Open Your Eyes and Defend

We worked on a fun drill tonight.  Everyone stands in a circle, and one person moves into the center of the circle.  That person has to close his or her eyes and await an attack from someone else in the circle.  The attacker is picked randomly and he or she can choose to attack with a training knife or a blue gun.  The one in the center is cued to open their eyes.  Then, he or she has to defend whatever unfolds in the situation.  The scenario can include multiple opponents.  This drill can also be performed wherein the person in the middle wears a hood, and the hood is pulled off for each scenario.  Everyone eventually gets a crack at the guy or gal in the middle.  <evil laugh>

Even in a safe environment, where we slow down the speed of the attack, it is a stressful drill.  Well, it is for me, anyway.  Should students run into snags, it is good to discuss these particular scenarios and allow them to perform tasks again successfully, which leaves them with a positive experience and helps set them up for success in the future.  I think this is especially important if they completely freeze during the exercise.  Once students gain more proficiency, they can speed things up, or even progressively change other situation variables (don’t change too many at once).

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