With special thanks to DreamGirl SG and Kapap Academy, we got to experience what it meant to really take on a fight, especially for self defense. What is really interesting is that Kapap Academy Singapore has a vision greater than just that of a business enterprise; they identify themselves as a social enterprise with the single-minded mission of ’empowering ordinary people to learn realistic self-defence skills’ (taken from https://www.kapapsingapore.com/), which is really inspiring!
A shot of us early birds taking a photo before everyone else arrives! FLEX FOR THE GRAM!
So yes, when you arrive, you remove your shoes and all you need is yourself, a smile, and a good sense of determination on the mat (you’ll see why as we go on)!
One more selfie with my partner today and a peek into the place before we begin!
The whole atmosphere was very cosy and friendly, with our trainer Yunquan taking us through some moves. And yes, I was privileged (the prize was definitely some yummy aches I keep until now) to be selected as her first demo partner for the basic moves (which would hurt f you were caught off-guard!). Basically, you got to drive through with your shoulder to induce a breath-out-of-your-chest impact and then grab the thighs slightly above the knees and pull up to result in your opponent landing face up. This gives you the most leverage to attack and pin your opponent down. For our session, a pin of 2 seconds was sufficient for a win (phew!).
So you want the end result to be like this:
And apparently, everyone became very attentive (and sensitive) to the words like ‘dislocate (ouch?) the arm’ and ‘smack the face down’ that Yunquan was sharing with us:
So my partner, Celine, and I were not very in favour of the idea that this activity meant going down a lot harder than just pinning the person down like in BJJ. Personally, I felt it was a little too rowdy and somewhat sadistic to be something that I would enjoy doing. So Celine and I managed a rather controlled practice session and focused quite a bit on our Bigo streams. Nearing the end of the session, we were all required to spar against one another to pick out the top 4 who would go on to wrestle for the champion of the day. This meant that the champion would get all 5 points while everybody else gets 0. The stakes were high.
However, at that point in time, I was still rather reluctant to go full out on sparring because I really did not want to unintentionally cause any injuries. Ironically, I wound up as the one who sustained the most injuries (LOL?). So for the first round, we took quite awhile before going full on physical because we were both apprehensive about going physical on each other. But trust me, when the first move strikes, you know that you got to fight because there’s no other way out. And so we did. I was feeling happy that I went through the rounds rather effortlessly but part of me was really upset that I had to use my strength on these new found friends as well. My technique was focused more on just going for the pin and less of the struggle and tumble where injuries would be most prone. It was to my advantage that I do quite a lot of strength training. Although yes, I am happy that I emerged champion for that day, but was it really a good evaluation of the skills we learnt? It felt like a fight where ‘anything goes’ just to get the other pinned down because I feel like we did not have enough training to drill in the techniques we have learnt. And when you’re in the heat of the moment, it feels as if nothing you’ve learnt is coming back to you! It seems like the only drive to press on would be your sense of determination to not get pinned. Would there be a possibility of creating a set of criteria that gives a more accurate evaluation, like testing the execution of moves on a dummy/trainer and the transitions between sets? Instead of sparring with someone else where the fear of hurting the other party would sneak in, testing techniques and transitions on a dummy within a specific time range could be more effective in reinforcing the skills to be learnt? These would definitely be really hard to come up with, but just some food for thought I guess?
So I don’t know how I managed to get a it, but I now have a cut lip and a sprained/broken finger and toe.
OH, SUCH IRONY. Plus, check out my newly embroided brows which I was trying to protect through the fights as well, LOL.
Here’s a shot with Yunquan!
Thankful to have learnt some good skills to counter people who wants to attack me, but not so thankful for the injuries that are going to stop me from hitting the gym. 🙁
Despite that, I think that catch wrestling would really be beneficial in terms of self defense and you would be equipped with the right skills to manage the threats that you may face in the real world. Not an advocate of bashing up friends/sparring partners though so I think I might not be very comfortable to fight again especially since people may now be quite scared of me?? Hopefully the judging criteria for the finals would be able to exclude fighting one another. Other than that, I am all set to beat up bad guys and inanimate objects!
One more happy shot of us:
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