Report on the CCMA Workshop at The Martial Arts Show (diary entry)

I had an enjoyable workshop at The Martial Arts Show at the NEC, Birimingham. I have been involved with this event since it began at The Martial Arts Festival. CCMA is usually represented by two workshops, an adult one on the Saturday and a children’s one on the Sunday. This year, however, there was so much on that we were restricted to a single mixed workshop. I am not complaining, we got a full hour whilst most other free workshops only had half an hour.

Nothing makes a lesson like enthusiastic students. A mix of ages, genders and abilities provided just the sort of base where the CCMA approach thrives. I had junior members from my club and a mixture of familiar and unfamiliar faces from other clubs. Our basic activities began with a discussion on CSI (Clarification, Scepticism and Individuality), an approach that addresses what I have found in lacking in a lot of martial arts and self protection systems.

Having decided upon self defence hard skills as the objective we then tested the pre-emptive strike. After it was concluded that blocking was highly unlikely to achieve from a conversational stance at arm’s length, we looked at quarrying some crude counter-offensive striking. This came straight from an asymmetrical pressure test I call Strategy One versus Stategy Two. Unlike a match fight the two protagonists have different objectives. Strategy One person is restricted to maintaining and creating distance by use of striking, pushing and anti-grappling techniques. Strategy Two is restricted to closing the distance and grappling. This creates the typical prey/predator dynamic inherient to most assault situations.
The strikes are then refined through various different postures (standing, kneeling, seated and on the back) with a proactive coach. Said coach is encouraged to keep moving, to cover or hide targets when they are not being hit and to attacking any openings/weaknesses they see in the student. This helps promote the self-teaching method. We then looked at ways of going into attribute training by using two coaches on the pads. This exercise had its objective changed from sport to self defence regularly to emphasize the different approach.

Further refinement was done through use of resistance bands and specific exercises. We finished with “The Tunnel of Death” exercise. This pressure-tests the fence, pre-emption and covering from multiple attackers. We de-briefed on the importance of doing further research.

DON’T MISS: “Vagabond Warriors” intensive training workshop on 28th May 2011

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