Tech­niques that could keep you alive

Dasha Ku­prienko spends 60 min­utes learn­ing a few ways of de­fend­ing her­self.

Central Otago Mirror - - CONVERSATIONS -

slightly bent.

Hav­ing bal­ance and keep­ing your body weight cen­tral is the key.

It was new to me that soldiers don’t fight with fists. They bend their fin­ger tips, into a half fist. The rea­son is so you don’t hurt your fin­gers, which may be needed to reload a gun. Note, there were no guns in­volved in any­thing we did!

Be­fore you learn how to fight, you need to know how to fall.

To avoid hurt­ing your­self dur­ing a fall, you hide your neck like a tur­tle and land on a butt cheek, while hug­ging your shoul­der.

‘‘The big­ger the butt the safer,’’ I thought. Any­thing to jus­tify my af­ter­noon choco­late snacks.

After learn­ing the ba­sics we split into pairs.

Ev­ery tech­nique we were learn­ing was based on be­ing smarter than your op­po­nent.

Us­ing lit­tle tricks while dis­tract­ing an at­tacker’s at­ten­tion and be­ing quick was a big part of our train­ing.

Our teacher made it clear that self de­fence was not about pick­ing a fight. It was about sur­viv­ing.

‘‘You gotta be an un­der­dog,’’ he said.

Try­ing to ei­ther walk away from a sit­u­a­tion or solve the prob­lem ver­bally is al­ways the best op­tion, but some­times fight­ing back is the only op­tion.

Learn­ing about self-de­fense was as im­por­tant as hav­ing a job, the trainer said. Keep­ing your life was the pay­ment.

I was only there for 60 min­utes but I learnt things that could po­ten­tially save my life.

The trainer demon­strates one of the tech­niques on me, which would have been very painful if it wasn’t in slow mo­tion.

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