Escape, Pre-Emption & the Fence (diary entry)

Inside the fenceHand strike variable - palm29.01.20


Wednesday lunchtime saw me continue my Self-Protection course for Kingham Hill with a hard skills-centric/self-defence lesson. We revised attitude and escape procedures before focusing pre-emptive striking.


The class were warmed up with walking exercises where they did some basic mobility exercises and check their nature posture. From here they worked on throwing natural strikes from relaxed positions as they continued to walk. They changed direction and moved to exit points. Then I had them jogging whilst striking, building in sprawls/knee strikes, changing direction whilst covering and moving to exit points. Various crawls were then introduced to develop agility whilst grounded. They went back to walking and observed their breathing as well as the effects of stress that they are likely to feel in a pre-incident situation.


We moved onto target familiarisation. This exercise consists of one individual moving into another’s space. The other individual then places their strike. Here the defender always begins in a relaxed posture with their hands down. We then overlapped this onto the focus mitts. This time the defender can strike the target with full impact. Then, we pressure-tested this concept and had one individual, wearing full face head-guard, seeking to invade the space of the relaxed defender. This asymmetrical test set two objectives: the predator seeks to make contact with the defender without being struck first, the defender aims to strike before contact be made. Each time either of these participants reaches their goal the test is re-set. The test raises the difficulties of having one’s hands down when being attacked. We addressed this in the final part of today’s lesson.


The fence is a concept of using a barrier to set up a pre-emptive strike. By using a sensitive boundary the defender can act in a manner that is both tactically advantageous and legally justifiable. I discovered quite a range of different ways individuals expressed themselves with the fence. Some were able to integrate into the natural way they talk to people by using their hands. Others aligned it with the way they are taught to give presentations. We brought this back to the target familiarisation exercise. Next week we will go over it again and over-lap the other exercises.

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