Self-defense Class taught by Master Ramirez

What do we associate with self-defense?
-Environment–what’s around you–and your options.
-Awareness of the surroundings
-Weapons
-Reactions
-Coordination–being able to do more than one thing at once, especially under stress

Drill 1:
1. With a partner, touch the other person’s shoulders with either hand. This gives you four options.
2. Once your hand has been placed, your partner’s task is to remove your hand with a windshield wiper movement–always sweeping outwards.

Drill 2:
1. Reach out with left hand for partner’s opposite shoulder.
2. Partner will make contact with your reaching hand three times: first at your wrist with their far hand, second sweeping up to their forearm with your closer hand, and third with your original hand at their shoulder as you step past them and away.

Drill 3:
1. Throw a wide punch at your partner.
2. Partner steps in, their hand cupping the back of their head so their elbow is pointed at you and their head tucked close to their elbow, cutting off your punch.
3. Immediately after meeting your strike with their elbow, partner touches your shoulder with their free hand.
4. Practice this drill by throwing both right and left punches at your partner.

Drill 4:
1. Same as above drill, but this time after the partner steps in with their elbow and touches your shoulder, the hand of their blocking elbow comes down to grab your wrist, and then rev the wrist like a motorcycle (turning it away from you) as your right hand slides down their bicep, turning face-up as it does, and then perform a quarter-step and throw your partner down.

Drill 5:
1. Place left hand on partner’s opposite shoulder.
2. Partner parries first with left hand (windshield-wiper), right hand, and their left again, ending up with left hand close to your neck.
3. Partner can then press downwards on your neck, block your foot and then step away while pulling your foot.

Drill 6:
1. Using the earlier drills, reach at your partner’s shoulder either directly for their shoulder or across. Make sure to telegraph which strike you are performing, for practice purposes.
2. Your partner will respond appropriately, either tapping your hands aside and pushing you away, or by stepping into your wide punch with their elbow and then grabbing and throwing you.

Group practice:
-Class stands in circle, one person is put into center and anyone may “attack” after signaling their presence as well as the angle of their strike.
-The defender’s job is to always make distance from the attackers even if their counter didn’t work perfectly.
-The point with self-defense and all these strikes is not to engage your attacker but to make room for you to disengage

The first KRU Combative Self-Defense class was great. Turnout was good–mostly current students but a few new faces–and everyone was, naturally, attentive and receptive.

I’ll be looking forward both to more classes–which are free for the month of January, by the way, to all students and non-students–as well as to practicing the above drills. As Master always says, ‘Practice makes habit’, and good habits are what I’m aiming for.

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