Functional Fitness and Self-Protection Training
First established in 2006, Dynamis Gym is focussed on helping people to do the extraordinary, by thriving in conflict situations.
Led by professional coaches with a learner-focussed approach, we teach across all three dimensions of personal safety: emotional, psychological and physical.
In weekly classes and regular seminars, our team explores the 'universal human phobia' of interpersonal conflict. We teach practical self-protection tactics in an atmosphere focussed on learning, where people of all kinds can improve their confidence-in-conflict and enhance their functional fitness to meet personal safety challenges.
Women personal Safety
1:1 / 1:2
Weekly Classes in Penrith
Our weekly classes cover a breadth of common scenarios which people may face. Over time, weekly class attendees get the opportunity to develop a broad repertoire of skills for personal safety, developing from management of personal space and boundary-setting language, through to survival from common types of assault and on into more specific domains such as when we must fight from the ground, or in confined spaces, or when there may be weapons introduced into a situation. Your coaching team cycle through these varied scenarios, allowing you to develop coping skills and definitive tactics to help you grow in confidence.
From time to time our team will deliver a seminar-format class of a longer duration, covering a specific domain, scenario or situation. This allows our members and visitors to get a deep-dive on a specialist topic in a one-off discrete training experience which can help those who join us sporadically (due to pressures on their time), or by giving an added boost to the weekly training programme and visiting new areas of the personal safety 'map'.
Examples of these seminars are:
- Women-only Personal Safety Seminar (**highly popular - see next tab**)
- Seminar on Surviving an Edged Weapons Assault
- Scenario Seminar: 'Muggers on Public Transport'
- Scenario Seminar: 'Hotel Room Visitor'
- Scenario Seminar: 'The Dwyer Home Invasion'
Personal Safety Seminar for Women
A deep-dive on the issues facing women who want to increase their sense of personal safety, confidence and ability to protect themselves physically. As a specialist provider of personal safety training since 2006, our team has gained a wealth of experience in sensitively but pragmatically approaching the issues of women's self defence training. This seminar attempts to distill the key lessons that women have told us that they found most important in the hundreds of sessions we have delivered over the years, including topics such as:
- Setting boundaries and understanding that 'No' is a full sentence
- The importance of trusting intuition and getting out of denial
- Having mental models to help you get ready to make personal safety decisions in the critical moment
- Issues of motivation: are you worth defending? what could get you moving instead of freezing?
- Being uncomfortable, angry, rude and raging - emotions and drivers.
- Cues for Criminality: how to spot the signs of bad-minded manipulation
- Permission: can you hit the 'go' button on actually hurting or harming an assailant? Some tools.
- The 9 Attitudes for Personal Safety
- Surviving, Reversing and Engaging vs Common Assaults
Officer Safety Training
At our base here in Penrith, we offer a regular training session for serving Police Officers to access contemporary, scenario-specific Officer Personal Safety training. Our team are experienced with the incoming national scenario-driven approach, involved with the pathfinder projects and instructor development programmes at police services across the UK since 2019.
- Scenario-Driven Approach
- The 9 Attitudes for Personal Safety
- Instinctive Protection and the use of Defensive Frames/Shapes
- Survive-Reverse-Engage methodology for Common Physical Encounters
- Control Tactics for High-Risk Encounters (Solo / Team Tactics)
- Incorporation of Conflict Communications into Scenario-Driven practice
- PPE Failure/Ineffective complications
Some learners prefer the option of a private lesson with a knowledgeable instructor who can coach to their specific strengths and explore individual skill gaps. Our team are happy to offer you this focused training at a time convenient and suitable for you. Enquire for more details.
Fun and Play for Juniors
Martial Arts and Self-Defence are serious topics requiring motivation and discipline - but at a young age there is plenty of fun to be had while learning foundational skills.
Inspired by the tenet that "Play is the Way" our class for juniors mainly aims to let them explore the fundamentals while enjoying themselves in games, exercises and movement tasks:
- Rolling and Moving on the Floor: 'I am okay if I get knocked down - I know how to get back up'
- Wrestling and Rough-housing: 'When someone grabs me, shoves me, I feel relatively calm - I can Respond (not React)'
- Introduce Verbal Skills and Boundary Setting: 'would you let the Big Bad Wolf into your house?'
- Body Language and Posture: 'I give off signals that say I am Aware, I see You, I have Confidence'
- Instinctive Protection: 'my body has amazing reflexes which help to keep me safe'
- Coordination: 'I know common patterns of movement that I can practice by myself'
- Age- and stage- appropriate methods of self-protection: 'I don't need to hurt or injure the bully at school (but I know how to physically respond if he/she tries to hurt me)'
- Non-Aggressive Postures
- Defensive Shapes to give me time to think
- Achieving Control / Stopping the Assault
- Moving Towards Safety When Appropriate
The methods taught in these sessions bridge the martial arts and the practical self-protection material from our core content - focussed on the needs of children and young people whose parents are keen to see them introduced into this topic through play, fun and engagement at their level.
Experiences at Dynamis Gym...
You have already inspired me to search out more information.
Definitely an excellent class on Saturday, I felt very privileged to be part of it. Breaking down how your spirit-mind-body reacts to an attack really appeals to me. Although there were a lot of new ideas to think about it all makes absolute sense and it all came back to quite simple outcome, a tactic that is effective, easy to learn and worked for me.
To understand how 'real' attacks occur and to drill them to be better prepared is worth doing.
Something I need to give myself is the permission to fight back - that first directive you spoke about.
It may take a second class to get over the giggles and feeling daft, knowing now what attitude to go into the training with to get the most out of it. Even covering the exactly the same things you showed us on Saturday, I'm sure there would be something new to pick up. Can't wait for more!
I am a 68 year old male, former Managing Director, who is reasonably fit but I had lost confidence in myself.
I believed that a situation could arise when I would need to defend myself, so via the internet I contacted Dynamis Gym and made contact with Gerard.
Over the 12 weeks of training I have gone from being a total novice in the knowledge of self defence, to someone who is prepared to protect himself and family.
From the first visit to Gerard I have been trained to be aware of the procedures to defuse and self protect myself from the threat of attack on my person.
I have gained skills and a belief in myself that should any future confrontation occur I should be able to defuse the conflict and protect myself.
I thoroughly recommend the principles and teaching I received from Gerard to anyone who needs to rebuild their confidence and regain their self respect.
Retired Managing Director
I knew I was motivated to train at Dynamis Gym on my very first lesson. The mixture of fitness training, self-defence, and partner based drills is really enjoyable and after training at the Dynamis Gym for a few months I already feel much fitter and more confident.
The Dynamis Gym attracts a wide range of people, from beginners interested in improving their fitness and in modern, practicable self-defence training, to experienced practitioners from a variety of martial arts backgrounds. Everyone seems to get something from the training.
One of the outstanding features of Dynamis Gym is the high level of instruction. The instructor is highly qualified and also has a real ability to teach. I am constantly amazed at the variety of self-defence scenarios that are used, the effectiveness of the responses taught, and the ability of the instructor to give advice and to motivate people to train hard.
My advice to anyone looking for a gym, whether it is to improve their fitness or to learn self-defence, or both, would be to try Dynamis Gym out for themselves. It is a friendly gym with a great mix of people and the instruction is of a very high standard.
- Level 4 Diploma in Child Psychology - 2020
- Institute of Conflict Management L4 Physical Skills Tutor Award - 2017
- Verbal Defense and Influence (Vistelar) - 2014
- Cardiff University / Bond Solon Expert Witness - 2012
- BTEC L3 Self-Defence Instruction - 2011
- BTEC L3 Coaching and Instruction in Physical Restraint Practice - 2007
- BTEC L3 Physical Restraint Practice - 2006
Professional Courses Completed:
- Dynamis CPD - Cushion, Baskind, Klugiewicz - Jan 2022
- College of Policing OST - PST Trainer Development Metropolitan Police Rollout Dec 2021
- College of Policing OST - PST Trainer Development Avon & Somerset Rollout April 2021
- College of Policing OST- PST Training Pathfinder Programme Rollout March 2021
- Level 4 Diploma in Child Psychology - August 2020
- Eric Baskind “Managing Violence and Aggression” Healthcare Masterclass - February 2020
- Vistelar Non-Escalation, De-Escalation and Crisis Intervention Trainer Course - December 2019
- Prof. Chris Cushion “Maximising Training Effectiveness” CPD December 2018
- Functional Edge System Advanced Trainer Course Edged Weapons II - July 2016
- Functional Edge System Advanced Trainer Course Multiple Assailants - October 2015
- Functional Edge System Advanced Trainer Course Control Tactics - May 2015
- “Verbal Defense and Influence” Instructor Certification - June 2014
- Functional Edge System Advanced Trainer Course Restricted Positions - Feb 2014
- Functional Edge System Advanced Trainer Course Edged Weapon Defence - May 2013
- Functional Edge System Advanced Trainer Course Ground Survival - Oct 2012
- Introduction to Violence - Rory Miller - May 2012
- Conflict Communications - Rory Miller - May 2012
- Expert Witness Certification (Cardfiff University / Bond Solon) - March 2012
- Self-Defence Instructor Course/ BTEC L3 - April 2011
- Functional Edge System Trainer Course II - July 2011
- Functional Edge System Trainer Course - March 2011
- Conflict Management / BTEC L3 Course - July 2010
- General Services Association Annual Conference - June 2010
- Certified at the AELE Workshop on Legal, Psychological and Biomechanical Aspects of Officer-Involved Lethal and Less-Lethal Use of Force - Oct 2009
- Institute for Prevention of In-Custody Deaths Certified Use-of-Force Trainer - Oct 2009
- Sexual Violence Awareness Course @ EWRASAC - Sept 2009
- CIEH Risk Assessment L3 Course - May 2009
- CIEH Manual Handling L2 Course - May 2009
- Blauer Tactical Systems Weapon Protection Advanced Certification - April 2009
- PTLLS Course / BTEC L4 - March 2008
- Restraint Coaching and Instruction Course / BTEC L3 - June 2007
- Restraint Instructor Qualifying Course / BTEC L3 - March 2007
- Blauer Tactical Systems Groundfighting Advanced Certification - Feb 2007
- Blauer Tactical Systems Ballistic Microfight Advanced Certification - Feb 2007
- Blauer Tactical Systems Personal Defense Readiness - April 2006
We teach the 9 Attitudes for Personal Safety:
The Relaxed Attitude
Activated when there is nothing to worry about, when in a place or among people who make you feel safe and secure. An important anchor for all that is good and worth protecting in life.
The Alert Attitude
Activated when our innate body-mind system detects some anomaly in our environment which draws our attention and demands that we examine it closely to review if we are safe.
The Preventive Attitude
Activated when we identify that an anomaly in our environment is a risk to our safety and we actively need to do something to reduce the threat of it becoming harmful to us.
The Survival Attitude
Activated when our instinctive protective mechanisms have fired under a sudden assault and and we cognitively seek to leverage those reflexes to survive the inital collision.
The Reversal Attitude
Activated at the moment when, fuelled by emotion, we physically, psychologically and emotionally regain balance and transition into productive movement to stop or slow the assailant.
The Engagement Attitude
Activated when we press an opportunity created by survival and reversal and exploit it by causing dysfunction in the assailant, in order to meet our protection goal.
The Escape Attitude
Activated when our protection goal is to move towards safety and away from the assailant immediately as the opportunity presents itself.
The Control Attitude
Activated when we cannot simply move towards safety and away from the assailant, usually in complex situations regarding some duty of care to them or others.
The Harm Attitude
Activated when the only viable option to create safety is to definitively stop the assailant from being able to continue to cause harm.
N.B. Not all of our sessions reach this level of kinetic intensity!
The clips above are from some of our embryonic scenario-driven training sessions at Dynamis Gym, incorporating Impact Reduction Gear (see https://spartantraininggear.com ) where you can see us using standup-clinch-ground tactics informed by the needs of the average person in a seriously violent confrontation. Notice that the prerogative is to get up from the ground as soon as possible, where possible, for example - this is where self-protection training may differ from sport-oriented practices (as comprehensive and solid as those disciplines are). You will also see where we have picked a scenario from the news, or from released CCTV and reverse-engineered a whole training evolution from the circumstances to produce an enjoyable, rewarding and educational self-protection training experience.