I started training with InDefence in August 2008 because of a neighbour who was probably suffering from a mental illness & /or alcohol problem. He had a history of violence with 2 other residents, both of whom were too scared to go to the police.

He was making my life hell. Things had deteriorated over a period of about 18 months. He started with weird accusations, progressed to verbal abuse and finally was really getting in my face with awful threats of violence. His behaviour was erratic and very aggressive. My family and friends told me to just rise above it, but he became more aggressive and deranged as time went by.

I tried to avoid him. I was sneaking up and down the stairwell and holding my breath each time I passed his door. Still, he regularly cornered me on the stairs. It was the first time in my life that I had to deal with a genuine ongoing violent threat – and I was scared.

I went to the police, who were sympathetic, but wouldn’t do anything because I hadn’t suffered any actual physical injuries. Insufficient evidence they said. I felt really let down.

I started boxing, which helped, but I continued to have doubts – what if he caught me in a tight space? What if he grabs me around the throat? What if he has a knife?

So I jumped onto google. There I stumbled across Krav Maga. It appealed to me because it was realistic and fast to learn – no mystical techniques that would take years to master.

I vividly remember my first class. I rocked up to Runaway Bay wearing my board shorts and a tee shirt and told Anna and Ash why I was there.

Ash teamed me up with a senior student. I was nervous, but anxious to get started. By the end of the first class I was blocking punches and knife stabs with my bare hands. I was amazed.

I then arranged some private lessons with Ash, during which the constant fear, frustration and anger I had been living with came to the surface. We practiced defences to attacks I could face in a confined space by training in a public toilet block. Additionally, Ash spoke about verbally dealing with my neighbour. At last I was getting the help I needed!

After about 12 classes (six weeks training) I felt I was reasonably well equipped to deal with a variety of attacks. However, being a non aggressive person, I was concerned as to whether I would use my new skills and whether I could overcome my fear.

But through various drills, the Instructors taught me how to deal with my fear, how to turn the fear into aggression if I needed it, and how to switch my aggression on and off. I can still hear Anna’s voice yelling encouragement to me during those early drills.

One day my bully neighbour was again screaming that he and his son were going to punch my lights out. I had had enough and this time I was ready.

Oh was I ready!

I told him to stop talking about it and just do it. He was visibly shocked and backed off, but continued to abuse me and give me his ‘death stare’ once in a while. Each time I was ready for him. He now leaves me alone completely – happy days!

I can not recommend InDefence highly enough.

Great Instructors. Great people to train with.

Paul C