Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Pump Room Action - Night Parks Training

Krav Maga Midlands
Pump Room Action

Night Parks Training
Tuesday 8th May 2014

By Lance Manley

Due to a double booking at Krav Maga Midlands’ usual Tuesday training ground in Trinity school, Leamington Spa, Bartosz decided to improvise and take us all out on a little trip to get back to nature.

Royal Leamington Spa has some gorgeous parks and now Spring is finally in the air, the Pump Room gardens next to the town library were utilised for the welcome return of the Night Park Scenarios training that we last attempted in Stratford-upon-Avon in Autumn 2013.

After meeting up near the river bridge we took to the elevated walkway next to York Road at the back of the old library near Station Approach. The whole thing seemed a little surreal with me and the other practitioners warming up while people walking dogs, joggers, and cyclists all made their way past us with confused looks on their faces. Some even took a detour to avoid us.

After some ever-necessary stretching and loosening up we started on 3rd party protection. This was what it says on the tin, where you have to protect your “mate” from a frontal attack by a roving scallywag (or in this case, another practitioner). One technique which is fundamental in this type of thing, is that you MUST remember to extricate your 3rd Party from the situation as soon as you have neutralised or reduced the attack.


In real life people try to get involved or are panicking or just plain pissed off to have someone try and take a swing at them. Ever tried to defend a drunken yet outspoken girlfriend on a night out? My own experiences of witnessing this are that she will at least want to “have words” with the other party. The removal technique was to spin them round, grab their right arm with your right hand and grab their neck with your left (or vice versa) then push them in the direction you want them to go until you are both clear of danger.

The next technique involved if you are holding hands and someone tries to give you trouble, as your defence technique needs to adapt accordingly. Cue much laughter as some of the butchest blokes in the club were required to walk along with fingers entwined as if they were on a moonlit stroll along Brighton beachfront.

Later we moved to choke holds and then knife defences. The latter proved tricky as we were on hard ground but it’s always satisfying to get a bigger opponent onto the floor, just by applying the correct leverage to their wrist.

A few times we had members of the public wander through the group including a father with two wide eyed toddlers, several joggers, and a woman leading a dog on a length of old rope. She looked at us in bewilderment for a few seconds and asked, “Is this a fight or are you pretending to fight?” She then added that the dog was a stray she’d found and wondered if any of us would like to take it off her.

We all politely declined.

After the main techniques had been gone through, the daylight had faded and the park lamps had sprung into life. Bartosz then said, “Number yourselves from 1.” I got in first and then the remaining numbers were argued over. Bartosz told me to wait and took the other lads to where the path runs from the bridge, around the back of where we’d been training before it rejoins the trail. After some whispering and muttered instructions he came to fetch me and said grinning, “OK Lance, just walk from one end to the other.”

Even though I’d done this before and even though these were all my club mates and EVEN THOUGH it was a training scenario…there is something very creepy about seeing about 12 guys in black clothing, loitering silently around a dark alleyway in staggered formation, grinning and clearly planning mischief.


First guy simply wanted to ask the time, a red herring I’ve seen before so I politely declined and moved on. The second tried to grab me and I managed to kick him away before I reached the joys of the middle bit where I got attacked with knives by two guys at once and then jumped by three blokes pretending to mug me. I got through relatively unscathed and was pleased before swapping places with number 2. Each guy went through and Bartosz changed the roles of each “attacker” every time so that no one could predict what they would have to face. Funniest variation was a fairly big lad who was told to grab the person as if he was a drunken mate just wanting a hug. It didn’t take long before someone’s adrenalin got the better of them and they booted the guy asking the time straight in the groin rather than seeing it as a benign request.

Finally we’d all got through and we regrouped up the top for the final “Kida” and made our way home.

I thoroughly enjoyed tonight’s training. Mainly as it worked on techniques that are incredibly useful if out with friends or on a date,  but also because moving through the Tunnel of Fun in semi darkness and taking on loads of people is just such F.U.N.