On Sunday 31st August 2014 we welcomed Steve Reynolds to our dojo as a guest instructor to give us a seminar on street defence. The session began with some familiar warm ups involving running and press-ups. But that’s where the familiarity ended. We then did some relay type exercises to get the heart pounding and the sweat flowing. Fireman’s lifts and wheel barrow races… Not the usual martial arts type warmups, but certainly fun, competitive and very effective and set the mood nicely for what was to come.
We then launched into some close quarters self-defence techniques, designed to be effective on the street for when the formality of arts such as karate just don’t quite fit the bill. A proper defensive posture with hands open and held upwards, back foot at 90 degrees and weight balanced. On CCTV this shows you are being defensive and whatever happens next is clearly the fault of the person threatening you…
After the close quarters defence techniques against throat grabs, straight punches and “hay makers” we moved on to some knife attack defence techniques. Key to this, of course, is knowing when and how to defend yourself properly and when to attempt to break land speed records in getting away from your attacker! Simply put, identify what type of knife attacker you’re up against – a slack jawed thug or a professional trained knife fighter. In case you were wondering, it’s the professional you should run from!
We moved on from the knife attacks to more exotic weapons, like the kukri (Ghurka long bladed knife) and the tomahawk. It’s fascinating to see how the tomahawk can be used in so many different ways – not just for chopping and slashing, but also hooking, striking and defending.
Final piece of weapons defence training was against being held up at gun point by ne’er-do-wells. As long as you are quick then there are some very simple tricks to quickly disarm and disable your attacker. Fascinating stuff.
We finished the day with some bodyguard drills where Steve nominated a ‘principal’ to be protected and appointed one or two bodyguards to defend said principal against an undisclosed attack. This was what all our training that day had been leading up to – an unexpected test to see how much we had learned and, more importantly, absorbed into our subconscious so that we could react quickly without any thinking time. For the most part this was highly successful with the bodyguards defending their principals admirably. Although I do feel obliged to point out that one of the attackers (who shall remain nameless) ended up using the gun and ‘shooting’ at people but felt the need to add “pew! pew!” sound effects! Much hilarity ensued, but the objective was met and the day’s training was over.
Thanks you for a great session, Steve!