Summer is a really great time to train in Martial Arts. If you have not started yet, I highly encourage you to begin now! Classes in the summer are usually a bit smaller with lots of regular students away on holidays. This means you can get more one on one attention from the Instructors and more opportunities to practice the techniques taught in class.

Summer at our dojo is also an opportunity to introduce some material that is not covered regularly too. This can be a great learning experience for new students and those who have been practicing for years. Some activities are best suited for smaller more intimate groups and not a larger class. September usually brings big numbers for registration. This means larger classes and less personal attention. Don’t wait for the crowd. Get a jump start and begin now! You will thank yourself.

For those students who currently train in Martial Arts, don’t stop during the summer! It is fine to take a holiday and do other activities; I mean who doesn’t enjoy a summer BBQ with friends. Just don’t stop your training altogether! Keeping your skills strong and current could just save your life one day. Whether it is a refresher self-defence course, your regular karate class or a new training experience, summer classes are great for maintaining your skills and increasing your knowledge. Not enrolled yet….? It is never too late to start!

This month I am demonstrating a self-defence technique where you are being grabbed from the front. In class we would describe this as a Bear-Hug from the front under the arms. The purpose of this grab could be to tackle you to the ground, push you against a wall or even just an unwanted amorous embrace.

Whichever the case may be, you will want to extricate yourself as quickly as you can!

Bear-Hug

• You are being embraced from the front by the attacker
• He is holding you very close
• Notice his momentum is going forward and you can see that he is pushing me off balance backwards

Step Back

• Step back to regain your balance
• I am also trying to put a little space between my body and the attackers body
• Open your arms wide preparing to strike

Ears

• Using your open palms, strike both of the attackers ears at the same time
• This is your distraction. Striking the ears like this can cause severe pain and disrupt the equilibrium of the attacker
• Remember you can also use your voice at any point during the technique too!

Eyes – A 

• Immediately after striking to ears, push your thumbs to the eyes of the attacker
• It does not take much pressure here to hurt the eyes
• This has a two-fold purpose. 1. Now the attacker can not see and will be disoriented. 2. The pain of the thumbs in the attackers’ eyes causes him to loosen his grip and begin to move away from you
• I will show this move close up

Eyes – B 

• My thumbs are directly pushing with as much force as necessary to escape the grab
• Notice there is now more space between my body and the attackers body and the attacker no longer has a close tight embrace on me
• My body is now on balance in a stronger position and the attackers’ head is being pushed backwards which will add to him being off balance

Up and Down

• As soon as you feel the attackers’ grip loosen, one hand stays up as the other hand moves down
• You can chose right or left, whichever is the most comfortable to you
• My right hand is up and has gone to the attackers’ chin
• My left hand has gone down to the back of the attackers’ waist

Palm-Heel Strike

• My right hand executes a palm-heel strike to the chin of the attacker
• My left hand is actually pulling on the lower back of the attacker
• This push/pull action is to bend the back of the attacker

Ground

• Turn the tables on the attacker and follow your palm-heel strike all the way through until you knock the attacker off his feet
• Your goal is to push the attacker to the ground

Knee Up

• As soon as the attacker is on the ground bring your knee up and prepare to strike

Kick

• Execute a front stomping kick to the groin
• Repeat as necessary
• If you have not knocked your attacker to the ground you can instead do a front kick to the knee or groin of the attacker

Take Your Distance

• After you kick, step back and away from the attacker
• Put some distance between your bodies keeping a good watch for another attack
• Then RUN!!!

Remember, you want to engage with the attacker as little as possible. Do not stay near the attacker. He could get up and try to grab you or strike you again. Perhaps he has a friend waiting nearby. So stay safe and run away. Pull out your cell phone and call 911 as you are running to safety.

All the movements in the technique need to be done as fast and as forceful as you can to be successful. Do not hesitate or ‘pull your punches’. Your only goal is to escape as fast as you can. Keep training everyone. Keep practicing. Prevention is often the best medicine so be diligent and persevere.

Don’t Be A Victim. Be Confident. Be Prepared!