Free self defence advice follows hospital sex attack on nurse

Wendy Martin demonstrates a self defence technique on husband Neil. INLM04-100gc
Wendy Martin demonstrates a self defence technique on husband Neil. INLM04-100gc

A Lurgan gym is offering free self defence advice to women following the news of the sex attack on a nurse at Craigavon Hospital.

Wendy Martin, who runs On Guard gym at Kitchen Hill, with her husband Neil, said she wanted to give women the confidence to stand up for themselves and most importantly the ability to escape from would-be attackers.

Wendy, who is originally from Wales, said: “It hit my attention with the front page of the Lurgan Mail last week about the attack on the nurse.

“I thought, if the instructors agreed, which they did, we could give a few seminars to women on how to protect themselves out in the open.”

Neil added: “It’s aimed at women who work late, walk on their own or are in a high risk profession.

“It’s mainly going to be practical techniques that people can use to enhance their personal security. The important thing is to get away from your attacker, not get into a fight. I teach open hand striking techniques. It’s not what you call martial arts.”

Wendy said: “Awareness and confidence are two of the most important self-defence techniques. It’s important to have the confidence not to let people into your personal space. Also if you have the confidence you’re less vulnerable to attack.”

Neil has been practising Jujitsu for most of his life. He said: “I started when I was seven because like many kids my age I wanted to be like Bruce Lee.

“The personal protection has been the last six or seven years. I’ve written two books on it and give seminars around the world.”

On Guard gym is a non-profit gym. Wendy said: “It was set up for the local community. We do a lot of work for underprivileged children through Craigavon Council.”