Self Defence Seminar

Worried about personal safety? Can you defend yourself? Try our Self Defence Seminar.

The seminar will be from 7.30-9.30pm on Thursday 29th April in Studio 1 at the Queen Mother Sports Centre in Victoria. The cost will be £15 (£10 members/staff). The 2 hour seminar will cover the theory and practical application of personal safety, awareness and basic self defence techniques. It will be run by Sensei Cailey Barker, the founder of Bushin and a highly professional instructor with over 25 years experience in martial arts.

No need to book, just wear your normal clothes and turn up! Look forward to seeing you there.

Martial arts have become increasingly popular in recent years due to the increased popularity of MMA (mixed martial arts), helped by the likes of champion cage fighter and celebrity Alex Reid, Jordan’s new husband. There has also been increased interest in fighting fit classes such as boxercise, Taebo and kickboxing fitness classes. However, let’s not forget what martial arts were originally created for…self defence.
The facts are compelling. According to the British Crime Survey, there were around 2.2 million incidents of violent crime reported last year, although this is probably much higher as only around a third is actually reported. 20% of all crime in the UK is attributable to violent crime, with Westminster Borough in London having the highest percentile (270 per 1,000 persons). Half of these involve an injury to the victim and 20% with a weapon. Only a month ago a teenager was stabbed and killed in a gang attack at Victoria station, two minutes from our club. The risk of becoming a victim of a crime is about 1 in 4 people.
The general public perceives their area to be safer than it actually is and that crime is on the rise, especially knife and gun crime. A lot of people are concerned about personal safety but don’t do anything about it. The facts show how important personal safety is. This is not being able to bring your attacker down with a flick of the wrist like Bruce Lee, but having the awareness and preparation to know what to do when put into a situation of potential violence. Would you fight or take flight?

The Best Defence is Offence

Recently we’ve been concentrating on converting simple defensive moves into strong counters. In Bushin, we follow the 5 step rule: dodge (yoke) > guard/cover (bogyo) > crush (hishigi) > block (uke) > catch (kakete). This is a simple progression from a move which is simple, passive and defensive to a move which is more complicated, active and attacking. For example, for an attack involving a simple swing punch or haymaker (furi zuki) to angle 2 or 4, the possible defences are:

1) Side dodge (yoke). Using bodywork to move the head out of way. Usually quicker than using your arms and a safe move if executed well.

2) Cover (age uke). Raising your guard slightly to deflect or absorb the attack. Very safe but difficult to turn to your advantage and the attacker is free to continue.

3) Crush (hishigi). Similar to above but you bring your elbow into play, thus destroying the attack. Usually the attacker will come off considerably worse and often puts the offending hand out of action.

4) Block (oshi uke). Pushing the hand and whole arm out the block the attack. Requires accuracy, timing and a degree of confidence. Probably the least safe method of defence but puts you in the best position to counter.

5) Catch (kakete). Hooking from the block and catching the arm or wrist. The offending arm is now immobile and you are in a great position for an advanced counter. From here it is possible to throw, lock, pin or even break. Nasty nasty nasty.

All these defences have their merits and there is no right or wrong in any of them. It all comes down to position, timing and opportunity. When practising its better to start with step 1 and master your bodywork. Once you have this down pat, it provides a great foundation to move the next step. Usually simple is best. The fancy stuff can come later its more important to create a safe position for yourself and ultimately not get hit!