Team Azure Strikes Some Street-Smart Moves Featured

A number of Azure team members recently had the unique opportunity to participate in a self-defence course organised by SteelExtreme Fitness Malta. The activity was conducted by personal trainer pros Matt and Lorenza, with two separate courses held on different days aimed as a team-building exercise for the participants.

The self-defence course was generously sponsored by the company’s Managing Director Perry Newton, who personally announced the great news to the team and wholly encouraged their participation:

In a world where uncertainty is around every corner, it’s nice to know you have the invaluable skills to deal with any eventuality. With that in mind, I sourced the finest people out there to give you some cutting-edge, life-saving skills. – Perry Newton

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Kicking off the day’s programme after a warm welcome and uplifting morning coffee was an informative White Board session. The trainers presented an enlightening comparison of UK and Maltese law regarding crime and self-defence. Participants received some insight as to how far one can go to protect oneself, as well as when to react and attack, when faced by an aggressor.

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This course is suitable for everyone, and it’s always good to have certain knowledge on self-protection, as unfortunately the reality is not always roses and rainbows… — Natalie Cuschieri, Azure Accounts Department

The group of participants was in the capable hands of Matt, Lorenza and three other professionally trained instructors from the SteelExtreme Fitness team. The training involved learning how to defend oneself from an aggressor in the unfortunate event of an assault, and how to assert one’s power in such a situation.

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Now that we have completed the course we feel more confident within ourselves, knowing that we have an indication of how to get out of certain situations. – Rachael McCulloch & Kevin Collett, Azure Member Services Department

Participants quickly realised that when it comes to such matters, time is of the essence: releasing oneself from the grip of the offender entails a swift, agile manoeuvre intended to take the aggressor by surprise. While this part of the course was especially aimed at women, who are often the victims of such assaults, the male participants in the team could also appreciate the valuable tips and skills to be learnt from this exercise.

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The course is beneficial to men as much as for ladies, as they need to know how to defend themselves if they end up in tricky situations. If the guy’s partner was getting attacked, the skills learnt would help tremendously. Overall I rate the course 10/10, and it has spurred me on to join their classes and get fitter. – Kevin Collett, Azure Member Services Department

Basic protection techniques such as blocking, knee and elbow striking, as well as kicking were practised by each of the participants, who took turns to play the alternating roles of victim and attacker in pairs. Boxing gloves were also provided to help improve one’s power-punch aim using punching targets. Some basic ground submission techniques followed, equipping the participants with the essential knowledge to overturn the aggressor and get back on one’s feet in a matter of seconds.

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The staff were very professional, patient, and put us in situations where we would need to test the skills just learnt. Adequate equipment was also provided. – Natalie Cuschieri, Azure Accounts Department

The group enjoyed a healthy lunch break on the gym premises before prepping up for the final component of the training: the Locks, Chokes, Knives and Guns Practical. The right manoeuvres for removing a weapon from the attacker’s hand by safely making them lose their grip were clearly demonstrated, and later replicated by the participants.

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The final exercise of the day saw the Azure team apply what they had learnt over three rounds of impromptu self-defence scenarios. This was carried out following an intensive cardio workout, which was intended to raise the heart rate and get the adrenaline pumping – in this way simulating the body’s condition when in a state of panic, anxiety and high alert.

Over the course of the day’s programme, working partners were exchanged at each round to encourage group interaction throughout this team-building activity. All members of the Azure team who participated in the course were genuinely interested in gaining more personal safety awareness and acquiring the necessary self-defence skills.

I would suggest this course to my other colleagues. It was very interesting, hands on, and the SteelExtreme staff are very friendly and helpful. — Alison Vassallo, Azure Accounts Department

I would 100% recommend this course to anyone wanting to know more along the lines of self-defence. I would recommend general keep-fit with the guys also as their place is great. It’s raw, which makes it better than the normal gyms here on the island, and there are no pretentious gym goers. – Rachael McCulloch, Azure Member Services Department

Thanks to the SteelExtreme trainers, who were always on hand to guide each participant every step of the way, this outcome could be achieved and the course was a kick-ass success.

Now that I’ve done this course, I feel that I have a sound basic knowledge and understanding of self-defence. While I am curious to test how the moves actually work, and to determine whether I would be able to perform them well, I obviously hope to never get into a real situation which would require me to physically defend myself. But it’s always good to do whatever one can to always be prepared. – Martina Brtnicka, Azure Marketing Department

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