Getting a kick out of self defence

PUBLISHED: 10:39 08 March 2007 | UPDATED: 11:37 06 May 2010

Anthony Ferguson (right) and Harlow teacher Katie Trennor (left) with class members

Anthony Ferguson (right) and Harlow teacher Katie Trennor (left) with class members

STANDING in a room full of Thai boxers on a Monday night, waiting for a self defence class to start, when you have no experience in martial arts, can be intimidating. But krav maga is aimed at all levels and so, Thai boxer or beginner, there is something

STANDING in a room full of Thai boxers on a Monday night, waiting for a self defence class to start, when you have no experience in martial arts, can be intimidating.

But krav maga is aimed at all levels and so, Thai boxer or beginner, there is something for everyone.

Usually the class would be made up of participants of all levels but the majority of class recruits have come along to support their friend and krav maga teacher Anthony Ferguson.

Anthony, 24, who lives in Telford Avenue, Stevenage, has been doing krav maga for six months.

He took part in an intensive course before becoming a teacher, and was excited to be holding his first taster session at LA Fitness, in Stevenage town centre.

He has been taking part in martial arts classes since the age of 12 and is the World Muay Thai Organisation's Midlands Area title holder.

But having recently won the title fight in Birmingham, he said: "I haven't had a beer since New Year; I'm making up for it on Friday!"

Krav maga is a modern form of self defence originally from Israel and has been adopted by law enforcements agencies worldwide but is fairly new to the UK.

Anthony has never had to use krav maga in public, but he said: "The streets are getting a lot more violent, you read about it all. This gives people more confidence, it's really all about confidence.

"Most of the things you teach never have to be used but if it comes up you have it."

The class includes defending from a variety of attacks, and kicking and punching skills that are very similar to kick boxing.

John Hasell, who took part in the class, said: "It's a variation on the training I do. It's a different style of martial arts.

"Thai boxing is about attacking, but this is about defending. You wouldn't have done the person choking you from behind move in Thai boxing."

Gail Jackson, 24, and Sonia Ferguson, 26, from Stevenage, have also had previous martial arts experience but felt that krav maga would be useful.

Gail said: "We came to improve our self defence skills. You can never be too safe nowadays. We do Thai boxing as well. It's definitely important for women."

And Sonia said: "There are times you feel unsafe, getting into your car late at night, sitting in a car waiting...so it's definitely worth it."

Gail added: "It took me a while to get myself faster but it does become natural."

Practice makes perfect according to those in the know and, as you can have fun, keep fit and stay safe at the same time, krav maga is definitely a high kick above most gym sessions!

Classes are designed for all levels of fitness, with a separate programme for children, and are run at 8pm every Monday at LA Fitness.


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