Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The humble eye jab

Berenice Marlohe

OK to be fair the nice picture of Berenice Marlohe above is not there because my old Silat teacher used to throw lighted cigarettes into people’s faces to distract them, it came about because I typed nice eyes into goggle looking for an image. Anyway Berenice is still hot and so we will make do.

This week’s topic is the humble eye jab, which looks more like this:

Marcus Wynne
I was taught the eye jab at different times during my training in Combatives, old style Muay Thai, Kali and Jeet Kune Do. All had their own styling or flavours but all basically involved attacks to the eyes with the fingers or thumbs. I always found eye jabs a bit of pain and preferred to rely on a good boxing jab, mainly because I have long piano playing fingers that are easy bent out of place. This is especially true if I really try to spear the eyes as people duck out or turn away, out of instinct and that means you can hit the hard surface of the skull by mistake.  

Eventually I starting working my techniques off the Geoff Thompson fence and found that I could launch an eye jab off of either hand, with little or no preparation, making it hard for my training partner to stop if I launched it from conversation range. Conversation range is also called hands on range.    

HRH The Queen demonstrates conversation range

At conversation range I find that even a beginner can score with an eye jab if they have the courage to initiate first and it’s one of the first techniques I teach off the fence. No technique is a hundred percent all of the time, so the eye jab has to be cultivated just like anything else. I teach it like this, I give a brief five minute introduction and get the student to train the eye jab in the air, and then I get the student to hit a soft focus mitt which has two pieces of duck tape on it to mark the location of the eyes. The focus pad holder makes it into a game by flashing the pad and also moving in and out and circling the student. The student fires at will whilst talking to get the timing and distance right.

Next we teach the “duelling eye jab drill” by gearing up two students with eye protection and allowing either both students to attack or one to attack and the other defend. This is a dual and somewhat distant from reality but I find it’s a nice game that builds confidence, so we include it in our training.

The last stage is to add the eye jab into our scenario training.

The downside of the eye jab is that fingers by their very nature are fragile and so the two variations I teach (straight and whipping) are performed in fast relaxed manner, with fingers slightly bent. Students are encourage to tryout different ways of throwing the eye jab and chose just one.

The interesting thing about eye jabs is that it takes little power and most people can do it with little preparation other than getting into the right mindset. The affect even if you don’t actually hit an eye (aim for only one), is your attacker will turn away, flinch or close his eyes, which may give you time to escape or follow up.

On last thing if you do decide to add the humble eye jab into your tool box, make sure you train safely and adhere to the law with regards to self defence in your area.  It hurts when eye jabs go wrong and there may be other unplanned for costs!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Oom Dolf de Vries

 Oom Dolf de Vries

With sadness, Oom Dolf de Vries the founder of the Foundation Pak Serak passed away on 27 September 2011 at 4.53 in the morning.


Corporal Labalaba

DHM1413. Sacrifice at Mirbat, Dhofar, Oman, 19th July 1972 by David Pentland.
When 250 well armed and trained rebel tribesmen attacked the small SAS outpost at Mirbat few would have given good odds on their survival. At the height of the battle Corporal Labalaba and Trooper Savesaki, both Fijians and both wounded fought off relentless assaults by the attacking Adoo. Firing a World War II vintage 25pdr field gun at point blank range Labalaba finally fell to a snipers bullet just as Captain Kealy and Trooper Tobin reached the gunpit to aid its defence. Within minutes however Tobin was wounded (he passed away from wounds three months later) but Kealy and the remaining defenders critical position was saved by the timely arrival of 2 Omani Strikemaster jets, and helicopters carrying 24 men of G Squadron.