P4 Training Program

Fighting Skills P4 -Training Syllabus

The distance is a major consideration in any confrontation, any type of fight, any type of self defense issue. Here, with the fighting skills …

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The distance is a major consideration in any confrontation, any type of fight, any type of self defense issue. Here, with the fighting skills, we are bringing the subject of distance. First of all, one is attacker and the other one is defender. The attacker is practicing different series of attacks at the different ranges and changes and passes between the different ranges. The long, the medium, the short and the very short distances. The defender’s role is naturally to defend, get used to an attacker who is changing the distance, starting from long distance, to medium to short, and definitely changing back to long distance.

In the beginning, as a defender, you should only do defenses. Later, planing and executing part of counter attacks. Still, not counterattacking, and not disturbing the way that the partner is attacking. After the section of partly slow fighting, meaning one was attacking, one was defending, maybe counterattacking from time to time, here we have slow fighting with changes of distances and ranges. You should practice and drill the defenses, the attacks, the counterattack executed against and at different ranges and distances.

In Kenji one of the major ideas is definitely to increase your fighting capabilities. One should be always ready to deal with multiple opponents. However, all you see is one opponent and there is a confrontation against this individual. Here the idea is we’re closing the gap, decreasing the distance while attacking, defending as needed, counterattacking in a devastating attitude, closing the distance from long to very short, while attacking with kicks, punches, different strikes, elbow strikes, knee strikes, headbutts, hooks and hammers that are appropriate for the short range.

When you’re at close distance, then circle around the opponent. While you continue to counterattack, you should circle in order to see the whole area, the whole surrounding. Because you can not turn your face and your gaze away from the opponent, you should circle around him. As you circle, you should not stop your actions. After you feel that the situation is appropriate, then increase the distance and go to the next mission.

If at first we burst forward with flurry of attacks and then circle around, now it is the opposite. We’re circling around the opponent, maybe here and there delivering an attack or dealing with an attack, but when the time is right and after you’ve been circling, burst forward with a strong and aggressive series of devastating attacks. While you’re circling around the opponent you could see the area. You can check who was behind you at the previous place you were at. Naturally, you are creating a moving target of yourself, much harder for the opponent to deal with you. Then at the appropriate time, burst forward with strong attacks and appropriate defenses and neutralize the threat.


In the following drill of attacker, disturber and target, the attacker’s job is constantly attacking the target. The disturber’s job is to prevent the attacker from reaching the target, to push him away, to block his way, to divert him from his way, be a barrier. Here we’re training mainly the attacker to continue to be persistent, to be aggressive, not to give up, not to stop. It is not an easy drill physically, so you have to recruit your resources, especially mental resources, in order to continue and not to stop and not to give up.

Hit the target. Go, go, go, go, go!

In the basic drill, the disturber should not grab the attacker. If we see that the attacker is too strong-

Attack, attack, attack.

Then we can have two defenders, two disturbers, who will block his way and push him away from the target. If the disturber is much stronger-

Attack, attack, attack, keep moving.

Then naturally he should let the attacker reach the target, maybe 15, 20% of the time. A reasonable round for this sort of technique, this sort of drill, is about 75 seconds, for the beginning. Naturally, if the participants have reasonable level of fitness.

Go, go, go, more!

We have different drills in order to increase and improve your level of fighting capabilities. Here we do physical and mental training in order to increase and improve the aggression, the determination, the persistence of that training. You have got a couple of targets in front of you and a partner is holding you from behind. You are tied to some sort of a belt or a rope. Partner from behind is pulling you and moving you a bit left and right, disturbing you and preventing you from hitting the targets. Your idea is to attack the targets, without stopping, without pausing.

Do different types of attacks. Strive forward, strive to hit, strive to strike all the time, without stopping. Continue strongly. Ignore the disturbance. Try your best in order to reach the target. You should apply different attacks. Punches, straight strike, hooks, elbows, hammers, uppercut etc, even kicks are possible. While you are attacking you’re pushing forward. The partner from behind is pulling you backwards, can move you left and right a bit. Particularly off balance, you have to train on regaining the balance, regaining the equilibrium.

Safety in training, be careful while you are striking forward not to send your palms, hands, forearms backwards, that may hit your partner, the one from behind. One should be also accurate in all the attacks that he’s doing to the targets. The person holding the target can also move a bit, left and right, backwards a bit, to create more of a challenge. As the attacker, you must not grab the targets, only strike them. Remember, breathing is important. Try to control your breathing. Use the breathing mechanism in order to increase your aggression and determination.

Slow fighting with a partner, try to be with your defenses and your counterattacks slower than the attacks of the partner. Try to defend in a slower defense compared to your partner. Like this you are gaining control, especially over yourself.


Light fighting with minimal of protective gear. Here, there are groin protections, mouthpiece, sometimes shin guards, sometimes light gloves. The idea is to do light fighting. Be careful not to hit your partner strongly, not to kick your partner strongly, not to make strong impact with any type of attack. During the light fighting, you should create light contact. You should use all your tools, all your weapons. Try to practice the different tactics, vary with different techniques. Aim to different types of targets. Be in a mental state of a fighter. Do not give up, do not stop. If there’s a problem or a hurdle, climb on it, deal with it, solve it.

A. Rolls and Break-Falls

  1. Break-fall backward and sideways - from height.
  2. Forward roll and remain on the ground

Notes: For adults, this subject may be considered to be tested in full at higher levels (until G1).

B. Kicks

  1. Regular (vertical) kick backward - to three main distances
  2. Regular scissors kick

C. Defenses Against Low Straight Punches

  1. Inside defense - with forearm; emphasis on elbow movement
  2. Outside scooping defense

Notes: Use either the forward or rear hand and counterattack as soon as possible.

D. Inside Forearm Defenses Against Punches – Raised Elbow, Low Palm
Attacker approaches diagonally from the side

  1. Medium height - defense (from passive stance) against a straight punch to the ribs
  2. High - against a straight punch towards the head or chest, elbow circles inward

Notes: The first counterattack is an outward horizontal hammer strike with the defending hand.

E. Defenses Against Straight Punch Combination - Left/Right

  1. Two inside defenses with the palms and counterattack
  2. Hand defenses while leaning back, kicking with the front leg (regular or side kick)


F. Defenses Against Punch Combinations (Outside and Inside Defenses)

  1. Defending against any combination of two punches - one straight and one circular
    1. Two defenses with one hand
    2. Two defenses with two hands
  2. Defending against any combination of two circular

Notes: Counterattack as early as possible.

G. Releases from Chokes

  1. Choke from the front - body turn and upper arm release (wiping face)
  2. Choke from behind- body turn and upper arm release (brought to temple)
  3. Against a Hand Covering Mouth - defender's is caught from behind

Note: Techniques nos. 1 and 2 above are especially effective when assailant is pushing.

H. Releases from Bear Hugs - Arms Free

  1. Release from bear hug from the front – Push to nose or eyes.
  2. Release from bear hug from behind:
    1. Elbow strikes to head
    2. With lock on finger

I. Releases from Bear Hugs - Arms Caught

  1. Release from bear hug from the front – counterattack and take hand out.
  2. Release from bear hug from behind - counterattack and take hand out.
    1. When bear hug is high, counter & escape under arms.

Notes: Train on the use of a shout and a bite against a bear hug from the front.

J. Releases from Bear Hugs from the Side - Variations on the Above Sections H & I

  1. Release from bear hugs whether arm/s caught or free – attacker grabs from the side. Use learnt techniques and principles

K. Dealing with Attempts to Grab and with Dangerous Arm / Wrist Grabs

  1. Prevention: removing the target; defending the target
  2. Attacker grabs and pulls/drags – advance and apply relevant counter attacks
  3. Attacker grabs and attacks with strikes or other ways – relevant defenses and counterattacks

L. Releases from Various Hand / Wrist Grabs

  1. One hand grabbing one hand (low), diagonally or across - Low hold (underhand)
  2. One hand grabbing one hand (high), diagonally or across - High hold (overhand)
  3. Two hands grabbing one hand, low or high holds - two kinds of assistance:
    1. Assist by grabbing fist of caught hand
    2. Assist by removing one grabbing hand
  4. Two hands grabbing two hands, low or high hold
  5. Two hands grabbing two hands, from behind
  6. Release from a strong handshake

Note: Be familiar with the application of the principles: axis and leverage (not pulling); escaping by way of an opening or towards the thumb; circular movements; and using the other hand for assistance.

M. Against Stick Attacks - Defending Overhead and Side Swings

  1. Against one hand overhead attack - Stabbing defense to the live side
  2. Against two hands overhead attack (or attacker is off center)
  3. Horizontal (baseball) Swings –
    1. From passive stance - Front hand down and the back hand up.
    2. From ready stance – Defend with two forearms, positioned high

N. Fighting Games - 4 Against 1

  1. Against straight punches; Against a regular kick and a straight punch

P. Returning Attacker

  1. Following the defender's technique, the attacker returns with a relevant attack, with/out a weapon

Q. Fighting Skills (defend -- attack -- defend)

  1. Emphasizing on changes of distance
  2. Using the principles of:
    1. Bursting forward and circling after
    2. Circling around and bursting forward
  3. Determination drills
    1. Attacker – Disturber – Target
    2. Attacker – Target – Holder (from behind)
  4. Slow fighting
  5. Light fighting with minimal protective gear (light contact)

R. Simulation and Tactics – P4 – Two attackers approaching from different directions

  1. 2 Vs. 1 - Bear Hug (later a Headlock) from Behind and a Second Attack from the Front Description: A trap made by two attackers. One approaches from behind, the other from the front.

Responding to Opponent's Response

  • Trainee attacks with front kick to the groin and opponent retreats in various directions. Trainee continues with sliding and/or kicking.
  • As in no. 1 above, but the opponent can move diagonally or straight forward. Trainee may use short-range kicks and/or attacks with the hands.

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