UC London Seminar



On Sunday the 21st October 07 we had a dozen guys turn out for our first UC London seminar which was held at Pat Roberts MMA academy in Bethnal Green East London. This is hoped to be the first of many future events hosted by our London based UC apprentice Instructor Alban Balliu. The focus of the day was divided into three separate modules aimed at varying levels of experience; each was overviewed before presenting the dynamics in both a theoretical and practical, principle based sense.

Module one; started with Soft skills & developing a Self-Protection Game Plan:

This incorporated the following elements.


  • Awareness/Target Hardening (stay switched on and maintain a positive BL profile)


  • Avoid & escape where possible.


  • If approached protect space with the fence & moving hard to 3 or 9 to open peripheral vision.


  • Verbally de-escalate the situation if possible, via graduated verbalization.


  • If not, Strike first, fast and hard then escape.


  • If necessary, keep striking until there’s no more threat then escape.



Having a prepared game plan response, based around situational awareness, will increase your reaction time and provide you will a pro-active opportunity to control the potential situation before it escalates. The concept of the game plan was presented with visual training models which were then crossed over into practical drills.

An example of the UC Game plan model



Here is a depiction of our Options & the Resources we have to employ them, within our Game plan response.


Situational control and the management of an unknown contact was the first exercise employed. First we looked at the wrong way to manage such an encroachment; by becoming fixated by the subject in front of you. Here we have dismissed the fact that during the initial ruse/dialogue there may be a secondary subject who will flank or attack from the rear via the classic pincer approach. Here each student was given the feel of what it might be like to be suddenly held up with a knife from behind, along with the venomous threat of violence as he demands your f**king wallet. As this is going on the frontal subject violates your personal space as he rifles through your pockets. Even though this is just a drill, it gives a true indication of how ugly this feels.



Mismanagement of a frontal unknown contact can result in getting taken by surprise just like this.





Here the student’s eyes are covered as he is pulled off balance during a verbal knife based threat…The frontal subject rifles his pockets and violates his space to add to the feel of such an event…




The figures in the above diagrams depict an overhead or bird’s eye view of the potential pincer approach set up. The dark headed figure depicts the potential target and the 2 lightheaded figures depict 2 street criminals worked together, their objective is for one to distract the intended target from the front, while the other gets behind for a blind side attack; this is commonly referred to as the Pincer approach. Fig 3 depicts a successful countermeasure to the above tactic, that’s referred to as Contact Management; by moving past and around the man in front, then turning to face him allows you to maintain hard focus on him, whilst bringing the 2nd man, previously behind the intended target, into his now wider scope of peripheral vision. This acts in conjunction with a physical and verbal fence.



Here Tom depicts a counter measure to the pincer approach. He flanks the mouth keeping both individuals in a line, whilst creating a verbal and physical boundary…


From here we practiced a progression of drills taking the student into the realms of pre-emptive strikes and continuous attack. Here we looked at gross-motor skills, Main Artillery tool box, Targeting & Pre-emption,  Civilian Objective,  Body Mechanics then into the physical dynamics of the Palm Strike/The Slap/The Hammer-fist strike/The Elbow Strike/the Knee Strike, taken into the worse case scenario of a continuous attack before employing a tactical escape as our game plan depicts. This brought the first module to a close.




Pad work and the development of impact is always the name of the game…




Module two; focused on Multiple assailant drills

Our introduction into dealing with multiple assailants focused on the following principles

Pre-emption, Mobility and movement and Mindset, that is keeping your head along with maintaining determined resolve.


Principles here include priority positioning, that is stacking two or more individuals in an approximate line, creating a Verbal & Physical Boundary, Pre-empting closest threat, then attacking from here as necessary etc. All of these principles were put into practice during a variety of 2 on 1, 3 on 1 and gang attack simulated drills.




Here we can see a clinch and relocation drill against multiple subjects…



Gang simulation drill: This drill requires a minimum of 5 people and a maximum of 15 all wearing focus pads, the defender is in the middle of the rest of the group, keeping him closed in from all directions. The objective of the recipient is to continuously move and cover his/her head so as to present as little target area as possible, the method used to do this is what we call the wash your hair default, just cover and to keep moving.  A moving target is harder to track and therefore harder to hit. Here we simulate such a scenario standing up and in the worse case scenario if you end up on the ground amidst multiple subjects. Object here is damage limitation and escape.



Gang simulation drill standing and grounded…


Cover and move…



Worse case scenario keep your back to the floor and cover…



Find a hole and escape…


Module three; Street grappling & ground fighting;

Grappling in any ‘’live’’ situation is really last resort stuff; the priority if avoidance and escape is not an option, is pre-emptive action via ballistic impact. If you have ended up on the ground then a mistake has been made and you will have to make the best out of a bad situation and quickly.  The priority is to hurt him and get back to your feet as soon as you can.

Here are several reasons that you avoid grappling if. First if the person you are on the ground with has a weapon, a blade in particular the first thing that you are likely to know about it, is when it is sticking out of a part of your anatomy. Secondly, the chances are extremely high that the aggressor will have mates that will be only too eager to join in a game of let’s kick his head off. Remember; always assume that any potential aggressor is possibly armed and will most likely have accomplices. Last but not least is the environment, it will be a far cry from a nicely matted dojo, there make be broken glass, uneven kerbs, dog shit and who knows what else down there.  It is not where you want to be. 

Once you hit the floor, you are in a horizontal grapple that will be both scary and exhausting particularly if you are in unfamiliar territory. In such a situation, we are most definitely not interested in the arm bar technique of the sporting ju-jitsu world, here we need to gain as dominant a position as we can as quick as we can, in order to inflict as much pain and injury as is necessary to allow us to get back to our feet and escape before anyone else gets involved and this is what this module was to reflect. Here we only had time to focus on one aspect of counter grappling so we looked at attacking and escaping from common horizontal grappling perspectives, such as the mount, scarf hold and the like whether its with someone who knows what their doing or just some street bastardization, the objective is the same hurt the f**ker and get back to your feet ASAP. The close of this module brought our first UC London seminar to a close. Thanks to everyone in attendance anyone interested in training in UC within the London area should contact Alban Ballui on 07921458065 Peace…