Class Attended: Hatfield Leisure Centre – Knife Defence Class
Instructor: Joe Pletersky
Subjects covered: 4 different techniques for defending against knife attacks.
1 – Knife held to throat, attacker’s arm not crossing your body. Strike to throat, simultaneously grab opponent’s knife hand, twisting down and out. Knee to face, run.
2 – Knife held to throat, attacker’s arm crossing your body. Hand on same side as knife grabs opponent’s knife hand; simultaneously, with the other arm, strike just above the elbow of opponent’s knife arm, push forward forcing attacker into an arm lock. Push through to dislocate, if possible, knee twice in face, run.
3 – Ice pick attack. Strike knife arm age-uke, simultaneously strike throat with other forearm. Bring age-uke arm down to lock opponent’s knife arm behind your back as you force their head down with the age-uke arm. Knee twice in face, run.
4 – Thrusting mid-rif attack. Clasp opponent’s forearm with both hands, moving your gut far back. Immediately kick to the groin, utilising leaning back to ensure they are in range whilst keeping distance away from the knife.
Questions and answers given:
The biggest problem was people failing to hold the hand firmly in technique 1. Joe demonstrated that you can get a good grip by digging your fingers into the side of the hand but also that strength and the twisting motion are the most important parts in making this technique work.
The lesson was structured and taught well, Joe excels when students have a question about the execution or application of a technique, showing deep understanding. He commands a strong authority over the students, (in no small part due to his size), which makes him very good at getting the students to listen and they take his comments seriously. I’m not sure he realises he has this advantage as he displays great humility while teaching, being open to all thoughts and ideas.
In summary, Joe is a great teacher with not only a wealth of karate experience and knowledge but also good ideas on structuring and teaching lessons, even when improvising.
Write up by Richard Telford-Nicholson