Recent terror scares in London and high level of assaults on the streets have resulted in self-defence classes booming with applications.
The UK has seen a surge of terrorist attacks in the past year, which has resulted in the British government ranking the threat level as ‘SEVERE,’ according to the government website. There was also an approximation of 12 sex offenders caught in 2017 alone and recent report of a man suspected of 25 counts of attacks on woman and girls in London this past year.
In circumstances like this and with threats coming from all angles—politically and personally—the people of London must be confident and know what to do during any act of violence that may come their way. One of the best ways to prepare in any threatening situation is to have knowledge and skills of self-defence.
Rafael Nieto, founder and chairman of XEN-DO Martial Arts said: “Self-defence is probably not the word for it. I would call it self-confidence. I think they both go hand in hand. Having taught this for a long time and taught numerous females in self-defence, you find that there is the prey and the predator. A predator always looks for the weakest prey. A lion looks for the wounded prey to attack him.
“Self-defence is about your attitude. The way you walk, the way you talk, and putting yourself in a position of actually strength, not weakness. And that is probably as important as any actual moves of self-defence—scratching or kicking or punching. Everything starts before you’re attacked, so you want to start protecting yourself as much as possible before an attack.”
One way to achieve self-confidence is by decreasing fear. By inhibiting this sense, women and men will be able to control their panic and increase their assertiveness.
Everybody has access to self-confidence, and it is not necessarily accessed through martial arts. Self-confidence is one of the best forms of self-defence. Nieto also notes that there is about a 70 per cent female membership now at his studio.
This is a huge take for martial arts with females. Women now want to establish their own confidence and their own parameters—without having to be reliant on men.
According to a study conducted by Sarah Ullman, the more resistant one is, the less the likelihood of unwanted or violent acts. By educating people on the advantages of resistance, there should be a decrease in numbers of reported attacks.
“Living in London, there will always be the very real risk and fear that danger is just around the corner. We need to offer people the chance to feel safe and not to be intimidated living in this wonderful City,” said Charlie Warren, director and head instructor at Urban Escrima.
“At Urban Escrima, we teach a variety of strategies, so as well as the physical component to self-defence—which should always be your last resort. We also teach you how to increase your awareness to recognize danger and strategies in how to draw back from a confrontation before it turns violent.”
Living in a city as large as London, there is a higher risk of being attacked. Research conducted by Edward Glaeser and Brute Sacerdote, showed that attackers prefer to face a greater mass of people because there is a lower chance they will be caught.
As Warren says, self-defence should be your last resort. The Police U.K. website advises the best course of action one can take when in a threatening situation is to get help immediately. To minimize putting yourself at risk, it is best to contact your local police station and state your emergency.
Violence is not prejudice. It can happen to anyone regardless of your size or gender—even though some people may be more at risk than others. The best thing one can hold is the knowledge that they know the basic principles and have at least an understanding of self-defence, to be prepared if a confrontational situation arises.
Number to call in case of emergency: 999; or text 18000
Number to call in case of non-emergency: 101; or text 18001 101
Action Fraud: 03001232040
Anti-terrorist Hotline: 0800789321
National Crime Agency: 03704967622
National Police Air Service: 01924292252
NSPCC Helpline: 08088005000
Victim Supportline: 08081689111
[Featured Image: Tonic-pics/Pixabay]
(Subbing: Betina Gluhova)