Self Defense for Mental Health
I am a specialist one to one self defense instructor teaching all types and abilities of people. Clients include corporate executives who travel a lot to potentially hostile areas, ex army, people going travelling and female specific self defense.
I specialise in getting people up to speed very quickly and effectively in scenario based training, most clients have specific areas that they need training in.
Each lesson has a building block approach incorporating the keys elements from each range, progressively working in more complex techniques and principles.
From the very first lesson a client will be pressure tested on the taught matter albeit slow to start which builds confidence and application in what they are learning.
How many sessions do i need? For a target area 5 - 10 sessions (e.g self awareness, situational awareness, avoidence, de-escalation, pre-fight / conflict, sucker punch, knife specific, gun specific, grabs, chokes etc). 6 Months twice per week will give a good overall foundation.
I also teach self-defense as a confidence building tool for people with depression, anxiety and stress.
I qualified as an instructor under Stewart McGill head instructor of Urban Krav Maga and am an instructor and insured through the British Combat Association. Since then I have trained in many different styles and systems including Krav Maga, Thai Boxing, Judo, BJJ, and Senshido.
My own Krav Maga training and teaching now factors in many other different schools of thought, principles, applications and techniques, however this builds on Krav Maga as a foundation.
I now train mostly under Kru Mariusz who is a top thai boxing instructor and self-defence instructor. Outside of Krav Maga my personal practice is heavily influenced by people such as Geoff Thompson, Richard Dimitri, Lee Morrison and Tony Blauer, other people I respectively follow include Hock Hockheim.
Krav Maga is today a catch concept for modern day reality based self-defence and is a great base to work from, however I believe it is important to also work with and practice different and complimentary self-defence systems and martial arts, whether modern day combatives influenced by Fairbanks as taught to the british army from the second world war through to modern day martial arts such as MMA.
Most self-defense systems pay very little attention to the pre-fight where the most focus should be paid i.e. awareness, preventing conflict, de-escalation, space management, fence concepts, verbal dialogue, pre-fight indicators (both verbal and body language) and how to manage those critical moments.
The pre-contact side of self defense is the hardest to learn i.e. managing your own ego, fear / adrenalin, verbal de-escalation / dissuasion, managing distance, understanding an aggressors pre-fight cues, knowing when and if to pre-empt taking in to consideration the legal, ethical and moral responsibilities. If all your training starts with defending a headlock, then why did you allow the headlock to be put in in the first place? that is not the starting point.
In line with this are the effects of adrenalin and overcoming the freeze response. Over the years it surprises me how little attention is paid to this, you can have all the skills and techniques in the world but if you cannot manage adrenalin these become irrelevant. Every person is different and has to work through their own fear boundaries.
I do a lot of training and work with the build up, fence, pre-emption and also jamming the sucker punch by working off the flinch response. Jamming / spear concepts are used in the Krav Maga (360 defence) but taking the concepts further by incorporating the shredder (Richard Dimitri) - using the quarter beat.
Krav is in its element when it comes to grabs, chokes and holds. This follows on from the pre-fight foundation work, i.e. if the fight has gone live and de-escalation has not worked. Again I do a lot of isolated drill work and combined pressure test work to build up the automatic / muscle memory response.
Krav Maga knife and gun is second to none however again its about working up the insensity with both the static and live drills and not just going through the motions. With all drills adrenalin needs to be factored in either literally or by giving it proper consideration. I work with and teach knife self-defence principles as in the moment when all you have are gross motor skills available, then a person needs to be able to react and not have to recall some technique.
For Grappling and ground work I work with the senshido principles and closest weapon closest target. I use a lot of BJJ foundation work but more to get up and away. Focus is mostly on anti-grappling and submission defence.