Adult Leaners Week Free Self Defence Seminar Saturday 28th May 2005
Adult Learners week is a festival of learning and national celebration of life-long learning with ‘have a go’ learning events taking place in May and June every year. Due to the success of the last Self Defence Seminar run at the Peabody Trust for the last Adult Learners Week in 2004, a second 3hr course was organised by the LSBU Academy Of Sport. The event was planned and booked 2 to 3 months in advance by a senior sports coordinator, with the recruitment of a sports ambassador. This was a free ‘unpaid event’ advertised and marketed around South London including Peackam, Elephant & Castle, and Bermonsdey. It had a good mix of men and women aged 16 above eager and hungry to go.
The session commenced with a risk assessment, enrolment, medical check and health and safety check of all individuals, with a friendly meet and greet, and a small introductory talk on what was going to be covered in todays session.
The session began with a warm up including running around the hall and static stretches taken from the YMCA. Following this small circuit fitness training routines were incorporated including: 1 minute of press-ups, 1 minute of squats, 1 minute of situps, 1 minute of fast aggressive punching, 1 minute of squat thrusts followed by dynamic stretching.
We looked at pre-emptive striking off the basic fence using the hook, the elbow, the backfist, front kick and thai kick against the high, middle and low sections of the body in a stationary format visualizing the attacker. Partner work was conducted with the same techniques against pads stationary and moving around. We did a circular exercise with the ‘defender’ in the middle and all others surrounding with pads where the centre person had to use pre-emptive strikes of their choice in 90 second intervals.
Following this we warmed up psychologically using verbal de-escalation drills with students in partners where one would be in the fence using calm verbal dissuasive dialogue and assertive body language against a verbally and physically threatening attacker. Students were encouraged not to stay stationary but to move around with strong peripheral vision whilst looking for escape/exit routes.
Basic self defence drills and releases were taught including wrist grab releases, choke defences from front and rear, and basic clothing grabs. In other-words, low threat situations meaning you would have to respond with low force.
Shortly after we covered intermediate threats including two handed clothing grabs, lapel grabs and defence against swinging hook punches using the concepts taken off 1-step free-fighting for fast, effective and dynamic self defence.
After a short 15 minute break we moved swiftly on drilling knife threats. Stress was made on treating the rubber knives as real blades and complying with the attacker before physical response. We looked at knife threats to both sides of the neck/throat with one hand on shoulder or one wrist been grabbed. Students were partnered up with one being the victim and the other threatening with dummy knife and holding a pad, whilst the person being threatened would use 5 to 10 secs of dissuasive dialogue, grab the attackers knife hand keeping the blade as far away from the body as possible, and strike pre-emptively (with palm or forefist) moving forwards aggressively to get the attacker away from them and then escape/exit to a safe zone.
The session finished with a gentle cool down of star jumps and light continuous kicking followed by PNF stretching. Students were divided into pairs with one person in v-stretch position, and the other placing and pushing against there legs whilst pulling the their partners hands and wrist. Stretches were held for approx. 30 secs.
A 5 minute cool down mediation session finalised the practical. Students were told to meditate on 2 or 3 techniques and to visualize themselves achieving mastery and excellence.
The session concluded with a discussion on Self-defence and the UK Law and what techniques were considered most effective in different circumstances.
Thanks to LSBU for there organization and all the South Londoners who attended!