A mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran and martial arts expert offers three months of free self-defense classes for women in reaction to the alleged kidnapping and murder of Sarah Everard.
Kieran Hambly, of Looe, said he was moved by the news of Miss Everard’s death and is now keen to offer women the opportunity to fend off potential abusers.
The fighting style of choice for self-defense, Kieran said, is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – due to its wide variety of moves to avoid being grappled by someone taller than you. Specifically, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu offers people several ways to avoid being pinned to the ground on their backs.
“It’s exceptionally real art,” Kieran said. “Jiu Jitsu is what MMA fighters do as soon as they hit the ground. It’s the submissions, the constraints, and how to escape it all – which is great for any street situation. “
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He referred to a post called a “guard” – which he called a “date” for whoever is held up.
“When you have your opponents between your legs – it’s a very strong position,” he said. “You have many opportunities to attract – wrist locks, all kinds, all on your back.”
In addition to gaining the ability to both restrain and escape duress, Kieran said her free classes will help women avoid panic if they are attacked. He added that it will help people feel less worried about being attacked in the first place.
“It’s also about feeling comfortable in the discomfort,” Kieran said. “If you work out and are used to having someone with their weight on you, or their hands around their neck, you are less likely to panic and you can think correctly.
“Personally, I think everyone should do this.”
Kieran added that Jiu Jitsu is also great for self-defense as it was started by smaller people.
He singled out UFC champion Royce Gracey, a fighter who popularized Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. At just over 12th weight, Gracey managed to beat heavyweights with ease thanks to her fighting style.
Kieran’s decision to make these classes free for women came after news of the disappearance of 33-year-old Londoner Sarah Everard from Clapham and the alleged murder by a Met Police officer.
“I saw the Everard case, and I really felt for it,” he said. “I thought it was terrible, so I figured I would offer these lessons for free and people would take them. Listen.
“Most abusers are bullies, they are looking for a victim. You might feel like you can tell people to go, knowing that you have the ability to push them away.
Classes will run for three months free for all women, hopefully starting in May subject to Covid restrictions.
Kieran added that he hoped other clubs would follow suit and offer self-defense classes for women in Cornwall.
You can find the Shark Tank Gym in Looe, or go to his Instagram @thesharktankbjj.
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