Croydon Combatives Workshop on 14th September 2008



On Sunday 14th September we held the first Urban Combatives Croydon workshop. There was an attendance of about fifteen people – many of them new to Combatives. Lee started the session with an introduction to the principles and concepts of Combatives, including the difference between Combatives and the martial arts. We then covered in detail what the current threat on the street is; how modern street aggressors operate and what we might expect from them in terms of an attempted ambush or deceptive approach. Lee then explained how a well formulated and practised ‘game plan’ can assist us in dealing with the threat.


To simulate one version of the threat without a ‘game plan’ we carried out a ‘mugging’ drill involving two muggers (one of them armed with a knife) and one ‘victim’:


Here we see participants getting a ‘feel’ of being mugged by two assailants – this is designed to create a need to understand the methods used by the muggers and how we can operate our game plan to best handle it.


Lee then described how we could best manage the contact by firstly being ‘switched on’ during the interview stage and flanking the subject to bring any secondary subjects into our field of vision, and the use of the ‘fence’ coupled with an assertive voice etc.


After being approached by Alban Lee has flanks hard to bring Paul into sight. And later - Alban making good use of the fence!


After these preliminaries about understanding the threat Lee proceeded to teach the small range of hard skills within the Urban Combatives toolbox – the hammer-fist, cupped-hand blow, palm strike, elbow and knee and how these need to be eventually used from both left and right sides from any angle standing or grounded. These gross motor skills are designed to give maximum effect under the duress of a real-life situation.




Lee and Alban go head to head on how NOT to manage a contact!



Alban demonstrating multiple hammer-fists




Lee then devised a bar room drill where the idea was to turn away from a bar and accidentally knock a drink down a persons clothing. The trainee would then try to de-escalate the situation with verbal persuasion and manage the contact in a restricted environment, pre-empting depending on pre-attack cues.



After practising all the hard skills and soft skills (game plan) Lee put them together for a scenario based ‘portal of safety’ drill. The object of this drill was for the trainee to manage the contact by using the fence and flanking hard against a partially padded assailant who may or may not become aggressive. If impending pre-attack cues were displayed the trainee would pre-emptively strike the subject and keep on striking until the subject was dealt with; tactically disengage by keeping fenced up and scanning around for any other threats, then escaping through the portal which consisted of two people holding pads which the trainee had to crash through to the exit.


Brendan managing the contact.              The assailant being dealt with by Ross!


Steve crashing through the ‘portal’


Thanks to everyone who took part and I hope to see you all again at the next Croydon workshop.


Steve Tomkins