Saturday, 22 September 2012


I think it is vital in any fighting system to have a default defensive position you can use when coming under a surprise attack. By a surprise attack I mean one where you have suffered a contact or multiple contacts and you have completely been caught unawares. The attack has happened quickly and unexpectedly and you will not have the luxury of being able to block and counter or to exit. We need this position to protect ourselves and to enable us to get a breathe back, take in and assimilate the information we are being bombarded with before we make a decision to either attack or flee. When we think about a surprise attack we often think that this would spell an immediate knock out. However, even when the attacker has the luxury of the defender standing there half asleep with a relaxed open jaw, it doesn’t always result in unconsciousness. Either the attacker cannot punch for buttons, they miss the jaw or they may be kicking or grabbing. In the majority of assaults alcohol will be a factor therefore, an attacker’s skills may be limited. We are envisaging a situation where we have remained conscious after the initial blow or blows have been struck. We have not had the opportunity to adopt any realistic defensive stance prior to the contact as the barrage has begun and you have been caught unawares. The position we adopt under these circumstances should be one that allows us to specifically cover the head and face while at the same time allowing us some degree of vision. Remember, that we are not looking to be in this position for any length of time. It is to simply allow us maximum protection whilst we regain our composure and look to attack or exit. I should point out that in training and adopting a default position, we are in no way overlooking prevention or awareness. These are the core concepts of any good system and one that I look to train regularly. I am simply pointing out that unless you live your life in a state of preparedness and looking for potential trouble every second of the day then there will be times when your guard is down. We as human beings couldn’t possibly live our whole lives in a high state of readiness as we would burn out. So we need to isolate this concept and accept that we as human beings will make mistakes and the result is that we need a default position. In order to train this effectively, you need to experiment with various positions and find out what works for you as an individual. I certainly find some more user friendly and a lot more comfortable than others. It all comes down to your own particular preference and body type. Once we have established the position you want to adopt you need to look at being able to get into it as fast as possible. You could have your training partner give a verbal command and then you assume the position. After you have developed this verbal stimulus have your training partner put gloves on and attack you lightly firstly from the default position so you can get used to the feeling of contact and you can also identify any areas of weakness in your position. Then we need to look at having our hands buy our sides and have a few shots thrown and then responding by getting into the position. Please bear in mind safety in training and don’t be looking to knock out your training partner in the early stages. After you have successfully managed to take a couple of shots and react accordingly we need to take the next step. You can stand with your eyes closed and have your partner attack you with head and body shots from a variety of angles, and you have to react by opening your eyes and taking your default position. Once you have mastered this you need to look at how you can realistically counter attack from that position. You should focus on building up your attacking tools from that position. You need to experiment with close and medium range tools. Ensure that you are using the correct tool against the attacker in the appropriate range. You could also have the attacker then try and take you to the ground to ensure completeness in your training. For example you should experiment with defending and then imagine the threat is neutralised by a third party. You could defend and then exit, or defend and fight back. Then defend and fight back against multiple opponents. You are only limited by your own imagination. If you are in the police or security services then after an initial counter attack you should look too deploying your weapon quickly or look to control and restrain. Marcus

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