he is a veteran compared to you”, cutting long story shorts and having won Mickey initial scepticism after months of serious and rigorous training and tons and tons of rounds of sparring with some very talented young Boxers, I was even asked to compete in the amateur circuit but again for me it was more a personal quest so I declined the offer.
I like to think to have developed a decent standard in Muay Thai as well and Muay Thai taught me a great deal about the “clinching game” and the devastating use of the elbows, however, Boxing is what I really wanted to get down to a tee as in my mind that is the sort of “hand speed” anything you claim to practice or teach should “work against”. I am a Cross Trainer, I was never a purist but you will always have your favourite Art. Boxing is definitely what I get excited about, and to me is the must have foundation for anyone that is serious about combat training.
In 2005 I came across a weaponry FMA system called Angkan F. Kaliradman. The system is apparently a family system that was hardly influenced by the Spanish fencing arts of Esgrima and Espada y daga. The main difference from the more popular FMA system is that Kaliradman utilize the space 360 degrees and also includes very acrobatics spins (paikot) and jumps (lundagan) and have virtually no disarms techniques. Back then I thought my “weaponry skills” were solid, until I was asked to spar with one of the senior students and nearly lost an eye. We were sparring with rattan sticks with no helmet or hands protection. It was a shocking reality check. In a nutshell; anytime I was trying to close the range the other guy simply danced around me and battered me from all sort of angles. I had two choices. Run away and pretend nothing has happened or stay there and learn. I stayed. This is something people don’t do very well these days, they don’t stay, and they don’t stick around long enough to make an art “their own”.
The creation of NUDDA® came as a consequence of me wanting to create a Martial Arts Cross Training system that would create a “bridge” between the dojo expression of the Arts and the Sport orientated ones. There is a big hype about “rules” and restrictions in a “sport” orientated scenario where you cannot perform “certain illegal moves” that would cripple or “kill” your opponent. Well that is just a pretty dress for an ugly truth.
The truth is that It doesn’t work like that and to put your arts to the challenge against trained athletes is the “ultimate” reality test and you know why? It’s because Illegal moves don’t work against a trained athlete unless you are an athlete yourself OR is a drill scenario aimed to make the Instructor look good and that is not something I was never interested in.
As far as “the street” is concerned, well, there are people out there that you simply would not want to get involved with. These are people that lives in very dark places, people that would ruin your life just for the chance to take you down where they are and show you the ugly side of life. There is simply NO mental or psychological training that can prepare you for that and therefore a “street fight” is something you really should avoid at all costs not because of the “immediate” treat itself (which you can possibly handle physically) but for all the consequences you might have to face later.
However, sometimes fighting is indeed “Unavoidable” and what is the best way to prepare you “PHISICALLY” for such a horrible and unavoidable scenario? Well that’s simple, “TRAIN HARD & HIT EVEN HARDER”.
NUDDA® is this, a training formula performed to almost to a “competitive” level that would serve you good at any circumstances and where “ILLEGAL” moves are performed to an almost “competitive” level. Now that would be something hard to deal with for anyone. But I don’t really deal with the psychological aspects on “realism” and self-defence. I can teach people how to fight, that’s my job, but handling fear and all the rest, I think should be left to other people and I am not talking of “Martial Arts Experts”.
Something that Neil Mc’Leod said still resonates in my mind. He said “People think Martial Arts is something like a mystical experience and that discipline and self-esteem comes from a “meditation” like sort of training. In my opinion he said, what makes you a better person is the fact that in combat training you are not allowed to quit. You might end up with your back on the ground and someone trying to punch your head off your shoulders, but with rigorous mental and physical training you know that you can turn that situation around and reverse it, if you don’t give up you will eventually prevail against all odds. This is what makes you a better person. You don’t quit. “
Personally this sums it up perfectly.
I believe that only a tough life can make you tough, and a person that has it good should consider himself lucky rather than trying to become something he’s not. So TRAINING “Hard” is the only “HARD” thing people should really focus on in Martial Arts, everything else is just speculation and quite frankly is a waste of time in my opinion.
q. There is often an issue when people teach in that they tend to lose focus on their own training and we often see martial arts instructors with big bellies. How do you ensure that you get your own training fitted into such a busy schedule?
Two years ago I had major surgery on my back. As a result I had to spend quite a few months off training and teaching is all I could do and I was piling on the weight as teaching itself is not enough to keep you in shape. This was the only time (and during a previous accident where I had to have surgery on my left leg as I shattered my tibia and fibula) when I ever stopped training outside my teaching hours.
I always make sure I find enough time to do my own training and I find that the best way to do that is to actually go and train somewhere else other than your own gym. I am currently traveling a lot between seminars and I have a busy schedule teaching private lessons and intensive training courses and for that I am very grateful, however, I feel kind of drained if I end up just teaching, there needs to be a balance. You give something out (energy and knowledge) and you need to get something back in (energy and knowledge) than the balance is restored.
I am currently training a lot in Freestyle Wrestling and No Gi Grappling and I am actually attending the classes as well as doing private lessons, because in class I have the chance to become one of the students again and also get the chance to train hard. Training with young lions in their early 20s keeps you on your toes and keeps you fit mentally and physically, in those sorts of environments you can’t slack on your training or you will get your ass handed to you. Training in other’s people schools is the best way to keep fit, and as you are just one of the boys you will not end up teaching again.
As we all know, trying to exercise in your own school can be counterproductive; sooner or later someone will ask you a question or two and you will inevitably end up teaching more than training, after so many years of it, teaching it just become second nature. In your school you will always have the mentoring role, so training elsewhere is to me the best way to keep fit and in my case training in competitive teams where you have regular tournaments and competitions means that you have to keep an eye on your weight category if you don’t want to end up competing with giant monsters.
Another thing I try to do every day is a bit of jogging. About 30 minutes, 3 sets of 40 push ups and ABS crunches and Planks to keep my back strong. A couple of times per week I also fit in my schedule two functional training classes. If you love training as much as we do Andy you will always make time for it. That’s my view.
q. Are you doing Nudda full time now and if so how long have you been a full time martial arts instructor?
Yes Andy I am one of the lucky ones that can support himself by teaching full time. I gave up my day Job with Barclays in 2009 and since then I never looked back. It wasn’t easy to begin with and it is always a challenge, sometimes it takes courage to believe so much in yourself and in how you can contribute to the Martial Arts global community especially these days, where things keep on evolving at such a fast rate. But as long as I keep on evolving myself I know that I will always be doing this to the best of my abilities.
I feel very humbled to have so many people wanting to train with me, which are making the effort to travel from all over Europe to learn NUDDA® and soon enough I will start traveling oversea as well.
q. I’ ve heard people say that there is going to be a NUDDA® on line training website. Is this true and can you tell us more about this?
The Online Academy is almost ready and this was a project that I started quite a while back but that an abrupt halt when my back gave up on me two years ago. It was a difficult time, but my family and friends were very supportive and they kind of pushed me to look at things in a positive way and if you love Martial Arts as much as we do Andy you will know how frustrating is to be confined in a bed unable to do anything.
My friends used to tell me “Hey Antonio do you remember what Bruce Lee did when he injured his back”? How true. But what is also true is that in the intimate moments when you are laying in the bed by yourself wondering if is it all worth it, that’s when you have to find your fighting spirit. The back injury helped me to become a stronger person and made me realize how much I actually love the Arts. It also made me appreciate a lot more things that we often take for granted, family, friends and our especially our health. But it also gave me the time to look at NUDDA® again and redefine what I was trying to do with the online academy.
We are now weeks away from its launch and I can say that I am very excited about it as it will be a real training platform where I will be able to coach people and not only show off in front of the camera. Is a step by step guide that will nurture each student from the very start of their journey to the point where they will be able to express the Arts to the very best of their own abilities, after all becoming the best of yourself should be our very own goal. There is always going to be someone faster and better than you, but we should not focus on other people’s achievements other than for getting inspired.
Experienced Martial Artists will find quite a lot of insights as well that can become very useful in their teaching as well as their own training. To me everything is about the details. Once you take someone to a decent standard is all about fine tuning. Is like tuning in the string of a guitar. As I always say to my students, “small details” BIG differences.
The first phase of the course will teach you what I believe is the minimum requirement anyone you should have to start their journey in the Arts. The material taught in this foundation course is not “exclusive” to NUDDA®, however, is the teaching and the way you pass on the knowledge that can make a difference. I have tried to break down everything to a point where nothing is left to interpretation. I will give you the whole alphabet and from there I will teach you how to put words and phrases together.
Once this first level has been completed you will have to attend a full week end of training where you will have an examination and only after a successful grading you can access the following levels. The progression can only take place as you physically progress; if knowledge is only in the mind then it is not enough. The Arts must live in the body and must be expressed physically.
q. Where can someone find a club teaching NUDDA® and where can a person come and train with you?
The new NUDDA web site will go live soon, and there will be a list of with all the difference NUDDA® schools in the UK and Europe. As I travel a lot catching up with me can be tricky however, I provide private lessons whenever I teach seminars to anyone that want to have a One to One with myself. I also teach intensive training courses, private lessons or small group classes to those who want an in depth immersion in the world of NUDDA®.
I am currently based in Leicester when I am not travelling, the best way to arrange some training is to get in touch via e.mail – email@example.com and once a suitable time is found for both things can be arranged.
q. And finally how can someone become a NUDDA® trainer and what type of people are you looking for?
One of the reasons why I started the NUDDA® Online Academy project was to allow people from all over the world to experience NUDDA first hand without having to commit physically to a course straight away. The attention for NUDDA is now become global but unless you live in Europe physical training can be difficult to be arranged on a short notice.
Ultimately as you well know Andy, we can’t learn Martial Arts by just watching a tutorial video, but the OA is structured in a way where you can do a lot to get off a good start, then you will have to make the effort to attend the graduation week end. Once you are on board we will arrange a schedule of regular meetings however, this will be all explained thoroughly in the new up and coming web site.
What kind of people am I looking for? Good question Andy; but I think it’ll be easier if I answer by telling you what kind of people “I am NOT looking for”.
a) People that are looking to “integrate” NUDDA®in “their own” system. There is a very bad trend going on in the martial arts community of “copy and paste” techniques and rebranding them with other names, all these self-certified hard nuts are going around saying that they have learned these moves in “real life” experiences (usually they tell stories of being a bouncers in very rough clubs and so on…). Now unless you are Geoff Thompson really you should give up on it, it has been done and quite frankly is not a formula anyone can replicate. A copy is a copy. There is a scary amount of people out there coming out almost on a daily base with “new systems” and all you see is the same formula re-presented over and over again very often with very poor results. KFM is been literally cannibalized by clones especially after the split between the two founders and is just a horrible thing to watch. These wanna be “Gurus” don’t have any lineage and they don’t seem to be able to tell you where all these “techniques” come from. Well we all know from where. You tube anyone? The scary bit about all this is that some of “them” actually have a really high number of followers and “views”, but hey, that is a mystery no one can find an answer for, after all, how in seven hells has Justin Bieber managed to become as big as he is? No one likes him but he is there with the big stars. So going back to us; if you come to learn NUDDA® you are coming to either learn from scratch or you are going to start learn it alongside anything else you do. It has to be learnt or taught as its own thing. So does NUDDA® Kaliradman which is the weaponry side of NUDDA®. I am very good at spotting “cloners”now. I have made the “naivety” mistake in the past and I am not going to make the very same mistake again.
b) You are not welcome to neither train in NUDDA nor become an Instructor unless you are willing to train hard and keep training. It’s easy to get to the top of the mountain but not as easy to stay up there. I want to see the standard rising to the required level to be able to put the things we practice into “action”. I want to see people sparring and being able to last the rounds and perform to the very best of their abilities. After all, I still get my hands dirty with my students by trading with them, so why shouldn’t they do that in their own school with their students? I don’t teach secret moves I teach people how to fight and if you don’t keep up with training anything you learn goes out of the window. Anyone can become a charismatic teacher, but if you can’t back it up in sparring you are not worthy of being a Martial Art teacher. A history teacher maybe or some other kind of teacher, but not a Martial Arts teacher. It takes time to learn Martial Arts and is an everyday effort. We believe in a lifelong lifestyle.
c) You are not welcome to train in NUDDA® if you are a racist, homophobic or have any extremist views of any sort (that includes religious views of any kind as well). We really should be very vigilant about teaching what we teach to the right people and really try to spot any early signs of “imbalance” in people’s behaviours. NUDDA is not a sect or a cult, we are all a great bunch of guys that have happy and fulfilling lives and that we top up with genuine love for training Martial Arts and hanging out together. We are a great place to network and make new friends as well. I encourage “comradeship” for my fellow NUDDA boys as that is healthy and in time of needs you will know you can always find your mates to give you a shoulder to hang on in difficult times, but that’s about it. If you have mental issues or insecurities you need to look for a specialist or a shrink that can really help you.
Anyone that agrees to these “terms and conditions” and that is willing to put the hours down and the effort is welcome. My goal is to produce a stable of top notch Instructors that can keep the standard High. This is how it used to be in the old days. A black belt (and yes I do believe in grading’s) should be someone that can really kick ass, and an Instructor should really be able to produce top students and athletes. You can’t be a Martial Arts Instructor just because “you think” you are good enough;
“Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion” ref. J.R. – I think this quote sums it up perfectly
Thanks for having me Andy and I wish you all the best of luck with your new venture, with your Forum/Blog.
Antonio Faedda – Founder of NUDDA®
Wow- What a Q and A session with Nudda Max Founder Antonio Faedda. As I said if you enjoyed it please use the buttons below and share it out!. Thanks Antonio for a great post.