Defending against knife attacks and sparring drills – Tuesday Karate class – 6/24/08

Summertime sparring and lots of it.

We started out with some simple sparring drills. Sensei Noia told us to get a partner and had us work on our kicks first. We shuffled up to our partner and threw a chudan, front leg roundhouse kick and then shuffled out. Next we did the same thing but the kick was to Jodan. My kick wasn’t jodan but that’s another story. Next, we shuffled up and threw a fake roundhouse and immediately followed the fake with a reverse punch.

The idea of this drill was to get our partner to create an opening from our fake so that we could attack the area where their guard was down. In order to make this work, the fake had to be extremely fast, the same speed as if you were really throwing the kick so that our partner could react and create the opening that we were looking for.

The next drill we worked on was getting in for the attack and getting out even faster. Some of us have the tendancey to throw an attack and just stay there instead of getting out of way. We moved down the line to a new partner for each attack, while they blocked, if they could, and countered only. Some people were really fast on the counter attacks but I was able to move out of the way faster than usual.

Our next drill was more like free sparring. We went back to our original partner and worked on our fakes and attacks while our partner worked on blocks and counters, then we switched.

I feel that my time away from sparring has really helped me forgot many of the bad habbits that I picked up before. I certainly feel that I can get out of the way much faster than I was able to in the past.

Defending against knife attacks

I saved the best for last here. This was the first time that I was in a class where Sensei Noia showed me these movements.

As always, Sensei Noia explained that if some puts a knife in your face, run and run fast if you have the option. It’s okay to be a hero but you don’t want to be a dead hero so get out of there if you can. If you cannot run away, there are few options but the outcome depends on the skill of your attacker and your own skills. I cannot stress enough, if you can run away, do it.

I started out with a partner and she held the rubber knife to my throat. I then raised my arms as if to say, I give up. From that postion, I quickly moved to the outside, while pushing my partners arm that was holding the knife awayfrom me. The movement that I did next was a jodan punch to the neck while still holding my partners arm.

We also did the same move to the inside which seemed a litte more complex to me. When I moved to the inside, I had to push my partners arm away and grab it with my other hand, from that position I was able to throw an elbow strike, much what seemed like the second from the last move in Jion. From that point I could easily have gotten my shoulder under my partners arm and bent the elbow in the direction it shouldn’t bend.

Sensei Noia had a few different disarms that he demonstarted but I was just amazed at how quickly and effortlessly he could execute them. No matter what knife attack his partner threw at him, he was able to respond and get out of the way of the blade. Of course, it is easier when the blade is rubber but the way he moved was almost as if it was second nature. I hope that someday, I can move with 10% of his speed and precision.

About doug
Doug is a Shotokan Karate student that enjoys sharing his Karate training experiences with everyone. He is a Computer Consultant, an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, blogger and a freelance writer..

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