English: A ghostly Black Dog. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Private Lesson – Self Protection
This session is the final part of the CCMA basic self-protection programme. Tonight we returned to some soft skills, discussing the aftermath of a conflict, as well as work on tactical escape and a brief revision of all hard skills covered throughout the course.
The post-fight stage of a conflict has always been a sorely neglected area of self-protection training. Geoff Thompson should be given due praise on bringing awareness of this stage through his various books, seminars and videos. From a hard skills perspective tactical escape is a vital skill. The French martial art of parkour focuses all its training on escaping a situation. Today most people associate parkour with its flamboyant offshoot, free-running, but at its core is a very useful amount of information on training individuals how to move over, around and under obstacles.
We trained several footwork and evasion drills. This nicely dove-tails into some of the sporting attribute training courses we will be exploring soon. It also highlights the universal importance of take advantage of angulation. I brought it back to the fence and how standing offline at a potential threat often changes everything, even a person’s behaviour.
We discussed safety and maintaining awareness. Just because an incident appears to have concluded it doesn’t mean another threat won’t immediately rear its head and a catch the survivor off-guard. We naturally lower our defences as the body receives its endorphin rush. Training in Mo Teague’s “Three Rs” provides a student with the reminder that awareness should be seen as constant loop. We recognize a threat, read it and then respond to it before being ready to recognize another. Geoff Thompson describes the experience of facing another threat immediately after the first one as the “Double Tap”, in reference to tapping the body’s natural chemical cocktail again.
When you are confident you are safe, First Aid needs to be addressed. The effects of the chemical cocktail on the body can mean that even potentially fatal wounds can go missed until after an incident. Besides injuries inflicted directly by the antagonist, the hands are also often injured being the most commonly used in a counter-assault. We then discussed correct procedure for reporting an incident and the laws and cases that are directly related to self-defence. This included reporting incidents and understanding the legalities of self-defence.
Finally we discussed the psychological impact on a traumatic incident. Once the after effects of the chemical cocktail have subsided, an individual is often hounded by what Winston Churchill referred to as "The Black Dog" of depression. Geoff Thompson applied this to self-protection. Individuals will often go over and over in their heads about how they could have better dealt with the incident. An individual needs to make peace with his past and to understand that there is nothing he can do to change it. If you are alive then whatever you did worked. If you avoided or talked down a situation then you are at the highest level of achievement on the self-protection ladder.
Books for further research on this course:
Related material for further reference:
An example of an evasion exercise taught at the CCMA children's self-protection seminar in Denmark: