Barn Dance from Hell (diary entry)

grappling lesson athena 2 grappling lesson athena09.11.20

Athena School of Karate kindly re-booked me to teach another specialised topic: grappling for self-defence. This lesson was born out of teaching anti-grappling tactics in my 10 hour self-protection course. What I soon learnt from teaching a wide range of students was that in order to properly defend against the clinch range, one needs to be familiar with clinching. Wrestling is probably the oldest form of combat known to mammals and possibly the first codified sport alongside running. Although it is debatable whether your likely attacker will engage you with trained clinching techniques, having some rudimentary experience in primary grappling will create a more realistic training environment. Primary grappling teaches balance and positional control, areas that people engaged in the clinching range will instinctively seek.

We began the lesson with a discussion on why grappling is not the preferred range to seek in most high risk situations and when it would be necessary. Then we went through our warm-up of self-defence drills, emphasising the importance of tactical escape, maintaining distance, striking, covering and controlling breathing to manage stress levels. Next I introduced dropping levels, basic grappling stances and moving whilst maintaining a low stance. After this we began drilling neck and collar ties followed by over-hook/under-hook pummelling.

One parent’s review of this Zoom lesson:  “my daughter and I really had fun. It was like the worst barndance ever”.