Self Defence, Tiger Style

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Every parent would like to think that as they raise their children they impart enough knowledge and know how to allow them a relatively safe passage through life.

But we all know that no matter how hard we try, we won’t be able to prepare them for all eventualities, especially in a rapidly changing world. We don’t live in the same environment, children face tougher tests in today’s world and require skills we would have never thought of in our day.

Keith Martin represented Ireland for 7 years at Olympic level and is a 3rd Dan black belt in Taekwondo. He’s also the man behind Total Kids Defence and Tiger Life Skills, a new initiative aimed at giving children essential skills to help them deal with conflict in a safe and sensible way.

“I started TKD and Tiger four years ago. The idea is essentially to give skills to children from the age of four, skills that they can use if ever they find themselves in a situation that might be unnerving to them. We run an eighteen month course which is an introduction to martial arts and life skills. Each aspect of the course is themed. So we have stranger theme, bully theme, health and fitness, leadership skills and emergency skills.”

While the majority of martial arts is based around strict discipline and drilling, Keith has eliminated those factors by making TKD and Tiger a more games based process that is more fun than fight.

“We make it as fun as possible so that we can give them the skills without being too serious. We teach them how to react if someone puts their hands on them. We teach eye contact, tone of voice and confidence so that they are able to handle themselves in serious situations. It’s not about hitting back, it’s about avoiding the situation and what to do when you need to diffuse a situation. We have a large percentage of young people who have had knives pulled on them and other incidents so we deal with those situations and address their reactions.”

Aside from giving children essential skills in self defence, Keith also works with adults trying to improve their fitness and physical ability. Having spent years moving from place to place he has now secured premises in Baldoyle but also has a team of instructors who can and will travel to teach the basics of Krav Maga, a non-competitive mixture of martial arts developed in Israel.

“Krav Maga is an easy to learn mixture of martial arts. It’s about simple movement and, unlike most martial arts is not difficult to master which makes it easier and more attractive to people. We draw up fitness plans for members and they can chose between kettle bells, bar bells, boxing, taekwondo, krav maga etc. We provide them with a personal nutritionist who is on call 24 hours. We are all about personal development and we believe that starting young is the best way for a person to build their lives confidently.”

With the vast changes in today’s society, people like Keith Martin are enthusiastic about making things safer for young people and in turn safer for you.

For more information search Keith Martin on Facebook or Genesis Krav Maga.

By Joe McKenna