Clubb Chimera Martial Arts Junior Self Defence Workshop (diary entry)

The second CCMA junior self-defence mini-workshop for Kyushinkai Martial Arts Centre in Telford was a high energy affair. Despite hot weather on a Friday afternoon, Sam Stewart’s black belt programme team turned out in force and really got stuck into a very physical session. I kept to the same format as the previous session with the physical skills first before discussing/revising the non-physical areas.

We began with a game of range tig. In this version of tig everyone, whether they are “it”, or being chased goes to whatever range is called. So, for instance, if the coach calls knees, everyone moves on their knees – preferably in “combat base”. It’s a really fun way to get everyone used to natural footwork from all positions, fighting from all ranges and transitioning through postures.

Everyone then had a quick revision of the fence with some familiarization exercises without the pads, followed by full contact striking to the focus mitts and finishing with responsive target combinations on the focus mitts. This moved us onto the nature of a counter-assault. A quick way to convey what I mean about the very different dynamic of a predator versus prey fight is to give two fighters two very different objectives.  One adopts what we call “Strategy One” their objective is to create as much distance as possible from their opponent in a confined area. They are permitted only to use pushes, strikes and anti-grappling tactics. The other fighter adopts “Strategy Two”, which means their objective is to close distance and control their opponent. They wear a full head cage and are only permitted grappling techniques. The result is a fun game for kids and an intense pressure test for adults! The game helps both fighters appreciate tactical considerations to best aid their objective, as well as to understand how to make striking work against grappling and vice versa.

We began these pressure test/exercises from different positions always beginning with the grappling starting with a basic hold. The session was finished with a warm-down through basic positions. We then had a discussion on the Jeff Cooper colour code and the importance of being “in the moment”. I look forward to progressing with the group, which on the whole are picking up the material with enthusiasm and are credit to the Kyushinkai Martial Arts Centre. and their teaching. For more information on junior self defence courses, workshops and seminars please see services page.

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