Training at Kingham Hill School moved onto combat grappling. We began with an energetic series of movement exercises, designed to reinforce various behaviours learnt over the previous lessons and to increase reaction timing. This started with simple changing directions, then altering heights of stances, varying footwork, striking whilst moving, covering, sprawling, switching ranges and finished with transitioning through postures to regain footing.
We began our technical training with the side headlock. This is a primal grappling move and I believe it is important that any self-defence student should be aware of its nature so it can be anticipated should a fight deteriorate to stand-up grappling range. After a technical run-through the headlock was taught as a muscle memory exercise. We then addressed countering it early on. All students trained to seek the back as soon as contact was made with the headlock. From this position they trained the waist-lock and seatbelt holds. This a good controlling positions and provide a relative amount of safety.
Next, we focused on the rear naked choke (strangle). This was trained at a very slow rate to ensure safety to all students with tension being gradually increased. Once the technique was confirmed it was then drilled as a muscle memory exercise. We discussed the normal signs for when the choke can be considered effective in a real-life situation. Finally the class covered safe releases from the choke. Understanding how to release a hold whilst not compromising oneself against a surprise retaliation is an under-looked skill that needs to be drilled.