Thursday, February 21, 2013
Before we get in to this topic I feel it is important to let the readers be aware of my background or experience in this subject and then discuss the topic at length. I do not have any prior military or defense personnel training. I have been training in authentic and traditional martial arts of various countries for the last 30 years. Authentic martial arts training is the training which used to be provided to soldiers or warriors back then training in them is very close to understanding real life attack situations. Besides my extensive martial arts background I have been closely associated with providing specialized security to a number of famous personalities like film stars, sports personalities and other V.I.P's. Have also been part of setting up secure facilities from overseeing and set up of CCTV's, secure fencing, barricades and so on. Have selected and trained employees for QRT's ( Quick Response Teams) for companies and Hotels. A QRT is a group of employees of any company or Hotel that we train in basic safety and security procedures and they come in to action if ever an eventuality strikes. It could be anything as simple as a fire which the QRT will help in safe and orderly evacuation of the remaining staff and try to reduce loss of life and property till the respective authorities arrive to take over. I have extensive experience in the actual field and not in just theory. It makes a great difference from knowing theory and actually experiencing the situations in the field.
Before moving ahead we would like to make it clear that this article does not wish to create heroes or vigilantes. We have lots of respect for the police and other authorities who go through a lot of hard work to ensure our safety. The article aims at making us more alert and responsible citizens who inform the authorities if they spot something wrong that could result in saving loss of life and property. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
In my personal opinion the most important factors for being safe and secure for yourself as well as people around you is being alert, use common sense, presence of mind, consistency, discipline and attention to details.
We will look at all of them in detail. When we are on the road always be in the now. Do not let your mind be busy with your schedule for the day or be busy on the cell or listening to music. A mind not present in the now is less likely to catch or register vital details on the road eg - an attacker or mugger walking towards you or something out of place like a bag left on the road or some one fiddling with a junction box for electricity or the mode of transport you use daily takes a turn which it does not everyday etc. These details may sound very minor to us but when an eventuality strikes it is these details if noticed in advance could have saved the loss of life and property. So when you are on the road keep your mind on the road and observe all around you take things in. These are things that comes with practice but you could use few games that I use daily to keep me alert. When you are traveling to work daily try to remember the digits of a car license plate its colour and model. There is a good chance that you will see the same vehicles everyday to work, if you can remember them and spot them on the road shows you are getting more alert. Another game you could use is try remembering the vehicles and the numbers on the license plate that are parked in your lane or colony. The last 4 digits is enough this will help you notice vehicles that are not from your colony and if it just stays parked for more than a day without you seeing anyone approaching the vehicle it is the right time you contact the police to look into it. Another game would be to remember things in your surroundings simple things like how many speed breakers are there on the road to your house or how many garbage bins or spittoons are placed in the places you visit like your office or building in which your office is located and where they are placed and so on. Keeping track of such small detail in your surroundings will improve your ability to notice things that are out of place.
Security is not only the duty of the few we appoint they are there to help us and protect us but it is the duty of all of us as citizens to help them in their duty by being alert and inform them. We need to be consistent and disciplined in our daily life. In our country it is common to see bags and pouches fixed to bikes. These are like sitting ducks for people who wish to create mischief or chaos. If you have a pouch or bag attached to your bike ensure that it has a good lock to it. So many times I have seen people leave their lunch boxes or bags hanging on the bike handle and they go to shops to buy stuff. When you ask them not to do that they argue and say it is their problem why am I bothered. It is important not to leave any thing unattended someone could slip something in which could cause severe loss to life and property. Moreover if we all are disciplined and do not leave stuff on our 2 wheelers then it would be easier to spot a two wheeler which has a bag left behind and that could go a long way in ensuring safety for all around us. We all need to be consistent. Security is not something that needs to be checked when something goes wrong and then after few days we are back to normal again becoming sitting ducks for those who wish to cause harm. Just two days back I was providing training to some people and we were training in self defense from an armed attack. I had my dummy 9mm gun which is a rubber gun block which is used to simulate a real gun attack and it looks realistic too. I received a call from a company who wanted me to come in to discuss with regards to a workshop. So I went to the companies premises with the dummy gun. The building where the company is located is very big and may be having close to few thousand people working in them. The security staff at the gate did not notice my gun did not check if I do have an appointment with the said office he just let me in by issuing a pass. Once on the premises I walked in to the building the metal detector went off when I crossed the door frame metal detector (DFMD) the guard did not bother to check or frisk me. The gun was just tucked in my pant and he did not even see that. Then I strolled around all the 3 blocks or buildings trying to locate where I had to go, No one stopped me or asked why I was roaming around. I even entered a few offices by mistake thinking that is where I had to go sadly the security staff there too did not stop me. This is why we need to be consistent. If an eventuality happens somewhere the next day the same security staff will be on high alert and frisk me many times but after a few days I will again be able to repeat an easy walk in to that premises unchecked. I will inform the company of the lapse of security on their premises and offer to help them to improve and perfect their security arrangements. It is not important how many hours we stay alert and focused people who wish to attack look for the few moments we lower our guard. Mind you a few moments is all it takes to create chaos and launch an attack.
It is virtually impossible to have the police and other authorities every where in the city or country but if we are all alert, disciplined, consistent, use common sense and presence of mind we all together can work to ensure safety and security for all of us and help the authorities to perform their duties better. If we are able to spot and report or inform the authorities of something that is out of place or suspicious then we are being a responsible citizen.
Another important aspect I have seen and faced many times in the field is not informing the security personnel of all the details necessary for e.g - If you have to provide an entourage security and you are not informed of the route or details or schedule it is a virtual nightmare if you wish to provide good security. Without having all details in an eventuality there is no set plan of evacuation or alternate route etc in place. Do not hire security for show or to try to use them to display your status in society. Either you trust them completely or do not hire them at all.
I could go on and on with numerous details and aspects however if we all follow the above mentioned details all the time then we all will be working like a group of individuals who by being alert citizens are not only ensuring their safety but also securing the safety of all the people around us.
Always remember it is the small details that are the most important.
BE ALERT ! BE SAFE!
Posted by Farzaan Merchant at 9:32 AM
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Conditioning is a very important part of our training at Jukaado. The above video is one of the variations of conditioning that we do at class. The golden rule of any conditioning process is to start slowly with softer objects or easier methods and gradually progress to more intense training methods. Always remember - Haste Makes Waste.
Do not try to copy this on your own. You could injure yourself and your partner. Such training should only be attempted if you a have a clean bill of health from your doctor and are supervised and trained by an instructor who is well versed with such training methods.
Posted by Farzaan Merchant at 8:21 AM
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Very often we are asked these questions by new comers to our class or just by people who wish to understand as to why or how is Jukaado different from traditional martial arts besides being a combination of a few martial arts.
We have great respect for all traditional martial arts and in fact most of our training procedures are from these traditional martial arts itself. There is nothing that can be better than traditional or old school training.
Before we go any further we would like to make it very clear that Jukaado, its instructors or the students in no way endorse or suggest getting in to any fight or violence. We are very peaceful people who just like to train in martial arts to challenge our bodies and improve our fitness levels. Please do not try any of our suggestions if you do not train the way we do.
At Jukaado our training revolves around Close Quarter Combat or CQC.
What is Close Quarter Combat ?
In a real life attack a fight that breaks out is in close quarters that is the attacker and the attacked are very close to each other. This limits the movements of the attacker and the attacked. However the attacker is ready for the situation and most likely even selects a perfect spot or surrounding to give him an advantage over the attacked.
At Jukaado we train for CQC. Our fighting style involves being close to the attacker and knock him down in his tracks. This has a lot of advantages as students are more tuned and ready to be close up with their attacker and fight back from whatever little space they have at their disposal. In today's day and age where weapons are also used during attack. A weapon (sharp edged tool/ knife or firepower) is something an attacker may be carrying which they may use if they feel they are losing the fight. If you are in close range with your attacker you stand a better chance to intercept and stop the utilization of the weapon.
We would like to make it known that any fight armed or unarmed can swing in any direction so it is always better to avoid getting in to a fight unless it is your only option to ensure your safety. No matter how many years you have been training there is a very good possibility of getting injured in a real fight on the road.
It is with keeping the CQC in mind that our training involves close quarter strikes and our technique combinations involve striking with hands or legs, grappling and joint manipulations or locks and chokes. The idea is to surprise the attacker and effectively neutralize them within just 3 moves including a block. To be good at CQC one needs to be in top physical state, conditioned like rock and very fit. That is the reason our training routines seem very intense to many with loads of strength building exercises, a good amount of cardiovascular exercises and numerous body conditioning drills. With a decent amount of time training in Jukaado students can have very high fitness levels, high endurance and stamina levels and can take full power strikes on their stomach, ribs, back, shin, thigh and even the neck. This leaves only the face which is not possible to condition with delicate parts like the nose, eyes etc located on the face. Since our training aims at CQC we give lots of importance to covering the face at all times. Conditioning is very important at Jukaado for in a realistic situation you will be hit any where on the body being conditioned like rock allows you to not get injured by full power blows of the attacker so you could focus on neutralizing the attacker and hand him over to the authorities to take the necessary legal action against such miscreants.
So basically what differentiates Jukaado would be that we train for only realistic situations and not for competition. Our aim is to train and teach realistic self defense / unarmed combat training / close quarter combat. This results in our body, mind and reflexes responding better to a real attack on the road God forbid. We are not against competitions or sports sparring but we train for realistic situations. Another way of looking at it is we do not only learn the alphabets but also learn to form words and sentences to be used in life. Just learning the alphabets would be of no use to communicate with others. The result is that we are tuned and trained for realistic situations but can also compete in competitions however if training only revolves around sports sparring training they may not be able to defend themselves in a real fight on the road.
Posted by Farzaan Merchant at 1:08 AM