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Local expert offers self-protection advice

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A QUALIFIED martial arts expert from Atworth shares his experience and knowledge to help people stay safe.

Richard Rogers of British R.E.A.C.T.  academy said, “Far too many innocent people still go about their daily lives with a naive sense of their own personal safety or the safety of their loved ones.  Before I go any further, I must be sure not to exaggerate the problem of violent crime. The fact is that when you consider the daily interactions we all have with one and another; family, friends and strangers, the huge majority of human kind are generally sociable and non-violent. However, we should not be too comfortable with that knowledge.

“As a comparison, let us look at the reasons for wearing a seatbelt whilst travelling in a motor vehicle. Apart from it being the law to do so and quite rightfully too, I think we can all accept that it is safer to wear a seatbelt just in case, in the unlikely event we were to be involved in a collision.

“The actual likelihood, under normal circumstances of you being involved in a collision is actually low, in spite of the roads upon which we travel being busier than ever.

“Just like personal human interaction, you are unlikely to be involved in violence! Nevertheless, you would be mad not to wear a seatbelt just because it is unlikely. One reason is that you have no control over other drivers, and you do not have any control over the actions of another person or persons.

“Self-defence, or self-protection as I prefer to call it, is the seatbelt you can wear as a pedestrian. The risks involved with driving on today’s road can be minimised with avoidance and awareness. Avoid alcohol and be completely aware of your surroundings are two very important things you can do. With the correct information and training, avoidance and awareness are very important and effective skills you can utilise to very effectively, minimise the risk of becoming the victim of a predator.

“Below, you can see the escalating levels of self-protection, starting with the most effective, and the order in which real self-protection should be applied.

Avoid:  survive

Be aware:  survive

Communicate:  survive

Decide:  survive

Engage:  survive

“You can see that I have put engage, i.e physical interaction last. Self-protection is not about fighting, it is about using the best options to allow you to surviving so that you are able to go home safely to your family.  Also, notice that I follow each step with ‘escape’. It is important to understand that escape is the priority in self-protection.

“Next month, I will explain the law on self-protection and my A, B, C, D and E in detail, until then ‘live in yellow, survive in red’! I will also explain what that means too!”