Andy Rheeston’s Review of CCMA Double Workshop in Self Protection

Double Self Protection Workshop with Jamie Clubb

Thanks to all that attended the self protection workshops taken by Jamie Clubb in association with Shinkenmi Ni Tesseyo Karate on Saturday 4th February 2012. The first session was tailored for juniors up to the age of 12 and the second session was tailored for students aged 13 and above, below is a brief write up of these session which I hope you find interesting.

Juniors Session

The students warmed up with a multiple attacker ‘cornering’ scenario, one student was placed in a corner of the room and tried to escape as 2 other students tried to control and pen them back. After all students had turns in both roles the scenario was repeated but this time objects were set up on the floor as ‘incidental barriers’ to aid the students escape. Some of the students used these objects to help barge through the other whereas others used these object as projectiles and to throw at the aggressors. The students were then asked “what skill are these drills trying to test and improve?” it was then explained that the drills were created to develop the necessary skills to escape a situation as this is perhaps the most fundamental skill needed for self protection. After the warm up there was then a discussion regarding avoidance and awareness and the students were introduced to the Jeff Cooper colour codes.

The students moved onto controlling their personal space using “the fence”, one student played the part of an aggressor trying to close the distance on their partner while they used this distance controlling tactic to keep the aggressor away. This scenario was practised first with just the aggressor moving in then with the aggressor using both aggressive and deceptive dialogue to try and intimidate or trick their partner.

Following on from this, two students were picked out to demonstrate an action vs reaction pressure test, it was then agreed by all students that at the conversation / interview stage of a confrontation it was near impossible to block any attacks and that pre-emptive strikes should be practiced.

The pre-emptive strike was practiced as an extension of the previous exercise but when the aggressor touched the defenders ‘fence’ this was the trigger for the pre-emptive strike. This pre-emptive strike was practiced firstly as a target familiarisation exercise where the defender would pick a target and lightly slap the aggressor. They then went onto striking focus pads continuously until the target was covered up, the final way of drilling this pre-emptive strike was to get the aggressor to put on a head guard and when the defenders ‘fence’ was touched they delivered strikes to the aggressor until they ‘covered up’ showing that there was no further threat.

As an extra bit of fun for the finish the students then participated in a fight to your feet exercise. One partner lay on the floor while the other stood at their head, the idea was for the standing person to hit the defender on the head while the defender tried to keep distance and get back up to their feet so that they could start controlling standing distance and striking back.

This session then concluded with students again paired up with someone wearing a head guard and this time the idea was that the aggressors had to grab the defender who then had five seconds to escape the grab and get to the ‘safe zone’.

Adults Session

The adults session started with a discussion around the Jeff Cooper Colour Codes and Mo Teagues version of the OODA Loop consisting of the “recognise, react and respond” concepts, Jamie also recommended a few books to the attendees which are listed below.

After this initial discussion we then broke into pairs to use ‘the fence’ as a distance control tool. At first we used a controlling fence to stop an aggressor invading our personal space using aggressive and deceptive dialogue. This then went one step further by using an aggressive fence to gain distance from an aggressor who has ‘rushed’ into us, we shoved the aggressor back to create the distance and backed this up with an aggressive verbal dialogue such as “stay where you are” or “back off”.

We then had a brief discussion regarding action vs reaction and the importance of pre-emptive striking. Jamie did mention that he has an action vs reaction pressure test that he usually teaches but as all the participants in this session agreed the pre-emptive striking is the preferred option he omitted this from the session (although this is however described above in the juniors session).

The next exercise was to pre-emptively strike the aggressor as soon as they tried to invade our personal space and touched our fence, we worked this with the focus pads and kept striking until the target of the pad was covered. This particular drill encouraged the participants to develop the mindset of continuous strikes until the threat of attack was no longer there. This then followed up with a ‘flash pad drill’ where once the fence was touched and the initial strike thrown, the partner then moved the focus pads around to indicate differing targets opening up while striking the aggressor. The third was a partner controlled drill where the aggressor would provide obstacles for the defender to get past so that they could resume their striking, the two options demonstrated on the day were a) using the non-padded hand the aggressor tried to push away the striker or b) the non striking hand was held across and in front of the focus pad and this indicated a person that was covering their jaw.

After these drills there was then a discussion regarding available targets on the head and how humans are generally uncomfortable when striking at someone’s head / face. It was agreed that the eyes are the most vulnerable target and the following drill took this into account.

In our pairs the defender was stood against a wall with the partner holding a focus pad on their chest (to indicate someone holding us against the wall). We took hold of the focus pad and pulled it away indicating an eye gouge and this was followed by numerous strikes such as a head butts, elbows etc. This same drill was then done again with the partner wearing a head guard so we could test the above drill with a live opponent.

After these drills we then broke into groups of three to test out ‘the cover’ as a recovery tool. One of the three stood in between two who had focus pads, one person of the pair would advance and then the person in the middle would strike at the pads. While this was happening the other pad holder started hitting at the back of the strikers head, it was then the strikers job to turn into this person and overwhelm the strikes until we could then strike back our selves. This particular drill then went back and forth for a specified time limit, and a number of various ranges were covered from standing, kneeling, sitting and lying down and these ranges were determined by the instructions shouted out.

Staying in groups of three a scenario was indicated where by a friend / loved one would be attempting to hold you back while in a confrontation. To do this we had one person holding a pair of focus pads while one was striking them, the third person in the group would then be pulling the striker away from the pads so that they had to fight against them in order to reach the targets.

The final drill of the session was again in groups of three, one person held the focus pads and the other two were then striking at the focus pads, the pad holder would then move around forcing the strikers to follow the targets.

The session then concluded with another sit down session discussing the post fight considerations such as justifying your actions, the ‘black dog’ and the law regarding self defence and reasonable force. This discussion prompted more recommended material from Jamie and all recommendations are provided in the link below.

I would also like to say a final thank you to Jamie for agreeing to teach these seminars and thank all that attended, it was a great day.

Andy Rheeston

Chief Instructor

Shinkenmi Ni Tesseyo Karate

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