As part of Wing Tsun Navan's 10th anniversary celebrations we were delighted to host Jamie Clubb of Clubb Chimera Martial Arts for a Vagabond Warriors weekend focusing on art-independent self protection.
The weekend kicked off with a session teaching the Knife and Edged Weapon Awareness Programme which looks at tactics and strategies for avoiding and dealing with an armed attacker.
As well as looking at the law and statistics around knife and edged weapons, the session covered the types of injuries inflicted by such weapons, the importance of maintaining distance and seeking an escape, tactics for drawing attention to the weapon, recruiting allies to deal with the situation and, should it become necessary, the use of improvised weapons to counter the threat.
The session finished with some techniques for going hands on with the attacker where the focus was on controlling the weapon as safely as possible. There was a lot covered in the few hours we had for a topic that really demands much more time and attention. Many of the strategies and tactics discussed are just as applicaple to self protection scenarios where the attacker is unarmed and we will be covering them regularly in class.
Our most popular session of the weekend was Jamie's self protection for young people programme, When Parents Aren't Around. This was just the second time Jamie has taught this programme, based on the material in his book of the same name, and the first time in Ireland.
This programe covers everything from attacker deterrence through walking with confidence to exit and threat awareness to breaking the bystander effect in adults and onlookers to physical skills that can be used when the attacker is an adult and, as a result, has a size, strength and reach advantage.
The session is taught through games and drills which meant that particpants spent most of their time laughing and having fun while learning.
As with all the weekend's sessions, this was a detailed introduction rather than a comprehensive course. Jamie and Mary Stevens of Athena Karate are working on a detailed teaching programme for When Parents Aren't Around with a view to certifying trainers, something we are eagerly awaiting.
Our weekend with Jamie finished off with a Vagabond Warriors session looking at the Switch and training using the Feedback Loop. The Switch covers, among opther things, changing the focus of training from combat sports to self protection mid drill. To do this it was necessary to run a few drills at various ranges from stand up striking to the clinch to the ground. Each ot these drills were covered as a combat sport and then as a self protection scenario and then as an alternating combination of both. For many of the participants, this was a first look at tactics for some of the ranges covered which resulted in a new understanding and appreciation for where their training holds up and where it needs some fine tuning or added focus. The feedback loop, as covered, consisted of 5 rounds with a different focus in each round and with lessons learned from each round being reapplied in subsequent rounds to help tidy up techniques and tactics.
Jamie really crammed a lot into an intensive two days spent with Wing Tsun Navan. We greatly appreciate his time and were left deeply impressed with the depth of his knowledge and his relaxed teaching manner. With new contacts made with a number of other clubs in Ireland that work with Jamie we hope to get together to bring Jamie back in 2024.