Teacher Training Continues (diary entry)


Tuesday’s lesson continued my trainer the trainer CPD course on self-defence methods. We worked more on anti-grappling and the offline/multiple defence overlap as well as testing tunnel vision under pressure. We also discussed proactive pad-work and objective-training.


We divided up and isolated then combined the retention of balance when being gripped, pulled and pushed. This is the backbone of takedown defence. This is then integrated into a pad drill. The coaching student grips, pulls and pushes with one hand and holding the focus mitt with the other hand. The defending student does their best keep their balance and move productively whilst striking the focus mitt. Over time, when a student is introduced to combat grappling for self-defence, it is worth looking towards the clinching tactics of Southeast Asian Kickboxing styles and the “dirty boxing” tactics of fighters like Roberto Duran, Jack Johnson, Jim Corbett and Joe Frazier. My video series, “Clash of the Forearms”, might prove useful:

Separate but directly related to the above material is sprawling. I advise some mirror footwork to promote better movement between sprawls. It is also important for coaching students to understand dropping levels. The sprawl should be directly connected to the spear knee and, when with a training partner, should be prompted with a tag to the sides of both thighs.

In addition to this the hammer-fist can be used as an anti-grappling tool can be taught with the student dropping their hips back and using their referencing hand. The low mobile stance should be introduced with dropping levels during the warm-ups.

Proactive and Objective-Centred Training

The coaching student and the active student both must be mindful of their training objectives. This is central to the Clarification stage of my CSI approach.

CSI article

Focus mitt holders need to understand that they prompted behaviours that are realistically transferrable to targets in a real-life situation. Both students need to understand the context of the training and should feel free to question an critique within reason.

Offline Defence

The offline defence deals with attacks coming from outside of a victim’s peripheral vision. This is where backhanded strikes are most efficient. The backward elbow and hammer-fist strike work well before defaulting back to the strike strikes and incidental combinations.

Multiple Attack Defence

The offline attack can be used as a type of “Judas Punch” in a multiple attack situation. Here the student is interviewed by one threat, where they use their fence. However, a second threat then comes in from outside his line of vision. This exercise should be progressed to having a non-predetermined attack, so the student responds to whoever moves into their personal space first.

Stress hormones prompt a variety of different reactions in the body. One of these is tunnel vision, which segues into the offline training. It is important to prompt self-awareness of the effects of fear and other emotions have on the body when a crisis hits a student. By being aware that one’s vision narrows, the student can accommodate for this with certain behaviours. One way to do this is to have a student strike a stationary target whilst two others stand at the extent of their peripheral vision either side. As the student continuously strikes the targets in front the two peripheral students raise their focus mitts for a second to which the striking student should respond and hit the targets. Meanwhile, two other students stand either side of the coach counting the number of times the striking student sees the peripheral targets. This should encourage the striker to momentarily pause between striking the continuous target to check their offline targets.

Tunnel Vision Exercise

Below are a couple of examples of combining the fence and the cover, which are part of my client’s teaching course:


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