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Disabled student learns to fight at Gillingham self defence academy

PUBLISHED: 13:10 08 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:19 08 March 2017

David Wilkins

David Wilkins

Archant

David Wilkins has also agreed to a documentary film being put together to show his progress in his training

A blind student is learning self-defence at a Gillingham academy.

Krav Maga Kent, based in Elm Court Village, has taken the bold step of teaching a disabled student to fight in its own unique style.

Totally blind with no light perception at all, partially deaf and dyslexic, David Wilkins of Gillingham Road, is unable to see targets and doesn’t even know how to clench a fist properly.

However the Krav Maga team have decided they are up to any challenge thrown their way.

Piotr Fajecki, founder and director of the academy said: “It is really rewarding to be able to teach David life changing skills.

“Self-defence itself gives individuals a new found confidence.

“Knowing you have the ability to protect yourself is important to everyone in all walks of life, but it resonates particularly with David as he is unable to see his attacker coming.

“It is a privilege to be able to mentor Medway’s very own Daredevil.”

Mr Wilkins has also agreed to a documentary film being put together to show his progress in his training and to advertise the academy as a whole.

“I’ve wanted to learn Krav Maga for years, but never realised this place was right under my nose,” he said.

“I’ve rarely been treated with so much respect, and enthusiasm, and my instructors all seem to be enjoying the challenge.

“I pray I never had to use it for real, but at least now I don’t just have to give a mugger my phone and pray he won’t smash my face in anyway.”

Krav Maga is a uniquely adaptable form of self defence, developed by the Jewish boxer Imi Lichtenfeld, to defend his Hungarian neighbourhood from marauding fascist gangs in the 1930s.

On arriving in Israel, he developed this system into a highly effective form of combat used by the IDF ever since.

Noted for being efficient and adaptable, it has been developed for civilian use, to so anyone can walk the mean streets of the up knowing they are safe.

There are several Krav Maga centres around the country, but the Kent academy is the only one which has premises truly devoted to Krav Maga and nothing else.

Skills and disciplines taught at the academy range from the simple punch and kick to the use of firearms.

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