knives (Photo credit: Stephen Rees)
We focused on the clinch and knife defence exclusively day. This was done to look at some crossover attributes between the two. If Karl Tanswell’s STAB Programme was anything to go by, there is a lot of direct transference. When everything else has been exhausted and you are fighting for your life against a knifeman the chances are you will be grappling with him.
We began with simple knife awareness, as taught on the Knife and Edged Weapon Awareness Programme. This began with a discussion on the importance of understanding the danger of knives and edged weapons, including the carrying one. We looked at typical scenarios involving youngsters and knives. Then we move onto early responses. As is nearly always the case for me when we come to knife defence, I want to drill into students the need to be switched on and to run to the nearest available exit at the suspicion of someone going to draw a weapon. We also practiced alerting others to the presence of the suspected weapon. Next we moved onto situations where exits were blocked. The person defending themselves goes for incidental weaponry and shields. Only when we get down to space being eaten up did we start training actual engagement. That was left for the senior members. My rationale for that is based on the fact that I wanted the fleeing, alerting attention and finding an equalizer to be advice absorbed by the junior grades. For some of them, this was the first time we had looked at knife defence.
We explored three Greco-Roman grappling positions – two-on-one, single under-hook and the back position. We transitions through them all and looked at different contingencies. Then we worked the two-on-one to single leg takedown and the back position to waist-lock takedown. The lesson was finished with some takedown sparring to specifically test these positions and transitions.
The grading was well attended and all those grading showed a lot of effort. For the first time in CCMA’s history, we carried the grading over from the previous week with some of the attendees going for brown sashes working for neigh on three hours. Seniors covered the aforementioned edged weapon awareness and defence plus attribute training consisting of western boxing, kickboxing, stand-up grappling, passing guard (ground submission grappling), questions and answers on self-protection and training plus a written essay. The grading award went to Jessica Rodger for her good work on the theory and visible improvements on the physical side of training.