Easter Hard Target Report Day 2 (diary entry)

Knee (strike)

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I usually finish Day 1 with some intensive transitional work, revising all the core techniques from various improvised postures. I like to warm up everyone on Day 2 with an introduction of to the best way to utilize each posture. If you have to fight from a position other than standing, you might as well take advantage of that position. That’s just good time management. So we looked at moving, transitioning and then practicing regaining our footing safely. We then moved onto some exercise suggestions to specifically train the most important core techniques, the straight and hook hand strikes.

We then revised all the core techniques with the addition of tactical escaping. Once this was done it was time to start putting them together. This included drilling the forehand and backhand combination of the hook (power slap) for use against two attackers. It’s a counter tactic against the classic “Judas punch” set-up whereby one attacker initiates the interview from the front and an accomplice comes in and attacks from the blindspot. We then looked at add-ons to the straight strike, drilling it off the wall. As previously mentioned, I like organic combinations, where you use the tools as the targets dictate: head moves back: looping overhand, the head goes down: hammer-fist to the medulla or a knee strike to the face and so on. We then brought in some recovery support tools like the cover, head-butts and eye gouges in conjunction with the straight striking. We also combined grappling tactics like finger-locks with the philtrum takedown or bites and pinches with the rear strangle. Before lunch everyone went through the tunnel of death fence drill and code white response drills.

After lunch we moved onto the various standard situational drills and pressure tests. I don’t allocate set times for anyone during these exercises. Everyone is taken just past the point where they are showing signs of failure and the time they spend past this point increases all the time. Along the way they are trained in utilizing the various techniques against different angles of attack and in typical scenarios – striking on different levels, striking alongside someone else who is not an aggressor, training against tunnel vision under stress and dealing with a restraint from an individual you cannot strike. The scramble drill provides a great opportunity to test resilience and fortitude, as well as over-riding the natural compulsion to get into a wrestling match in a multiple attack situation and also an opportunity to test anti-grappling and primal grappling tactics. The physical section finished with a pressure ordeal, containing a variety of different high intensity and relevant exercises, pushing the individual to their physical limitations.

The seminar finished with a return to the PowerPoint and discussions on the post-fight. This is what happens at Mo Teague’s second management line. Here we discuss maintaining awareness – the double tap. We also discuss practical First Aid for you and possibly the person you have had to subdue and alerting the police and/or emergency services. We also discussed the law and the key areas that deal with self defence and the use of reasonable force. Finally I discussed the psychological ramifications of an altercation, whether you have had to use physical force or not. This section is of particular importance to me, as I regularly asked by survivors of assaults or would-be assaults whether or not they did the righ thing. It is not my place to offer a moral judgment, but to help them make peace with whatever action they did take. The past is gone and there is nothing you can do about it other than to learn from the experience, but in order to learn we have to unplug our emotions.

The seminar went very well and I was very proud of all those who made it through to the very end. There’s some great potentional for those who wish to pursue a career in security and for those who wish to explore civilian self protection education.

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