This week’s session was a lot of fun – many thanks to all who attended! It was wonderful to welcome so many new people all at once and awesome to have two more experienced members return after we’d missed them for a few weeks. We really got that particular kind of atmosphere this week that you can only get when you get more in than expected.
I hope you all have a great weekend and see you next time!
For those who are new to us, when I write these I often link to associated important concepts either on Wikipedia, other websites or our own small wiki that I’m working on for our specific concepts.
Threat Awareness is worth a look, as well as Threat Evaluation and Threat Avoidance. Communicative Strategies will come into play next time when we look at distraction and pre-emptive striking, and the Force Continuum is extremely important to bear in mind.
Of course, if anyone has any questions then feel free to get in touch!
This week, we looked at:
- Footwork, posture and positioning: the importance of good posture can’t be overstated enough. As the squats, slams and burpees will have shown you in particular, good posture is everything.
- Use of ‘The Fence’ to manage distance proactively (Without looking aggressive!) when someone’s squaring off and invading your personal space.
- Fear and how it can lead us towards mis-management of that space. Backing off continually isn’t always the best option.
- Keep your hands neutral and relaxed, but ready. They’re there if you need them, that’s all.
- Footwork and relaxed movement when pushed around a bit.
- (Progression: the same when punched.)
- Keeping control: proximity and ‘sticking’ to the aggressor to limit their options. Again, it’s all about positioning and posture.
- Striking from the Fence:
- Hammer Fist
- Relaxed arm drill: just feeling the weight of your arm.
- Palm Strike
- Relaxed striking: still feeling the weight of your arm, encouraging a whiplike acceleration.
- Hammer Fist
When I’m asked what our methods are based on, I often discuss things like Systema, Wing Chun, Krav Maga, Jujutsu, etc. However, when it comes down to it, it’s all just physics, biology and psychology/sociology.
The most important thing to remember in striking: simple physics.
FORCE = MASS x ACCELERATION
Through our relaxed movement, we accelerate as fast as we can in any given space because we don’t have unnecessary tension working against that movement.
Through posture and refined (trained) movement, we get as much of our body mass behind that strike as we can.
The above helps us generate as much force as we possibly can. We further refine this with beneficial positioning and striking methods to apply that force as efficiently as we can: to get maximum effect from minimum required effort. This is what we call economy of motion.
We also looked at:
- Dealing with someone striking us with a stick: working with a useful movement we developed last week (and the week before).
- Once you decide you need to deploy force, and you find the right moment in which to do so, you must act immediately, efficiently and decisively.
- Close distance and use your elbows to your advantage
- Get control and make sure it’s a strong grip you have. Anything less than your strongest is not good enough.
- An easy way to test this grip is have your partner violently shake their arm to see if they can wrench it free with brute force. Gripping with just your hands likely won’t be enough but keeping it close and against you, gripping efficiently and using positioning and posture to your advantage (and their disadvantage) will.
All in all, we’ve worked on a lot of things here. Something that’s worth bearing in mind was expressed well by Sonny Puzikas in a great video we recently shared on Facebook: these punches, kicks and swinging weapons are just movements. They only become a strike when they make contact with their intended target. Until then, they’re just movements.
Don’t fear a movement: train to work with it. Train intelligently and you work efficiently.
Once again, many thanks to all who came and see you next week! It was a pleasure and a privilege to train with such truly excellent people.
All the details of this class are on the Public Classes page up at the top. Your first session is FREE and all are welcome to come along and take part. Every session is beginner-friendly.
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