Stay Safe – Firearms and Weapons Attack – Government Guidelines

Stay Safe Firearms and Weapons Attack

‘Stay Safe’ principles (Run Hide Tell) give some simple actions to consider at an incident and the information that armed officers may need in the event of a firearms and weapons attack. Full guidance is contained on the NaCTSO website


  • Escape if you can.
  • Consider the safest options.
  • Is there a safe route? RUN if not HIDE.
  • Can you get there without exposing yourself to greater danger?
  • Insist others leave with you.
  • Leave belongings behind.


  • If you can’t RUN, HIDE.
  •  Find cover from gunfire.
  • If you can see the attacker, they may be able to see you.
  • Cover from view does not mean you are safe, bullets go through glass, brick, wood and metal.
  • Find cover from gunfire e.g. substantial brickwork / heavy reinforced walls.
  • Be aware of your exits.
  • Try not to get trapped.
  • Be quiet, silence your phone.
  • Lock / barricade yourself in.
  • Move away from the door.


  • Call 999 – What do the police need to know?
  • Location – Where are the suspects?
  • Direction – Where did you last see the suspects?
  • Descriptions – Describe the attacker, numbers, features, clothing, weapons etc.
  • Further information – Casualties, type of injury, building information, entrances, exits, hostages etc.
  • Stop other people entering the building if it is safe to do so.

For further advice and guidance please visit the NaCTSO website:

When Police are present in these situations, We must also Bear in mind the following points:

Armed Police Response

  • Follow officers’ instructions.
  • Remain calm.
  • Can you move to a safer area?
  • Avoid sudden movements that may be considered a threat.
  • Keep your hands in view.

Officers may

  • Point guns at you.
  • Treat you firmly.
  • Question you.
  • Be unable to distinguish you from the attacker.
  • Officers will evacuate you when it is safe to do so.

You must STAY SAFE

  • What are your plans if there were an incident?
  • What are the local plans? e.g. personal emergency evacuation plan



Commons Reasons Why You’ll Fail in a Streetfight

Surviving a street fight takes more than just martial arts skills. Street Fighting is a com . There are no rules, no referees, no barred techniques, no Ring and you will most likely lose.

Here are a few good reasons for failing in a street fight.

1. You let your attacker get in First!

Martial arts teaches you to receive an incoming attack, unfortunately, in reality, that doesn’t work. In street fighting, it is a mistake to wait for someone to attack you first. You have no idea what your attacker is capable of, he could be faster, stronger or have had a higher degree of training. Mainly however, chances are he will have more experience in these situations than you and allowing him to initiate will often mean you having to react faster than his attack …….. So letting him strike first can be a mistake, a sometimes fatal mistake

2. You don’t get away from the situation.

No one likes disrespect but letting it escalate to a fight means you are feeding your ego. All you have to do is walk away. If a person says hurtful things and curses, leave. You cannot be hurt if you are not there. Yes, he might think you are a coward, but who cares. Don’t let the words of a jumped up ignoramus change the course of your life…

3. You make a decision based on looks and appearance.

You cannot tell what a person is capable of just by looking at them or can you tell what weapon they have on their person. Fighting or Martial Ability is not based on looks neither is mental state, this person could be carrying a weapon. There are some scary stuff out there these days and judging by the crime figures, folk are not afraid to use them. Judging on appearances can very often lead you to mis-judge a situation. For example you feel less threatened if the person is smaller….. Treat every person as though they want your life….

4. Allowing your attacker to get too close.

We’ve all seen it, two men throwing insults, shouting getting right in your face and you end up in a face to face stand off. This is a pretty ridiculous situation to be in as you leave yourself open to a sucker punch. What is worse however your attention is drawn to your attacker and not the surrounding environment. Keep them at a fair distance, say at arms length this allows you to deter the attacker and see what is around you. This is the principle of the fence devised by Geoff Thompson.

5. You think that you should fight fair.

Whilst Dojo/Kwoon etiquette teaches you fairness in fighting your attacker will not. Attackers often strike at opportune moments or put themselves in an advantageous position. They may have a weapon or mates waiting in the wings either way they will try and win at any cost. You should be ready for anything and also ready to do anything to survive. There’s an old saying ‘If you find yourself in a fair fight, you are doing something wrong….’

6. You allowed yourself to fight in the first place.

Fight prevention is betting than allowing your self to get into the situation in the first place. You didn’t back down or walk away, you are soon to be in a fight…

If you are fighting, there’s a bloody good chance you will loose somehow…. You may win the altercation but you could be arrested, you could pick an injury up (a serious one if he has a weapon), you could end up seriously injuring your attacker….

Simple fact is that no one really wins in a fight… The chances of you coming out of the situation with a ‘Total Victory’ are slim, factors affecting the outcome occur before during AND after the fight. One way or another, theres a good chance you will loose…

Biu Jee – Wing Chun’s Insurance Policy

Wing Chun does not lend itself to athletics (sport) or aesthetics, and although some do not teach it that way, it is, by purpose, a method of physical self-defence. Some instructors opt to teach other, more traditional aspects, such as health benefits and the spiritual side of the art. So depending on what you want from it or how it is taught, determines what you get from it. Although I have belief in it philosophical and spiritual side, for me it is a fighting system and it is taught as such. Nowhere in all the Wing Chun forms is the fighting element more evident than in the 3rd empty hand form in the system, Biu Jee.

An Overview of the Wing Chun Forms (Empty Hand)

Siu Lim Tao Form

Each empty hand Form in Wing Chun has its own purpose. For instance the first form, Siu Lim Tao (小念頭, Meaning:Little or Small Idea) is the first form of the system. Siu Lim Tao is split into 3 sections and each section has its own aim. The first section deals with developing the basic strength in the Wrist and Elbow and is often performed quite slow to concentrate and build up energy, a bit like dynamic tension. The second section deals with the execution and release ofthe power developed in section one;it is executed in an ‘On/Off’ manner. The best way to describe this is when you punch a target, whilst traveling to the target the muscles are relaxed and the power is ‘Off’, just before impact the muscle tense for a split second. This is when the power is ‘On’. The third section is for training of correct position of basic hand technique; you must concentrate on executing each movement’s position correctly.

Chum Kiu Form

The second form, Chum Kiu (尋橋, Meaning:Seeking the Bridge), like Siu Lim Tao,is split into unique sections. The first section teaches the student how to use techniques in conjunction with shifting (turning the body) whilst developing power from the hip. This is something that is not seen in Siu Lim Tao as Siu Lim Tao is performed in a stationary position. The second Section deals with mobility; here the basic stepping and shifting are used in conjunction with the hand techniques as well as being introduced to the basic kicking and elbow techniques. The aim of the form is to use techniques with mobility to ‘bridge’ the gap between yourself and the opponent, all the kicks are executed below the waist and can be used to intercept other kicks, stop advancing opponents (aggressively or defensively) or be used and an harassment from which to execute other attacks. In conjunction with the forms, students learn drills and application which their understanding of the forms and help develop solid fighting ability and solid self-defence. After completing these two forms as well as drills and application the student should be able to pretty look after himself quite well and be a competent fighter. But what if, in combat, a mistake is made; you are caught off guard or get injured. You need something up your sleeve, an insurance policy.

Biu Jee – The Insurance Policy

Biu Jee (鏢指) literally translates as ‘Thrusting or Darting Fingers’ and is the final empty hand form taught in Wing Chun. Traditionally it is said it said that Biu Jee is only taught to the most loyal of students as the techniques are so deadly that you can kill people with one blow. Well, simply that’s a pile of Dog poo!! (I could use stronger words)!! Statements like this are just fabricated by some instructors to attract inexperienced, gullible students and to make them stand out from other clubs. Any Wing Chun instructors out there that lay such statements I would advise to treat with dubious care.There is, and should be, no Secrecy in Wing Chun.

Biu Jee is the last empty handed form, as stated previously by the time we reach this form we should be at a competent level and pretty much be able to look after ourselves. By that I mean we should be able to execute and apply techniques to most real combat situations and react to an attack automatically with little thought. The assumption here is that we KNOW the attack is coming and we have full control of our position and we have not made a mistake either by over committing or incorrect application of technique. No matter how skilled we are,mistakes can often still be made.You can get caught off guard or execute a counter attack incorrectly, Biu Jee gives us an idea ofwhat we could in these circumstances.

The form builds on the knowledge and techniques gained from previous forms. Footwork, Huen Ma (circle step) is introduced building on Chum Kiu footwork. This allows you to step around any obstacles e.g. a leading leg, get behind the obstacle and gain control or execute trips or takedowns. It also allows you to fully change direction in the event of an unexpected attack or counter. Aggressive downward elbow techniques (Kop Jarn) are introduced, these can be used as an outright attack or as an escape route should the arms become pinned or engaged. We are also shown the thrusting finger technique also as an attack or escape route and where power is concentrated to the end of the finger tips. Basically a whole range of techniques designed as ‘Emergency’ reactions to help you tip the balance back in your favour when things aren’t so favourable.

Biu Jee completes the empty handed forms by building and perfecting techniques and using them in whole different manner. It is the intent of techniques that differs from previous forms. The use of power is further explored to produce powerful blows over very short distance, we also take into account the areas targeted when executing technique. No longer are the strikes aimed at the generic areas such as head or body but narrowed down to specific, more delicate areas like the throat, the eyes, or the nose. The purpose of the form is to cause harm and neutralise attackers in unfavourable situations, the more you understand about Biu Jee, it is here you see the nature of Wing Chun takes a more sinister turn. The student goes from learning and understanding standard techniques to execution and application to cause maximum injury. In any situation you have to ask ‘What if this happens?’, ‘How do I deal with this situation?’ in combat nothing is straight forward and things don’t always go to plan. Even Bruce Lee mused at one point ‘It is only a fool who predicts the outcome of a fight before the fight has happened’, Biu Jee tries to answer these questions and give you another way.

First we drill the technique, then we learn all about their application then we pressure test. This is important as it gives the opportunity see how things MAY work. One thing bear I in mind is in the safety of the Kwoon or Dojo you don’t have the fear of getting hurt or the uncertainty of the incoming attack. The only way to familiarise oneself with that kind of fear is to be in a situation that induces it. Something we should try to avoid really. Whichever way you look at it violence and self-defence is a very nasty business these days there is ‘No honour amongst thieves’, gone are the days of one on one, society has basically deteriorated. Biu Jee is a very useful ‘Sidearm’ to have in combat situations and it’s a sad fact that the only way to beat violence is by avoidance or if you have no choice, use ‘Bigger’ violence. Biu Jee, with its vicious technique and combat philosophy give you a ‘Bigger’ violence.

When someone performs the moves in Biu Jee with the correct intent and execution, it can have an effect on the nature and mentality of the student. The purpose of the very last movements of the form is to bring the person back to a normal mental state and re-address the balance; other theories suggest it is to simply regain the centreline. The first theory would make a bit more sense because when concentrating power into such technique can place your head in a very dark place. You need those tranquil movements to bring you back to normal. It is not too difficult to see why it is a good ‘Insurance policy’ and how it fits in with the progression of the Wing Chun system. Without proficiency in the first two empty hand forms, Biu Jee is really ineffective. This is why the guidance of a good Sifu (instructor) is essential in this or any other martial art for that matter.


Fear: Understand it and Use It!

For the purpose of this passage FEAR is applied to Physical confrontation and self Defence.
Its dark out and you’re home alone. The house is quiet other than the sound of the show you’re watching on TV. You see it and hear it at the same time: The front door is suddenly thrown against the door frame.
Your breathing speeds up. Your heart races. Your muscles tighten.
A split second later, you know it’s the wind. No one is trying to get into your home.
For a split second, you were so afraid that you reacted as if your life were in danger, your body initiating the fight-or-flight response that is critical to any animal’s survival. But really, there was no danger at all. What happened to cause such an intense reaction? FEAR.
The Flight or Flight reaction is the physical internal change that the mind initiates to enable the body to ‘Fight’ or ‘Run Away’ in certain situations mainly under sudden attack.

What is Fear?

Fear is a chain reaction in the brain that starts with a stressful stimulus and ends with the release of chemicals that cause a racing heart, fast breathing and energized muscles, among other things, also known as the fight-or-flight response. The stimulus could be a spider, a knife at your throat, an auditorium full of people waiting for you to speak or the sudden thud of your front door against the door frame.
The fear response is almost entirely autonomic: We don’t consciously trigger it or even know what’s going on until it has run its course. Fear has many effects on you and this can manifest to the outside world, things like Croaky Voice, ‘Jelly Legs’, Jittery movement, dry mouth etc this is caused the internal physical effects of fear. The adrenal glands producing Adrenaline, this increases your heart rate, speeds up breathing etc
Fear affects the body in two ways:
• Positively – The positive effect of Fear is Action. When you react the chemicals produced, Adrenaline, Corsitol etc are used in a positive manner adding more speed and power to any action.
• Negatively – This manifests as Panic, when the mind cannot reason with the effects of fear often leaving you drained and causing you to freeze. This is when adrenaline etc is used negatively.


Having courage doesn’t mean that you never feel fear. Courage means that you feel fear and do what you have to do anyway. Fear can be a powerful motivator helping you achieve in life, if you use it right. It is a natural instinct that sparks off a flight or fight response in us. Fear can propel us into action.

We can use the powerful energy of fear as an ally. It can help us succeed more than we even thought possible. But is you allow fear to get the better of you it can stop you short. Courage is what is needed to use the fear productively and not allow ourselves to be defeated by it. Courage recognises fear for what it is, looks it in the eye and harnesses its energy. It is up to you to decide whether you let fear work for you or hinder you.
Make Fear your Ally
We have now defined Fear and know how and when it happens, we can now examine how to make fear a positive reaction rather than negative and this can be applied to any situation, not just physical confrontation. I will apply this to physical confrontation and I must stress that EVERYONE feels fear in these situations.
1. The first step is to understand Fear and it application in physical confrontation then acknowledge it existence.
2. You WILL feel the effects of fear control them, breathe deeply etc. in the time between initial confrontation and action you can control the adrenalin by deep breathing or just by knowing of its existence.
3. Omit any negative thought from the Brain that may lead to Panic. Your inner self will be visualizing all kinds of scenarios most of them negative. The negative thoughts are far more potent than any other, just simply ignore them. You can also repeat any positive phrases you can think of e.g. ‘I am not scared, I am not scared, I am not scared’, this can have the effect of banishing the negative thought. After all it is simple to think a bad thought, positivity requires effort.
4. Accept the fact that the effects and feeling of fear is experience by everyone in a confrontational situation. If you are feeling it then so is your confronter, if you are offered a way out, take it. No-on really wants to fight, do they?
5. Understand that Fear is a natural reaction, as natural as hunger or needing the toilet and just remember no-one panics when they are hungry, you just eat. So don’t panic when you feel fear, just react.

Being Sensitive to fear, Understanding fear and feeling fear are all first steps on to making the emotion of fear an ally. What has been discussed is only the tip of the iceberg but facing and conquering your fear is a very liberating experience and can other side effects such as self confidence etc.


All About Chi Sau

Skills for Close Range Combat Chi Sau, or ‘Sticking Hands’, is a Wing Chun training exercise designed to develop close range combat skills. In close range combat, your ability to see an incoming strike a punch and react by reflex is greatly diminished, which is where the skills developed through Chi Sau apply.

The aim of Chi Sau is to learn through touch any shift in an opponent’s body position which indicates an eminent attack. Training the arms to have ‘a mind of their own’ allows a Wing Chun practitioner to instinctively break an opponent’s structure and remove their ability to apply force.

Benefits of Chi Sau

Correct training in Chi Sau offers many benefits including:

Improved hand speed;
Shorter reaction time;
Heightened sensitivity, allowing one to find a hole in an opponent’s defence instantly;
Better balance;
The ability to control an opponent at all times; and
The ability to apply the strongest structure against the weakest structure of the opponent.

How it is Practiced.

The arms are moved in a continuous, circular motion involving movements known as Tan Sau, Dai Sau, Fook Sau and Bong Sau. Using the concept of a circle, the Wing Chun exponent’s arms are constantly repositioned or ‘rolled’ while searching for or creating an opening in the opponent’s defence so that the Wing Chun exponent may strike through.

The aim of the exercise is not to ‘Score Points’ but to learn about the partners sensitivity and movement and using this to expose the opening. By practicing in this manner chi sau becomes a Learning exercise and not a competition. One practitioner learns to learns to ‘Feel the Gap’ while he partners learn how to ‘Field a Counter’.

The 6 Stages of Chi Sau.

The six learning stages or phases of Chi Sau is a s follows:

Dan Chi Sau                     (single sticking hands)
Poon Sau                          (double sticking hands)
Jeung Sau                        (changing hands)
Dok Sau                             (analytical hands)
Gor Sau                             (free applications)
Chi Sau Lye Bye Muk   (blindfolded chi sao)

Dan Chi Sau (single sticking hands)
Praticed in the Wing Chun training stance Using one hand the two practitioners alternate between striking and defending through some of the basic hand techniques of the wing chun system. Practitioners try not to get into a predictable rythm and will both vary the speed of the drill randomly to ensure that they are maintaining an acute awareness of their partners movement.

Poon Sau (double sticking hands)
This is the second stage in Chi Sao training and is the only only stage where the movement is in a fixed and predictable sequence. Both arms are in contact as the two practitioners alternate between basic wing chun defensive positions ensuring that the centreline is defended at all times.

Jeung Sau (changing hands)
The practitioners learn to move from the outside to the inside of their opponents arms and back. Because they are particularly vulnerable to attack during these transitions they need to move quickly and maintain the optimal structure for their arm position.

Dok Sau (analytical hands)
Starting from poon sao the practitioners roll slowly seeking gaps in their partners defeence, as they find those gaps they push forward very slowly giving time for their partner to adjust to a better position. There are no set patterns and the exercise is an opportunity for practitioners to start experimenting with the basic positions and techniques that they’ve learned.

Gor Sau (free applications)
At full speed and starting from poon sau the practitioners aim to find gaps in their partners defences and deliver light taps to indicate where and how they could land a hit, and the same time they have to ensure that the same doesn’t happen to themselves. Defence, trapping and striking skills can all be tested against a resisting opponent. It is essential that Chi Sao is done in a relaxed and non-aggressive manner for the student to get the optimum benefit in terms of training. Practitioners of wing chun talk about “playing” chi sau to emphasis the fact that it is to be done in a relaxed manner and frame of mind, that you would any game of skill.

Chi Sau Lye Bye Muk (blindfolded chi sau)
As you’d probably guess this builds on gor sau, adding the extra element of blindfolds to enhance the development of using contact to guage the position and defences of the other player.

Some important Pointers:

  • Chi Sau is the most important part of the system.
  • Chi Sau is not a form of kata.
  • Chi Sau is not a form of sparring.
  • Chi Sau is the bridge between techniques from the forms and real fighting.
  • The forms are always the same.
  • Chi Sau is free development.
  • Every session is different.
  • The difference between Chi Sau and fighting is that a fight produces a winner and a loser by points or K.O., and it is not important in Chi Sau       which person gets hit. Chi Sau is only a form of training.
  • The main objectives are good hand techniques, positions, sensitivity and reflexes.
  • If the basics are wrong the defence will be poor.
  • If two people Chi Sau with the sole aim of knocking each other down the real point of Chi Sau training will be missed.
  • Chi Sau develops good hand techniques from the forms.
  • Through Chi Sau more advanced techniques can be gradually introduced.

Practicing Chi Sau correctly will perfect all the Wing Chun elements and promote a better understanding of the Wing Chun System. No other Martial Art has Chi Sau although similarities are found in other forms of Kung Fu e.g. Pushing Hands in Tai Chi, but the essence and ultimate are significantly different. Chi Sau can be used as a measurement of a students understanding of the Wing Chun system but more importantly it is a lot of FUN to practice (when practiced correctly)!


Out in the ‘Big Wide World’

From The Kwoon or Dojo to Reality.

I say this with due respect to ALL martial artists and it does not apply to all Martial Arts. The reason being is that not all martial arts are taught to cope with the modern day street combat. Some people train for health, some people train for sport, some people train for personal development and others train for self defence (fighting System). To the latter category I will say this:

Its a massive step from the Kwoon or Dojo to outside world and it is there that the metal of your fighting system is tested. When you step from the Dojo or Kwoon into the outside world the rules then change. Assuming that all verbal disuasion has taken place, there are no rules, no etiquette, no respect and neither will he find any Mercy. You will find that attackers WILL use knives, WILL use broken glass, Will use a baseball bat and any other weapon they can  finds. He also, will not phone an ambulance to take you away after the event. Todays attackers are, well, Scum!! Gone is all the old ‘Warrior Ethics’, respect, manners, humility, compassion society has eroded.

Unfortunately there is no direct answer to defending yourself on the street but there are many trains of thought some Sifu’s (or Sensei’s) prefer to follow. Some might say strike first, strike hard, some might say try and talk him out of it. The truth is you don’t know who he is or what he has got or how far he will go. If he is not a mugger you won’t know what his true intentions and motivations are. Whilst many self defence systems say what to do in certain situations, they do not ask What If? By that I mean the unknown factor, because you don’t know him, you don’t how he will react, what he will do and mainly you don’t know of  his combat ability. Chances are he has attacked before and will certainly has more experience than you!

When you are in a class situation you go through set attack/defense drills the aim of this is to prepare you to physically defend but because of the extremity and reality of the situation you need mental preparation. If your mind is going haywire imagine what your body is doing. If we learn a technique then ‘Pressure Test’ it, and test until it is second nature and you are comfortable.

You also need to dispel a few myths as well, don’t believe for one second you will not get hurt, you wont feel fear or the Police will baill you out. I don’t care who you are, if you are in a real combat situation you will feel fear, nothing wrong with it, its natural. Learn to control it. You will also have to accept the fact your ataacker  may get a few strikes in (if not leave you in a mess), Wong Shung Long likened combat to a game of chess ‘Winning the Battle after you have lost a few porns’. And lets face it, the Police will take at least 4 minutes to come to your rescue and believe a lot can be done in 4 minutes especially if he has a weapon.

Well, it all boils down to YOU and how well prepared you are for it, I think Geoff Thompson had it spot on with his ‘Animal Day’ training, full contact, full pressure, as realistic as it gets! There are many great ‘Real Self Defence’ instructors out there but there are also a lot of inexperienced ones, well you have to kiss a lot of toads to fair your princess!!

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