We recently assembled some of the hardy souls from the Shield Krav Maga team and headed north for a weekend that I will personally never forget.
As a reality based self-defence club we often train in environments that we might actually have to defend ourselves in:
the street, bars, nightclubs, car park etc. For this outing we thought we’d push things a little further and see what Scotland and Mother Nature could throw at us.
Through the excellent Scottish Youth Hostel Association, we booked exclusive use of a hostel back in May and started putting plans in place for our first ever weekend event as a club.
Training schedule completed, food stock piled and T-shirts printed, all we had to do was drive the 6 hours to Assynt.
The hostel had everything we needed with bunk beds, common room, kitchen and a shower…. yup you read that right… 1 shower! as you’ll see the guys had plenty of opportunity to wash elsewhere….
We kicked off the activities at 7pm on the first night with a short hillwalk to the highest point overlooking the coastline.
On the way we came across a very strange building right on the waters edge.
Hermit’s Castle was built by an architect from Norwich in the 1950’s who apparently only stayed one night in it.
Having been in it I’m not that surprised!
Climbing to the top of the hill gave us a cracking view of the coastline and with light failing we set about some training.
The terrain was nothing like the gym, with rock, grass and plenty of bog. Everyone had wet feet within minutes:
An hour in, the light had gone completely so we headed back to the hostel
a fight for the shower, large pot of spaghetti Bolognese and a couple of welcome beers were in order.
Day 2: The Beach Landing
Saturday started at 7am sharp on the beach for team training with the ultimate wake up drill
After some fierce competition the winning team got to use the shower first!
Breakfast done, we headed for the second session of the day on one of the other beaches along the coast, If it wasn’t for the temperature of the sea you really would think you were in the Caribbean. It’s spectacular.
The focus of this session was dealing with rifle threats. Not too common a threat in Scotland thankfully.
but the principles and movements are important no matter how experienced a student you are.
Back at Shield HQ we use replica AK47’s and even though they are rubber, from a distance they look real, so as to avoid any unwary tourist getting the fright of their life,
We opted to go with black drainage pipes which worked out really well. The beach was ideal for some takedown practice, with sand going everywhere!
After lunch it was back down to the beach where we focused on dealing with single and multiple knife attacks.
The attackers job was simple…. To be relentless and intent on doing serious harm.
The guys had to really concentrate on making the right decision and given that we had the beach completely to ourselves there was a lot of running away with knife wielding attackers chasing. Inevitably it ended with knife defences in a very cold Atlantic Ocean.
The final drill was with everyone in the water,
testing their metal against an attacker trying to choke and drown them whilst having their breath taken away,
and adrenaline spiked by some seriously cold water.
After stuffing our faces on fajitas we finished off the night with a bonfire on the beach and a few beers,
It was an excellent end to an amazing day.
Day 3: Time For A Wander
Sunday kicked off with some light training on the on the beach at 7am,
followed by an enormous breakfast of bacon and eggs and basically anything leftover from the weekend.
As a club we like to get out and do some hill walking every now and then,
so we thought we would give one of the Assynt hills a go whilst we were here.
We tidied the hostel, packed out gear and headed for Stac Pollaidh.
Not the highest we’ve done but it was steep with some great views and fantastic scrambling at the top.
With the only rain of the weekend arriving as we hit the summit,
we took our photos and headed for Ullapool to grab some caffeine for the long journey home.
We had an awesome weekend, great company, great training and plenty of laughs. It really was a pleasure to teach and certainly worth the effort.
It’ll be no surprise to learn that we started planning the 2017 event in the car heading home 😉
If you’re interested in finding out more about training with us at Shield,
drop me an email Chirs@shieldkravmaga.com and give our beginners course a go.
You can book your course here https://shieldkravmaga.com/4week/