Breaking Away and Choking

Objective

Students will learn and understand basic strike/punches that are often used in a choreographed fight in a play and/or film—namely: the Wrist/Hand Grab, two different Hair Pulls, the Choke Hold, and the Break Away. Students will be able to demonstrate their understanding through participation in class activities, a mini-performance at the end of the class period, and a reflective entry in their learning log.

 

 

Materials Needed

Tumbling or wrestling mats
Rubberbands for ponytails for the girls

 

 

Lesson Directions

Anticipatory Set/Hook
Have students remove all jewelry (rings, watches, earrings, necklaces, etc.) and empty their pockets and put everything into their backpacks, then to put their backpacks against the wall as soon as they come into the classroom. Then, have the students start their warm-up exercises quietly.

 

 

REVIEW:

The previous lessons.
Ask the girls with long hair: Who will volunteer to put their hair in pony tails. Hand out the ponytail bands to the volunteers. (Need at least onestudent in a ponytail)
Instruction
Transition: Why do you think I asked the girls to put their hair in a ponytail?
(Lead the conversation to: “We are going to learn a move that involves a ponytail.”
Explain: Before doing that move, we’re going to learn the regular Hair Pull.

 

Step 2—It’s time to get into partnerships. Who remembers the rules about partnering up?
(1. You can never have the same partner again. You must work with a different partner every time.—except when the teacher assigns a partner for the final fight, then you must work with that partner every time.
2. As partners, you must listen to each other’s suggestions, especially when the suggestions come from the partner playing the victim at that time. Give equal weight to what each partner says. Neither one of you should work as the teacher of director unless mutually agreed upon by the performers and your director/teacher. )

Have the students select a partner that they have not worked with before.

 

Step 3—Group Practice: Ask: Who is Partner A? Which wall are you going to face? Which wall does Partner B face? Why do we have all the A partners face the same wall and the B partner’s face the other in stage combat? (Never have two people playing the same part work back to back because it will cause unnecessary traffic problems once they begin moving about the space. Every performer can be seen at all times; this will help in coaching the students through each of the techniques. Each performer should be able to move about freely in all directions for several feet before running into a fellow performer.)

 

Step 4—Making certain everyone can hear the explanation and see the demonstration, teach the students how to do the Hair Pull.
Establish Eye Contact
The Sign/Cue: Raising Hand and reaching for the top of your opponent’s head.
Instruction: The Attacker raises his/her Hand and reach for the top of your opponent’s head. Create a fist and place the knuckles on the palm side of the fist at the point of pulling the hair (usually on top of the head but it be other places if carefully planned. The victim positions his/her hands on top of the Attacker’s fist. The Victim reacts, and creates all the movement (rocking head and/or body back and forth, struggling up from a kneeling position, etc.)

Ask: What purpose is the Hair Pull? (It is used to control the victim so the Attacker can position him/her for a bigger blow.)
What kind of response or reaction does the victim use? (verbal)
Should a knap be utilized? (No)

Modeling: Ask for a volunteer victim. Have the Victim demonstrate the minimum distance (outstretched while demonstrating the Hair Pull.

Checking for Understanding:

 

Step 5—Individual Practice/Modeling: Ask for a volunteer to demonstrate what they have learned for the class. Remind the student to always be in control.
As the student performs the skill, spot him/her if needed.

Ask: Was this skill done correctly?
What was good about it?
How could it be improved?
(Students give feedback first, then add corrective information)

Have the volunteer repeat the skill. Give him/her appropriate feedback. Let others who want to demonstrate their ability to perform the move to do so. Give them appropriate feedback.

 

Step 6—Guided Practice: Ask the students about practice speed (slow motion). Have Partner A practice the move as the attacker. Then switch, and have Partner B practice the move as the attacker.

Give students feedback as they practice so they can improve their performance.

Checking for Understanding: Ask the students how they feel about doing the move. What is difficult? Answer and clarify as much as possible. If necessary, go through the process again to help students improve.

 

Step 7—Repeat steps 4, 5, and 6 for the Push Away.
Establish and maintain Eye Contact
The Sign/Cue: The attacker steps back slightly as a cue.
Instruction: This particular push is from the hair pull. As with all pushes, the victim controls the energy. The Attacker steps back slightly and the Victim steps forward. Then the Victim throws him/herself backward. The Attacker must act the illusion of a forceful push, releasing the “grip” on the hair.
The Reaction: The Victim’s head jerks backwards towards the spine. The Attacker makes a verbal response.

 

Step 8—Repeat steps 4, 5, and 6 for the Ponytail Hair Pull.
Establish and maintain Eye Contact
The Sign/Cue: The Attacker positions him/herself behind the victim.
Instruction: The Attacker raises his/her Hand and reach for the top of your opponent’s head. Create a fist and place the knuckles on the palm side of the fist at the top of the ponytail (the point of pulling the hair). The victim positions his/her hands loosely on top of the Attacker’s fist. The Victim reacts, and creates all the movement (rocking head and/or body back and forth, struggling up from a kneeling position, etc.) The Attacker separates his/her thumb from his/her fist and gravitates his/her hand down the ponytail so it looks like the ponytail is being pulled down.
The Reaction: The Victim’s head jerks backwards towards the spine. Verbal response.

 

Step 9—Repeat steps 4, 5, and 6 for the Eye Gouge.
NOTE: This is a contact technique, approach it carefully. This move can be very, very dangerous. It must be done exactly as instructed. Absolutely No goofing off.
Always use Eye Contact—especially for this move.
The Sign/Cue: Open hand. Bring forearm up and pull elbow back behind so hand is above shoulder near chin.
Instruction: The Attacker opens Right Hand and brings forearm up and pull elbow back behind so hand is above shoulder near chin. Reaching across the distance between the opponents, the Attacker carefully places his/her Right Thumb on the Victim’s Left eyebrow on the base of the frontal (forehead) bone. The fingers of the attacking hand are spread apart and placed on or above the Victim’s ear. The Right arm extends and elbow straightens. The Victim places both hands on the Attacker’s Right Wrist and Forearm. Controlling all the movement, the Victim reacts verbally and physically.
The Reaction: Victim’s face flings to the right and left. If more violent reaction needed, victim can stumble back.

 

Step 10—Repeat steps 4, 5, and 6 for the Choke Hold
NOTE: This is a contact technique, approach it carefully. This move can be very, very dangerous. It must be done exactly as instructed. Absolutely No goofing off.

Establish and maintain Eye Contact—especially for this move.
The Sign/Cue: Open both hands. Bring both forearms up, bending elbows up in front of chest.
Instruction: The Attacker open both hands. Bring both forearms up, bending elbows up in front of chest. Reaching across the distance between the opponents, the Attacker carefully places his/her thumbs just below the clavical (collar) bones where they end below the neck. The fingers of the attacking hand are spread apart and placed on the Victim’s shoulders. The Victim firmly holds the Attacker’s wrists with his/her hands from the outside, thumbs on the inside of the hold. Then, he/she scrunches his/her neckdown with chin pointed down touching the upper chest while his/her shoulders come up close to the ears. Reacting verbally and physically, the Victim controls all the movement.
The Reaction: Victim’s face flings to the right and left. If more violent reaction needed, victim can stumble back.

NOTE: The Upward Thrust can be used to break a choke hold.

 

Step 11—Repeat steps 4, 5, and 6 for the Wrist Grab
Establish and maintain Eye Contact.
The Sign/Cue: The Attacker looks at the Victim’s wrists, brings hands to chest, and reestablishes eye contact.
Instruction: Used to break the wrist hold–the Victim twists his/her hands toward the Attacker’s thumb and continues to rotate them under the Attacker’s wrists, breaking the Attacker’s hold on the Victim’s hands. The Attacker’s hands release the Victim’s wrists and twist inward, then, his/her arms drop downward.
The Reaction: Attacker cries in pain, the Victim establishes dominance.

 

Step 12—Repeat steps 4, 5, and 6 for the Break Away
Establish and maintain Eye Contact.
The Sign/Cue: Victim of the wrist hold looks down at the Attacker’s wrists and reestablishes eye contact.
Instruction: Used to break the wrist hold–the Victim twists his/her hands toward the Attacker’s thumb and continues to rotate them under the Attacker’s wrists, breaking the Attacker’s hold on the Victim’s hands. The Attacker’s hands release the Victim’s wrists and twist inward, then, his/her arms drop downward.
The Reaction: Attacker cries in pain, the Victim establishes dominance.

 

Step 13—Transition: Inform them that each partnership will perform the newly learned moves in combination for the class. Give the students a few minutes create a mini-performance utilizing anything been taught. Be sure to leave enough time for performances and critiques.
Emphasize that there is to be no improvisational moves.

Ask for volunteers to perform their devised combat combination. Remind the student to always be in control and use slow motion.

Ask students to critique each others’ performances:
Was this skill done correctly?
What was good about it?
How could it be improved?
(Students give feedback first, then add corrective information)

Students may volunteer when they want to perform but all must perform a short unarmed combat.

 

 

CLOSURE:

Tell the students they need to practice at home (on a carpet or on the grass). Suggest that they teach their parents what they are learning in class. Also, remind the students to reflect on what they learned today, then write in their learning log.

 

 

Assessment

Participation, Mini-Performance, and Learning Log Entry

 

 

Author’s Notes

POSSIBLE ADAPTATIONS: Divide the performers into two groups and alternate the practice session if there are too many performers for the size of the room. Each performer should be able to move about freely in all directions for several feet before running into a fellow performer.