Regular group classes no longer take place, due my schedule. 
I now hold intensive training sessions throughout the year.
See below for details.

Prior training not necessary. Location: North London. 

Self Defence Restraint Technique

1200 -1500

Scenario: a mentally disturbed person on the street or on public transport. Someone who has had too much to drink (maybe even someone you know) who is starting to cause trouble and has become extremely unreasonable. The truth is, you are FAR more likely to encounter this type of scenario than a psychopathic killer. 

This might seem like good news at first, but the truth is that these low-threat scenarios are often much 'trickier' to deal with and can escalate into a high-threat scenario if not dealt with quickly and properly. 

One of the most common mistakes in self-defence and martial arts training is using the wrong tactical model in any given scenario. For us it's simple: High-Force Options = delivering concussive strikes. Low-Force Options are grappling based and are designed to contain, restrain or re-locate a subject who is now posing a low level of physical threat or is showing signs of becoming one. 

An incredibly important but misunderstood point of training is not just the techniques for these approaches, but also knowing when to use them. 

It wasn't until I reached quite a high level in a stand-up grappling-based art that I realised that performing joint locks, take-downs and restraints on people who are trying to take your head off is really quite difficult. Actually, it's basically impossible. HOWEVER, for low-force scenarios, they happen to be the ideal solution.

Through much pressure-testing and trial and error - throwing useless techniques out and placing emphasis on some of the more over-looked simple techniques, I have been able to put together a system of dealing with low-threat subjects in a way that is effective, legally sound and relatively simple. These are based on the same principles I teach to (and have learned from) security professionals whose JOB it is to use this training.

This course prepares people to deal with situations where someone has become or is becoming an extreme nuisance, where their harassing and threatening behaviour has become such that they pose a danger to others and/or themselves. 

We will look out: 

- How to restrain/contain someone in a way that causes minimal damage to them

- How to re-locate/remove them from the immediate area (chuck them out like a bouncer!)

- Understanding the law and use-of-force 

- How to take even a bigger person down to the ground by using bio-mechanical leverage 

- How to identify the level of force required and know when to switch it up, focussing on a handful of tried and tested techniques and do away with overly complicated techniques that are impossible to apply to anyone who is actually resisting



(This is more related to the self-development coaching that I do – use the contact form to find out more) 

Close Quarters Combat Class in North London

APRIL 8TH 2018
1200 – 1500

At extreme close quarters, punches become almost useless and the heavier, stronger person almost always has the advantage.

Being pinned or bear-hugged by a stronger opponent is an extremely bad place to be. At this point, your punches and kicks become ineffective but eye attacks, headbutts, elbow strikes and knee strikes can get you out of a bad situation. 

There are many misconceptions about these close quarter tools. In almost all self-defence instruction I've seen, elbow strikes are taught to be used at the wrong distance, knee strikes are taught to be aimed at the WRONG target, eye 'gouges' are overestimated (based on no real life experience) and headbutts are taught in a way that is downright dangerous to the USER! 

The truth is that an understanding of combat ranges and weapon-selection is essential. As is knowing what works and in which way!

When used at the right time, elbows, knees, head butts and eye attacks can turn the tables on a bad situation even against a bigger opponent. 

Like most people with a classical martial arts background, my skills were rendered useless at close range when I started to really test myself and my training. Most martial arts are designed to be used in a one-on-one sparring-based model. Real violence on the street tends not to go down like that, I discovered! 

Based on a tactical model inspired by security and military veteran Mick Coup, my students and I now use specific training drills that result in the defender using the right tool for the right job at the right time. 

In this course we look at:

- Developing an intuitive understanding of range 

- Selecting the right 'tool' for job

- Various angles of the elbow strike 

- Knee strikes

- The right way to use the headbutt

- The truth about eye attacks 

- The reality of 'biting'

- Understanding the importance of bio-mechanical 'range of motion'

Can you use keys as weapon for self-defence?

JUNE 16th 2018
1200 - 1500
Euston, London

People like the idea of being able to 'turn any object into a weapon'.

Most people feel BODILY unprepared for having to fight off an attacker, and so the idea of being able to grab something and use it as a weapon in order to close that gap is an attractive one.

This is possibly the most MISUNDERSTOOD area of self-defence. Not only are people highly confused about what constitutes as an effective weapon, when they do wield an object, they use it in completely the wrong ways.

The truth is that many objects that people consider weapons are actually INFERIOR to that person's own body. And the most devastating of weapons are simple objects that go overlooked. From my experience, people's instincts of what to take hold of and use as a weapon in dangerous situations are completely wrong. Much of the reality of this subject is actually counter-intuitive. 

When I went to study the native weapons-based martial arts in the Philippines, I was given a demonstration by the school's senior teacher. He demo'd all the unarmed combat and stick and knife moves but what really 'got' me was when he showed me how he could take someone out with a ballpoint pen. To my young mind, this was the stuff of the spy novels I'd been reading - perfect! And to be honest, it took a good few years to undo some of my pre-conceived notions of what makes (and doesn't make!) a good defensive weapon - thanks largely to the wisdom of combatives instructor Mick Coup. 

I now use a formula for assessing any objects worthiness as a weapon based on a set of criteria based on the question of: Is this more or less suitable than my own hands/body as a weapon? We look at the use of a variety of objects that are commonly found in households, the workplace, vehicles or carried everyday. 

We will assess them based on maneuverability, durability, extension, concussion, damage, immediacy and protection. 

At the end of this workshop, you will have a CRYSTAL CLEAR understanding of what works and what doesn’t and how best to utilize those objects that do give you the advantage in a bad situation. 

grappling class north london

If you get taken to the ground in a high-threat violent encounter, you are screwed. 

Intuitively, you probably know that if you end up on the floor in a fight, getting back up again is going to be damn hard. Being on the ground while your attacker is still standing is BAD, but both of you ending up down there isn't much better - especially if they are bigger and stronger than you. 

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu experts will tell you that you actually have the ADVANTAGE when you are fighting on the ground. Well, you're probably not a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert, and even if you were, their belief simply isn't true under most conditions (i.e if there is more than one opponent, if there are weapons involved and if the opponent isn't adhering to the rules of sport BJJ).

Some self-defence instructors will recommend that you should gear all your training to NOT being taken to the ground in the first place.

Others will have you believe that learning specific escapes to the various positions an attacker might adopt to keep you on the ground isn't necessary if you just thrash around enough.

Here's some harsh truths that I have mostly learned the hard way about defending yourself on the ground:

- If your attacker has even ONE accomplice, all Jiu-Jitsu style submissions fly right out the window in an INSTANT

- Trying to wrestle someone while their friend punts you in the head or stabs you isn't the way to go

- While the primary objective when in a standing confrontation is to incapacitate your attacker, on the ground your primary object must be to GET TO YOUR FEET and then go back to plan A

- There are a handful of basic 'positions' you will find yourself in when taken to the ground in a fight, and each one has a VERY specific escape that if you do not know, you are screwed

- If you are not familiar with fighting on the ground, then when you end up there in a truly violent encounter, you are super screwed. 

- Your nervous system is wired to do exactly the WRONG thing when you are on your back and being attacked; training is the only way to change this. (To be specific, the natural human response is to turn onto your belly and attempt to get up from there - but doing this when someone is on top of you is suicide)

I was training in the martial arts for around 12 years before I ever learned even one technique for ground fighting. And it was plain to see when I was invited to grapple for the first time. I had never felt so vulnerable in training before. And not long after, when I entered a full-contact Filipino Martial Arts tournament with little ground preparation, I made what I now know to be all all the classic mistakes. 

This was 15 years ago, and since then I have had the privilege to train with some amazing instructors in both sports-based Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu / MMA and street combatives where we have focused on the ground.  But of equal if not more value, is the hours of pressure-testing me and my students have done to find what really works under the pressure of real violence. 

In doing so, we have boiled down realistic ground defence to a handful essential techniques and key principles that I have now been teaching for several years. 

In this course we will look at:

- Drills designed to re-wire the nervous system to avoid making the 'natural' mistakes all untrained people make on the ground

- Escapes from positions in which a bigger and stronger person is on top of you

- Installing the 'default defence' for when punches are being rained down from someone on top

- Escapes from the four 'mounted' positions

- Striking on the ground - what works and what is useless

- The truth about 'biting and gouging' 

OP.3 UNARMED COMBAT - Fundamentals

OCTOBER 20th 2018
1200 - 1500
Euston, London

Perfect for beginners or if you're alreadyone of the crew!

OP.3 UNARMED COMBAT - Fundamentals 

NOVEMBER 18th 2018
1200 - 1500
Euston, London

Perfect for beginners or if you're already one of the crew! 

MEN'S WORKSHOP - Warrior Embodiment (Advanced) 

DECEMBER 15th 2018
Time TBC
Euston, London

If not already a member of the inner circle of my men's group, then to be eligible for this training you must have attended either of the previous two workshops (Oct 20th / Nov 18th)   

One-to-one private training with Sharif - £90 per hour (+ £10 per extra person per hour, for groups of up to four people)

Training is also now also available via the ONLINE SCHOOL