Adult Learners Week Martial Arts and Self Defence Seminar 22/05/04
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. Fortunately, enough a martial arts and self-defence instructor was required to run a 3 hr workshop and seminar at the Peabody Trust in South London on Saturday 22/05/04. After gaining a 1st Degree Black Belt Instructorship and University sponsorship, the event was planned and booked 2 to 3 months in advance by a senior sports coordinator. With plenty of marketing, advertising and collaboration between the parties involved there was a modest turnout with a good mix of men and women aged 16 above eager and hungry to go.
The session commenced with a gentle warm up including limbering up movements to introduce synovial fluid into the joints, exercises to increase blood flow and warm up the muscles such as star jumps, running on the spot, and sports specific stretching for the major muscle groups. Basic striking was taught against assailants / opponents including the front rising kick, crescent kick, lead/reverse punch, hook punch and the front kick stationary and free-direction. Stress was made on visualization and mental and physical determination to destroy your opponent.
Students were divided into pairs and more advanced striking against pads was taught with emphasis on how to use ‘elastic potential energy’ for effective speed and strength. In between pad work drills small circuits were introduced including press ups, lunges, squats, sit ups and burpees. We looked at various combinations including lead/reverse punch followed by lead/reverse hooking punch, front kick to turning kick, side kick to reverse spinning back kick, elbow strikes etc.
Students were instructed to line up and practice striking combinations against each other with maximum aggression, precision, accuracy and self-control. This included the defenders executing light blocking with palms, forearms, knees and shins in a safe and controlled environment, and with protective equipment. The roles were reversed, with the same drills been executed in free-direction format.
A small part of the session analysed how to fall safely on the floor with basic break falls including the front, side, back and foreflap. In addition, students were taught the four most effective strikes from a grounded position – front kick, thai kick, side kick and back kick to the low/mid and high sections of the body as well as how to execute basis takedowns with the legs against assailants. Emphasis was made on not to be on your back ‘like a dying fly’ and to stay in a mobile semi side-wards position on the ground with strong mobility and a nice striking range of movement. In addition, we also looked at how to get up safely and correctly from the floor in the fastest way whilst in a protected guard.
The second half of the class looked at kata/form application from Oriental Martial Arts for fast, effective and dynamic self-defence. This included simultaneous blocking and striking with a note and demonstration made on how difficult it is in reality to actually block. A defence against strikes and reaction testing was role played and drilled. We also looked at the diagonal palm block, middle section outer forearm block, higher outer forearm block and palm deflective blocking combined with simultaneous striking with use of the finger-tip thrust, eye gouge, groin strike and knee strike for self-defence purposes.
Students practiced a variety of self-defence techniques against general assaults and weapon attacks including the glass bottle and blunt instruments. Stress was made on protecting the head with hands and arms whilst making attachments to the assailant and striking pre-emptively, disarming the weapon and evading to safety. Fine points were made on reacting on the back swing and striking simultaneously and putting the assailant into ESPA’s theory of ‘un-known territory’ and making use of forward striking pressure with maximum aggression.
The final part of the session looked at situational positioning and defence against multiple attackers. Students were divided into three’s with one person in the middle making use of the fence and verbal commands and pre-emptively striking the closest assailant and then using them as shield between themselves and the the 2nd attacker and escaping to safety. Takedowns were also introduced with more power talking drills. We also drilled a group activity where one person was in the middle with all other practitioners surrounding him/her making ‘controlled sparring’ contact with the main emphasis of the person in the middle making an attachment to the assailant, shielding themselves, and getting out of the circle and evading to safety.
A gentle cool down of running around the hall followed by developmental stretching was conducted finishing with a 5 minute cool down mediation session. Students were told to meditate on 2 or 3 techniques and to visualize themselves achieving mastery and excellence. The session concluded with a talk on martial arts and self defence, and their respective differences. We concluded with a 5 minute question and answer session and some good questions were made with valuable feedback.
A big thanks to all those who attended!!
(Due to copyright and ownership of the photos taken and working on behalf of another organization I have been instructed not to upload them on the Internet so I have used other non-copyright images to replace them)
“This was a fun packed session with lots of valuable tools to take home”
“I really enjoyed the blocking and striking parts of the session and it showed me actually how difficult it is to block and punch without injuring yourself”
“I have never done martial arts before and after this session I now feel more confident in how to protect myself”
“Being brittle and small I learnt some excellent techniques against bigger opponents that were applicable to female self-defence”
“The meditation made me feel much more relaxed, positive and confident about myself”
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