Kissaki Kai Karate is not about high kicks or athletic moves, according to teacher Kayhan Etebar, but about staying in control when you feel under threat.
Kayhan is based in Eastbourne but has started a new class in Bexhill at Centre Stage in London Road where he aims to teach everyone how to deal with everyday danger and feel safer on the streets.
He said: "Karate came about as a form of self defence for the masses...but it became more of a sport. The karate that is around now is not about self defence and is not reality-based training - confrontation doesn't happen that way, it happens close up.
"Real coIt's self defence for the real world.
nflicts happen close up - people get right in your face, they get close and then they attack you.
"Kissaki Kai is about teaching people how to control the situation."
Kayhan has already started his session on Friday evenings at 7-8pm and says the class is open to anyone who wants to feel safer outside their home or in the street - no matter their fitness level, age or size.
He knows what he is talking about - he teaches law enforcement training to police forces across Europe and also instructs close protection officers from the company base in Herstmonceux. He describes this work as "very safe" and says it is mainly about getting an attacker in a position of compliance as quickly as possible with the minimum of effort, and says this is not a question of strength or size but merely following the right steps to deal with an assailant.
He has spent years studying Kissaki Kai which is back-to-basics karate using the moves devised originally for self protection but also teaching pupils the way to stay calm and act decisively.
Kayhan's own teenage daughter recently dealt with a mugger when she was on holiday in Spain, and had to defend herself and a friend against a knife attack by taking control and managing to get away.
"This is self defence for anybody who has ever been intimidated or felt unconfident in going about their daily business, where they live in fear of personal attack. It's for anybody who is ready to feel comfortable in their own space. Once you know what are the signs to look for you are that much clearer in taking evasive action. But if you don't know what the signs are, you are always playing catch-up. To women and children we show techniques of how to get away.
"When you know you are in charge of a situation, your fear goes and you make better decisions.
"This is reality based training for the real world. And the world has changed - there are people out there who will intimidate you, and there are people out there who will attack you...It is fear that cripples you from being able to do anything positive, and nobody should live like that.
"It is empowering, once your fear has gone."
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