Gun Law in the UK.

Having travelled and taught martial arts across Europe and North America, there is one question that repeatedly gets asked.

“What do you think of our gun laws?”

Often, I have no idea of their laws and so learn more than I teach.

But I have spent a lot of time “stateside” lately, I have talked to many gun owners, seen numerous news reports and read  a “few” posts on social media about the 2nd Amendment Rights of US citizens.

Now, I don’t want to talk about the politics of another country or presume to know what is right.

But I can talk of history and how things have gone in this country.

We in the UK are held up as a shining beacon, an example for others to follow.

Well, have a read of this, it’s a short history of gun control in the UK.

And before you ask, yes in Scotland we have banned air guns.

You now require a firearm certificate to own one.

And yet we still have gun crime, murders and shootings.

Maybe not to the levels elsewhere but we are a small nation.

Perhaps we should look at the facts:

February 12 Taxi driver Bulent Kabala, 41, shot dead on a roundabout in Enfield

March 8 Kelvin Odunuyi, 19, shot in Wood Green amid escalating gang warfare

March 14 Joseph Williams-Torres, 20, shot dead in a stationary car in Walthamstow

March 25 Abraham Badru, 26, shot in Dalston, East London, without warning

April 2 Tanesha Melbourne, 17, gunned down by drug gang in Tottenham

April 2 Amaan Shakoor, 16, shot in the face outside Walthamstow Leisure Centre

April 9 An armed man was shot dead by police in Romford after threatening people with a gun near a petrol station

Now these are for London alone in 2018, not bad for the capital city of a country with some of the strictest gun laws in the world and let’s not forget it’s own dedicated police force.

Gun crime was in decline up until 2014 but since then has been steadily increasing.

It was reported by the Sun newspaper, that between 2016 and 2017 the number of reported cases went from 2,193 to 2,542.

This was according to figures release by the Metropolitan Police.

In 770 of those cases, a gun was actually fired.

Let that sink in, these figures are only for the London metropolitan area.

According to several research websites,  many of the UK police forces gave no response to requests for information.

Consider these facts when you here about the success of our gun control legislation and remember, criminals don’t follow laws.





British Justice..


“Fury grows at murder arrest of 78-year-old who ‘stabbed to death burglar in house raid’”

This is one of many headlines making the rounds on news and social media.

Now if you know me, you’ll know my background and that I’m an strong advocate for Self-Defence.

But too many, especially people who should know better, are jumping on this bandwagon and claiming this is outrageous.

I agree..

It is outrageous, outrageous that people are furious about a man being arrested on suspicion of murder.

Suspicion of murder.

The police are an investigational authority, they are tasked with collecting evidence. They arrested the “pensioner” after the burglar had died.

So let’s look at the facts.

There was a young man killed by a stab wound, found on a public road.

Should there be an investigation?


Does the ages of suspects matter?


Should the suspect be arrested?


The police have to do their jobs, they haven’t said he is guilty. He has been charged and is innocent until proven guilty.

He has the law on his side, the crown has to prove it was murder to a jury of his peers.

If the situation is as reported, he has a good case for self-defence.

If, as has been alleged, he was protecting himself, his wife and his property, under the current CPS guidelines it might not even make it to court. It all depends on the evidence being reviewed.

As a self-defence instructor I have spent many years teaching the law.

It is important that we all understand the law and our rights under it.

Please take the time to read up on it, don’t be outraged or furious without understanding the facts.

Mark Dawes is one of the UK’s top authors on Self-Defence and an expert on the use of force.
His book on “Understanding Reasonable Force” is available on Amazon.:


Or take a look at the guidance given by the CPS.

Or why not contact me directly at

I run Self-Defence workshops and courses at venues through out the UK.


Teaching a martial syllabus..

As always I write my blog post on the back of something happening in real life.

There was an interesting post on Facebook about martial arts curriculum.

Now, I don’t want to go down the route of discussing technique or which style is best.

If we do that we get drawn into the political minefield.

Instead, I want to talk about how I use our syllabus to teach.

The syllabus shouldn’t really change, although there may be some additions over the years.

The whole point of having a syllabus is to standardise the teaching process.

Having a syllabus makes teaching group sessions easier and provides a structure for generations to come.

My view of the syllabus changes depending on who I’m teaching..

For beginners I consider the syllabus a set of guidelines.

Let’s compare the process to teaching children to write.

When teaching kids to write, we put guidelines on the page to show them where to write.

This sets up page position or in martial terms body structure and posture.

We give examples of letters so that they may be copied.

We might, depending on the needs of the student, have dots to show how to draw the letters.

This is when we concentrate on the basic or single technique and should be taught using the principles of EDIP:

– Explain
– Demonstrate
– Imitate
– Practice

Then we move on with students are taught groups of techniques which work together.

This again can be compared to writing.

Taking individual letters putting them together to form words.

We give examples of how words are spelt, adding meaning to the previous lessons.

We teach them to use their own finger to separate groups of letters.

This is the same as teaching the student the importance of their own personal range within the guidelines of fighting distance.

The next step is using our groups of techniques against an opponent.

Developing a self-defence scenario is similar to using words to form sentences.

Being able to control the different elements of a fight using the techniques they have learned.

The sentences will gain structure and complexity with the number of words or techniques the student can use.

Final stage is when the student can use their full vocabulary to communicate their own ideas and express them so that others can understand.

They don’t create the story, it writes itself.

This is when the technique is no longer formed by recall but from the needs of the moment.

The free flow of the moment gives the practitioner’s technique a life of it’s own.

Each part of the syllabus changes at this moment to become a snap shot in time.

A position of unforeseen possibilities, progressing from that finite point of time, into a future not yet conceived.

That opens the door to my theories on time, something I’ll leave for another day..