Last week I bought a DVD from the gym with Mark Davies and Marcus Houston giving a great, basic and understandable introduction to useful self defence techniques.
Violent Britain - Countering the Five Most Common Street Attacks in the UK
The DVD cost me £10. While not a "professional" product, it is well shot and put together, with sufficient repetition and the techniques being demonstrated from different angles with close ups where necessary.
A lot of great information is put over in the 1 hour and 45 minutes of the DVD, with a format of Mark explaining the techniques and the associated concepts and then demonstrating them.
The focus is that it shouldn’t take years to lean how to protect yourself. This is not traditional martial arts, it is self protection. A handful of simple effective techniques drilled repetitively are all you really need.
Valuable wee nuggets of information are sprinkled throughout the material, for example:
- It talks about how to avoid fights. Fights are always dangerous, you are likely to get hurt, there could be legal repercussions. The legal issues are touched on too - what counts as legitimate self defense? How can you ensure that you are perceived as the good guy? What are the implications of the huge numbers of CCTV cameras which will be taping you in lots of pubs / clubs and streets?
- There is lots of anatomy too - where and why to hit. How the nervous system works, the realities of adrenaline and how it will affect your fine, complex and gross motor skills. How heart rate can limit your ability to do complex things.
- He describes the OODA loop and how to apply it, for example with a preemptive strike where necessary.
In terms of techniques the DVD goes through very basic but effective stuff:
The Passive guard
A basic “fence” and why it is to be preferred to a traditional fighting stance
- Palm Strikes – why punching is a bad idea ( it wrecks your hands, so keep it hard to soft, soft to hard)
- Replacement jabs, hooks, uppercuts, down strikes
- Elbow stikes, with a secondary strike from the other hand, downward elbows with a walkthrough
- Knee strikes
- Safety, perception to those watching, the reality of a hard floor in the real world and the danger of doing fatal damage
- Head tilt
- Horizontal Neck Twist
- Rear neck whip
- Clothing grab
- Knife attack
All of it is explained really well and demonstrated simply and clearly. It is not a complex set of techniques that will take forever to learn, but a simple adaptable skill set that takes account of the reality of the world outside the gym.
Overall, a great DVD that I would recommend to anyone, especially those with no previous exposure to self defense materials or techniques.
The DVDs are available directly from Mark Davies or from Combat Ready in Edinburgh. If you have any questions, contact me and I'll be happy to discuss or get hold of one and send it to you.
Here are a couple of clips of Mark Teaching, although the techniques here are a bit more complex than on the DVD