What People say about the Academy of Self Defence?
“Thanks Garry, have uploaded these (factsheets) to our group site for the kids to look at. Session was excellent, they all really enjoyed it, and was really useful, practical stuff to help them hopefully stay out of trouble so thank you again”. Jivendra Gosai, Eccleshall Venture Scouts.
“You would have been proud of my XXXX on Saturday. A boy was ring to start a fight at a party against XXXX. When this kid came at XXX with a punch, XXX blocked hi with a Ju Jitsu block!!!. Ju Jitsu student, (aged 6), Mum.
“Hi Garry, Hows everything back in Sheffield? I saw you’ve been off trekking yourself, it looks amazing! I just wanted to send a quick message to thank you for everything you, Jayne and Bill taught me before I came on my trip. I can feel that I am much more aware of everything around me and luckily I haven’t needed to use any of the skills I learned and I am now up to halfway through my trip. As I’m moving to Manchester when I get home, I’m gutted I cant come back to the Saturday classes but I wanted you to know how great I felt that they were, and how I really appreciated the time you guys spent teaching me personally at times. Also I thought you might like to hear that after panicking over exams during training, I will be graduating with a 1st Class honours degree which I never thought was possible, so all in all I’m having a pretty great summer. Your blog after your holiday really struck a cord with me, being alone out here for almost 8 weeks now I have learned a lot about myself and am loving the freedom of it all, there are some things you will never forget right? Hope all is good with you guys and thanks again”. 😉 Jenni. Trecking in South America.
“By the way, forgot to mention that XXXXXX came out of school last Friday buzzing as he tackled one of the class bullies that he’s had problems with for years. The kid threatened him and got him in a head lock and XXXXXX used one of the moves you taught him to get out of the lock and hit him on the head!
Just want to pass on my thanks in giving him the techniques and boosting his confidence in dealing with such nasty kids! He’s got the tools now to deal with them in a calm manner without being nasty to them.” Parent of an Applied Ju Jitsu student.
“I am very grateful for your coming to our school and in your ability to get so many of our students involved. Several of them have been bullied previously, and I feel sure that they will feel more confident in what might feel scary situations. To be told that it is best to get yourself out of the situation will, I feel, help them to not feel that is what wimps would do. To know the law, too, I felt was helpful, along with knowing what stress signs to look for and to trust your own instincts when you feel uncomfortable. The easy to remember ways to defend yourself if it becomes necessary were simple, but effective. Thank you very much, Garry!” Colleen Simpson, Willow Bank School, Leicester.
“Garry is a highly regarded internationally renowned martial arts teacher. He delivers a highly effective mind set and method. In other words absolutely no bullshit.” Henk Littlewood, Sheffield.
Via Sheffield Children’s University. Son “Brilliant, the man was really good at explaining.” Dad, “Probably the best demonstrator / organiser I saw. Obviously in command of his material, held the interest of all the participants of various ages for 60 minutes (as well as most of the parents) animated and enthusiastic. I had been against going to this activity, but the quality of the instructor changed my views. Highfields Library Self Defence c/o Sheffield Children’s University. Post note, the son joined my classes and is now a Green Belt in Applied Ju Jitsu and a valued member of our growing team.
“Brilliant, thoroughly enjoyed every session. So interesting. Hope it isn’t necessary but would recommend to everyone. Thank you so much”. Georgia, University of Sheffield.
“We have worked with Garry and the Academy of Self Defence on two seperate occasions. The boys involved in the sessions thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and Garry was able to relate to them fantastically well. the sessions were obviously well planned and delivered with a style that is unique to Garry. As staff we were in awe of his ability to capture the attention of even our least motivated young people. He manages to balance the need and right to protect ourselves with a serious message of responsibility that is totally against violence. He is a great role model for young people in the way he conducts himself and portrays the ethos of the Academy. I have no hesitation to recommend Garry to other organisations, as I have already done so within the Boys’ Brigade. Thanks Garry and I am looking forward to working with you again.” Paul Sheard, Firth Park Boys Brigade.
“I booked Garry at the Academy of Self Defence as I organised an activity fortnight for our post GCSE students at school, from my point of view the aim of the session was to open the eyes of these teenagers to the sadly disrupted world around us. I asked Garry to deliver 2 x 3 hour sessions alerting my students to protecting themselves, reading an associates body language and being a little more ‘streetwise’! Garry did this far better than I could have ever imagined, his delivery and content were outstanding and the real life stories he told left the most impressive facial expressions on my students, the session involved listening, trying and then acting out various scenarios. Garry used appropriate equipment to help the students learn the defence mechanisms and told the most insightful stories, I really can’t recommend Garry highly enough as my students learnt, loved and demanded more of the sessions, I have already booked him for next year!” Jessica Brooker, Bradfield College, Berkshire.
“Speaking on behalf of the Y7 pupils at Yewlands School I am extremely happy with the developments that they have made during a 6 week block of self defence sessions lead by Garry. In a group that may sometimes struggle with motivation towards their PE lessons and often have various excuses for forgetting kit the participation rates during these weeks were outstanding. Students eagerly anticipated the next session and were clearly able to re-cap past work with very little prompting. During the sessions pupils were expertly guided through a range of techniques relevant to their ability levels. Garry delicately related these skills to real life scenarios. Students were made to feel comfortable and were keen to volunteer for demonstrations or show the work that they had done. Students were clear on what they were being taught and when and where it was appropriate to use such skills. Pupil confidence developed immensely over the number of weeks. I would gladly look to incorporate more sessions into our curriculum. Thanks Garry”. Jason Foulston,Curriculum Leader for Physical Education at Yewlands Technology College
“Hi Garry. Just wanted to say thank you for a fantastic day we all really enjoyed it and learnt a lot, so sorry about the scratching I feel awful about it!!, anyway thanks once again and will pass on your details to any interested parties. Regards.” Sharon Fordham, Doncaster Clinic.
“Your self-defence club here at Mansel was very successful with our children and they very much enjoyed each session. It helped to boost their self-esteem and confidence. This could help them in their future if ever they find themselves in a dangerous/threatening situation with other children or possibly adults. Thank you very much for your work, the children had a lot of respect for you. Thank.”, Sarah Smith, Mansel Primary School.
“We really enjoyed having Garry deliver self defence lessons to our children. The children really enjoyed themselves and were enthused by Garry’s dedication to his craft”, Sarah Meruz, Hillsborough Primary School.
“I have enjoyed everything, I have learnt how to protect myself” – “I have enjoyed Self Defence it was fun. Now I no more how to look after myself” – “Everything I did in self defence has had an impact on my life, Superman, ye boy” – I have enjoyed everything I have done in self defence that is why I have come 3 times” – “I feel happy because I know how to fight off people” – “I was very happy because thair was lots of fun and lots of grate tecneecs” – ” I have had a grate time hey” – “I feel happy because I’m not going to get beat up” Anns Grove School young people.
Had the best time at this class. Learnt a lot about disrupting attacks and getting out of rough situations, but also learnt about our body’s reactions to fear and stress. And thirdly about how to avoid situations by not being part of the problem”. Basuda, University of Sheffield.
Have absolutely loved it! just hope I never get into a battle with Garry. …. would highly recommend everyone does this training”. Kerry, Sheffield Hallam University.
I had a brilliant time. You made me feel more capable in such situations, if I am ever unfortunate enough to get into one. Thank you for a great day, it was a pleasure to meet you and I hope you keep me up to date with any future courses you are planning. Men’s Self Defence participant.
“We at the 38th Rotherham Beavers, Cubs & Scouts thoroughly enjoyed your sessions, your approach to the children was relaxed & friendly but firm. Your instructions & demonstrations were simple for the children to follow & copy they had a great time & had fun whilst learning some valuable skills. The Children’s University scheme is a fantastic opportunity to try other activities, have fun & make new friends we are delighted to now be taking part. Thank you so much for your skill, knowledge & introduction to the scheme.” Marie Wroe, Group Scout Leader.
“Thank you for your recent return visit to 125th Sheffield, 1st Dore Brownie Pack. As always our Brownies had a fantastic evening and really enjoyed participating in the class.Garry’s work with our Brownie pack focused on how to get out of dangerous situations. Garry did this in a fun way which while explaining the dangers did not terrify the group into never going outside again. He put the self defence moves into context so the Brownies realised that these were the last means of defence and that they were within the context of law.
The girls really enjoyed practicing the various techniques but this was done in a controlled way. The Brownies were supervised at all times while carrying out the moves. Garry made the session fun, practical but underlined the seriousness of self defence and being able to look after yourself should the situation arise. Equally he highlighted the importance of not using these techniques to show off to friends. The Brownies were able to ask questions and at all stages Garry questioned the girls understanding before practising the self defence moves.
This is the third self defence evening Garry has provided for our group and we would not hesitate to have him back to run further sessions. His professionalism and experience have given our Brownies a better understanding of personal safety and we would happily recommend him to work with other similar organisations.
Garry is a very genuine guy who really believes and is passionate about what he does. Refreshingly there was no hard sell on the self defence classes or programmes he runs to our leaders, or the girls! Our sincere thanks for working with us, on a challenging, but important, life skill! ” Heather Holmes, Snowy Owl, 125th Sheffield, 1st Dore Brownies.
“I just wanted to send you a quick email to say thank you for your webpage (academyofselfdefence.co.uk/resources). I came across your page while looking for some self defense and safety resources. One of my close friends had an incident last week (I won’t go into details to keep this short) in which knowing some self defense would have helped her a lot. So I thought I’d do some research on her part for both of us to know these skills for the future. Your page had some great resources for this. Thanks so much for compiling them!
I also wanted to let you know about another resource, a-self-defense-resource-guide-for-women that has helped me a ton. I was hoping you could include it in with your resources to help educate other women and give them confidence after life shattering incidents. Thank you again, and enjoy the rest of your summer.” 🙂 Yours Sincerely, Ms. Leanne Whitfield, Philidelphia USA.
“Hi Garry. I just wanted to write with a massive thank you for your workshops yesterday, the feedback and buzz from the students both last night and today has been brilliant, they really enjoyed working with you! Thanks again and I will be in touch for next year!” Jessica Brooker, Bradfield College.
“The children thoroughly enjoyed the ‘Self Defence’ sessions, some even returning for a second time when offered. The children said they had learned a lot. The instructions given to the children were clear and health and safety was excellent. Behaviour management was first class- even though some of the children who attended did have some issues with their own behaviour. Garry and his staff were always reliable and pleasant with both pupils and adults, and when asked to change dates were very accommodating. I would certainly welcome them back into school at any time. Many thanks” Jean Picksley, Deputy Headteacher, Athelstan Primary School.
“Very engaging and stories made it fun to learn” – “The most useful and interesting thing I have done so far at University. Thank you” -” It was useful, thanks” – “Had a physiological and anotomical reason befind every defensive move which made a lot of sense” – “Really useful, everyone should take this course!Brilliant teacher” – Great, practical and useful” – “Very helpful and builds confidence” – “Have enjoyed this very much, would recommend”. Sheffield University Students.
Garry ran a week long Self Defence class at The Learning Zone from Monday 22nd August. Each (5 daily) session was two hours long, the first covering safety and good conduct. The young people that attended reported back that they had really enjoyed the sessions. Garry taught the children in a fun, yet informative way, expressing the importance of analysing their own personal safety in any situation. One of the young people attending had learning difficulties and Garry dealt with him very well, taking into consideration his abilities, whilst not excluding him from the group. The young person in question had a great time and grew in confidence as the week went on. I would have no hesitation in recommending Garry and the Academy of Self Defence to anyone. Sheila Bhandal, Centre Administrator, The Learning Zone.
Yewlands and the family of schools have worked with Garry and the Academy of Self Defence on a number of occasions. At all times the service we have received has been of an excellent standard. Sessions ran with students in both Primary and Secondary schools have been very well attended by both boys and girls. Sessions have been practical, interesting and beneficial for all involved. Garry has a real talent in motivating and engaging all students. The Academy of Self Defence also ran classes for women. Many of the women who attended this course were vulnerable and “hard to reach” it was great to see confidence develop and a real sense of self esteem being instilled in them. I would not hesitate in recommending The Academy of Self Defence to other wishing to run fun, energetic sessions that can ultimately save a person’s life. Lucy Wragg, Extended Services Co-ordinator, Yewlands Technology College.
“Thank you for the Self Defence classes you delivered to our Brownie unit. All the girls without exception thoroughly enjoyed all the classes you did. They have gained a lot of self confidence and have spent time practising the moves they learnt. Several parents have also commented on how good the classes have been and that their daughters have enjoyed them.I would definately recommend the classes if anyone asks, you were totally professional at all times whilst still having some fun with the girls. Thank you once again,” Andrea Atkinson, Unit Guider, 124th Sheffield Brownies.
“We have worked with the Academy of Self Defence on a number of occassions and would highly recommend the team to you. Lessons were thoroughly planned and all equipment clean and safe to use. The children really enjoyed the sessions. Garry and his team had a brilliant manner with the children, clear instructions and boundaries were explained and maintained. We would definately invite the Academy of Self Defence into our school without hesitation.” Regards, Tina Holmes, Deputy Child Protection Officer, Woodhouse West Primary School.
“Garry came and delivered a session to 28 of our scouts one evening. The tone and delivery of the training was brilliant and all the scouts, both boys and girls, got a lot of useful information out of the session. Learning how to protect yourself without provoking trouble is a difficult skill to learn and Garry got the message across to all those who attended..” Shaun, 1st Stocksbridge Scouts.
Garry came and ran sessions for 3 of my Scout sections. Beavers(6-8yrs), Scouts (10-14yrs) and Explorers (14-18yrs). All three of the sections children loved it. In my opinion, the Explorers gave the best reaction – I’ve never seen them so quiet and engaged! I do, though think, it is a lot more relevant to them as they’re of the age where they’re out with friends at night and starting to experiment with new experiences. I think the self defence lesson stands them in good stead and gives them skills and things to use if they every come across and awkward situation. The Scouts and Beavers both loved the session and got a lot from it. I do feel though that they might have slightly struggled with relating it to real life, but it does give them the experience and knowledge of what to do should anything happen to them! I’d like to say thank you to Garry for providing such a fun, engaging and lively session.” Danny Levick, Shiregreen Scouts.
“Thank you very much for the self defence course.I suffer with panic attacks and anxiety, its hard for me to go out of the house sometimes. My confidence is that low now that I won’t go out of the house, speak to new people or basically do anything. I was so scared when i first came to the course but after just 4 weeks my confidence has grown to the point that I walked to the shops on my own. To some thats not a lot but to me it is. Thank you so much for all your help I really enjoyed it.” Anon, Womens Self Defence course member.
“Garry and Stefan had the boys enthralled with his descriptions of self defence and they were soon trying the moves enthusiastically for themselves. Care was taken to impress upon them that this was for ‘Defence’ not offence. A successful session. Thank you”, Emma, 142nd Fulwood Scouts.
“Just to say that I thought the self defence classes were brilliant, they should be compulsory for every school. I firmly believe that every child should be equipped with the sort of knowledge that your course gives. Obviously, I brought my own two daughters , one of their friends and my friend, who enjoyed the course. I hope that you continue these courses and hope your business goes from strength to strength which I think it richly deserves!!” Women’s Self Defence Class member.
“Working with The Academy of Self Defence has been a wonderful experience. They have run classes for both adults and children in Woodthorpe. They are excellent in tailoring their classes making it accessible for all – young or old. We will definitely be working with them again – hopefully in the not too distant future.” Karen Dineen – Woodthorpe Development Trust.”
“I think the simulations seemed real and not made easy – like real life” – “When can we do it again” – “It was a good 6 week session that I will not forget” – “Very good, I had fun but learnt a lot” – “It was fab and really assuring” – “Please do this course again” – “It was great – it was very cool, simple to learn but very effective” Handsworth Grange Pupils.
I’m not the most physically fit person in the world, so while taking a Self Defence class was tempting for the possible benefits, I really wondered if it would be right for me. In the end I decided trying it out for one night would be all right, after all, it was free and I didn’t have to go the following week if I didn’t want to… but I did! Not only was it a valuable education in legal rights and wrongs, it was a lot of fun and an opportunity to meet other people in the community. It helped that, despite my back problems, I could sit out anything that was too strenuous, but still continue with the class, just doing what I felt I could handle. I’d certainly recommend the Academy of Self Defence course to anyone who wants to feel more confident about their safety… and have a laugh or two on the way!” Michelle, Womens Self Defence Course Member.
“Thank you very much its been Amazing” – “I know how to help myself with self defence I’ve really enjoyed it, THANK YOU!” – “Now no one can hurt me cause I know really good self defence.” – “I really enjoyed doing it.” – I really loved it you taught me a lot.” – ” I enjoyed it Loads.” – It was really fun.” – I really enjoyed it and I learnt a lot.” – “It was fun.” – I liked it it was soooo fun.” – “Thank you for coming it was fun”. 125th Sheffield Brownies.
“The Academy of Self Defence has been a long standing contributor to our after school activities programme. Since Garry first visited our school he has run his self defence course to many of our children, some of them attending 2 or even 3 times. Garry is very clear in the message he gives to our youngsters about how important it is to keep themselves safe whilst out and about in the community. They listen attentively to his many tales of his experiences. Garry is a very reliable, and I would recommend him to run a course at your school or organisation.” Kathryn Cockayne, Stradbroke Primary School.
“I just wanted to let you know how impressed we have been at Mansel school with your Self Defence classes.They have been running for 4 weeks now,and each week the classes have been extremely well attended. In fact this has been the best attended club we have ever ran at our school. The children have been really excited about this, and the feedback has been very positive. I feel this is an important area for our children to learn.We need them to be safe,but to also learn that being disciplined is equally important. I would not hesitate to recommend you to other schools and organizations in the future.” Chris Stubbs, Mansel School.
“Many thanks to Garry and Stefan who came to our Guide unit. The girls certainly had a great time, we have not seen them that animated in a while!! I am sure that the girls all learned some very useful tips and will still be talking about it next week. The advice and techniques that Garry gave and demonstrated were age appropriate, useful and fun!!! The girls all enjoyed trying out the techniques and am sure will follow up a new interest in self defence.” Katie Liddell, Unit Guider, St Johns Guides, Deepcar.
“On behalf of the South Yorkshire Kempo Martial Arts Club I would like to thank you for the recent self defence seminar. Every one that attended has asked me to thank you and let you know how much they appreciated it. I had some very positive comments and feed back from everyone and would like to pass them on to you. Although those that attended had a considerable amount of martial arts skill and experience between them, they all admitted after, that they did not know as much as they thought they did. The majority of the techniques were totally new to us and not covered in our style. The ground work and submissions you covered were the favourite of the session and has got them all wanting to learn more. Although the session was based on serious training and at times hard work we all found your sense of humour and light hearted approach good fun.
For myself I found it refreshing that what you were teaching enhanced and harmonised with our style. There was no conflict of interest and the respect shown to our students, club and style was greatly appreciated. We would be only too pleased to, and will all not hesitate to recommend you to other martial arts clubs. Thanks again for an informative training session, we will certainly organise another date.” Gerald Colley, Vice Chairman for South Yorkshire Kempo Martial Arts.
“Just to say thankyou for both last night and Wednesday. The children all thoroughly enjoyed their sessions with you and it will contribute to part of ther badgework as well as the Inspire passport scheme.” Rachael Ridsdale, 30th Rotherham Scouts.
“It was Great soooofun O really interesting” – “Excellent” – I really enjoyed this session and it was different” – “Very good!” – “It was excellent thank you Garry I really enjoyed it” – “It was really fun” – “I loved hurting my friends (pretending) it was very fun!” – “It was so grate to do something different” – “It was fun” – “Very good but sounds disgusting!” – It was fun + useful” – “A good laugh” – “Amazing! Best Guides EVER!!!!!!” – “Thank you so much I feel like I have learned some really valuable lessons! X” – “Thanks, wonderful lesson, practical and concise” – “Thank you! The session was amazing. I’m sure I’ll never have to use these skills but what I’ve learnt I’ll not forget. I had a great time. Thanks again.” St John Guides.
What we liked about Our Self Defence lessons with Garry and Stefan: “It was the best experience ever; we enjoyed it so much. Amazing.” Issy and Annabel. – “I feel so much safer now.” Ellen, Maddy and Madeleine. – “Now I am not scared of anyone attacking me because I know how to do self defence, which really hurts! Thank you for teaching us.” Harriet. – “Extra help in a real emergency.” Esmee. – “Now I can knock someone out if they attack me. Yay! “ Katie. – “I enjoyed everything. Thank you for coming and working with us.” Georgia, Holly and Alice, – “We hope you Garry and Stefan enjoyed meeting us. Night-night bunny rabbit! Thanks to you both from all of the leaders. The girls are still buzzing about all that they learned. Dale Andrews, Brownie Leader, 125th Sheffield 1st Dore Brownies.
“Thank you for the great self defense sessions. The children at Shortbrook really enjoyed them and learned new skills, taking away good discipline and self protection. Many thanks.” Lynn Butler, Learning Mentor, Shortbrook School.
“A truly fantastic course, really enjoyed the kicking, would love to do more self defence. Really enjoyed it, can’t wait for next course” – “Thank you for the last few weeks training. I feel like I’ve learned lots of basic skills that I could use if needed to. It’s been fun and I’ve really enjoyed it!” – “Very practical and fun sessions” – “Totally agree with the above comments, fun sessions but with lots of info on different scenarios and great advice on self defence, thank you.” Womens Self Defence course members.
“The Academy of Self Defence performed an excellent martial arts exercise class for a group of 14 young people aged 10 – 17 years as part of our weight management strategy. They provided a high quality session, adapted to meet the diverse needs of our group, which included young people with learning difficulties. The instructor was professional at all times and I would highly recommend his services to others. A fun session, thank you…” SHINE Sheffield
“I just wanted to say how much the young people enjoyed the martial arts fitness session that you ran for us. We thought you engaged the young people really well and it was good to see them all participating for the whole session. Our young people really benefitted from the physical workout and through working in team, we thouroughly recommend the Academy of Self Defence.” Ellesmere Youth Project.
“The course in personal safety with the Academy of Self Defence was really well thought out and delivered with enthusiasm. I did not think I could do the things we were taught but now Know that I can think and act in ways that make me safer. A good experience, many thanks…” Sally, Surestart Staff.
“The Academy of Self Defence delivered a class to all 14 of our staff including myself and it was tremendous value for money. As well as learning some really useful personal safety and practical self defence techniques the session certainly helped staff to bond together. This was the best training we have had this year and was worth every penny. The actual techniques we were taught were easy to learn and backed up by a very professional delivery of supporting analogies and information that were delivered with skill. Garry has a great sense of humour which he uses to motivate people and get them joining in. Top marks from me, it certainly gave all the staff who took part a huge lift” Surestart Manager.
“Being a small company we joined a personal safety training course with people from 2 other organizations at Abbeyfield Park House that was delivered by the Academy of Self Defence. The training was very professional and the delivery pitched just right. We all felt it was easy to join in and very relevant to our jobs as community workers. We learned some things that felt obvious when we had done them but would never have occurred to us without the course. The break away techniques we learned were really useful as was understanding how we react when faced with aggression and how to identify how it escalates in a situation, more importantly we practised how to de-escalate. Thanks to the excellent instructors who made a very serious subject fun to learn about…” Green City Action.
“The young people from our school who joined in the training with the Academy of Self Defence thouroughly enjoyed themselves. Their enthusiasm was a reflection of the effort and skill of the tutors who were brilliant. Some of these children clearly lacked confidence in themselves prior to this course but have moved on in leaps and bounds because of it. Fantastic stuff.” Brunswick Primary School.
“May I take this opportunity to say a massive thank you for the self defence classes you taught us. I found all of the classes very interesting and they certainly helped me to think about the different scenarios I could be faced with. Your ideas and techniques in handling difficult situations are invaluable although I hope I never need them! You showed us a wide variety of ways to defend ourselves with easy to follow instructions and more importantly made us all feel comfortable in trying them out. I especially enjoyed listening to the real life stories you told us which brought the sessions to life. I would highly recommend these sessions to anyone wanting to learn self defence.” Women’s Self Defence course member.
“The Academy of Self Defence provides top quality self defence training for young people. There staff are experts in their field, professional in their approach and deliver excellent value for money training sessions that place the individual at the centre of the learning experience. Some of the ‘stories’ they use to educate are spellbinding and pitched at exactly the level of the audience. They are our first choice provider for self defence.” Get Hooked on Life.