Friday, December 4, 2009

Teaching the beginner knife evasion drills

For the beginner trainee confronting a knife attack can be a scary experience, even it is a drill, the attacker is wielding a dummy knife, and the attacks are executed in a slow walking pace.

In last night's SySSDA training the students were given fruit peelers as knives for the knife evasion drills. The fruit peeler does resemble a knife, only that the blade edges are blunt. Even then it can be quite intimidating to the beginner.

WL, who joined the class last night was extremely nervous when handling the dummy knife whether playing the role of the attacker or defender. It took some coaxing to persuade him to join in the knife evasion drill. Instead of moving away from the knife calmly WL was jumping excitedly off the line of attack. When playing the attacker's role he had no concept of how to strike. Instead of lunging forward with the dummy knife he stood in his place and just pointed the knife in the direction of his partner.On the other hand his partner IH who have been practicing with me for about 3 months seemed to be an old hand and at ease with the drill.

This type of response is the norm for people who has little or no martial art background in particular weapons work. They have no concept of how to move in attack and defence. Most often they don't know how to move but just wave their hands standing in a fixed position.

WL had told me on the phone that one day he had to meekly hand over his car to a group of parang wielding threatening his life. As a result of the unpleasant experience he decided to sign up hoping to learn some reality-based self defence application. That was why I decided to do a knife evasion drill involving two guys attacking one to find out his response. At the end of the Aikido and SySSDA training he seemed genuinely pleased with the experience. Well, I will have to wait until next Fri to find out for sure if he wants to commit to the training.

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