On March 3, 33-year-old Sarah Everard left her friend’s home in London to head back to her apartment nearby. It was a 50-minute walk to her home, and she spoke with her boyfriend on the phone while walking along well-lit streets. She did everything right to keep herself safe, and yet she was still abducted and ultimately killed. Ms. Everard was confirmed to be found on March 12, the same day Officer Wayne Couzens was arrested and charged for the kidnapping and murder.
Sarah Everard’s death shocked many people—she did everything she could to keep herself safe, and this tragedy still fell on her. This series of events particularly moved former mixed martial artist and martial arts expert Kieran Hambly and, as a result, he is offering three months of free self-defense classes for women in response to what happened. He is keen on helping women have a better chance of warding off potential attackers through these classes.
Hambly’s fighting style of choice, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, is well known for its wide variety of moves that allow those who practice it to break out of being grappled by attackers larger than them. It also offers several ways to escape from being pinned on their back against the floor.
According to Hambly, this style of fighting is what MMA fighters use once they hit the ground in their matches. In his words, “It’s submissions, restraints, and how to escape it all—which is great for any street situation.”
In addition to teaching women how to both restrain their opponents and escape restraint themselves, Hambly wants to use his classes to teach women how to avoid panic in the event of being attacked. According to him, doing this will help people feel less worried once attacked in the first place.
“If you’re training and used to having someone with their weight on you, or hands around your neck, you’re less likely to panic and you can think straight,” Hambly said. “I personally think everyone should do it.”
Hambly hopes that he will help give people peace of mind by offering these classes for free. He aims to have the courses start in May, though this is subject to change due to COVID-19 restrictions. He also hopes that other martial artists will follow suit and offer self-defense classes to women across Cornwall, England.
If you live in England and wish to take these courses, you can find Hambly at the Shark tank Gym in Looe. You can also contact the gym on its Instagram page, @thesharktankbjj.