self defence not martial arts ...

Self defence is a misnomer

To most people, self defence is a series of physical techniques or restraints in responce to some kind of physical threat - it's not!

Self defence is actually a set of circumstance governed by law and judged as such by a court.

We should really call those techniques - self protection and we do sometimes, but self defence is so ingrained it's better to just go with the flow :)


If the self defence class you've seen advertised elsewhere doesn't include the legalities governing the use of force  in responce to a threat, then you could find that the advice given is, in itself, illegal or at least put you in further harm.

This is not a punch and kick self defence course

Neither is it a course cobbled together from complicated martial arts techniques which require fine motor movements and years of practise. We won't turn you into fighters, for that you'll need to attend a Boxing, Kick-boxing, Thai Boxing or MMA gym. What we will do is teach you basic safety strategies based on awareness, retreat and escape coupled with a few physical skills that require little practise and are easy to use.

There will be some punching and of course, there will be some kicking, but most importantly there will also be an understanding of what self-defence and self protection actually is. The differences between a martial art and self defence, why being able to escape is more important than how hard you can punch, plus there will also be lots of aggresive shouting, by you the ladies!

When you can recognise potentiall threats and dodgy situations and you are more confident in your every day activities, you are less likely to become a target of crime. Therfore good self defence is a contradiction, the more prepared you are, the less likely you are to need it - that is the objective of all ACS Self Defence sessions - again we must re-iterate we don't teach you how to fight but how to survive.

We run different types of courses/classes catered for individual needs, either on a one-to-level, family, small groups or youth groups like guides and scouts etc.

The basics

  •     How nature’s 'fight or flight' self protection system can aid or hinder you
  •     The 3 T’s: Target hardening, Threat avoidance, Traffic light coding
  •     The ‘fence’ a live barrier between you and an assailant
  •     Pre-emptive striking - hit first and escape
  •     The voice as a weapon
  •     Punching and kicking basics
  •     Basic strangle and grasp escapes
  •     Simple take downs
  •     Defence from the floor
  •     Vulnerable and ideal target areas

Leveling the playing field

  •     Weapons
  •     Basic defence against weapons
  •     Weapons found in your handbag

The law

  • What is lawful self defence
  • What is unlawful self-defence
  • Misconceptions

VERY IMPORTANT :This course is designed to make you uncomfortable, to challenge you to improve your confidence, awareness and provide simple and effective skills. To achieve all of this you must be prepared to undertake the following:

  • Scream, shout and gesticulate loudly
  • Use expletives (if needed)
  • Hit a padded target pad, forcefully and repeatedly
  • Kick a padded kick pad with venom
  • Accept the possibility of bruising to arms
  • Have fun and enjoy yourself
  • Be prepared for anything…

FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real
"You have nothing to fear but fear itself" - Franklin D. Roosevelt