Arghh! my back!

Title says it all, since my last postings on the wonders of Kimura arm-locks, i’ve managed to do the thing that most people do in training and that’s injure themselves, or in this case I’ve injured myself.

So what did i do?

During a simple warm up exercise i managed to hurt my lower back, not terribly serious, but when the following day comes and you can’t even put your shoes and socks on without screaming in pain? you know this won’t get easier any time soon. Luckily, or unluckily,  i’m not a stranger to injuries so i know that the first point of call isn’t your local GP, it’s a specialist that knows about lower back pain, i.e. an Osteopath. But before we get to that point, i was helped out by a member of the academy who also went through this themselves and helped me stretch my lower back out a bit, no it wasn’t pleasant!

Later that particular evening a very hot bath to try and relax the muscles in the area, which helped slightly. Gingerly getting into bed and the fighting for hours to find a reasonably comfortable position to sleep in. I don’t recommend lying flat on your front or on your back. The following day comes and disaster already struck! I’m on my back. I attempt to sit up and quickly lie back down again, my back in telling me things… don’t try to sit directly up! I manage to roll out of bed and come to my knees. It feels like my back doesn’t understand the concept of movement. So i grit the teeth and slowly come up straight, even though still slightly stooped.

Dressing myself was a challenge, i.e. putting on trousers, socks, etc. Getting to work was generally unpleasant. Sitting at a desk to operate a pc, yeah that didn’t go down well, considering every time i got up was recipe for disaster. A colleague gave me a contact number for a local Osteopath in the area, which he recommended very highly, so i dutifully made an appointment.

After answering all the normal questions, you do on a first visit, it was time to strip then get on the table. The hour flew by… crack, crack, crack, crack… crack some more. No training for the week, ice the back to reduce swelling, do not sleep on your front or back, sleep on your side with a pillow between the knees. Plus the Osteopath put these strips on my back, why? apparently it helps blood flow to the area.

Days past, movement is coming back, pain still there but I’m moving better. Decided to have another assessment done, as i really want to get back to training, went and saw the Osteopath, another series of cracks and checks. Confirmation, my back is a lot more  responsive and feels like there’s some give in places as before there wasn’t any. Warned me of going back to training and to take it easy, otherwise i can undo all the healing that’s been done. For good measure they cracked the sh1t! out of my neck too and my upper back. (I really do think that back cracking is like ‘popping your cherry’ for Osteopath’s)

But my range of movement is a lot better now and next to no pain. I will now look forward to going back to training, but no high impact stuff. Being injured isn’t cheap!

“Tapping out!”


There’s no such thing as a knife attack!

The title appears misleading? But when you think about it, it’s true, you don’t get attacked with a knife you get AMBUSHED! Many wise words breathed tonight by the professor as he shaped up to round off the week.
He addressed the class as always explaining the format for the lesson which included more references to scenarios involving edged weapons, so not so much about knives but about anything that can cut, example razor blades taped between fingers, box cutters, etc.
Then more details on the clinch and how to engage and fend off.
At this point it’s important to say this.
We started the night, as a warm-up, some light rolling switching partners as we progessed to get accustomed to different body types, pressure, strength, etc.
We then went through different points to be aware of when dealing with someone with il intentions.
1) Can you see their hands? If not, assume weapon
2) Check what they are also doing with hands/arms? They maybe trying to protect the side with the weapon, a dead give away.
3) Check for bulges in pockets which could also indicate concealed weapons.
4) Check stance?, depending on which foot is back depicts their main striking hand/side.
5) Distance management, if there’s the suspicion that they are armed a minimum distance of 10-12 ft away. Note:
This isn’t a hard and fast rule, as ideally you want to be as far away as possible!
6) Are they alone? Try to be vigilant for accomplices.
We went through all the items that were covered in previous lessons, putting in extra details where necessary for certain positions.
An additional detail was added to the drilling involving someone performing a close quarters lunge at you, an attempt to grab you with both arms.
The following is for people who are right handed, i.e dominant striking hand.
They lunge!, you place left hand on their left shoulder, forearm against neck,this is the frame, using left elbow to push into their neck, then fire of three punches. (One low, one high, one low) then break away. When framing, sending hips backwards keeps the body out of reach, plus the punches need to be quick.
If they appear to be reaching for a weapon? disengage without pushing them, essentially step away.
The important part of this technique is to be aware of what they are doing with their hands.
We closed with discussions on groups, intimidation tactics in particular on women, concept of pre-emptive strikes via verbal triggers and we had a recount of one of the academy member’s experience when he was 14 and getting mugged for his phone.
My thoughts, a very insightful week and i don’t look at people the same way anymore. We do live in a very violent world but for me avoiding confrontation has been a life long objective, mainly because i didn’t have the necessary understanding or knowledge of such violent situations to be able to protect myself or loved ones. My objective is still the same but my understanding and knowledge of violent confrontations is now increasing.
“Tapping out!”

Clinches, knives and mindsets

This week has been dubbed “Knife Week” with regards to a training event
the professor conducted at the weekend and the invaluable information passed on to us in the previous lesson.

This is all relevant as it is a strategic add-on to the main topic of the week around getting into the clinch from a ‘standup’ scenario and knowing when is the right time to enter the clinch and to be wary of other dangers.

The professor gave us the customary breakdown for the evening and also spoke briefly on a video he posted in the academy ‘whatsapp’ group about different knife assaults, with a few demonstrations.

From there we moved into doing recap from the previous lesson, please see the previous blog post for details.

An additional detail added tonight was an extension from the initial knife defense drill from mondays lesson. Before doing that we did an exercise which involved using a two armed push on to a person you suspect maybe armed with a knife. What transpired
was that when we completed this drill it was 99.9% possible when you attempt to push someone away they will get at least one stab attempt landing on you!

To counter this, instead of doing a two armed push on the attacker, if they are right handed, push with your right arm whilst twisting and stepping away from the knife side. When this was drilled, even when attempting this for the first time, the success rate of avoiding the attack was tremendously higher.

We then went on to doing reflex drills within arms distance with a person attempting to stab from either arm into the stomach or a higher attack to the neck or face, the objective to instill a reflex to block the attack, by pushing on to the forearm and stepping away. We did this a few times, with the professor encouraging us to start from a close distance, naturally people would start to create distance subconsciously.

The added detail tonight was a defense of a stab to the stomach, which resulted in getting the attacker into a very nasty armlock.

If the attacker is right handed, when the stab attempt comes in meet the arm with both your arms perpendicular to the attack, with the left arm at the wrist to forearm and the right arm at the crease of the elbow with your right hand cupping the elbow.

Depending on force used could potentially make the attacker drop the knife. Attacker may draw their arm back at this point, use your left arm to bend attackers arm whilst sliding your arm into the bend of the attackers right arm and pushing through and securing hand on to the tricep. It should look like they have got their arm behind their back with your right hand on their elbow and your left arm threaded through and holding onto their

Keeping tight, it’s possible to free right hand and using your left arm and body to secure the arm. With the right arm free, damage can be done to the attacker. From here it is advisable not to allow the attacker to drop go forwards to the floor as it gives them an opportunity to roll and escape. It is advised to push your left knee into the space behind their right knee and pull them back so they sit down on the floor.

This was drilled several times on both sides, with the left arm attacks make sure your left arm is the top arm.

Then we went and did more clinch drills which included distance management. Professor then taught us the body fold take down which we all drilled, giving attention to making sure we protect ourselves properly before we attempt the take down.

The final addition for the evening was a potentially nasty RNC that can be attempted after we have taken the attacker down and forced them to go into the turtle position. I struggled with applying the RNC but the professor was able, as always, to help me make adjustments. We drilled this a few times before coming to the end of the lesson.

Professor closed on more philosphy on self-defense, mindset, state of knife crime in the UK and other members of the academy were able to relate to personal
experiences relating to knife crime.

Personal thoughts, of all the martial arts I’ve attempted in the past, nothing compares to what i’m learning now. Being a parent it makes me more appreciative of the knowledge I am gaining as I need to pass it on.

Learning this, i.e. jiu-jitsu, with a sport agenda is to me a complete waste!

“Tapping out!”