Clubb Chimera Martial Arts self-protection course returned to Kingham Hill School for a fifth term. Again, I saw some familiar faces from the previous academic years that were able to reinforce the material I brought into play. My methods never stand still and therefore the programmes evolve in line with what I see is most relevant and efficient. Since I became a senior instructor in the Knife and Edged Weapon Programme in 2011 and now with my involvement in helping a respected karate teacher build a strong supplementary self-defence programme for young people, my interest in teaching more evasive strategies has grown. In addition to this I have become more aware about developing firmer learning foundations to build stronger behaviours in students.
The lesson began with a brief overview of self-defence from a legal perspective and as a judgement call as well as commitments to training behaviours. We began with tactical escape exercises. These included moving to exit points, agility exercises, moving around obstacles and spatial awareness training.
We then moved onto the predator and prey game whereby four students with headguards mingle with the rest of the class and attack without warning. The predators only have to hold onto their targets for 5 seconds. The prey are permitted to use whatever means necessary to escape.
Next we pressure-tested the pre-emptive strike. Once it was agreed that reactive blocking wasn’t likely to work at the interview stage of a conflict we began building up responses to when someone invades one’s personal space. The purpose of this exercise, which is a deconstruction of the fence training that will follow next lesson, was to prompt a decisive tactic. The students first just touched the face of the person who moved into their space. This was done to create target familiarity. Then the focus mitts were brought out so that the students could hit the target.