Self Defence Training the Dynamis Way

Our personal safety seminars are designed for people of any age, gender or physical ability to understand more clearly the nature of personal safety in the context of real fear, aggression and violence.

Suitable for:
– those working alone in the community
– students preparing to go abroad on gap-year
– solo-travellers and back-packers
– customer services staff and other contact professionals

Anyone wishing to grow their confidence and competence is welcome.

This ground-breaking seminar format endeavours to explore the 9 Attitudes for Personal Safety:
– 3 x Attitudes which keep you out of dangerous situations
– 3 x Attitudes which help you to deal with sudden violence when it happens unexpectedly
– 3 x Attitudes which are necessary to bring an incident to a successful resolution for you

…ensuring all the time that we address the emotional, psychological and physiological challenges which are caused when our everyday lives are interrupted by real violence.

This is NOT a “Kung-Fu” or “Army Combatives” training course – rather we want to introduce you to a thoroughly modern, researched and practical approach to personal safety which is accessible and effective for the average person.  We also take great pains to establish a safe and effective learning environment so that you can really learn during the sessions.

Our Self-Defence training uses modern findings from sports science and the field of motor learning and performance.   As experts in the lawful use of force, all of our advice complies with the common principles of law in this area.

We apply this knowledge to train ordinary people in how best to avoid violence where possible and manage it effectively when necessary.

Many of the people we train ‘win’ fights using material we have covered in the classes at Dynamis Gym, however it is almost always the case that they ‘won’ using avoidance or communication strategies.

All our physical training takes into consideration the natural capabilities of the body, the ways in which it moves most efficiently and utilises training methods and learning formula which build on fundamental attributes which are shared by every person.

Many learned ʻtechniquesʼ and martial arts ʻmovesʼ result in failure when put to test in the real world – they are often designed and practiced in the sterile environment of the classroom where surprise, natural motion and decision-making do not impact on their effectiveness.

We believe the best tactics are those developed from an analysis of basic human physiology – they are then retained more readily and are closer to hand when the trainee needs them the most. Our commitment to this belief ensures that our physical training has the greatest degree of relevance when it is most needed.

Many attendees on our seminars find transcendent applications of the fear management concepts and decision-making models in their lives, careers and relationships.

Your training is led by a professionally qualified and experienced Personal Safety Coach,  accredited instructor and BTEC-qualified physical skills and adult learning professional.  Read more about our lead trainer Gerard O’Dea here.

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.

Scientific Self-Defence Training Design –> Video Series

Gerard O’Dea is the Lead Self-Defence Coach for Dynamis.

  • Specialist Personal Safety and Physical Interventions Training Consultant
  • UK Regional Coach for Functional Edge “9 Attitudes” Personal Safety Training
  • Certified Expert Witness on Conflict and Use of Reasonable Force
  • European Adviser for ‘Verbal Defense and Influence’ Conflict Management
  • Cardiff University Law School / Bond Solon Certified Expert Witness (Criminal Cases)
  • BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Advanced Self Defence Instruction (see other certifications)
  • 5th Dan Ryukyu Kempo Classical Okinawan Martial Arts and UK representative for URKA.

Prevention and Management of Violence and Aggression 15

“Since 1986, I have studied all around the world, exploring systems and meeting instructors from a variety of traditions and methodologies.  I studied Japanese at university, studied the old texts, lived in the culture.  My goal was then and still is now, to be able to answer the difficult questions about interpersonal conflict in the most meaningful, helpful way possible for my students. 

I have learned, and earned, my craft from some of the pre-eminent thinkers and coaches in the world, and retain close ties to those who continue to inspire me. 

In my corporate work, I primarily meet human services health and care staff, teachers, nurses, community workers of all kinds, contact professionals from the security, financial services and property sectors and from time to time I work with survivors of sexual assault or bullying. 

Dynamis Gym is the vital testing ground I established in 2006 where people with varying experiences with conflict come together to explore the reality of violence, aggression and the means to stop it or prevent it.  The environment is inherently a safe one where health, wellbeing (and injury prevention) are valued.

I often have only limited time with my students, but I am always inspired when the attitudes and methodology we use as trainers bring clarity to the problems of confrontation our people face in their life and work.

Where we have more time with individuals on a private basis, I have seen them transformed by our physical and tactical training – they emerge more confident, more aware, with fewer limiting beliefs.

My aim is that the training I provide is accessible and effective for every person who seeks it out – regardless of age, gender, size, occupation, past experience or expectations.”

Please visit this page to see a full list of professional qualifications for Gerard O’Dea.


We have numerous Self-Defence courses on offer:

To follow our Self-Defence Events please visit and join:

or, to schedule a call with Gerard, please telephone our office or email directly, using the contact details on this website.

We offer some specialist courses:

for Schools and their Sixth Forms:

for Survivors of Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault:

for organisations whose staff need professional self-defence or officer-safety training:

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