Evasion skills are a large part of the training curriculum. Favored over blocks, evasion techniques are efficient and keep the hands and legs free for more offensively minded work. The body is taught to move from the line of attack before or after contact is made.
Evasion is generally made up two specific distances: moving before contact or moving after contact is made. Each distance has its own unique application. Your skills, situation, and environment will dictate which one happens. Regardless, you need to understand how to evade from both distances.
Training begins with students learning how to remove themselves from the line of danger without contact. A partner simply walks towards you and you step out of the way. The objective is to move the body as a complete unit. This simple drill can progress in so many ways and here are just a few examples: by adding more partners walking towards you; rolling out of the way instead of stepping; adding a kick, punch or grab as you walk towards your partner; or beginning from the ground instead of standing. It sounds so simple but it is amazing to see how many students leave parts of themselves behind as they move, saving the body but sacrificing legs or arms. Drills progress to putting the attacker down or strikes of sorts. During the whole process students start to build great observation skills, an important part of self defense. If you look closely all the signs that someone is attempting something are all there, you just never noticed the movement.
In the same fashion students learn how to move from the 'line of danger' after contact is made. One partner pushes the other - upon contact the body moves away. You can use a fist, hand, foot, elbow or any array of weapons with this drill. Just wait for contact and move after you feel it. As your skills and confidence grows increase the intensity, speed or add more attackers. Learning how to defend yourself from this distance is a great skill to have in your arsenal.