Dai Master Rafael: Why do you come to Xen-Do?

Founder of Xen-Do Kickboxing, Dai Master Rafael Nieto has built the school on simplicity, it should never be too hard or complicated. You will often hear him say;

‘Too many moves wastes energy and reduces both flow and power – keep it simple.’

This was demonstrated recently at the senior grading at Goodge Street. All our students did a great job getting their blue/white, blue and brown belts. These gradings are special, not only is it taken by Master Rafael but we have members from all three clubs under one roof.


The gradings are slightly different from any of the previous. Master Rafael is able to speak with his students and he loves not only seeing what you can achieve but he loves being able to share his beliefs which helped him create our beloved Xen-Do community.

He asked …… Why do you come to Xen-Do?

“Is it for self-defence or is it just for fitness…. the reason I ask you is because some people think this is just for fitness but….

I’m teaching you how to use your body, that doesn’t mean you have to go around attacking people but if you need it, you have the tools. This is pure self-defence, everything else is what, to help you achieve the very simple techniques.

So, you’re in the street and somebody attacks you, are you going to hit them with spinning kick? Probably not and why not? It is not practical, but more importantly it’s not what, one thing I always tell you it has got to be. Simple. It has got to be simple because in a stressful situation you don’t have time for anything else, and how do I know about stress situations? I spent 15 years as a fireman in Central London. I have seen more stress situation than probably all of you put together and stress what it does is, it freezes you. That is why we have to practice, at the fire station every day you do 2 or 3 hours drills to practice for those stress situations. It is the same as here. That is why I always practice your basics with you because it is the simple things that are going to work. Everything else is what? Show business to make you look pretty … pretty fantastic!”

Dai Master Raf intends to keep Xen-Do’s kickboxing techniques simple yet effective with beautiful form.

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