English Dragon School

Eiryukan Aikido

English Dragon School

Monthly Archives: March 2014

Martial Art, Self Defence Course by Sensei Dan Holloway

5 women recently completed the Women’s Self Defence course held at the Ark in North Hykeham. The ladies’ were taken through six week of self-defence moves and principles by myself and Andy with attacks ranging from punches, grabs and kicks to knife defence and moves to get out of being pinned to the ground. The idea was to escalate the severity of the attacks each week so that the ladies’ were constantly pushed to develop new skills. The course ended in a test where the ladies’ were attacked randomly a number of ways and had to effectively defend themselves, either through strikes or locks and pins. The ladies’ were understandably slightly nervous about this stage of the course but all rose to the occasion and did themselves proud.

The course was, in my opinion a great success, with the ladies’ learning some potentially lifesaving tips to defend themselves, which hopefully they will never have to do. The course also provided some great learning and teaching points for me and Andy. It was the first course of its type that I had run and so was slightly nervous in the run up to it. However when it all started, it was fantastic fun to teach and a great atmosphere and both myself and Andy were sad the course was ending.

I would love to run future events in the future, focussing on the self-defence aspect of Aikido. It’s important to remember that Aikido, although providing many other benefits other than self-defence, is first and foremost a martial art, and I feel there is sometimes a tendency to forget this when we train due to the nature of Aikido. The techniques we practise, we practise with our partner, not our opponent and so compliance is necessary to help the learning process. It’s important to always bear in mind the principles behind Aikido techniques however. In a real self-defence situation, a perfect ikkajo or shihonage will never be accomplished where the attacker strikes and we perfectly pin them to the floor using step by step movements. The principles behind these techniques, such as generating power from the hips, not the upper body will work however and this ultimately, is what Aikido training and martial arts training in general are about in my mind.

The ladies self-defence course was the perfect opportunity to test these ideas and by the end of the course, the ladies were effectively defending themselves again myself and Andy. Future events like this I would love to do such as other ladies self-defence classes, as well as men’s and mixed ones.


I recently did the 6 week self defence course & I learnt so much – from getting out of being pinned down to disarming someone with a knife. I loved the the fact that each week was recapped so it was easy to remember. It was fun but also very informative. I now have confidence that I could handle most situations & keep myself safe – Jo Wilkinson

I signed up for the course as I thought it would be useful to me and also for exercise. I did not know anyone on my first visit, however I was put at ease by the instructors and we were soon pushing and bending arms of the new friends we had just made. Some of the moves we were taught are invaluable and at the time when we were told what we had to do to help ourselves out of a situation, sounded a bit “easy” nevertheless, relaxing and not tensing when someone has their hands around your neck really helps to push them away. Not only were we taught moves for getting out of tricky situations, we were also taught how to keep calm, keep eye contact, talk to the perpetrator and use the element of surprise to aid escape for instance asking questions and then using your hips to thrust the person away and roll, leaving them disorientated and hopefully in pain once you have initiated a good elbow on departing. The course has been indeed valuable to me and I know that I feel confident that I can use moves which will assist me in the future. This was shown in the final test we undertook in which there was an element of surprise! I would recommend this course to anyone thinking of taking up a self defense course – Kate Chippendale


ladies self defence