“Own the Technique” at Kingham Hill School (diary entry)

Inside the fenceAngry fence to make space (a)Hand strike variable - palm Rear palm08.05.19


Wednesday Self-Defence training at Kingham Hill School continued with a practical heavy session. We went over the fence as a muscle memory exercise, trained incidental combinations, covered restrictive striking, transitioning through postures and technique physical conditioning.


We began with various running, footwork and escape exercises. These reaction drills began with running whilst striking and then built on with runs to exit points, serpentine running, covering, sprawling and knee strikes. Different students took over the warm-up so they were in less of a passive role.


We then drilled responses to breaching the fence. This boundary setting muscle memory exercise is designed to defeat hesitation and to prompt faster reactions. The focus here is to not be distracted by anything the antagonist does other than crossing the set boundary line whereby the defender launches their pre-emptive strike in order to shut down the attack and access an exit point. Experience has shown me that these drills need to be first done as target familiarisation exercises, where students make contact with their partner’s faces or any other real target before overlapping onto the focus mitts to perform the action at full power. If this isn’t performed this way, students tend to not associate the techniques with genuine targets and it becomes an abstract exercise.


Keeping on the focus mitts, we covered incidental combinations again tracking the likely response path of the person receiving the strikes. Then we looked at improving power generation through restrictive training. This began with striking off the wall, which also helps to reduce telegraphing techniques. Then we moved over into transitioning from restrictive positions. Before we performed this exercise the entire class went through the four postures and their three transitions. Here we looked at making each posture effective from a combative perspective. Finally this was all put together with the same strike being performed from standing, kneeling, seated and lying down postures.


The final section of the lesson consisted of a three minute intensive round of technique/speed/power. This is 2 x 30 seconds of technique work, 2 x 30 seconds speed and 2 x 30 seconds power.


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