How Self-Defence saved my life after abuse

How Self-Defence saved my life after abuse


I’m writing this blog post because there is a problem out there with women lacking confidence after suffering from abuse. I want to help you with a solution to this problem. Women can come fighting back with confidence and I’m living proof of this happening. Throughout this blog post I will enlighten you to the way Self- Defence saved my life. Let me tell you a short story about myself. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and domestic abuse in my early adult life. Due to the abuse I suffered, my confidence and self-esteem were through the floor. I was quiet, shy, never had much of a social life, and I would often cancel meeting the few friends I had, even for a morning coffee, because I was afraid of the unknown.

I felt like I was in physical danger, the room feeling smaller then it was closing in on me. Chest pain following by my heart racing, my skin felt like it was in a sauna. The sensation of choking and not being able to get my breath back. This was me suffering with a panic attack and the feeling of one I knew too well. 

Taking Action

There was a turning point in my life where I had to hold my life in my own hands and take action. No one can change your life but you. So, I attended self-defence with a good friend of mine. This resolved a problem I was having, I was lacking confidence in many aspects of my life. Self-Defence allowed me to gain the confidence I needed in a safe environment, allowing me the time I needed to learn the techniques shown to me and built my confidence throughout the day. This for me, was more than just learning self-defence. It allowed me to build on my personal development so I could do the things I wanted to do. It allowed me to take care of myself and my family, if any of us ever came up against a situation where we needed to protect ourselves, I felt more confident in being able to deal with that. When you learn something that has a huge value impact personally, as well as professionally, it allows you the ability and confidence to teach your children and open their eyes to the magic as well. 

No one should feel ashamed for what they have been through, so, anyone reading this blog knows that you are not alone, and you can build yourself back up to become stronger than ever. If I can do it: so, can you!

The difference Self-Defence made to my life

I remember when I acknowledged how my confidence had grown. I was attending a course on my own and traveling by train. Arriving at Manchester stations looking up at the times and platforms, having spotted where I needed to go, feeling calm and content, I walked with my bag onto the train. Sitting on the train looking through the window, and having a cup of tea and a light snack, I listened to some music and read a book while the train was travelling to my destination. I noticed people come and go on the train, some sitting next to me. I acknowledged them but was otherwise engrossed in my book and paid little attention to them. 

I arrived at the conference centre and walked through the door to my room for the next few days, and while unpacking my small suitcase, I suddenly realised I hadn’t been worried or scared of anything happening to me. I hadn’t felt my pulse begin to race or the tightness in my chest when I struggled to breath.

New feelings

All of the old feelings had gone and were now replaced with feelings of CONFIDENCE I was proud of myself for having achieved that journey. From then on, I knew I could take on bigger challenges and come out of my comfort zone even more.  The new feelings that entered my life came in to play. I’m a strong and confident woman. 

Setting myself a challenge

I really wanted to help people by inspire them to start a new chapter in their book of life, and take hold of the pen. To have the confidence to come back from abuse and show them there is life again. I had to give people the information they needed, that I had learned throughout my journey so far.

A LIGHTBULB moment happened for me

I can help people who have been through what I have been through. Everyone deserves to be HAPPY, and love being who they are, because sometimes we lose ourselves in the devastating harshness we experienced. I sat back and I thought about what had been the catalyst to the new found me. and how could I encourage others to take these steps and find the confidence I had. I realised how much impact Self-Defence training had on my life. Then I learned how to teach Self-Defence to others, because I felt the best way to help others was to pass my experience and knowledge on to them.

This is when I had my lightbulb moment and decided to create the company Specialised Safety Development Limited (SSDLtd) with my business partner Derek Haslam. We provide Self-Defence courses for women who have experienced sexual or domestic violence in their lives. We place emphasis on trauma sensitive skills and technique training in a relaxed friendly environment. We bring something else to the table on each course we deliver, and that is, we want to inspire others and make you believe in yourself. Training with us is an experience, and we want to be the first stepping stone in your journey towards confidence.

Touch - Lightbulb moment 2

I knew when I attended my self-defence course that I would have to be in physical contact with other people, and who would be inside my personal space, but I was made to feel at ease by my mentor. I knew I was in control of what I felt comfortable with when training, and able to speak up when it didn’t.

There are many definitions of touch:

  • Come into or be in contact with.
  • An act of touching someone or something.
  • To put hands upon in any way or degree.

Our own life experiences form our opinions on touch. Due to my experiences as a child and a young adult, I was wary of physical contact with others, especially men, which held me back in my life. This is when another lightbulb moment happened, and took this into consideration when building self-defences courses for those who have experienced abuse.  

We teach you how to change your mindset towards positive thinking, and this skill works hand in hand with learning self-defence, and putting this new-found confidence to use in your day to day life. Having the training and the knowledge to protect yourself are some of the first steps in building your confidence and self-esteem. These are small, but massive steps, and slowly but surely, you will place yourself in situations which, in the past, caused you fear and panic. The more you think and feel with confidence, the more this will change your life.

“Self-Defence is not just a set of techniques; it’s a state of mind and it begins with the belief that you are worth defending”.

~Rorion Gracie~

This Quote speaks volumes. You have to believe you are worth defending. Once you learn you are worth more, and start believing in your ability, it turns into reality.

Women have been portrayed as the weaker sex, and even during our current times, can be treated with inequality. We see on the news and social media about bad things happening all around the world. All this can have a negative impact on us as individuals. Women would benefit from learning Self-Defence regardless if you are lacking in confidence or not. We teach you to have a more positive outlook in your abilities, and understand how your mind and body works under stressful situations.

Can we set you free in saving your life and come fighting back with confidence, with our Women’s Self -Defence Courses?

How to find out the date of the next women’s Self-Defence course, and book a place, go to our website and subscribe to our e-mailing list for further information.


We now have a FREE resource page           This allows you to ask us any questions you may have about any of the courses we deliver. Once you have submitted your query, we will get back to you as soon as we can. 

Like to learn self-defence but worried about attending a course, why not bring a friend with you and take advantage of our 2 to 1 offer. Bringing a friend can help alleviate some of your anxiety, and help you feel more comfortable during some of the more physical aspects of the course.

Interested in our blogs and finding out more of what we talk about, go to this link below:    

Kind Regards



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