YOUNGSTERS learn the art of self defence

TEENAGERS at a school in Kesgrave are today learning vital self-defence skills to protect themselves on nights out in town.

TEENAGERS at a school in Kesgrave are today learning vital self-defence skills to protect themselves on nights out in town.

With the increasing number of special underage club nights in Ipswich, staff at Kesgrave School decided to start holding self-defence classes to equip students with moves to fend off attackers.

Once a week they get a visit from Mick Blackwell and Sonia Beatie from Mick Blackwell Martial Arts Academy, based in Ipswich, who show the pupils self-defence techniques and strategies to stay safe and de-escalate a volatile situation.

Chris Finch, head of year ten at Kesgrave School, said: “We know that as they get older, they are going out later and doing things slightly more grown up. They are going to be putting themselves in situations and we thought it would be better if they could protect themselves.


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“With the wider opportunities to enjoy underage nights held at some of Ipswich's nightclubs and the Indi Night at the Corn Exchange, some pupils are staying out later, for longer, in a more adult environment, often unsupervised by parent or guardian, we feel self-defence is an important issue.

“The best thing they can do is avoid confrontation at all times.”

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Boys and girls are taught separately as some of the moves differ slightly.

Mr Blackwell said: “The youngsters are going out at night and at that age they need a bit of help about how to stay out of danger.

“We teach them the basics about safety, like crossing over the other side of the road if they sense trouble, not staring back at someone who is looking at them and letting people know where they are.

“They are learning what to do if someone grabs them and how to get out of it. It is not about striking back but getting away.”

Do you think self-defence lessons are a good idea for youngsters? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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