Renato Skofac Self-defence training

Self-defence basics

Most people do not really have a clear understanding of what realistic self-defence is about. I have designed this 4-hour workshop to give everyone interested in increasing their personal safety and learning how to efficiently defend themselves, an insight into what it takes to learn and apply those skills under high stress and pressure.

This course is an introduction to the holistic approach to personal safety and self-defence, including some theoretical knowledge about prevention and conflict resolution, how to prevent being taken by surprise and sucker-punched, basic blocking, striking, kicking, techniques being used to escape chokeholds and head locks and the specific training methods used to make these acquired skills stress-resistant.

For some it might be just enough to get a basic understanding of personal safety, for many, it will probably be a starting point to further deep dive, expand and fortify their skill set. Whatever it is for you, I am a strong advocate for everyone completing such a course at least once in a lifetime, similar to first aid training which is obligatory in most countries for new drivers. Knowing even just the very basics on how to stay out of trouble, avoid conflicts and in the worst case defend yourself against an attacker, can eventually save your own or someone else’s life.

After this basic introduction course, you can pick from any of my upcoming workshops and deepen and fortify your knowledge on a specific topic. These workshops are held throughout the year and are announced at least weeks ahead, giving everyone the opportunity to plan accordingly, even if you have to travel to participate.

QUESTIONS? Scroll down to the FAQ section or if you cannot find an answer there use the contact form to ask me directly.

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I am an experienced & certified Self-defence Instructor, DBS checked, fully insured, qualified and accredited in Personal Safety, Safeguarding and First Aid. I am looking back at years of international experience in delivering effective self-defence training, to both, civilians and professionals alike. I offer fexible training options without any obligations, long term contracts or montly payments. Simply pick from my workshops below what suits your needs or contact me for personal training or group training options for your club/group/company. If you have any questions, please check out the FAQ section at the bottom of this page or send me a message using the contact form on this site.

EVENT SOLD OUT or NO BOOKING OPTION? Please express your interest in this event using the contact form.



Personal Safety Foundations

Personal Safety Foundations

Knowing how to avoid dangerous situations are soft skills even more important than fighting skills! Take this online course to instantly improve your personal safety.

Women's self-defence basics

In this 4-hrs hands on course I will introduce you to the basics of women’s self-defence. Learn what it takes to fight off a stronger attacker and escape to safety.

Self-defence basics

Self-defence basics

4-hrs of basic self-defence skills for men & women will give you good insight in what it takes to fight of potential attackers and keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

Basic striking, kicking, blocking for self-defence

Basic striking, kicking, blocking for self-defence

This 4-hrs workshop will teach you the basic punching, kicking and blocking skills required to efficiently defend yourself in an violent encounter.

Defending against grabs, holds & chokes

Defending against grabs, holds & chokes

4-hrs workshop that will teach you how to effieciently escape various hand and chest grabs, holds, hair pulling and choke attacks.

Defending against headlocks and bearhugs

Defending against bearhugs and headlocks

In this 4-hrs workshop we will go through the most likely variations of headlock and so-called bearhug attacks, learning how to efficiently escape them.

Defending on the ground

Defending on the ground

Going to the ground in a self-defence situation is extremly dangerous, knowing at least the basics of how to defend yourself on the ground is therefore essential.

Dealing with multiple attackers

Dealing with multiple attackers

Real fights are anything but fair and violent attackers often come in groups. Learn in this 4-hrs workshop how to stay safe when confronted with multiple attackers.

Takedowns & throws

Takedowns & throws

Throwing the oponent out of balance and taking him down to the ground is essential for self-defence. In this 4-hrs workshop you will learn these important skills.

Surviving knife attacks

Surviving knife attacks

Knife attacks are the worst case scenario in a fight, they are scary, chaotic and often lethal. Learn in this 4-hrs workshop the essential skills to survive a knife attack!

Blunt impact weapon defence

Blunt impact weapon defence

During a fight anything can become an impact weapon, a bottle, a stone or a peace of wood or metal. Learn in this 4-hrs workshop how to defend against these attacks.

Control & restraint techniques

Control & restraint techniques

When escape is not an option to end a fight you need control and restraint techniques to subdue the attacker. Learn basic restraint tactics in this 4-hrs workshop.



Having a busy professional life myself, I am fully aware that most people don’t have the patience or time to invest years of regular martial arts training, just to learn how to be safer and protect themselves. I tried to create a concept that would work for normal, average people providing them with valuable knowledge in the shortest possible time, so ideally they would be walking away from their very first class with the comfort of having already learned something useful. My self-defence basics course gives you exactly that, an overview of what it really takes to successfully defend yourself. On top of that, I offer a wide range of workshops that address specific topics in much greater detail and you can simply mix and match what you think suits your needs best. The workshops are intense and compact, 4 hours in length, usually held on weekends, and always announced in advance, so it should be possible for almost everyone to plan ahead to attend, even if you have to travel to the location. Many students then simply repeat certain courses as often as needed or do a refresher every now and then, depending on their personal circumstances.


The majority of my courses are for the general public, what we professionals like to call “civilians”. I also do offer courses aiming at professionals who have to deal with violence on a daily base, please check out “training for professionals” in this FAQ section. I also have a women’s only basic self-defence course, as women often feel more comfortable, especially in the beginning, without the presence of unknown men on a course. I encourage them to bring their partners or family members along for free instead, to assist them as training partners. In terms of age, there is no real limitation on the high end, you are as young or old as you feel, however, I do not recommend these general courses for teenagers under the age of 14. The reason being is that the topics and techniques covered are very serious and potentially dangerous and they, therefore, require a certain maturity of the course participants. Especially teenage boys under that age tend to be still fairly immature and would require a slightly different approach. If you want to register your child (under 18) for one of my courses I will need you to sign the registration form as a guardian.


It certainly helps to be healthy and in good shape, but it is actually no prerequisite for defending yourself. Self-defence has to be something individual and the system has to provide you with solutions that work for you. In other words, out of the solutions and techniques being presented to you, you pick what works best for you and then apply that to your best ability. There is no expectation that everyone can do everything equally good, and there is also no testing, grading, or other requirements you need to meet. The most important part is that you increase your personal safety based on the knowledge I will provide. This can clearly be achieved even if you are not fit, or also if you have any kind of disability. We will always find ways to make things work for you as well.


I do not teach martial arts, I teach self-defence. Martial arts are usually very complex and dogmatic, techniques have to be learned to perfection, there are often traditions and rituals involved, they have fixed grading systems, you need a uniform and colorful belts, and it usually takes years to really progress towards mastery. Modern self-defence on the other hand does not aim at perfection and disregards things like tradition, rules, and other boundaries like fairness completely. The focus here is strictly on the ability to defend oneself under any circumstances, using all means available to you, and therefore a completely different approach is required. Self-defence should not be seen as a sport or martial art, it is pure survival, as your life might actually depend on it.


I teach self-defence following my own concept that I have developed over the past years teaching countless self-defence courses to hundreds of course participants. Over a period of 30 years, I have trained in many martial arts, I have a black belt in Karate, Instructor certifications in Krav Maga, and Security-related subjects like Control and Restraint Tactics. I have also dedicated years of training to exploring arts like Bujinkan Ninjutsu, Kung Fu, Russian Systema, and Israeli Kapap, without pursuing levels of mastery.  Adding almost 30 years of professional experience in the security field to the mix, I created a self-defence concept that I personally believe works for most people. In doing so I did not follow a single martial art or self-defence system curriculum but have instead mixed and matched techniques from various styles combined with modern training methods used in professional military, law enforcement, and security training. I continue to constantly improve and pressure test my own concept, as you never stop learning, something most martial arts fail to do as they religiously hold on to their curriculum.


Because based on my personal experience I believe that there is no perfect “one size fits all” system out there. For example, currently, Krav Maga is extremely popular and claims to be “the self-defence authority” amongst all the martial arts and self-defence systems out there. However being a certified Krav Maga instructor myself, I can say that it has some excellent approaches to certain parts of training, but it also completely fails in many others. I have taken the freedom to mix and match what I find useful and I decided not to teach what I believe does not really work in reality for most people. Because of that, I was asked not to use the name Krav Maga or the organisation I was affiliated with and that was a real eye-opener for me, how in martial arts in general the system always comes before the student. Self-defence has to work for you, not for the trainer or the organisation (franchise) behind it! Realistic self-defence has to be simple and easy to learn, if it teaches you things like 20 deadly fists (*sarcasm) you are in the wrong place. Most martial arts schools are mainly interested in engaging students in long-term memberships, learning to defend yourself is rarely a priority. If you need to know more about this, please read my blog.


I am located in the South-West London area in Kingston upon Thames (KT1 3GQ) in the UK and most courses and workshops are currently held here. Allowing the time, the goodwill of amazing people who support and help me organising events, and currently also Covid-19 restrictions not being in place, I am also holding seminars or courses in Germany and other countries. You can find details on the next upcoming course dates on this page or when you click on a specific workshop you will find links there as well to the event calendar. Nothing in your area? Depending on the interest I am open to suggestions for other locations throughout the UK or internationally. If you want to host a self-defence course or workshop in your area, please check out the “private group training” topic addressed in this FAQ section, you can find all details including pricing there.


Obviously, one does not become a martial arts expert in a weekend course, however, breaking the curriculum down into a series of intense training sessions has proven to be a concept that works. Most of my courses and workshops are 4 hours in length, usually held on weekends (Sundays 10am-2pm is my favorite time). Is that intense? Somewhat, but after having tried different variations I found this is the best solution that works best for most people. Will you be able to survive an intense 4-hour course? Absolutely! I can assure you that no one has died so far in my courses. Are there other variations available? If that doesn’t suit you, there is always an option for individual personal training, just look up “private training” in this FAQ section for more details including pricing.


It is my intention to make proper self-defence training available to anyone who is in need of this knowledge. I therefore also organise free self-defence courses for women several times a year. However, being a professional self-defence instructor comes with costs as it requires proper equipment, licensing, professional memberships, further education & training, insurance, rent for locations, and even for training held in the park you need to pay for a license, etc. In other words, it gets costly and I, therefore, need to generate some income otherwise I won’t be able to continue my work in the long term. The regular price for a 4-hour workshop is £25 when the workshop is held outside in the Park and £45 during the winter period when we train indoors. I hope these prices are fair and affordable for most of you. Should anyone be in need of self-defence training but unable to afford one of my workshops, please do not hesitate to contact me, I will always be able to make space for one more student for free.


There is a section on this page where the next upcoming course dates are listed, just click on the course of interest and it will take you to the event details and allow you to register and pay there directly. You can also click on any workshop listed in the overview and you will find a link there for the next available course dates for the particular course or workshop. Should there currently be no course date scheduled, you can register your interest in a particular course by using the contact form on the course page, and depending on the overall interest I might prioritise it when planning new courses.


Yes, I also offer individual personal training as some people either cannot commit to the dates for group workshops or have specific needs like discretion or topics they want to have covered. Private training also works in small groups of up to 4 people and you can share the cost. The hourly rate for private training is £50 if no travel (outside the local zone) is involved and as long as you provide the location (outside is always acceptable for me). Depending on the location a minimum of 2-hr training blocks might be required due to travel times. Please be aware that my availability is very limited due to frequent international travel and other professional commitments, so I can only accept a small number of personal training clients at once. A free consultation is required before any commitment is being made from both sides, as I first need to understand your specific needs and I will then create an individual lesson plan for you. For more questions feel free to contact me directly.


Yes, I also offer self-defence training to private groups like members of clubs and fitness centers, schools, colleges, and universities, or businesses that would like to organize such a workshop for their employees. These can either be standard workshops I usually teach or an individual program adjusted to your specific needs and interests. In general, the hourly rate for such an event hosted at your location is £100/hour regardless of the number of participants (*only groups larger than 20 people would usually require an assistant on my end and increase the price by 50%). The minimum recommended total course length for groups is 16hrs to be able to deliver a good personal safety foundation. This can be broken down into several training sessions with flexible options 4x4hrs, 8x2hrs, 16x1hr, etc. to meet your needs and schedule. Depending on the location and total workshop length, there might be additional travel and accommodation costs that need to be agreed on, but I am generally willing to travel nationwide and also internationally to deliver my knowledge to you. Contact me for a free consultation where we can discuss all the requirements and options upfront.


I currently do not provide security guard training under SIA regulations due to the complex licensing process. I do provide training in control and restraint techniques and teamwork tactics for security personnel and other professionals that are regularly confronted with violence and threats in the workplace, just without awarding officially recognised certification. Therefore the pricing is currently still very affordable. I can provide this training also to businesses or private groups, just look up that section in the FAQ for details.


I added this here because people actually do ask that quite often, so I want to give a clear answer on that as well. I equally respect every martial art and likewise every self-defence style out there. It is very likely that there are many I have never even heard of. I hope my texts have not offended anyone, but I always try to be honest for the sake of those who come and seek knowledge and advice. Self-defence instructors are the ones who can make a difference in someone’s life, I, therefore, believe that we have a moral obligation to provide the best training possible, based on our own knowledge and abilities. From my own experience, I can only say that I have nothing but the greatest respect for everyone who is willing to invest and endure years of training and learning to then share his/her knowledge with those who are in need of it. This is exactly what I do as well, we are all on the same side here.

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