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Clubb Chimera Martial Arts - Part 4: Tactics

Clubb Chimera Martial Arts - Part 4: Tactics

Jamie Clubb is a multi-faceted martial arts instructor who has worked with biggest names in the realistic self-protection industry. He regularly writes for both Martial Arts Illustrated and Combat Magazine along with various other marital arts publications. He has certification to teach self-defence under Geoff Thompson and Mo Teague (World Combat Arts), and is a British Combat Association instructor under Peter Consterdine and Geoff Thompson. He also has instructor certificates in Muay Thai, Sakiado, Kickboxing and is a registered instructor and an A1 level 3 NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) Assessor with the Martial Arts Standards Agency under Steve Rowe. Jamie has a wide experience of the martial arts and is a key creative coordinator at the European Festival of Martial Arts in Disneyland, Paris . He also has many years experience training in many different fighting systems, including a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under the world-class black belt grappler, Braulio Estima. His DVD series,“Cross Training in the Martial Arts”, was the fastest selling martial arts instructional series in Summersdale Productions' history. His system of Clubb Chimera Martial Arts is a revolutionary teaching method that reveals every individual has their own unique style, based on intuition and common sense. Jamie can be contacted on 07973681732 email: website:

This is the final part of four articles that outlines the Clubb Chimera approach. Regardless of your chosen path, I think that Jamie's methodology has a great deal to offer all martial artists and that these articles will be very useful in getting people to analyse their own training and methods. I'm very grateful to Jamie for continuing to share his knowledge with members and visitors to this site.

All the best,


Clubb Chimera Martial Arts - Part 4: Tactics

by Jamie Clubb

Tactics are the final methods put in place by the Clubb Chimera Martial Arts “Process”. It is an outgrowth of the two strategies put in place, which are themselves derived from generic core principles, grown from common sense, which is defined as a combination of intuition and decisions based on obvious data. Tactics provide the student with the final base to develop their own techniques.

Strategy One Tactics

Strategy One tactics are designed to create space either before or during a physical encounter.

Evasion/De-escalation/Escape: From a tactical point of view evasive tactics include using your awareness and intuition to avoid a dangerous situation. In simple terms this might mean just not got into an area known to be dangerous when you don't have to or leaving before a dangerous situation escalates. De-escalation is used to describe the various methods used to talk a situation down if you cannot avoid being involved – for example someone has cornered you in some way. This is a whole area that many have become heavily involved in to the point of learning certain counselling skills. However, from a straightforward self-defence perspective it means being confident, appearing calm, but being firm where needed. Escape, of course, is a generic phrase and I have mentioned it throughout this series of articles. On a straightforward physical basis, this means literally running away and using every means possible to put as much distance between you and the confirmed threat.

The Fence: Geoff Thompson is the man responsible for bringing this concept to mainstream consciousness. However, even today the majority teach this highly effective and natural concept incorrectly. This has lead to some very unfair criticism. The fence is not a technique. It is a means for controlling the space between you and anyone who is a possible threat. It can be done by any means, but the best methods are those whereby the possible threat does not realize on a conscious level he is being “fenced-off” so to speak. A typical example of this is by moving your hands as you speak. The fence not only keeps distance, but also acts as an efficient gauge for knowing if the possible threat is, in fact, a real physical threat and gives you your cue for a pre-emptive strike. Clubb Chimera Martial Arts teaches two types of fence. The calm fence is used to talk a situation down and the angry fence uses aggressive language to psyche out possible attackers.

Striking: Strikes are best delivered with the hands. The hands are the most dextrous and accessible appendages we have and therefore it follows that they are the most efficient attacking tools we have at are disposal. Strikes are, roughly speaking, either straight or curved in nature. I say roughly speaking as some argue that even the straightest of strikes has a slight curve due the shape of our joints. Then there is the physics argument that even curved shots become straight as they hit the target. Elbows, head-butts, knees, forearm strikes and so on are all legitimate striking tactics, but dependent on the situation. For example, if you are on the ground trying to fend off someone's kicks, kicking may be the most accessible method of attack. Target areas and the open-hand/closed fist debate are covered the Principles article.

Pushing: Pushes and their close relative, shoves, are tactics best employed as a last passive resort to stop a conflict from happening – as in the angry fence – or as a means for creating space in a fight to either escape or strike.

Strategy Two Tactics

Strategy Two tactics are designed to close distance temporally in order to get to better position in order to return back to Strategy One tactics.

The Cover: In recent times the use of the cover as a means of recovery has become increasingly more popular. The Shield is a self-defence method that uses a version of the cover, Panatukan uses a wing block that resembles a single cover, Silat also has a saluting block that is very similar, various Chinese styles clearly have a variation in their forms, Iain Abernethy has found it and uses it very effectively in traditional Karate kata, Rodney King's Crazy Monkey system of fighting bases a lot around this method and the Keysi Fighting Method has worked hard to develop their covers into something they call the Pensador. I have seen John “Awesome” Anderson, Steve Morris and many other respected fighters use the cover both consciously and unconsciously in their teaching. It is not difficult to see why it is used so much, just incredible that it has taken this long for it to come to public attention.

It is a very natural method of recovery and counter. Rather than concentrating on specifically blocking techniques, the cover teaches a temporary means of protecting the head and upper body whilst under heavy rapid striking in order to close in on an attacker and apply other attacking methods such as striking or grappling. The cover actually straddles Strategy One as it is arguably a type of strike. However, it most commonly used by grapplers as a means to close down a superior striker's attack. It is a very natural instinctive method of defence, but there are certain rules we stick to when teaching the cover. The cover must only ever be used if you are overcome by an antagonist's striking. The cover is never used negatively or in a passive way – you never move back or stay still, but always advance immediately. The cover is only ever used as a transitional tactic.

Primal Grappling: Grappling in a survival context, as opposed to security style control and restraint, is only ever used to gain a better position for Strategy One tactics. I first discussed the idea of primal grappling with Iain Abernethy and John Anderson. What I discussed and learnt from them was the idea that humans instinctively grapple. There are certain techniques that are natural and therefore should be trained in order for students to understand the synopsis of real unarmed violence. For example, the head-lock is seen in every playground in the every school. Parents and older brothers have used it for generations to playfully tease their children and younger siblings. It is a known Greco Roman Wrestling hold and its ground variation, the scarf-hold is a mainstay of Judo. However, and this is where things get interesting, submission grappling has seen less and less of this technique as it leaves the back vulnerable for a counter. Nevertheless, in a streetfight the hold will be reinforced with strikes and verbal abuse and you will most probably end up in it or using it. The guillotine hold is also a common MMA and submission grappling hold. It is also very simple and very efficient, but thought must be applied to the fact that you are immediately tying yourself up and possibly making yourself vulnerable to other attackers. Then there are the rear chokes and strangles, which can be lethal, but suffer the same problems the guillotine may face. There are also various tripping, sweeping, throwing, sprawling and tackling techniques, which are all very natural and therefore very important to be aware of when training.

However, for me, the best thing, apart from the relatively safe full-contact “rough and tumble” grappling provides, is the positioning you learn. Grappling teaches how to manoeuvre around a resistant body. You learn how to take someone's back in order to escape or subdue them. You learn how to move on the ground (although it is worth drilling some tactics at a controlled pace off the mats for an eye-opener) and how to get back into advantageous positions as quickly as possible.

Grappling can be reinforced with all the “illegal” stuff, such as biting, gouging, fish-hooking and small joint manipulations, however, it should be suggested that these areas have too often fallen into a type of “self-defence pornography” in recent years. These methods are not guaranteed fight finishers, but rather support skills used to get in better position for the heavy striking and more efficient grappling to be used.


I hope this process series has provided the reader with an insight into the CCMA methodology. We work a highly adaptable system that although guided by so-called high percentage techniques, is more ruled by what the individual will do under pressure. I believe the above tactics are general enough to endure.

Jamie Clubb is the founder of Clubb Chimera Martial Arts. For details on workshops, seminars and regular training please contact Jamie on 07973681732 or log onto the website

Jamie Clubb © Copyright 2007

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