27 November 2006
SAFE Level One

This weekend was the first time I have taught a full length self-protection course, all of my own material. It was a little daunting to say the least but I think it went fairly well. It was open to males and females but given that it was being held at a hospital it was always going to have the majority of students as females.

One thing which made it so much easier was the help of my chums Raggedstaff, Molossus and Abomination (not their real names, obviously...). All are experienced martial artists and Molossus in particular is very experienced self protection instructor.

Here's a brief outline of what was covered:

The 3 golden rules of self protection and the three stupids
Awareness with discussions and drills on clearing and mobile commentary
Victim Selection and how to make ourselves less likely to be a victim
Colour codes

The fence
Default defence (RBSD's cowcatcher)
managing unknown contacts
basic strikes (eyejab, palm strike, hammerfist, elbow)
Managing the Fucked Up Tangle (FUT)
Defender floored, attacker standing
Both on the floor - rape position and mount

We also touched on weapon defence and improvised weapons, although not in any great detail.

The course seemed well received and I was very impressed with how people progressed, especially H who was very nervous at the beginning but kicked the snot out of a 6' 15 stone blacksmith on the second day!

I learnt a lot as well - specifically:

More drills are needed for the awareness session
A warning that people will find the drills stressful and that crying is normal when having dealt with a stressful situation
Less breaks to keep the momentum up
The second day flowed less well than the first with more improvisation required

So thanks to all those who attended and helped and I will post details about the next course which will be even better!

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