Resident expert live on BBC Radio

October 22, 2019

So today I had a nice surprise whilst I was eating my morning Granola, a text comes through asking me to appear on BBC Radio.  After I check if it was legit, I agreed.  And Off I went for my Radio debut!!





You can access it via the BBC Soundsapp.

Look for Julia George 22/10/19 and these times into the show.

1:26. 1:35 and 1:44


The subject they were talking about was home invasions and what you should do.  So here’s a bit more info about what you should do as I only had a short chance to speak about it.


We always talk about avoidance being the best tactic.  You see trouble coming, you trust your gut and you do what you can to avoid it.  This way you can reduce or remove danger completely.


However, if you have intruders in your house, this is different.


Statistically intruders in your house are most likely to be stealing something, so will be looking for a quick buck.  Grab the car keys, look for a laptop or watches or jewellery that is laying around.


In these circumstances they are likely opportunists and not wanting to disturb you.  The best defence here is to make noise, turn on lights, shout, tell someone to call the police (even if your by yourself, tell the invisible man to call the police!).  This in most circumstances will make them want to leave sharpish.


In the unlucky event you have someone who wants to do you harm, what can you do?


You have choices, you always have choices.  You need to do the fastest risk assessment you have ever done.


  • Is the attacker armed?

  • Is the attacker by themselves?

  • Can you run?

  • Is there anything to hand you can use?

  • What does the attacker actually want?


So lets explore the answers.


Is the attacker armed?

What is the attacker armed with? 

Can they effectively use it?

Can they get me from a distance?


If the attacker is armed with a knife, or something that looks like a knife (just pointy and sharp)  don’t stop and ask them what it is, if it looks sharp, and you cannot escape, do your best to placate them, give them what they’re after and try to finish uncut. 

First rule of knife defence RUN and RUN fast!


Effectively use. 

Now if they’ve come into your house with a baseball bat or cricket back (we are in the UK after all)  and they’re in your hallway, they’re not going to be able to swing the bat.  It will basically turn into a prodding tool, which is much less effective and therefore much less of a weapon.  In these circumstances, timing and closing the distance are your safest way forward.


Can they get me from distance. 

These are unlikely in this country.  Guns and throwing objects.  But I do live in the country so a shot gun is possible.  Same tactics as knives, do what they say, get out if you can and if you can, constantly change direction.  Alternatively like the bat, get close and disarm.  But I wouldn’t recommend this!



Is the attacker by themselves?

This changes the odds of whatever is about to happen.  Can you deal with one person, maybe, can you deal with two, maybe not.


Can you create a bottle neck.  Again inside the house, in your corridor/hallway it might be that only one of them can actually get at you at once and so by defending yourself against the first person, you might scare off the second person.


Can you run?

Now standing up for yourself, making a fuss making noise in most circumstances will scare of a perpetrator.  Police interviews with thieves and rapists over the years have all shown this.  They look for easy victims.  But whilst avoidance is the best tactic, getting out of there safely and alive is the next one.


So if someone is coming in the front door, can you get out the back door?


So you cant run. 

Can you grab anything?  In the interview Anna Louise talked about her grandad who grabbed his Zimmer frame, brilliant.  Use whatever you have to hand.  Bag, keys, cup, mug of tea whatever it is.  Aim at the head, aim at the eyes if you can.  Make sure you use all weapons, don’t forget the walls are a weapon, the floor, your shoes (especially high heels) and your nails.


Your nails are great.  They leave marks, which the attacker will have to explain to someone, and it also means you pick up the attackers DNA, so make sure you scratch as much as you can.


What does the attacker actually want?

This is really important.  Yes you should defend your home, yes you should defend your car but not if its putting your life at risk.


In most circumstances people are not setting out to do you harm.  They are setting out to make a quick quid.  So if they want your watch, wallet, purse or phone.  Just give it to them.


If you can throw it out the door, then shut the door as quickly as you can.  If they mean to do you physical harm, now in my opinion is the only time to defend yourself.


I’m sure if a perpetrator came into my house I would have an adrenaline dump and deal with it.  I know where are the heavy objects are in my house.  Fire extinguisher, heavy torches, fire poker, even umbrellas.  So I would be reaching for those.  In this day and age I would also go downstairs live streaming to facebook with the torch on and telling the house what I was doing so he had the choice to run.


So we’ve decided to defend ourselves or our property.


What can you legally do? = Reasonable force.


What’s reasonable will be determined by the circumstances, the police, and a judge and jury.


Short version, no you cannot kill them.  You can hit out to defend yourself. 


They’ve already attacked your home, so you can defend your home and yourself.  So if you choose to defend, hit them and hit them hard.


A swift kick to the groin will take care of most people, men or women.  Equally a kick to the knees, you don’t have to be able to kick high, just hard. 


Punch to the throat works brilliantly.  Will stop them quickly.  It is risky, you may need to call the ambulance as well as the police, but consider the alternative, a larger assailant in your house wanting to cause you physical harm.  Give them a punch in the nose, they keep coming, punch in the throat, when landed correctly, will stop them straight away.


Back to nails, if you get grabbed, we have some easy techniques to release yourself from these.  But always try and get your nails involved.  A nice scratch.  You can aim for the eyes with your nails, and another lovely one, spitting in their face.  (We DON’T practise this in class!).  Obviously people really don’t like it, so use it and it will make them wipe their face and at that point you can follow up with a swift kick or punch.


Going back to reasonable force.  We generally teach a max of five moves in a combination.  This means you defend yourself and then reassess.  Do you need to keep going.  If you’ve landed the first one correctly, another one or two will probably do the job.  But always keeping in mind, if you knock them out, that’s it, job done.  Don’t keep going as this is no longer self defence.


What if I knock them out in my house? 

Call the police.  Can you lock them in your house?  Do you have deadbolts on your doors.  If so, lock them up, call police and get out of house and go to a neighbours.  They are then stuck in the house and ready for the police.


If you cannot secure them in your house, its probably wise to get out anyway, still get on to the police.  If you tell them you’ve knocked someone out in your house they’re likely to be around sharpish.


If you can take pictures.  But get safe.  You don’t want to be around when they wake up.  They could be out for a couple of seconds or a couple of minutes, you don’t know so get safe.


This are very general tips.


We teach specifics in class.  We cover all types of grabs alongside our normal punching and kicking techniques.  We will release a series of videos over the coming weeks covering these.  So if you would like more information, subscribe here and we will send you our self defence videos as they come out.


Let me know your thoughts.


Stay safe







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