Karen Palenski, Royal Russell School, Croydon

All junior day girls were given the opportunity to take part in a four week self defence course run by Combat Academy in the first half of the spring term and the senior girls in the second half! The course lasted for four weeks and consisted of both practical and actual strategies to use in a variety of situations which the girls might encounter as they went about their daily lives to and from school on public transport and round and about at the weekends. Obviously none of us expect to find ourselves faced with an uncomfortable situation and are unlikely ever to deal with anything but, as they say in the scouts ‘BE PREPARED’.

Combat Academy provided excellent and fun tuition, putting the girls at their ease as they put them through their paces – what to do if someone tries to come up to you aggressively, what to do if you are grabbed from behind, how to throw someone to the ground – but always with emphasis on making good your escape and using only necessary force. The final sessions was, arguably, the most fun, as six nine year old boys came along to act as would-be attackers! Although the emphasis was, indeed, on having fun with the skills involved, there was a clear message that the girls had been given strategies which, hopefully they will never need to use but which are they should it prove to be necessary

Karen Palenski, Royal Russell School, Croydon