We were once again honoured to have Master Joe Ingrati in our dojang last Wednesday evening, 13 January 2016, to conduct a self-defence workshop. Master Ingrati, who is the Director and School Owner of JAI Martial Arts in Sydney, Australia, came to share some of his experience in over 15 martial arts!
We started off with basic self-defence drills with partners; Master Ingrati demonstrating, explaining and guiding us through each technique carefully. We practiced defence against the four most common attacks: punches, kicks, tackles and grabs, with careful pointers on foot positioning and movement.
Master Ingrati emphasized on simplicity of technique and realistic situations, yet keeping our training very safe – I found this a hallmark of great instruction. He urged for all martial artists to develop a strong foundation of skills; as we progressed and learnt the more advanced techniques, they should serve to strengthen our core few basics; that we must keep in practice as the most reliable tools in times of real need.
He also mentioned a piece of research that I found really interesting: when faced with a live situation on the streets, everybody – regardless of experience levels – will suffer a drop of 50% in their ‘usual’ skill levels due to the way the brain and nervous system reacts when under the intense kinds of pressure that life-threatening situations give. In these situations, any sloppy or more complicated techniques will be either more easily forgotten or badly executed, reducing the effectiveness drastically. Thus the most reliable and effective self-defence techniques are still definitely the basic few ones that have become already muscle memory and instinctive reaction.
We went on to practice several variations of techniques with the basic few situations; Master Ingrati showing that there are more options to take down or incapacitate the opponent depending on how the opponent also reacts. He then guided us through a Kenpo Karate drill to strike different areas of the body in quick succession (8 strikes), with the idea that if one or a few of the attacks were blocked or not effective enough, there would be more than ample to make up for it.
Thereafter, he shared some drills from Wing Chun and Filipino martial arts which taught us to deflect and react against incoming strikes in close range, training our reaction styles and distancing.
The last portion of Master Ingrati’s workshop was dedicated to knife drills and defence. Similar to what Master Sng has taught us, Master Ingrati mentioned that to learn defence against a knife (or any other weapon), you must first learn how it attacks. We went through the most common 5 knife slashing and stabbing techniques, before learning techniques against a knife threat. Master Ingrati was intuitive to make sure we handled the knives correctly, as well as how to properly transfer them to your partner, citing examples of small mistakes leading to terrible consequences.
Unfortunately, time was too short and Master Ingrati ended off with impressive demonstrations of advanced self-defence techniques as well as sharing about knife fighting martial arts in other cultures.
On hindsight, we learnt so much from Master Ingrati in just the three hours: joint-locking, take-downs, Kenpo Karate, Wing Chun, Filipino martial arts, knife self-defence, and a whole lot of practical advice for real-life threat situations!
All the Taekwon-Do and Hapkido members who attended Master Ingrati’s class on Wednesday would sincerely like to thank him for his useful and fun workshop! We’d also like to thank our Chief Instructor Master Daniel Sng for inviting him to share his knowledge with us, and definitely look forward to more classes and insights.
Written by Mr. Shaun Chua, 4th Degree Black Belt, ITF Singapore
© Island Taekwon-Do Centre 2016
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