Self Defence

At Cambridge Kung Fu we feel that it is very important for people of all ages to have a working knowledge of Self Defence and the options available to them if a Self Defence situation should occur. All our regular martial arts classes are geared towards helping members achieve this, however for parents and friends, who do not train with us regularly, it can be a daunting subject and one easily ignored until it’s too late.

If you come and train with us our goal is to help you understand your natural fear of physical attack and to give you options and ideas for how to physically and psychologically defend yourself against an attacker. You will be shown options for how to deal with pretty much any type of attack you may face on the street.

What is Self Defence?

This may seem an obvious question, but have you ever sat down and thought about defending yourself in a physical battle against another human being? This is probably not a very pleasant process for you; it may make you anxious to think about being attacked, you may feel afraid. These are perfectly healthy emotions to feel when thinking about, and visualising, being attacked by another human being.

We are not saying that because you practise some scenarios you will necessarily be able to achieve a positive result against any attacker at any time in any situation immediately. What we think is true for most people is that when we face a problem in life, if there seem to be no options open to us, the situation is a lot more distressing than when we feel we have options open to us; options which allow us to feel more confident and relaxed.

You do not need to be confident, fit or strong to benefit from Self Defence training. You do not need to have good coordination or body awareness, or any experience at all. These are all advantages you might bring with you, but our training will give you the keys to develop these for yourself.

Our courses and workshops focus on basic skills and ideas that can be applied to a large variety of situations – attendees work at developing a few simple tools to a good standard so they don’t have to try and remember different things for each different situation. As the context changes, your tools adapt to fit the new threat.

The Aims of Self Defence Training

– To teach you the skills to create options and see opportunities, leading to a safer and less stressful life.
– To, through incremental progression, make you more resilient and agile in your thought and movement.
– To help you understand adrenaline and your body’s reaction to fear and physical threat.
– To change your mentality from a fear based submissive state to a strength based dominate state (when and where it is needed and appropriate).
– To help you to become more aware of yourself and your environment and so become better able to avoid confrontation; the best Self Defence of all.
– To help you understand the law and what you are legally able to do in your defence.

The Fundamental Skills

We look to develop four specific skills so that they can be incorporated into all areas of life, not just self defence.

  1. Awareness: Use all of your senses, including your intuition. Developing this skill is the single most important lesson of the day.
  2. Focus: Always think firstly about what you have got, then what you have not got. Be soft where they are strong and strong where they are weak.
  3. Resilience: Your ability to bounce back/recover from the shock of being attacked or confronted in an aggressive way.
  4. Integration: Think of ways you can practise these skills in your every-day lives so that you continue to increase your chances of defending yourself after the training. This also includes having balance, which is vital for effective self defence; do all you can to preserve your balance and take away their balance – this goes beyond the physical into mental and emotional balance also.

What the Law Says…

Section 3.1 of the Criminal Law Act of 1967 states that “Any person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances in preventing a crime.”

In terms of Self Defence, ‘reasonable force’ is considered force that is both ‘necessary and proportionate’.

Necessary: It must be necessary to use force. If it isn’t necessary, you shouldn’t use force.

Proportionate: The amount of force used to repel the crime/threat must be proportionate to the amount force threatened.

A very good resource for this subject is ‘Understanding Reasonable Force’ by Mark Dawes. If you are interested in this subject we recommend that you read this, as it is a very easily understood book explaining how the laws came about and how they are widely used. If you would like more information on this, please contact us.

Courses and Workshops

We often teach Self Defence courses and workshops for businesses throughout the Cambridgeshire area. We can come into your place of work during the day and run a one-off workshop on some basic ideas and movements, or do a regular session over a series of weeks to really let you/your staff practice, and get good at, the material. We can also organise a venue for your group if you do not have one.

We can provide additional online training tutorials covering the basics of what we teach so that you can continue to train with each other after your sessions. Depending on the length of your training session, you might find that the online resources give you exercises to train that were not taught in your session. Because of this all our videos aim to give you the information you need to learn and develop your skills in these areas.

We also have experience teaching courses, running workshops and giving talks to University Students, College Students, School Students, Youth Groups, NHS Staff and Women’s Institute groups.

If this is something you are interested in please contact us and we can discuss the options with you. For details of the Self Defence resources that come with our session, you can check out our online resource hub at

Free Yearly Workshop

Once a year we teach a free Self Defence workshop open to all members, family and friends of Cambridge Kung Fu aimed at teaching the fundamental concepts needed to help you deal with some of the most unpleasant situations life may bring (for ages 16+). Our aim is for attendees to leave the session feeling that they have more options should something happen, and the confidence to take the action it requires to protect themselves or others.


“I got an awful lot out of it, on many levels and aside from the practical stuff have taken away food for thought.”

“As well as being absorbing, useful, and fun, it affected me quite deeply in a way I did not expect. Through talking about self defence over the years, I knew a lot about the ‘theory’ …. but the experience of ‘ferocity’ in a completely safe environment was unlike anything I have ever experienced before. I found this very powerful and quite unsettling, in a very positive way.”

“I really enjoyed the seminar, and have taken away some key messages, which I am repeating to myself regularly, to try to keep them in mind. Thank you.”

“I do feel privileged to have been invited, and have told at least 5 people about it so far. I know I will remember some key things about the usefulness of awareness, core strength and balance.”

“The workshop on Sunday was really useful, please could you pass on my thanks to the guys for running the session.”

“We both had a great time! Thank you for letting us know about it.”

“Thank you for the fantastic workshop and your time – it really was enlightening. We were impressed with the teaching style and the reasoning behind the actions as well as their effectiveness. It was really good practising against different partners too – to get an idea of size differences alone!” 

“I got a really positive feeling after the workshop and it was for sure very well-spent time.”

“Thank you very much for the very useful workshop on Saturday. It was well organised, challenging but achievable.”