SCS is a way of developing people to use their head (and the rest of their body), to keep themselves safe through awareness and avoidance, conflict resolution and diplomatic communication, and finally physical strategies for efficiently ending confrontation.
The self protection side of SCS the core syllabus course that makes students aware of how to:
1) practice and cultivate observational and risk assessment skills to prevent and avoid violent situations
2) communicate and deal with aggressors effectively while reducing the anxiety involved doing so.
3) know when physical intervention is necessary, and what is most effective and appropriate for the circumstances.
By the end of one class everyone will already know enough and be able to rehearse enough to drastically reduce their chances of getting into trouble. Training focuses on mental and physical conditioning to let the practitioner keep their mind and body in a healthy state, especially when dealing with violent situations. What this basically means is that we teach people how to deal with the stress of confrontation and violence, and also the best strategies for avoiding injury and ending fights. We show people how to physically intervene with fighting art techniques that suit their own body type. A wide range of striking and grappling arts are great to know and practice, however do not often suit circumstances found in street scenarios. After the basics of self protection are learnt, we continue to teach and train students to develop their conflict resolution skills, their martial art abilities, their physical fitness and also their confidence.
The physical fighting arts SCS works with are street fighting strategies, which are used for scenario or no rule combative situations, pugilism (and boxing), and MMA. We cover everything from before a fight happens, to street fighting, stand up striking and grappling, and also ground fighting. SCS also covers weapons ranging from improvised to edged. Learning martial arts can be useful not only to enhance physical fitness and ability to protect yourself, as a sport and game which is much like a physical game of chess, but also helps one develop a variety of useful life skills.
What is SCS?
SCS is a dynamic, constantly evolving and unparalleled system of fighting, which specifically concentrates on realism for physical encounters in street situations and also on mixed martial arts (MMA, also sometimes known as cage fighting due to the fights being held in cages as well as rings). It is not a style of fighting, because styles are well defined and have predictable techniques and bias’s- which is a disadvantage in combat which is chaotic, and often will not perfectly fit the style. Also, styles fail crucially to cater specifically to the individual practitioner. A multitude of techniques which require years to master and work only specifically in exact scenarios will more often than not fail in real life encounters because of stress, and varying conditions. It’s one thing to practice defences from punches with partners, and another completely to have someone up in your face shouting, swearing and intimidating you before taking swings... With this in mind, SCS concentrates on concepts that can be picked up easily and applied dynamically to many situations with plenty scope for the varied and stressful conditions one will encounter in a street, or bar, or wherever- rather than many specific techniques.
The goal of SCS is to show our practitioners how to sharpen and use their natural tools for physical confrontations. In terms of street fighting, or self protection, it’s three main concepts are:
Awareness is the key element in all types of fighting, either in a ring or cage, or on the street. For self protection, learning how to observe the environment and the potential threats in it is absolutely essential. We teach our students how to cultivate awareness, sharpen their abilities to see what is going on around them and stay switched on to what is happening in the moment. This particular element of SCS is majorly ignored by other martial arts and self defence systems, and is a key requirement for not only avoiding physical confrontations, but also making sure that if you do get involved in one that you don’t start off at a disadvantage by being in a weak position or by being off guard. A lot of self defence systems make their money by having many different techniques for what to do if grabbed from behind, or ambushed with a knife etc. The reality is that if you’re caught off guard, escape will be very hard if not impossible. The sensible thing to do is avoid these situations with good awareness.
Psychology is the second most important thing that martial arts and self defence course miss entirely- and it is a major, if not THE major determining factor in the final outcome of a physical confrontation. And verbal one! It doesn’t matter how good your techniques are, how fast and strong you are, if you’re not used to the adrenaline that courses through your system during a real life encounter and you can’t harness it, you will end up at the very least performing badly, or at worse getting into serious trouble- either injury or worse. SCS realizes the importance of understanding your attackers psychology, and also being psychologically prepared so that come an encounter in real life you perform at your very best. SCS trains its practitioners in developing a correct psychological outlook for dealing with confrontation and presenting a “hard” target for attackers, it covers the use of psychological tools a person can use to de-escalate confrontations so that the attacker will not want to fight, and it allows students to use their adrenal responses to stress and confrontation in a positive way so that adrenal (or the fight or flight response) can be harnessed to make them perform better, rather than fighting against it. Your mind is your most valuable tool, especially if you train it correctly- and pressure test it in stress environments.
3) Pre emption.
Simply put, acting first. Rather than waiting for someone to come up to you and start a physical confrontation you can avoid it. Instead of waiting for them to grab you and then using a technique, you prevent them doing anything to you. Experience (hard earned on the doors and on the streets) has shown time and time again that reaction is slower than action. It takes longer to block and then counter attack, then it does to simply pre emptively strike. This makes much more sense, especially for women facing larger stronger opponents. It is also far easier than trying to escape from a wrist grab or head lock (which can be avoided in the first place.... see point number 1), to act first and disable your opponent. SCS students are taught to act first to protect themselves while they have the advantage, rather than wait and have to react to an opponents attack which is far more dangerous.
Bearing in mind the above 3 concepts, SCS has others that work in conjunction with simple effective techniques that can quickly enable anyone to protect themselves- even after only one class! Now it’s also true that the longer you practice and train, the better you will become, and some of us would like to go beyond just protecting our own selves. SCS also teaches a variety of techniques and training methods from military systems, JKD and MMA, allowing its students to gain a broad base of knowledge, and develop themselves into a complete and freethinking martial artist. We believe that everyone is different, in shape, size, and will therefore want to tailor their own fighting style to suit their abilities and requirements. This is essential for the individual who doesn’t want to be predictable as a fighter, and also who wants to be the best they can be. We recognise the advantages of physical fitness training to give ourselves an advantage with speed, strength, endurance... And we know how important it is to build up experience and improve our timing and distancing. These key things are what students learn and develop in our classes.
The MMA aspect of SCS is an important one. Competition improves the individual by comparing them with someone also skilled. For those who simply wish to improve and train non competitively, SCS classes give them the freedom they want- for those who want to take it up a notch, they can improve and learn like the instructors of SCS and compete when they feel ready. MMA is not street fighting, but it certainly teaches a lot of very useful skills and techniques that can be readily applied to the street. MMA is also really great fun! It gives people 3 different layers, or games, to play and improve on- and is a lot like a physical game of chess! It’s stand up, clinch and throws, and ground fighting are very rewarding to train, spar and compete in- either separately, or all together. At SCS we let our practitioners choose what they want, because every person is different and has different goals. We want people first and foremost to be able to realistically defend themselves and know what is real and works, but also enjoy the martial arts and develop themselves.
The SCS classes are run as a Non Profit Organisation, because we want people to be able to protect themselves and enjoy the benefits of martial arts training, without paying to be graded and having instructors that feel money in exchange for many different techniques is a way to make a living. Self protection should be simple, effective and be easy to pick up and apply- without profit. Martial arts training is higher quality when it’s done for the pleasure rather than pay of it.
Street Combat System classes are the perfect place to learn how to protect yourself efficiently and effectively, learn martial arts and develop yourself as a complete freethinking martial artist, but also very importantly- to develop yourself as a person, meet new friends and have fun doing it.
SCS main class: Thursdays 2000-2130 drop in or out, anytime!