Ground fury

He’s got a giant silvery head, red netting for eyes and a bulky body, he’s lying on top of me and he’s got his hands around my throat.

No, it’s not a nightmare, it’s just Bob Daigle and his band of merry bullet men teaching their first ground fighting self-defence course.

Daigle has started offering a FAST Defence course and he and his fellow instructors were certified to teach the technique last weekend by Bill Kipp, the US-based creator of the unique self-defence fighting.

Kipp led the class – the second of the day. They spent the morning with 28 students teaching them the basics of the FAST Defence course – how to hit, how to make an attacker lose his grip and his balance, how to kick and use one’s voice to prevent the attack from happening in the first place.

The second class was the ground-fighting one. No-one wants to ever find themselves in a situation where they’re on the ground having to fight for their lives, but if it happens, the FAST Defence course equips you with techniques that may help you get away and immobilise the attacker so he can’t chase after you.

Among the $99 class were a husband and wife team – he had wanted her to learn self-defence and then decided to take the class himself.

There was also a woman who had escaped an abusive marriage and wanted to learn how to defend herself. Another woman took the class because a friend of hers had been attacked and she felt she was now living in fear.

By the end, all insisted they felt more confident to handle confrontational situations and were armed (no pun intended) with some knowledge of how to handle themselves if thrown to the ground by an attacker.

At the end of the three-hour course, participants watch a video of themselves as they struggle and fight and ultimately overcome their attackers, using the techniques taught in the class or whatever other moves or tactics they use instinctively.

And Kipp admits that in the heat of the moment, when the fear and adrenalin is pumping, not everyone will execute the moves exactly as taught, but they will have the skills and confidence to fight back.

‘I use the analogy of trying to hold onto a cat that doesn’t want to be held. The cat doesn’t extend one claw and think ‘I’ll put this claw on that muscle to get away’, it just does everything it can to get away.’

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