Tonight was the second in my special course for child self-protection. We began with a warm-up of catching games teaching evasion skills, spotting exit points, moving out of corners and creating distance. This moved us onto the fence, where we did a series of exercises to help teach understand personal space and using boundary lines. When it comes to children, this can be especially difficult. Children are still developing certain mental functions to better understand spatial awareness and they are more like to face an antagonist that is much larger than them.
Next we moved onto the pre-emptive strike or technique. We covered when it was acceptable to pre-empt a would-be attacker. This moved onto the mechanics of throwing a straight strike. I addressed the correct use of the body, keeping the arm as relaxed as possible through the initial stages of the execution, making the move less telegraphed and keeping the strike straight. This was first applied to an imaginary target then a human target and then, with maximum force, to a padded target. We then built this up into a succession of uninterrupted strikes, driving the target back until it became unavailable and accessing the exit point.
The final part of training focused on developing the same strike from kneeling, seated and from the back. This type of restrictive training serves two purposes – to be able to striking effectively from a compromised position and to better improve the standing strike.
Soft skills training included good attitude and situational awareness – people, places, times and hazards.
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Above photography by Charlotte Von Bulow Quirk 2013.