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WORKING THE WALL


Grappling

by Emmanuel Manolakakis

We are surrounded by walls for most of our day, but many of us don't pay much attention to them. The most fascinating aspect about walls is their psychological influences, while they provide an element of safety, they also confine and even separate us.

In self defense, people are driven to walls to protect their backs, however when they are in such a position they experience a sense of fear of being trapped. This is an interesting dilemma and even more interesting self defense topic.

Recently I spent an entire class teaching students the many possibilities of using a wall for self defense. This type of training would fall under 'Confined Space' and 'Body Guard' applications. Below I share a brief outline of what I taught in the hope it will inspire you and your training regiment.

Warm Ups & Stretches

Walk beside a wall and stay as close as possible to it without touching it. Breathe and relax yourself completely. You should feel as relaxed as if you were in the middle of the room.

Try the same with your eyes closed or running instead of walking.

Place one hand anywhere on the wall. Now move but don't break contact with the wall. Stretch yourself, don't rush, try to see all the little possibilities that exist by relaxing and being creative.

Place a foot anywhere onto the wall. Now move but don't break contact with the wall. Stretch yourself, don't rush and try to see all the little possibilities that exist by relaxing and being creative.

Exercises

Push-up, squats, leg raises and body raise all done beside but not touching the wall.

Push-ups, squats, leg raises and body raise all done touching the wall but not using it to aid in the exercise.

Push-ups, squats, leg raises and body raise all done on the wall on the floor. For example if I was doing a push-up, one hand would be placed on the floor and the other somewhere on the wall. If I was doing a squat one foot would be placed on the floor and the other placed somewhere on the wall.

Place one foot on the wall and stand comfortably with a straight back. Try not to lean forward but rather push with your leg or foot forward. Don't let tension carry back into you. This makes you fall back.

Stand 90 degrees to the wall and place your fist onto it. Much like the previous drill, do not lean but rather push from the fist forward. Again don't let tension carry back into you. This will make you fall back.

Drills

Roll towards a wall. Start from far away and start to close the distance. You should not touch the wall but rather come as close as possible to it.

Stand facing the wall about a meter away from it. Have a partner push you from behind towards the wall. You should be able to turn yourself around and land with your back to the wall. As your comfort level increase, close the distance to the wall.

Place one hand on the wall and have your partner start to push you. Stay relaxed and move without breaking contact with the wall. Progress to taking your partner down and utilizing the wall to your advantage.

Same as above but now your partner should grab you. Escape without breaking contact. You can move your hand on the wall a little if you need. Progress to taking your partner down and utilizing the wall to your advantage.

Place yourself with your back to the wall. Have your partner start to strike you lightly to the body. Breathe and relax, if you are tense the strike will hit you twice - once from the front and once from the back. Begin by taking the punches, progress to letting the punches slide off you body and the fist hitting the wall and finally taking the person down and utilizing the wall.


Russian Martial Art Training Articles

by Emmanuel Manolakakis

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