Yes, this was the reaction from people whom we told that we were going to the ‘Anti-terror and Hostage Workshop’ on one January Sunday. Understandably, it seemed really random as a conversation starter to most people and it was most likely to be a conversation stopper with a state of confusion on their faces until you explain to people what it really was.
It was a Krav Maga self-defence workshop where instructors taught self-defence technique using terror attack and hostage taking simulation.
For those who don’t know, Krav Maga is a self-defence / fighting technique developed for the Israeli Defense Force. The fighting technique were essentially developed based on various Asian martial arts, boxing, wrestling and common street fighting.
How did we get into the workshop?
Well, essentially it was this advert that kept popping on my facebook. It went viral on the social media in Hong Kong just after Chinese secret agents kidnapped a British national in Hong Kong as well as a Swedish national from Thailand for selling books that speak out against their autocratic regime as well as exposing high level corruption in China.
On a more personal note, Hayley and I often travel to some random places in the world. So knowing some basic self-defence is of course useful, not to mention learning how to stay clam and think clearly in an emergency situation is always good too.
What was the workshop like?
It was very popular and the gym was mega-packed with people wanting to attend the workshop. The workshop started off with a general introduction followed by warm up exercise and learning basic escape and dodging techniques for when one is held captive or when a bomb is about to go off.
The lead instructors, who travelled all the way from Israel, proceeded in teaching us more advance techniques such as defeating attackers who were shooting indiscriminately at people using basic self-defence techniques. Also, critical skills to seize control of various types of weapons that the attackers use and ways to ‘neutralise’ the attacker.
As a practical workshop, people got to pair up and practiced these skills together. We were given replica pistols, AK-47 assault rifles and MP5 sub-machine guns to practice with. Although they were fakes, they were made of hard rubber to simulate the weight of the actual weapon, so getting hit by one of these could be painful! Each of us took turn to role play as an attacker and a hostage. My partner was of course Hayley and we took turn to beat each other up. (Did this constitute as domestic abuse or was that part of a normal marriage?!)
The workshop was super intense and was definitely action packed. By no means we are now experts, but it was good that people attended the workshop gained some awareness on how to deal with situations like these considering the global challenges that we all have to living with.
Many of the techniques that the instructors demonstrate could make a difference at life-and-death situations even though they sounded horrible. Of course I hope that none of the people in the workshop had to use it for real, but you never know given what had happened in recently in Istanbul and Jakarta.
Finally, I would like to offer my prayer who have been affected in Istanbul, Jakarta and other similar incidents in the past.
Have you attended any self-defense training like this one? What did you think about it? Or will you attend one in the near-future?