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Realism is our speciality

Our focus is on realism, how it's going to be in a real situation. Not how it is in the dojo, or a sporting contest, but how it is in real life. 


We do not cater for children due to the nature of the classes, however there will be a children's class added at a later date, if there is a demand.


Although based in Chester, Cheshire, we are available for private engagements or seminars across the country.



The RBUD YouTube page

Miss E and Miss A Demonstrate The Fence as Part of the Chester Uni Students FREE Class

Two of the Chester Uni Students who attended today's class, Miss E and Miss A demonstrating The Fence. Everyone today showed bags of courage just showing up, I was pleasantly surprised by how well and quickly everyone took to it.

Very happy instructor here.

And I've Got the Socks to Match
Body Language in Self Defence
Back to Basics; February Challenge
General Awareness for Self Defence
Book Review: Book of Five Rings
Book Review: Born to Fight

Autobiography of Mark Hunt, MMA and K1 fighter, and a man known for his run of bad luck against steroid-fueled opponents.

Very happy instructor here.

Book Review: Real Grappling by Geoff Thompson

The first book on real combat I ever bought, absolute game-changer for me.

No Restraint

Why I'm not a fan of restraints in self defence (again, this is for self defence, not a match fight)

Street Fight is an Ambiguous Term

What do people mean when they say Street Fight?


The psychological aspect of fighting often gets overlooked. You have to be in the right frame of mind, in that you have to believe that you're worth defending, and you must believe that your techniques/training will work. It's also important to know how to flip the switch to dehumanise the opponent.

Simple and Scruffy

Simple and Scruffy techniques are where it's at.

Book Review: Fear by Geoff Thompson

This is a very worthwhile book in your journey. Over-coming fear and understanding what it is can be a life-changing education.

Book Review: Wrestling For Beginners

Wrestling is a great style for self defence.

Book Review: Wrestling For Beginners

Wrestling is a great style for self defence.

Basic Fitness and Exercise

Basic exercises that can be done at home that will help with self defence.

The Way of the Fight Book Review

The autobiography of GSP, the greatest welterweight MMA fighter in UFC history.

A quick note on the Book Reviews. 


A quick clip on Fear, what it is and how to handle it.

Book Review: Becoming the Natural by Randy Couture

2 weight MMA world champion and UFC Hall of Fame member Randy Couture tells his story.

Heart of the Matter

Fitness in Martial Arts and Self Defence classes, and should it take up part of the lesson or should it be the responsibility of the student to stay fit in their own time?

Book Review: Realest Guy in the Room by Dan Severn

MMA and pro-wrestling World Champion tells his life story in this book,

Book Review: Let's Get It On! by Big John McCarthy

The autobiography of MMA's most-recognisable ref, Big John McCarthy.

Book Review: Why I Fight by BJ Penn

Autobiography of two-weight World Champion BJ Penn.

Oct 2019 Chester Uni

Student Seminar.

Chester Uni

Oct 2019

Chester Students

Shove-kick-head-shot exercise Oct 2019

Chester Students

Oct 2019

Chester Uni Students 0ct 2019

Oct 2019 Chester Uni.

Chester Uni Seminar Oct 2019

Aggression skill set.

Chester Uni Students Verbal Exercise

A quick aggression exercise during the Student Seminar Oct 2019.

Chester Uni Student Seminar 0ct 2019

Oct 2019 was the first of what will be many Student Seminars for Chester University.

Chester Uni Student Seminar Oct 2019

The students representing Chester University did very well on this seminar from Oct 2019.

Chester Uni Students Oct 2019

Another clip from the Free-for-Students self defence seminar.

Chester Uni Student Seminar Oct 2019 

Circle of Death!!!!!! Exercise at the Oct 2019 Student seminar.

Chester Uni Students Seminar

Chester Uni Student Seminar Oct 2019.

Halloween Safety Tips: Homeowners

A second Halloween Safety Tips clip, this time for the homeowner.

Invitation for Chester University Students

Chester University Students are invited to a FREE self defence seminar.

Basic Three Touch Principle

If someone touches the lead hand of your Fence for a third time, then the interview is over at that point.

Basic Latching-On

Latching-On can be quite a useful tool to have in your kit, if you do it properly.

Basics of Covering Up

Quick clip on how to cover up properly, because blocking doesn't work.

Basic Mechanics of Throwing a Shot

The actual body mechanics of throwing a punch/hand strike.

Basic Awareness: Shortcuts 2

And another thing...

Basic Awareness: Shortcuts

Things to be aware of when using shortcuts.

Basic Awareness When Walking

Do you know to periodically check over your shoulder? Do you know to not walk and text? 

Basic Underground/Subway Safety

I'm not a fan of underground walk-way systems.

Basic Car Park Safety

Quick clip on the very basics of car park safety.

Basic Bus Stop Safety

Very basic safety at the bus stop.

Basic Fence Stance

It all starts with The Fence, so here I show very quickly what it is. In the actual sessions we go into a lot more depth on this, as it is very important.

Halloween Safety Tips

Some tips about safety for Halloween.

Excuses Not to Go to a Self Defence Seminar

A brief clip looking at some of the excuses people make to not try a self-defence class.

Best Defence for a Knife Attack

I have been asked many times recently what the best defence for a knife attack is. Here, I give my simple answer.

Why Brazilian JiuJitsu

In this clip I explain why RBUD has Brazilian JiuJitsu (BJJ) techniques for self defence, and why it is one of our core five (Boxing, Thai Boxing, Judo Greco-Roman, and BJJ).

Book Review: Winning Wrestling Moves

This Book Review is of Winning Wrestling Moves, the first ever Wrestling book I read years ago from the Holyhead Public Library (support your libraries, people!).

Aikido: Why It Won't Work

I look at why Aikido isn't so good for self defence, and explain what it lacks. I also extend an invitation to any Aikido clubs that have a system of training for reality t contact me, as I would like to work with them.

Is It Legal? The Law and Self Defence

In this clip I briefly go over where UK law stand on self defence and the individual's right to defend themselves physically. 

Chester Uni Student's Free Seminar

This is an invitation clip to all the students at Chester Uni for a free seminar held on Sun 27 Oct 2019. Link in the description of the vid  on how to attend. 

Book Review: Uncaged by Frank Shamrock

Frank Shamrock was the prototype for modern MMA fighters. This is his incredible life story.

Book Review: Is This Legal?

Is This Legal? by Art Davie is the story of how the first UFC came about. Not strictly (or loosely) anything to do with self defence, but still worth taking a look at.

Book Review: Sombo

Throws and Takedowns of Sombo by Geoff Thompson.

Book Review: Kimura

A biography of the legendary Judoka and BJJ -wrist-lcok (actually a shoulder-crank) namesake, Kimura.

Twist and Shout! Why Wrist Locks Don't Work

I briefly explain why we don't teach/use wrist locks at RBUD.

Why Judo?

In this clip I explain why here ate RBUD we have Judo as one of our five core styles (Boxing, Thai Boxing, Judo, Greco-Roman, and Brazilian JiuJitsu).

Book Review: Bruce Lee's Fighting Methods Vol 3

Exactly what you think it is. I review Bruce Lee's Fighting Methods Vol 3

How To Chose A Style

Martial arts, self defence, pro-fight teams. It can be a maze, so in this clip I offer a few suggestions to help you pick a style to study.

Why Boxing?

In this clip I briefly explain why RBUD has Boxing as one of its five core styles (Boxing, Thai Boxing, Judo, Greco-Roman Wrestling, and Brazilian JiuJitsu).

Beastly Conduct!

A quick support message to friend Rob 'Beast' Cunningham who is competing in MMA.

Book Review: Shotokan by David Mitchell

In this Book Review I look at Shotokan by David Mitchell. I bought this book purely because it was written by David Mitchell.

Book Review: Watch My Back

Watch My Back by Geoff Thompson, possibly one of the most important books on the subject of overcoming fear and being smart enough to tweak your training for reality.

Book Review; Working With Warriors

Working With Warriors by Den Martin is the subject of this Book Review. 

Book Review: Tao of Jeet Kune Do

Book Review time, and I look at Tao of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee.

Book Review: Grips by Neil Adams

In this Book Review, I look at Grips by Judo World Champion and Olympic Silver medalist Neil Adams.

Target Hardening

How to make yourself a Harder Target so that the bad guys move on to a different prey.

Book Review: Commando Fighting Techniques

Commando Fighting Techniques is the subject of this Book Review clip. Enjoy.

Book Review: The Fence by Geoff Thompson

This Book review cover Geoff Thompson's The Fence. For those who may not know, The Fence is one of, if not the, most important technique in self defence. You need this book.

Book Review: The Art of Fighting Without Fighting by Geoff Thompson

This Book Review is The Art of Fighting Without Fighting by Geoff Thompson. Well worth getting yourself a copy.

Become The Teapot!

In this clip I look at the part of the famous Bruce Lee quite that often gets overlooked.

Don't Get Touchy!

The first part of a two-part series on the fraudulent 'no-touch-knock-out' charlatans. 

How High Are You?

Why we don't teach high-kicks in the RBUD syllabus.

Watch Your Language

In this clip, I look at the role talking plays in self defence, and why it is important to use the right words, with the correct tone.

Book Review: Aikido

Good book about a bad art.

The Three Siblings

The difference between Match Fighting, Martial Arts, and Self Defence, and why it is vitally important that we don't get them confused.

To Gi or Not to Gi

The benefits of training no-gi and why everyone, regardless of style, should have at least one session a week of it.

Primary Targets, Secondary Targets

In this clip I explain why we have Primary Targets, Secondary Targets, what they are and how to set them up.

Unwanted Attention Vol. 2: Taxi Driver

The second instalment of out Unwanted Attention series, this time focusing on harassment when trying to get a late-night taxi.

Your Sacrifice

A look at why we don't teach Sacrifice Throws (a/k/a Suicide Drops) in Reality Based Urban Defence.  Throwing yourself on the ground is never a good idea in self defence, and we don't advocate it in RBUD.

Under Pressure

In this video I look at Pressure Testing and Pressure Points in self defence.

Book Review: Karate's Grappling Methods

Book Review 2, Karate's Grappling Methods by Iain Abernethy. 

More about Iain Abernethy cane be found at

and on his YouTube channel

Deescalation and the Receptive Mind

There is a specific point in time when somebody's aggression will get to such a point that they are no-longer receptive to being talked-down. In this clip we look at this.

Book Review: Dead or Alive

The first book review is of possibly the very best self-defence manual on the planet, Geoff Thompson's Dead or Alive.

Spoiler Alert: You should buy this book.

General Safety Tips

A quick clip of General Safety Tips, for everyday life.

Victim Blaming

Is it really Victim Blaming, or just asking adults to take responsibility for their own safety?  

Don't Chase Them

Why it is important that you don't chase after a mugger or attacker, and why you probably aren't as good a fighter as you think.

Picking Up a Cat

I heard the great Lee Morrison use this analogy, and I think it is perfect for women's self defence.

For more on the great Lee Morrison, visit

Celebrities Get Attacked

A quick list of famous people that have been attacked/mugged/burgled, and what the circumstances surrounding these events were, and if they could have been avoided.

Run Away

In this clip I explain why we finish each technique with running away, and the correct mind-set for training for self-defence.

Don't Be Nosy!

In this quick clip we briefly explain why we don't focus on the nose as a Primary Target.

Electronic Splash

Part of our Travel Safe syllabus, this video is a quick explanation on what the Electronic Splash is, and why we use it.

Your Rapist is Human, Show Some Sympathy!

My video response to a ridiculously stupid article that has been doing the rounds online, from The Watchtower, which suggests people being raped should have sympathy and respect for their attacker. 

Spoiler Alert: I disagree. 

Unwanted Attention

First of several clips quickly looking at how to deal with the different types of unwanted attention you might encounter.

First Date Safety

A brief clip giving some tips and suggestions about how to stay safe when meeting someone fro the first time.

Reasonable Force

What is Reasonable Force and how does it apply to self defence? Chief Instructor James McCann explains in this clip.

Why We Don't Teach the Jab

This is a short clip from Chief Instructor James McCann explaining why we don't utilise the jab in a self defence situation.


"If you want to learn the skills needed to defend yourself if the need arises then you must come and join this class... James is a top bloke who really knows his stuff... He’ll teach you how to defend yourself and keep on the right side of the law... I’ve only been coming here for a few weeks and even after the very first session I came away thinking “ wow I didn’t know that”.... James is not only skilled in his knowledge in self defence but his way of verbally explaining what’s what is also a skill in its self..... come and take a look.... If I can do it so can you..."

Kieth S.

"Great training. Informative, no wasted time, and very knowledgeable instructor. I highly recommend RBUD."

Steve C, Systems Analyst

"RBUD training has given me confidence in every day activities, as well as gotten me back in shape after a very lazy year."

Adam P, Homemaker

"Absolutely loved this class, I’m a complete beginner and it was tailored perfectly to my needs, initially out of my comfort zone but you can really tell James knows exactly what he is doing. Will be recommending him, and booking a further block of sessions"

William H-L.

"Attending these classes has taught me a lot, and I really enjoy that I can go with my teenage daughter. It gives me peace of mind to know the she will have these skills to take with her into life."

Sarah F, Salon Owner

"Top-notch training from a person who knows what they're talking about. No BS, no money-grabbing schemes, just honest, what-will-work stuff."

Robin J, Barber

We train for go, not show

Welcome to RBUD, a self-defence club based in Chester, Cheshire, where the goal is reality based techniques for self protection purposes.

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