February 6th - 8th 2014, Edinburgh.

Click to Register here.

This course offers a professional, accredited qualification to those who wish to teach a legally accurate, safe and effective course in self-defence.  The system of self-defence we recommend is behaviourally-based and incorporates modern motor learning and performance concepts. 

Candidates are free to develop and use their own self-defence methods.


3-Days onsite plus approximately 30 hours of online learning and workbook assignments pre-course.


£700 per candidate

Early Bird Bookings available for £600.

Click to Register here.

Self Defence Instructor Award

To Successfully pass this course you will need to complete the following five learning outcomes. To assist you, you will be provided with and signposted to all of the resource material you require (click to see video). These will include: Fact-sheets, e-books and online video resources.

The course covers:

1:  The Law in Relation to Self Defence and Personal Protection

2:  Health & Safety Legislation for Running Self-Defence Courses

3:  The Workings of the primitive Stress Response

4:  The Science and Psychology of Combat

5:  Self-Defence / Unarmed Defensive Tactics

Materials and Resources

The course will be taught using a blend of pre-course distance-learning material, followed by attendance at the course where further lectures and physical skills development will complete the training and ensure your competence.

Three Days

The onsite training consists of three days, which will follow this broad schedule:

Day 1:        Pre-Course Knowledge and Theory Check

Day 2:        Physical Skills Training and Development

Day 3:        Skills Consolidation and Coaching Development

Modern methods and approaches

The physical skills portion of the course will include modern approaches to the short-term management of violent assaults, including topics such as:

•shortening Reaction Time by recognising pre-assault behaviour

•the primitive fight and flight response and associated fear response mechanisms

•the relationship between arousal, stress and performance

•How Reaction Time and Decision Making effect motor skill performance

•capitalising on the natural strengths of the body’s survival system


The award does not dictate technique so it is totally inclusive to anyone teaching any system. It has been designed to provide a 'framework' within a qualification to allow trainers to demonstrate that they have undertaken the appropriate legal and health and safety training required to teach and run a self-defence course competently.

Self Defence Instructor

Accredited BTEC Level 3 Vocational Qualification Course

Online Learning  plus 3 Days Onsite

Learning Outcomes

Other Information

“Thoroughly enjoyed the course.  It gave me numerous ideas and drills I can start to use with my students.  Teaching standard was excellent and I’m very keen to attend future courses” 

- Martial Arts Instructor, Edinburgh University

“Course provided me with knowledge, tools and skills I will take away and use.  By the end I felt confident that I was going to be able to structure, design and give a class.  The presentation to peers was actually very helpful in pulling it all together”

- Self-Defence Course Leader, HM Treasury

“A greatly presented course with a high standard throughout.  Thoroughly enjoyed training with Gerard O’Dea and Tony Torres”.

- Martial Arts Instructor, London

“Found both Tony & Gerard to be very professional and highly competent.    Behavioural Self-Protection concepts were new to me - enjoyed learning them and training them.  Very impressed by these 3 days. Thanks”

- Martial Arts Instructor, Glasgow

“Tony and Gerard were very helpful.  Would attend again!”

- Team Member, Community Safety Team

“The course was very well run, pitched at the right level for the candidates. I found the whole course interesting - the easy way in which the techniques move into one another was particularly interesting.  The coaches were helpful and very professional.”

- Physical Intervention and Breakaway Instructor, NHS

“All parts fitted well together with the video/online presentations supporting the physical skills aspect.  Both trainers were very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and related well to the delegates.  Course is excellent in this format.”

- Martial Arts Instructor, Stirling

“The course was run very professionally and both instructors were able to answer all questions.  The physical skills part was most interesting - thank you very much for spending the time to help us.”

- Prevention and Management of Violence and Aggression Lead, NHS

“The course was well structured and full of information and practical practice.  It has been one of the most beneficial courses for self-defence for me”

- Senior Control & Restraint Instructor, Prison Service

“Thank you both very much!  I found the course really stimulating and empowering! 

- Conflict Management Trainer, Private Company

“I would like to thank Gerard and Tony on the excellent delivery of the most knowledgeable and interesting course I have attended”

- Team Member, Community Safety Team

“Fantastic course, engagingly delivered - many thanks!”

- Mental Health Nurse and Violence & Aggression Management Lead

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Call our Office:  0844 812 9795

Email:  info@dynamis-insight.com

By the end of this course, your staff will have successfully completed all the necessary learning outcomes for the award of an Edexcel-accredited and NFPS-approved certificate of competency.

Staff who successfully complete this course will understand:

1. The Law in Relation to Self Defence and Personal Protection

UK common and statute law that relate to the use of physical force for the purpose of self-defence. The meaning of ‘Reasonable Force’ with reference to Section 3(1) of The Criminal Law Act 1967, Section 76 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 and Article 2 of the Human Rights Act 1998.

2. Health & Safety Legislation for running Self-Defence Training Courses

The various elements of Health and Safety statute and associated Health and Safety regulations that relate to the use of running physical skills training courses and instructing physical technique, including the ‘common-law duty of care’ and ‘Tort’ with regard to Negligence, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, sections 2, 3, 7, and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, Regulation 3. 

3. The Workings of the Primitive Stress Response

Understand the effect of the primitive fight and flight response and associated fear response mechanisms on physical, emotional and behavioural state, including what is meant by ‘hyper-vigilance’ and understanding what physical changes take place when the primitive flight and fight response is triggered. 

4. The Science and Psychology of Combat

Definition of skill, the relationship between arousal, stress and performance and the relationship between heart rate and performance. References to: Hick’s Law, Guthrie’s Law, Yerkes-Dobson’s Law, Heart-Rate and Performance, Stress and Performance, Decision Making and Anxiety and Arousal and Reaction Time and Decision Making. 

5. Self-Defence / Unarmed Defensive Tactics

Demonstrate physical skills techniques consistent with the rights of defence and self-defence consistent with Reasonable Force and Article 2 of the Human Rights Act 1998, and which will be designed to work in situations of high emotional distress consistent with an understanding of the Primitive Stress Response and the Science & Psychology of Personal Combat.


Gerard O’Dea

Trainer and consultant to the security, health and social care sectors in the UK with multiple BTEC qualifications in the use-of-force,  Gerard has developed and delivered courses for a wide variety of professional groups whose roles require them to deal with vulnerable, but sometimes dangerous, client groups appropriately.  He has spoken at national events on the science and psychology of interpersonal conflict in these contexts and designs and delivers training programmes which reflect these realities.  

Gerard will lead the Understanding Reasonable Force and trainer risk-management portions of the course, supported by online learning materials from NFPS and expert-witness Mark Dawes, thus ensuring compliance with UK statute, common and human rights law.

Tony Torres

Defensive tactics instructor during his 9 years of service in the Search and Rescue and Nuclear Weapons Security fields in the US Navy and during his 13 year career as a decorated Master Police Officer in the City of Virginia Beach.  Mr. Torres also worked for Blackwater USA first as an instructor for Force on Force CQB Training then as a Team Leader in Iraq providing dignitary protection for US Department of Of State personnel including Ambassador Bremmer.  He is the former Chief Instructor for Tony Bla uer's combatives programmes.

Tony will be leading the physical skills and confrontation management portion of our Self Defence Instructor course by introducing candidates to his Functional Edge System. a behavioural self-protection method.

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