Tuesday night’s professional development/teacher consultancy discussion focused on a review of the CCMA self-protection programme. Given that this is probably the last lesson of the year, it seemed appropriate to going over feedback and changes to what I have been coaching my clients in relation to self-protection.
First of all, 2020 has seen the rise of online training. All my services have gone online and I have introduced new services to cater to the demand for teachers and students needing to adapt. Skype and Zoom have become essential tools and I have been able to share presentations on soft skills in a way that arguably has gone deeper than when they have been taught in a classroom setting. My Christmas podcast provides more information regarding online training. However, visualisation was a particularly important area we discussed. My client has done exceptionally well in getting students to better visualise their training. During the periods when lockdown restrictions were eased, she was able to confirm a healthy transfer of the focused visualisation training done during home workout lessons to a regular lesson. In tandem with this, virtual sparring has also been a helpful substitute for students to undertake whilst social distancing rules remained in place.
Defence against Rear Grappling Attacks
My basic self-protection course has long included a section on dealing with offline attacks. This area comes in at the end of the pre-emptive strike training. However, one of my teacher clients asked me specifically about grappling attacks from behind – bear hugs/rear waist-locks. For the sake of easy definitions, I call bear hugs holds where the attacker’s arms are pinning the defender’s arms to their sides whereas waist-locks are holds targeting the waist. My anti-grappling/combat grappling section of my old self-protection course deals with the front attack version. I steered away from addressing this type of rear grappling attack for fear that we would up going down the rabbit hole of “what if” insecurity questions or a problem/solution technique-lead approach when I was trying to reinforce a principle-centred attitude. My concern is an individual wanting this specific problem addressed might be one you hadn’t quite the pre-emptive and proactive mind-set. Nevertheless, I conceded its relevance in a frontline basic course as it is still a very high probabilty attack and the principles of the offline strike are quite different.
Takedown and Pick-up Defence
My client made the very good point about using certain likely forms of assault such as the rear attacks mentioned as a useful bridge back to principle-centred learning. This is especially important when teaching students who are in high risk areas and will be able to relate to certain forms of common assault. For example, the fireman’s carry is very often used against smaller and lighter victms. Defending against this particular attack can be brought back to takedown defence, which is taught as part of the anti-grappling section of my self-protection course. Anti-grappling and combat grappling are fairly unique within my course, as they introduce an element of atttribute training. I have learned that in order for students to have a better chance at dealing with the clinch, they need to be familiar with grappling. This change was made last year but has become even more pronounced in 2020.