The philosophy of the Academy of Self Defence is rooted in years of experience of learning and teaching martial arts, learning and teaching sociology, studying violence, violent acts, violent people, the psychology of petty criminals, violent and sexual offenders and manipulative individuals at work and at home, being taught by some of the best exponents of self defence in the British Isles, having had numerous tough sparring sessions on the matt and, regrettably, even more numerous street fights and battles in my past life.

I sat regrettably for a reason that maybe my life would have been different had I behaved myself when I was younger. However, the past is the past. The interesting point here is that it is this experience of real fighting where failure meant serious injury, that underpins my later martial arts experience. Tough one on one confrontations to actual riots are a tough proving ground where one learns ‘on the job’ so to speak. My own experience resonates with many colleagues in the British Combat Association, former hard men and doormen amongst them like Peter Consterdine, Geoff Thompson, Mo Teague (see BCA Gallery), who can easily differentiate between what works in the dojo in a nice clean training environment with a willing partner, and what works in a dark, wet street at night when somebody is intent on battering you. As a member club of Dave Turton’s self Defence Federation we believe in ‘keeping it real‘.

I have been privileged to train with the Abbeydale Ju Jitsu Club for many years now and the chief instructor, Sensei Paul Jenkinson, a police self defence instructor, not only teaches the traditional syllabus but street effective adaptations and tactics based on his many years experience of law enforcement.

As the founder of the Academy for Self Defence the philosophy that underpins all our classes and activities is to keep it real.  We teach only what will work in the street, under pressure when fear strikes. We do not teach Karate, Judo, Ju Jitsu, Kung Fu, Boxing or any other specific martial art with its own style, codes, etiquette and history. Each of these has a role to play for their advocates and practitioners, I still love my Ju Jitsu training and hope to for many years. However, each of these is a specialised art and should be respected as such.

For the ordinary person in the street who does not have years to commit to training in order to develop sophisticated techniques and routines. We offer short bursts of training with a limited menu of tough effective self defence techniques.

Having benefited from working with some of the worlds top self defence and martial arts experts like Rory Miller, Marc MacYoung, Itay Gil, Peter Consterdine, Mo Teague, Geoff Thompson, Hoch Hochheim, Peter Lakin, Steve Williams, Iain Abernethy, Mike Liptrot, Georgie Grorgiev, Niel Holland, Dave Hazard, Matthew Clempner, Rick Young, Al Peasland, Mick Tully and many others I am so fortunate to be able to pass on their expertise to you. In addition my own two Senseis, Paul Jenkinson and Bill Barrot have been an inspiration. Separating out what is self defence from what is fighting and what are martial arts is a task in itself. Try this podcast from Iain Abernethy to help you out Think it through, fighting, martial arts or self protection. You may enjoy some of Iains other podcasts too.

Our classes are taught by fully qualified black belt instructors personally selected by myself for their skill and knowledge. The curriculum is one the owner of the Academy of Self Defence has developed after years of extensive research and experience, and we guarantee to keep it real an help you to train with the best to prepare for the worst. “Iwent to a womans self defence class run by Garry. What an awesome course, I would highly recommend it to anyone. thanks Garry” Natalie, Sheffield.

We are now an official Learning Destination for the Children’s University so any young person who is part of this can have their hours with us counted towards their award. If you want to join the Children’s University then passports are available on request.