Protecting the Frontline Course for Teachers 5 (diary entry)

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Wednesday’s first lesson – an online teacher consultation for Drum Kempo Ju Jitsu in Ireland – brought us up to pre-emptive striking. We discussed the tactical reasoning for pre-emptive striking and I described why it is important for students to test the effectiveness of this tactic or rather the ineffectiveness of blocking at conversational range. It is too easy for teachers to find themselves inside an echo chamber that takes the effectivness of this tactic for granted whilst preaching the virtue of critical thinking. However, we need to consider that most people in the martial arts world outside our own tiny subculture not to mention the majority of people outside of martial arts and self-protection circles (who will make up most new students to general classes) don’t believe pre-emption is justified and think that self-defence is all about blocking or reacting once a strike or physical attack has been made. This is why I set up tests as the starting point of my hard skills teaching.

On from here we looked at target familiarisation. This brought in the relevance of targets depending on the size of the indivuals involved, which also raised the discussion points on the fence. Fences need to be natural tactics employed at a conceptual level and never superficial or stylisted techniques. The primary purpose of the fence is manufacture distance between the protector and the attacker. Such a tactic must be disguised. As early 2004 Mo Teague was talking about how many offenders were wise to the idea of the fence and John Anderson would tell me that he would, without hesitation, regularly strike people who obviously lining him up. Fences, if they are set up using one’s hands, need to be natural gestures and behaviours indistinguishable from what a person does from day to day. Matty Evans taught me that the best way to train them was to incorporate fences into everyday life. A good tactial fence should be so good that it only becomes a fence with the application of intention.

From target familiarisation I overlap my training to the focus mitts for impact development. Then we moved onto incidental combinations.



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