The final hour of my client’s Self-Protection course was all hard skills. We went back to the pre-emptive strike but looked at grappling alternatives for a mid-level threat. This took the form of the arm-drag and counter-arm-drag back to fence. We escalated this to a pressure test (unscripted and uncooperative). The arm-drag introduced the importance of gaining the back position.
Next we moved onto the main feature of the lesson: when matters go wrong. This type of hard skills training usually takes up around a third of a course, however, this particular programme required a greater emphasis on soft skills. We then looked at regaining the initiative. Again, this was trained on focus mitts and then pressure tested using the code white test. In the latter instance I donned sparring boxing gloves, a mouth piece and a full face head cage. In both instances the student was on the receiving end of (controlled but intensive) strikes to the head.
The code white test involves a student closing their eyes and startled by a physical prompt to open them. This physical prompt is the only warning they will receive before they are “attacked”. From this point on they need to cover up, move forward and regain the initiative. In this instance we were back onto striking.
We then moved onto the clinch and used the side chancery and headlock. My client was trained to slip to the back as soon as he felt the technique being executed. This was then made progressively more difficult to the point where he had to escape the actual headlock using the same principles.