Thursday, August 25, 2011

Drill Post #25: Environmental Training

It makes sense that most martial arts training starts with a simple ideal environment: a smooth surface for stand-up training (no rocks or curbs to trip on), mats for groundwork (no pesky broken glass to roll on) and so on. When I have been in dodgy areas documenting graffiti (the second third of my professional life), I have been aware of the unfriendly surfaces, such as big river stones at one of the locations. I tried moving around and found no easy solution. The good news is that it would also be unfriendly for an opponent.

One environment that is more common for most people to find themselves in than under a bridge going over the L.A. River is their car. Clearly, there are numerous scenarios we can think of in this regard, such as how to get out of your car in a guarded way or timing the opening of your door as part of a counter, but let's start with a basic, someone trying to grab or hit you through an open window.

I'm not presenting a curriculum here, but suggesting that you play with possibilities such as using your covers and parries from the driver's seat. Also the perimeter of the open window is a good surface to grind or slam an attacker's arm against. Further, an attacker is generally not expecting you to pull you into his relatively stable position and continuing a counter attack with strikes, ripping and other effectively unsavory tactics.

I suggest you don't work with this kind of training where good citizens will either try to step in and help, or call the police!

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