Training Warriors for the 21st Century

Training Warriors for the 21st Century
Joong Do Kwan Traditional Taekwondo cross training with Kidokwan Perth

30 Jul 2012

Browned Out

We were working on an arm throw last Sunday inspired by Chulgi hyung.

The throw is done after bypassing opponent's attack, gap closing and controlling the neck from the outside. Several variations were shown. Of note the variations either trapped same side arm or opposite side.

I partnered up with a recently promoted 3rd gup student - and found myself in the rather unsettling position of having both arms trapped, having my neck controlled, leg jammed, and thrown by a very large and enthusiastic brown belter who outweighs me by about 20 kilos and towers over me. I am thrown and forced to breakfall with my feet, and then find my arm controlled and hyperextended. One knee crashes into my chest and the other hovers expectantly over my face.

Is it supposed to be anything other than devastatingly brutal?

Colin
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Colin Wee
Joong Do Kwan Chung Sah Nim
Hikaru Dojo Shihan
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17 Jul 2012

Locks and Throws Workshop July 2012




Over the weekend we had the Locks and Throws Workshop as part of our continuing series to welcome  practitioners from other schools to visit with us. The idea was to use this series as an opportunity to network with other instructors and their students, share openly what we do, and to grow through such encounters.

Traditional Taekwondo is not well known for its locks and throws. From my observation, locks and throws for hard stylists appear as either a 'module' within one or two mid-level belt ranks, or are introduced one at a time within the patterns up until black belt. This session sought to take that basic framework and try to apply it as part of the participant's combative skill - thus much of what we did started off from a trap/strike scenario, rather than from a wrist grab as most beginning locks are taught.

A good few of the participants we had had very little exposure to hand locks or throws or immobilisation techniques. However, because we were using rather simple motions to flow around the upper extremities, the rate of progression was surprisingly high. In fact, most kept up with our approach to short range combat, as well as orientating themselves with the prescribed locks.

It was good to introduce other concepts: our use of locks and throws within multi-opponent scenarios, issues of dealing with secondary weapons, and introducing leg throws using the same principles that were used during handlocks.

At the end of the session, I had a nice opportunity to chat with one of the participants who complimented me on my form, and who said it was clear how much time I have spent practicing what I do. The conversation quickly steered to how much we all liked training and learning about our various systems - and this is why I do what I do. I could easily hold off and continue doing only weekly classes. But bringing people together for intra-school workshops helps me present the material from a rarefied perspective and this helps consolidate the subject matter for my students. If other practitioners benefit from it at the same time, why not? We can all grow together!

Appreciation goes to Kidokwan Taekwondo, Vincent's Chinese Martial Arts and Wu Wei Dao for supporting this event. Gratitude to our group of uke Christian, Daniel San, and Joshua.

Photos from the workshop are available at JDK's FaceBook page.

Links
Smash with Your Foot Workshop Feb 2012

--
Colin Wee
Joong Do Kwan Chung Sah Nim
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14 Jul 2012

Women Self Defence - Developing a World Class Offering

I started researching material for women self defence classes from 1991 as part of my black belt program whilst training in the US. The following year I was invited by a friend in Asia to provide a 2 day training course through Association for Women for Action and Research. The course I delivered however only started on its quantum leap when I embarked on a rigorous commercialisation process from 2001 onwards. Below I will present some of my insights on how I developed a world class offering which has been used as the framework for some martial arts instructors and law enforcement officers internationally.

Why Have you Chosen to Deliver a One Off Course?
How do you teach a person to be effective in under 6 lessons? This is a challenge for any thinking martial art instructor and proves to be a challenge for all self defence courses. Basically it's difficult to squeeze in enough material and practical training in a few hours for a women to be effective in physical self defence. My thinking however is that fewer participants want to start off with a longer course, and I needed to get women through the door to listen to the material. So I developed a course that was heavier on theory and awareness, that provided thinking and tactical skills, that overviewed the opponents they may face, and that had a plan of action for such a situation.

You Have a Theme to Your Course?
The theme of my course is 'Not All Bad Things Are Done by Bad People.' Women Self Defence is rarely about being jumped in a dark alleyway. From FBI statistics I researched, though this might be a few years old, 83% of women are victimised by someone they know. This means that more often than not this is an opportunistic crime which is perpetrated by a colleague, or friend, or acquaintance, or relative that the victim has previously trusted. With this in mind, my course had to prepare the victim for such a betrayal, to reduce the fight/flight response, to engage them in physical self defence with less of a delay, and to empower them to understand that using aggressive physical self defence tactics is appropriate in this situation. These are all difficult themes that I thought most other instructors would not be able to cover as well as I could, and therefore my course would be like the 'intro' for other longer courses which may help participants gain the physical skills they need to survive such an attack.

What is the Most Surprising Thing You've Discovered While Giving this Class?
The most surprising thing that I have discovered is that most participants are unwilling to use physical force against an attacker. This discovery was one of the impetus for me to create my Fight or Flight Visualisation Tool which allowed participants to create a situational analysis for themselves and to give themselves permission to engage in physical self defence. Creating this tool was the first step in elevating the quality of my offering, as it further spurred me to centre the course around the needs of the participant - rather than just to dwell on the 'how to' of delivering them a few easy 'deadly techniques'.

Have Classes been Easy to Deliver?
Most classes are. There have been one or two that have met difficulties. One was when I was engaged by a women's refuge to come talk with the ladies about the threats they are facing. For many of those participants however, the emotional rawness of their ordeal was still fresh - and the content of what we were discussing was uncomfortable to them. The second, and far more trivial, difficulty was when I was providing women self defence training to a privatised high school and for some reason my training partner couldn't come on the day we were practicing ground fighting techniques. I had to literally raise my voice - and not smile - to force those young girls on each other so we could continue the lesson.

What Professional Insight would You Share with Other Instructors?
Be precise with your words. This is a sensitive topic, and a simplistic approach to it is inappropriate. No one wants to be victimized. No one wants to be raped. But these participants are not trained fighters; they are unused to violence. So giving them a particular technique and presenting it as their sole survival tool puts the onus on them. This means that if they fail to initiate that technique or perform it correctly, and then if they get raped, the emotional burden will land on themselves. All because some instructor believed that encouragement may help increase their effectiveness. You must temper your words and chose them with care. Give the participants options, but remember that even a passive defence is part of their available options, and survival and recovery are their key objectives.

Any Further Insight?
The self defence instructor needs to ponder this. It doesn't matter if the sex started as consensual or even if both partners had a long history of consensual intercourse; even if in the midst of sex IF a woman decides that it's got to stop, from that point it ceases to be consensual and becomes a sexual assault. Problem is the women might be on a soft-ish surface, pressed down by an opponent who might otherwise be a nice person but who still outweighs them by about 20-40 kilos. They've got their legs splayed and they've got something thrusting into a bodily orifice. The woman might be experiencing the effects of some alcohol-induced haze but is otherwise calling for the person to stop. Now, over to you.

This post is part of a Women Self Defence blogging carnival organised 
by myself but hosted by Charlie Wildish at his blog.  Please visit his blog
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For the main Blogging Carnival page, please click on 

Links


--
Colin Wee
Joong Do Kwan Chung Sah Nim
[Traditional Taekwondo Techniques | Subscribe | FAQs | Sitemap | FB]
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