One of the principal techniques in Viam Chao is called testa, which is latin for shell. It is an effective defense against an aggressive onslaught (proculco) of strikes to the head. The testa is considered an active defense, which refers to a defense that is also an offense.
Rather than simply covering up to avoid sustaining blows to the head, one would use a "roving" shell of cover that forces the opponent's blows to connect with the points of the elbows so as to injure and remove the opponent's principle weapon (the fists). This is an evolution of a "destruction" commonly seen in Dumog and Jeet Kune Do Concepts. The final aspect is to press forward to change momentum and force the opponent to retreat.
- Remain calm
- Keep your eyes open
- Try to aim your elbow strikes so they connect with the attacker's fists
- Redirect the action toward the opponent and force them to retreat
The importance of this technique cannot be overstated. There are several advantages present in an aggressive flurry of strikes to the head: to secure a quick knockout, to instill fear in an unprepared adversary, and to seize control of momentum by getting the recipient on their heels. Many people panic when faced with such a ferocious attack; they retreat or cover up and try to wait it out. The testa is designed to remove all these advantages and turn the tide in your favor. If done correctly, it instills fear in the attacker because it catches them off guard instead, it severely damages the fists of the attacker, rendering them obsolete, and it redirects the direction of the interaction so that the attacker becomes the one in retreat.
At the very least, it buys you time to safely and calmly assess the situation and figure out a course of action.
This technique was adapted and derived from the "destruction" techniques found in Dumog and Jeet Kune Do Concepts. Its closest adaptation is the pensador found in Keysi Fighting Method.