Friday, 13 November 2020

59 - Mindset - On winning


- quote from Bob Knight.

It's always great to get mail from a trainee that has the dedication to train on their own and really commit to perfecting their skills. I had an email recently from one person who is investing in equipment to train with at home during the current restrictions in the absence of workshops and we had a conversation about this subject.

I was reminded of this quote from Knight above.

Are you passive about training and learning? Failure to solo practice - whatever the lack of resources is losing a huge potential source of self improvement and progress.

Physical skills degrade over time - they need to be reinforced constantly.

This process is life long.

Making time in your schedule to regulary revise key skills will always deliver rewards.

It doesn't need to be a huge undertaking, just a few minutes or an hour a few times a week if possible to go over basic ideas. Practice footwork, a strike, a kick, grappling ideas, visualise a scenario - anything.

Think of it this way:

Criminals practice criminality.

Bullies practice bullying.

Abusers practice abuse.

Violent people practice violence.

That's why  they are so dangerous to deal with if you encounter one of these types of people.

Now what are you going to do about it?

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

58 - Training - Basic open hand skillset

The past month's workshops have focused on developing mastery of basic, aggressive unarmed skillsets that target the attacker's face – specifically the eyes.

Both open and closed hand (fist) tactics have been explored.

This extra skillset uses open hands.

It is easy to learn, effective with consistant practice and is low risk to apply for a person with little training.

The set is ideal as a tactic for women trainees as it doesn't rely on strength alone but rather aggression and inflicting pain and damage.

This article is shared for information purposes only as an add on skillset to the work you've already done to play with – experiment for yourselves with adding it to existing ideas or as a stand alone set up.

The training dummy has been set to 6 feet to simulate size differential to the trainee who is 5' 4” – never assume equal size or numbers!

The context of the confrontation is not covered in this article .

A clear attack is assumed for technique purposes other situations, legalities and communication are covered in depth at workshops.



The trainee stands and keeps her hands as close to the assailant's face as possible during confrontation.

This is not done in a static and obvious way but rather (as studied in workshops) in a dynamic and deceptive way that will appear in keeping with fearful body language.

Elbow joint should be angled to allow explosive movement – (not locked out or too flexed).

Fingers are spread and bent.


The first strike here is from the trainee's left hand and is a straight thrust with bodyweight driven in with it.

The hand is turned out to 9'clock to allow:

  • The thumb to impact (nail first) the right eye of the attacker.

  • The heel of the palm to transfer force to the face.

The hand then returns to a defensive position as the second strike is applied.


The right hand delivers a heel palm strike to the face, again with weight behind it. 

The fingers are turned up to 12 o'clock.

The trainee is attempting to drive the heel (boney part) of the palm as hard as possible into the face.

If the impact area is higher up towards the fingers the trainee risks hyperextending the wrist joint and also losing power.

In the picture the trainee was learning to target the jaw of the attacker so that the finger nails could also impact the eyes.

The nose is also a target along with the rest of the head as the impact may enable the trainee to cause brain splash and disorientation in the attacker.

Care should be taken – if the attacker's head is raised and the mouth open – the edges of the top teeth may punture the trainee's palm.


The right hand is retracted as before to a defensive postion and this palm strike (step 3) can be repeated with the other hand and then as fast and hard as possible with both hands until opportunity to escape has been achieved.

Eg the pattern could be 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 4 and run etc.

Experiment with adding:



Drop me a line and let me know how you get on.


Monday, 9 November 2020

57 - Article - 4 Signs That a Stranger Poses Danger

 Article by:

Wendy L. Patrick, JD, Ph.D.


Not paranoia, but preparedness. How to separate the helpful from the harmful.


Strangers often turn into friends, co-workers, or even life partners. We are motivated to view others positively, because of this potential for building productive relationships. Yet sensing danger should curtail your initial level of courtesy.


Strangers Are Statistically Safe

As we prepare to head into April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we begin with the observation that most strangers are safe — or at least harmless. As strange as it sounds to put it that way, statistically speaking, it is true. Yet it is precisely because the majority of people are harmless that we extend the benefit of the doubt to those who are not.

To put the danger into perspective, I have spent the last 20-plus years prosecuting the exceptions to the harmless stranger rule. And those exceptions will keep myself and my colleagues in the District Attorney's Office employed for the rest of our careers. In other words, the level of risk from stranger danger is statistically low, but significantly serious. 

This risk is enhanced by the reality that in most cases, we are unable to spot dangerous people merely by looking. Actions speak louder than words, and appearances can be deceiving. Here are some safety strategies to help you separate the harmful from the harmless.

Context Counts

Stranger danger includes both risk of criminal behavior and of sexual harassment — which even if it does not include physical contact, can have significant adverse consequences. 

Research indicates that stranger harassment results in more negative outcomes than workplace harassment, with incidents involving physical contact causing the most negative reactions.[1] It further reveals that harassment taking place at a bar caused less negative reactions than harassment at a store or at an office, a finding believed to be consistent with the interaction between perceived sexual harassment and permissive social norms.[2]

Yet not all strangers display harassing behavior. Some are even more dangerous, charming, and disarming by clothing themselves in courtesy. These wolves in sheep's clothing prey on victims by capitalizing on social norms of helpfulness and cooperation in either requesting or offering assistance. 

Requests for Personal Assistance

We all want to live by the biblical and social mandate, “Do unto others.” Following the Golden Rule, we would love to help everyone in all situations. But beware of the seemingly able-bodied stranger who approaches you requesting assistance, particularly in an environment with lots of available options, such as train stations and airports. 

This person may be harmless, but you should remain attuned to your instincts. Direct someone who makes you uncomfortable to an information counter or to local authorities for help. And in an era when almost everyone has a cell phone, do not feel pressured to lend someone yours, which will give them access to your personal information, including private numbers, passwords, and photographs of your kids.


Assistance Insistence

Some people, both good and bad, offer assistance instead of requesting it. As a general rule, helpful people are wonderful, as we welcome both aid and altruism.  

Helping behavior enhances interpersonal warmth, because helping is believed to demonstrate kindness.[3] Helping also generates perceived competence through demonstrating valuable skills or essential information, resulting in elevated status attributed to the helper.[4]

Yet a stranger's true intentions are often revealed in reaction to your response. While most strangers are gracious whether you accept their help or not, a further offer becomes inappropriate after you have declined assistance.

It is appropriate to accept a stranger's offer to lift your heavy briefcase into the overhead compartment on a crowded airplane. It is inappropriate to have a stranger approach you outside your neighborhood market and insist on carrying your groceries to your car — particularly after you have said “no.” Be wary of any sentence that begins with “I insist.” And keep a firm grasp on your belongings when declining assistance, as a predator intent on pursuing an opportunity for sexual assault will attempt to grab your belongings right out of your hand.

The Open Nook

When you meet friendly strangers, your level of disclosure will depend on your level of comfort. Remember that it is not rude to keep personal details to yourself. Along these lines, beware the open book (or the open "nook" in the digital era).

Predators may attempt to elicit personal details from you by revealing their own. Providing too much information, or “TMI," can be a ploy to create a sense of obligation on your part to reciprocate. Don't fall for it. There is no rule of reciprocity that requires you to share private details with a stranger, regardless of how much they share with you.

And remember that you cannot always judge a book by its cover. When getting to know a new acquaintance, what you assumed was an authentic autobiography may in fact be fiction. 

From Foot in the Door to Door in the Face

We remind our children to mind their manners, and we try to do the same. Yet with a stranger who makes you uncomfortable, don't. If you realize you have allowed someone who makes you uncomfortable to get a foot in the door, close it. 

Wendy Patrick, JD, Ph.D., is a career prosecutor, author, and behavioral expert, and is the author of Red Flags: How to Spot Frenemies, Underminers, and Ruthless People (St. Martin´s Press, 2015).



[1] Megan K. McCarty, Nicole E. Iannone, and Janice R. Kelly, ”Stranger Danger: The Role of Perpetrator and Context in Moderating Reactions to Sexual Harassment,” Sexuality & Culture Vol. 18 (2014): 739-758.

[2] McCarty et al.,”Stranger Danger: The Role of Perpetrator and Context in Moderating Reactions to Sexual Harassment,” 751 (citing Pryor et al., 1993, 1995).

[3] Esther Van Leeuwen and Susanne Tauber, “The Strategic Side of Out-Group Helping,” in The Psychology of Prosocial Behavior: Group Processes, Intergroup Relations, and Helping, eds. Stefan Sturmer and Mark Snyder (Chichester: John Wiley and Sons, 2010), 81–99 (88).

[4] Leeuwen and Tauber, “The Strategic Side of Out-Group Helping,” 91.


56 - Article - "I punched the man who broke into my home – it came naturally"

 Article by Gia Milinovich

Women go through life feeling vulnerable to attack, but my boxing training taught me that it's possible to live without fear


women kick boxing

Just over a month ago I was confronted with a situation that strikes fear into pretty much everyone: in the early hours of the morning, I discovered an intruder inside my house.

The moment I saw him, time slowed down, Matrix-like. My sense of hearing felt almost bionic as I strained to hear if there was anyone else in the house. Detecting no one and realising it was just the two of us, I snapped into fast forward. A primal, violent feeling surged through me; everything around me disappeared except for this man. I roared, and rushed six feet forwards, pounding my fist into his face. I felt no pain, nothing. The adrenaline coursing through me sharpened my vision – I could see individual grey hairs on the side of his head, but I can't remember if I punched him more than once. In fact, after that first punch, I became so overwhelmed by the adrenaline that I hardly remember chasing him out.

 I immediately phoned 999, but the only bit of the conversation I remember was telling them about the grey hair on the sides of his head. I don't remember asking for the police; I don't remember giving my address; I don't remember what I told them about what happened. I do remember nearly hyperventilating and running around my house, up and down the stairs, in and out of every room while I was on the phone. I obviously gave an accurate description of the intruder, because they spotted him on CCTV and the cops swept in and picked him up. It took a good hour for the effects of the adrenaline to wear off.


The first thing I need to make clear is that I wasn't fearless. What I felt was as close to pure terror as I ever want to get. But because I've spent two to three hours a week over the past three years doing boxing training, throwing a punch was totally natural for me. I was able to do it without thinking.

Much has been made of the fact that I punched the intruder. Admittedly, it does make me seem pretty, as my teenage son says, "badass", but the only reason I did that is because I was prepared.

Until I started boxing training, I was like many women and thought the aim of exercise was to lose weight. Women are imbued with the idea that we should be thin and take up as little space as possible. We should have skinny arms, thigh gaps, be tiny, weak, delicate little flowers. Boxing training, however, has made me love being strong and I now have no desire to be skinny at all. I want muscles.

Having spent most of my life feeling vulnerable to being attacked by a man, I now feel a great sense of freedom. Being strong and knowing how to punch has brought me something I wish every woman could feel: for the first time in my life I feel like a full human being. I am not a victim. I am not afraid. I am not trying to take up as little space as possible. I am not trying to keep my head down. I'm not trying to stay out of the way. I have a strong voice, a confident gait and, frankly, very sexy, strong arms. I know I have an absolute right to be wherever I am without threat and I can defend that right physically if I need to.

All women should take some sort of self-defence training. Yes, of course, it would be nice to live in a world where women weren't assaulted and where there was no chance of waking at 5am to find a strange man in your house. But until that day, it makes sense to learn how to handle yourself in threatening situations. Self-defence training teaches not only practical skills on how to strike an attacker, but awareness, assertiveness and how to enforce your boundaries. Most importantly, it will teach you something far more valuable: it is possible to live without the fog of fear.


55 - Trained fighters losing to less trained but larger opponents

Shaq vs black belt sport wrestlers.

So basically Shaq's strategy here consists of :

1 - Lie on top of opponent

2 - Wait for the struggling to stop.

These are elite level  combat athletes strugging to cope with a larger opponent who is nowhere near as well trained as they are.

Remember this any time you hear the mantra of "Using technique alone you can beat larger opponents" being sold to you as self defence.

If you are a small person being attacked by a much larger, more powerful  criminal would taking them to the floor and attempting to wrestle them be a realistic option for you?

Your first thought should be to break free and get away - how you achieve this is subject to the use of justifiable and reasonable force.

There are so many variables at play in a mixed person (s) violent struggle. Technique and training is only one of them. 

Never drink the "Martial Marketing Cool Aid" 

No one thing works for everyone, all the time.

No promises, no guarantees, just options.


Wednesday, 4 November 2020

54 - Workshop 04/11/20 details

Tonight's topics will be: Footwork, Aggression, Bareknuckle, SDMS tactics and skills.

This is our last workshop prior to "Lockdown 2.0" - next date will be in December.

Further updates and all content will be posted here as we move away from using Facebook and Twitter. 

See you all later!


Monday, 2 November 2020

53 - Training scenario: Interview knife draw and pre emptive knock out (VIDEO)


Student notes:

Presented as a learning situation rather than a "this is how you do it" example.

Compare with workshop drilling experience.

"Your name's not down and your not coming in " set up.

Defender is allowing the problem to be waaayy too close to him.

There is no control of space.

How would you seek to control that problem?

How effective is the control of the arm? 

Did the knock out occur at the right time?



59 - Mindset - On winning

  - quote from Bob Knight. It's always great to get mail from a trainee that has the dedication to train on their own and really commit ...