Fourth Hard Target Weekend Day 2 (diary entry)

John Boyd's OODA Loop


Day 2 of “Mo Teague’s Hard Target System”, as taught by me, began with a warm-up through postures. Self Protection training should be time managed. It is my view that hard skills should be taught by maximizing every area possible. So if you are kneeling I would advise a combat base posture to be able to move more efficiently. If you are seated then a disconnected butterfly guard posture is preferable, so that you have all four limbs active. If you end up on your back than either a side on attacking posture or a guard posture offers a more proactive stance than simply just lying there. We went through these postures with a particular emphasis on regaining our footing and getting back to a standing posture.

We then revised the 13 conceptual techniques taught yesterday. Then we started putting this altogether. The Mo Teague method teaches that a maximum of three techniques should be taught in succession. If you need more than three techniques then you are probably losing, furthermore a higher than average degree of ability and work is required to maintain them under pressure. My personal approach is follow Mo’s simple advice “Target dictate weapons”. Although I see the benefits of learning combinations for attribute training and I don’t doubt their efficiency, I prefer a more “organic” and adaptive strategy. Quite simply I use the same preferred technique as often as I can until the target changes or the conditions/environment alter. So, for example, if my technique happens to be a straight palm I will use this in repetition with one hand until the situation changes and I need switch to a different angle or the attack line descends.

Here are just a few examples of the combination suggestions drilled and worked for the third quarter of the seminar. We looked at multiple pre-emptive strikes using the forehand and backhand variations of the hook palm. We looked at hammer-fists and knee strikes used in conjunction with straight palms. We incorporated the cover, head-butts and eye gouges as support tools for the straight palm. Following the concept “How you train is how you will fight”, we also drilled in the importance of training tactical escaping. Pressure testing was upped with the grappling and anti-grappling combination work, starting from different postures. Before lunch everyone was given a code white pressure test. They waited with their eyes closed to be startled into a response. Sometimes these responses were not legitimate threats and sometimes they were. It was down to the individual to react accordingly.

After a brief lunch we moved into more scenario-based work. This included variations on multiple attack situations, designed to take in positioning, understanding blind spots through tunnel vision and coping with non-target personnel who were involved with an assault situation. The pressure-testing and ordeals then followed in earnest. This included the infamous multiple grappling/anti-grappling pressure ordeal known as the “Scramble Drill” and the individual pressure test at the end. The individual pressure test, as always, had a basic format, but orders were changed and extras were thrown in dependent on the individual’s weaknesses. As well as the technique retaining exercise (solo pad-work), ground fighting and a BG formation exercise at the end included especially for the Close Protection students, lights were turned on and off, sprinting whilst avoiding projectile weapons and partner pad-work that took the student in and out the warren of rooms contained in RST’s basement level and up and down stairs!

The final section of the day included post-fight information. We discussed “double tap” and “the black dog”. Double tap re-emphasizes the importance of maintaining awareness keeping to Mo Teague’s adaption of the OODA loop, known as the “Three Rs” – Recognize, Read and Respond and acknowledges secondary threats. The Black Dog is a personal issue relating to the way people make peace with their actions and don’t dwell on perceived mistakes or the decisions they have made after an incident. We then went through the relevant law and touched on the importance of First Aid.

The class finished with a list of recommended resources for self protection training. Please see my previous post for links for these.

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