Self defence courses

classes     qigong     tai chi     kung fu     about us     reviews     a-z

We do not teach self defence courses

Newcastle Tai Chi does not offer self defence courses. We don't believe in them. People expect to learn something functional after a couple of hours. It doesn't work like that.
You can't address fear, confusion, panic, accuracy etc in a session or two.

Be reasonable

Self defence courses are supposed to be for introductory purposes only. They give untrained people a taste of what street violence is like. Their principle aim is to wake people up.
They don't teach combat skills. They teach an awareness of danger/risk.

Serious attacks

If you want to cope with a knife attacker, a gang or full-blown combat you need on-going tuition in a recognised martial art.

Can you drive a car after only 3 lessons?

Expecting a higher level of competence from a self defence course would be akin to taking 3 driving lessons and hoping to receive a driving licence. Would you really be qualified to drive?

Bag of tricks

People are often looking for a 'bag of tricks' that will protect them from harm. They want a few self defence tips & pointers... skills that will work on everyone. There is no such thing.
Without formal, prolonged training you cannot reasonably defend yourself.

The marker pen game

Many martial arts classes like to use a red marker pen to simulate just how many times a real life knife attacker will cut you. The marker pen person attacks, the defender tries to protect themselves.
Typically the defender is cut to ribbons.

No guarantees

Try the marker pen game before a self defence course. Then try it again afterwards. You may find that the results are just the same.
Face the truth: some dangers cannot be mitigated; they remain serious and terrifying, no matter what training you undertake. In real life street combat there are no guarantees.

An introduction...

A self defence course provides an introduction to self defence and nothing more. It highlights the tendency to panic, tense-up and exposes naive, ineffective ways of perceiving the situation.
The student is challenged by the reality of being in a situation they cannot hope to control.


The best thing a self defence course can offer is a greater degree of awareness. Instead of naively entering blatantly dangerous situations, students learn to be more cautious:

Evaluate the risk
Avoid taking chances
Recognise the dangers

The street

The gritty reality of street combat is quite different to watching people fight on TV. There will be no soundtrack. No rules. You will not be a hero. It is unlikely that anyone will actually help you out.

No time for bravado

Admit your shortcomings. Increase your powers of observation, understand how range & reach will affect you, be honest about your combat skills and your ability to run.
Know how to use your body more effectively. Make the time to plan your route, to consider contingencies, worst-case scenarios, the availability of help. Prepare.


The self defence training offered by our school is part of the tai chi syllabus studied by school members who pay fees by standing order.

Without formal training, the larger and stronger naturally defeat the smaller and weaker. Therefore, a basic premise of training must be that the methods employed should make it possible for the smaller and weaker to defeat the larger and stronger.

(Tim Cartmell)

deterrent     grappling     self defence courses     study     syllabus

Page created 25 August 1994
Last updated  3 November 2007