Pure Self Defence – Why is a different self defence method necessary when there are many different forms of martial arts and self-defence systems available to anyone who wants to train in one or more styles? Read on to find out why I started a different kind of self defence…

Jonathan’s story: Having been bullied (though thankfully not seriously) during my school years, I wanted to build some confidence by learning some sort of self defence. First I tried Karate, as a older teenager, to gain the confidence that I could defend myself if I found myself in a difficult situation. I didn’t find karate particularly enjoyable and I didn’t feel that it would work for me in close-contact encounters, such as being grabbed around the neck, or pinned up against a wall, so after three months I decided that was enough.

It wasn’t until I attended a local martial arts display, when I was approaching my thirties, that I saw a demonstration of jiu jitsu (a Japanese martial art that uses almost exclusively self defence techniques). Of all the many martial arts demonstrated that day, this seemed the most practical for today’s world – a bit of an oxymoron as this martial art is from the ancient Samurai around two thousand years ago! 

Years of training resulted in me working through the grades, always keen to learn the mechanics of why certain techniques worked for some people but not others and what was effective and why. This culminated in me earning my black belt in jiu jitsu six and a half years later, in the autumn of 1998. It was only when I started teaching other students, as an assistant instructor, that I had to really start thinking: How to transfer my skills and make it easy for others to see, understand and execute the techniques I had learned?  That started me wondering how I could help others who may have had the same thoughts as I had, right at the start – where to go to and what to learn. What appealed and suited me, as an individual, to give me the confidence, knowledge and practical skills to deal with unwanted conflict?

After much research to find a suitable association and insurance, I set up my own school of jiu jitsu and self defence where I lived. It started with a senior class, but I soon started a junior class too, at the request of some of the lady seniors whose children also wanted to learn self defence too. Both classes were well attended and popular, but a house-move meant that it became impossible to juggle work and teaching, so eventually I took the difficult decision to pass the classes to another local instructor.

Shortly after I moved, I found premises near my new home and started a new adult class, again teaching jiu jitsu and self defence. However, I felt that something was still missing, though. There were and still are many clubs teaching traditional jiu jitsu and I wanted to offer something a little different; something for those who would not  normally consider a martial arts class. Sometimes Fate steps in to lend a hand at times like these!

My wife’s colleagues were generally aware that I taught jiu jitsu and self defence, so it was perhaps to be expected that someone would eventually ask her the question, “Can he teach me?”

This question was, in fact, asked by a lady who had been attacked many years previously, when she was a teenager. It had taken her more than three decades to do something about wanting to learn the confidence and techniques protect herself, should the worst ever happen again.

This set me thinking…

“What if I could provide a safe, welcoming, fun environment, away from the martial arts traditions and intense training, so that women could feel comfortable learning a self-defence system that has been designed specifically for them and give them the support and encouragement to gain the confidence and knowledge to protect themselves?” 

Fast forward to 2013. Pure Self Defence was launched as a women-specific self-defence system, devised by me, based on traditional jiu jitsu, but modified, simplified and new techniques added which are easy to learn and simple to implement.


Today, Pure Self Defence is there for any woman who wishes to take responsibility for her own and her family’s self-protection seriously, but for her to learn in a welcoming and fun way. Exercise should be fun and so too can self defence, even if it is about a very serious subject.

For those who always think that horrible things happen to others, just have a look through your local and national papers, listen to the news and hear what has happened to your friends, family members and those close to them. Now do you still think,”It will always happen to someone else”?

Why not join the other women who have taken classes or a short course to learn how to deal with the difficult situations that can occur whilst you are out shopping, walking, driving, using social media, travelling or just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Self defence is more than physically defending yourself – it starts with awareness in many aspects of your daily routine.