Self-defence class success leaves Lancing residents more aware

The assembled self-defence class
The assembled self-defence class

A free self-defence workshop was held in Lancing on Saturday, November 12 in order to teach people to be more aware of potential knife crime.

Lancing resident Sean Clark suggested holding a class to the Parish Council with the aim of helping people to feel safer, after he noticed an increase in fear among residents due to a rise in crime, including a stabbing incident in the village.

The 42-year-old said the workshop was a ‘huge success’, receiving a ‘positive response’ from attendees.

The techniques taught were drawn from the discipline of Kross Krav Maga, of which Mr Clark is a student.

“It’s about not getting into trouble, being aware of your surroundings, putting your ego aside and keeping safe,” he said.

Rather than being about how to defend yourself, the class taught residents how to notice warning signs and odd behaviour that can be spotted from afar, he said.

Keith Collyer, who has taught self defence and martial arts for the last 18 years and currently runs a class in Hove, came over from Crawley to lead the workshop. He said: “It went really well and people seemed to love it.”

Mr Collyer said the class was about ‘pre-emptive measures’ and teaching people to look for the ‘tell-tale signs’ that someone might be carrying a knife.

“The workshop was designed to educate,” he said. “It’s not to scare people, it’s to get people aware.”

While a lot of what he taught was common sense, he said that some of the information was new to attendees.

Around 20 people came along to the class, which was held at the parish hall on South Street from 1.30-3.30pm, although Mr Collyer said many more had initially expressed an interest when the workshop was first proposed.

Gloria Eveleigh, Lancing Parish Council chair, attended the class and described it as ‘extremely interesting and helpful’ in helping people to ‘recognise and avoid any real threats - if ever they encounter them’.

She added: “Lancing Parish Council makes every effort to improve community spirit within the village. Sean Clark demonstrated his community spirit by arranging this free self protection class for the community he lives in. Thanks go to Sean and Keith.”

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