Wednesday’s first lesson was at Kingham Hill School, where I continued teaching my Self-Defence tactical escape methods and introduced the concept of the fence.
The lesson began with movement exercises, integrating runs to exit points, sprawling, punching whilst moving, changing levels and covering. We then added on agility exercises to increase explosive movement. This was a combination of chopping steps forwards and backwards through the ladders and forwards and backwards serpentine running around the cones.
We then moved onto the fence. Here we built on the initial behaviour of striking a threat that breached a student’s personal space by providing a social barrier that also acts as trigger for the student. The so-called pre-emptive strike occurs when this particular barrier is touched. A simple way to demonstrate the fence is for a student to strike up a “presentation stance”. They stand in a balanced, slightly staggered yet shallow stance. Their non-striking hand acts as a sensory tentacle and is disguised with passive or assertive gestures. The striking hand remains relaxed throughout the interview stage of an assault. The lead hand senses the physical danger, sending a signal to the striking hand which is then released, hitting the target hard.
After we did this in a target familiarisation drill we overlapped the principles onto the focus mitts, where I introduced repetitive striking. Now the student moved forward, striking the target until the coach covered it and then tactically escaped to an exit point. This was then added to with a referencing hand to datum for all strikes after pre-emption.