Being a resident of Crawley now for over 35 years now I have seen many changes, and one of the main changes, unfortunately is seeing how knife crime has impacted on our society and how nearly every week the front page of most local papers reflect this and sadly a loss of another life.
Another mother burying her son, or fathers burying a daughter, theres seems no regard for human life anymore and for some reason it seems to be getting worse.
I am not going to go on about the good old days where you sorted your differences out with fists, or when men were men and all that old mumbo jumbo, what i am going to talk about is the fact that we live in a less innocent world and need to be more aware of our surroundings to stay safe.
Most people think that self defence composes of just striking, boxing type movements when in reality its those but also many other things.
Self defence training prepares you to be able to protect yourself and your loved ones within the law, by using reasonable force. Its been specially designed to teach two main concepts. 1) Personal security measures, or Soft skills, street smart tactics geared towards avoidance and awareness.
2) Physical applications, or Hard skills, that will allow us to eliminate the threat if we cannot avoid or escape.
So, two parts, personal security geared towards avoidance and hand to hand physical skills to deal with a real threat or attack.
Self defence training sessions are part ‘soft’ and part ‘hard’ skills and the ‘hard skills’ are basic principle based, this means you can defend yourself under adrenal pressure using basic gross motor combatives that work under fear and pressure, you will learn basic hand to hand defence, striking, power generation target area’s, defending from grabs and chokes, hair pulls, ground survival, multiple attacker defence and escaping, also how to deal with weapons . The ‘soft skills’ will teach you about mind set, common sense, deescalation, awareness, motivation, physiology, psychology, perception and will have scenario training exercises to test what you have learned under some pressure. We also have body armour so you can test all of your knowledge in the sessions.
Most martial arts training out there are too complex to learn over a short time, and lack the psychological training needed to avoid, be aware and push past the fear factor to survive, we include all the relevant information to get a basic solid foundation to help you stay safe.
So is self defence training worth it?
Well it depends on many factors, where you live, your financial position, time restraints,
but even with these considerations it can also mean how much do you value your life?
Lets be honest, we live in a fairly safe country compared to many, but training is also like an insurance policy, rather to have the knowledge and not have to use it than the other way around, its also fun, gets you fit, builds confidence and make you less of a target.
We train heavily in defending against weapons, this may seem over cautious but as far as i am concerned we take our students lives seriously and teach how to deal with all basic situations if needed, i train in other reality based self defence systems, some edged weapon based, and work hard to promote awareness of edged weapons and how to deal with them if escaping is not an option.
SEVEN TOP TIPS FOR STAYING SAFE.
1) Be aware of your surroundings, do not walk around with your iPod plugged in or looking at your phone, this makes you an easy target for predators and this is exactly what they are looking for. Be alert, looking around, stand tall, make yourself a hard target. look for things that stick out from the normal,
2) Be aware of your own inner feelings, ever get a “gut instinct” ? Always act on it, get out of there, if something does not feel right it generally isn’t.
3) Theres a difference between being aware and paranoid, but do not let anyone invade your personal space unless you know and trust them, keep distance, this gives you time to react and/or escape.
4) Get cabs home, especially if intoxicated at club kicking out time, this is when most trouble happens, especially at the weekends.
5) If parking the car, look for lit up area’s, reverse into spaces so you can drive off straight away, always unlock the car when your next to it and always look around and keep keys in your hand. you can carry a personal attack alarm.
6) Wear sensible clothing, that means when you are coming home change your shoe’s, heels or flip flops are not good for fighting or escaping, and yes thats for the guys too !
7) Walk facing the traffic, prevents kerb crawlers and oncoming traffic can see you, always walk to outside of pavement when turning a corner, never take short cuts through alleyways or parks after dark.
So there you have it, most self defence is about awareness and common sense, but hard skills are needed if this has failed.
Stay Safe, Regards Keith Chief Coach