New self defence classes in Swanage to ‘help control fear’

A martial arts expert has set up classes in Swanage to teach people self defence, turning a bad experience of his own into something useful.

Ian Rand was seriously injured at a nightclub as a teenager. That led him to learn self defence and martial arts and now he devotes his life to passing on those skills.

Ian Rand, left, self defence class
Ian Rand

Ian Rand, left, turned a bad experience of his own at the age of 19 into something positive

“It helps develop character”

His club in Basingstoke in Hampshire is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Now, newly moved to Swanage, he’s set up a club in the town for adults and youngsters.

Ian said:

“You develop self-confidence, self-awareness and self defence. It helps develop character and skills for life.

“We teach to the level and ability of the student. And take them a bit out of their comfort zone so they grow.”

Ian Rand, right, martial arts
Ian Rand

Ian Rand, right, and assistant outside the Methodist Church in Swanage

Recently moved to Swanage

The club meets on Saturday mornings in the badminton hall at the Methodist Church on the High Street in Swanage.

Ian had been spending holidays in the town for years and, after ‘reassessing life’ during lockdown, decided to move here.

Ten years ago he was made redundant from a job in computing. It was at that point that he decided to pursue martial arts teaching full time.

Self defence
Ian Rand

Members of the club learn how to tackle a knife attack

“More than just protecting yourself”

Ian said:

“It’s much more than just protecting yourself. It teaches you how to control your fear. Everybody has got that box they’re afraid to step outside of. But the benefits of taking those calculated risks can be life changing.”

Swanage may be a relatively safe place but in summer the area attracts large visitor numbers from places across the UK.

Self defence
Ian Rand

Harry, on left, watches, as Monty grapples with Jake

“Know what to do”

Ian said:

“Self defence is about improving self-awareness. It helps people to be switched on and aware of what’s around them and know what to do if danger should present itself.”

Self defence
Ian Rand

Learning how to read a situation is a key part of self defence

“Needed more and more these days”

Vicki, whose sons Jake and Monty come to the classes, said:

“As a parent I wanted a local club to teach my teenagers essential self-defence, something that is needed more and more these days. However, Ian also naturally builds their confidence, resilience, perseverance and fitness levels while having fun.

Every parent should encourage their child to have a go, being able to defend ourselves is a skill for life. It’s worth every penny spent.”

Self defence
Ian Rand

Learning skills that could come in handy in the future

Further information

Those interested in finding out more about the classes for adults and teens can attend a taster session from 10 am to 11 am every Saturday at Swanage Methodist Church or visit the club website.

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