Andrew Armistead, Lead Teacher for Behaviour at Morecambe Community High School

At school, we have been lucky enough to be able to accommodate several courses for some of our more challenging older boys. The messages delivered by Gary and his team are hard hitting and effective. They make the students face up to life changing decisions and encourage them to make life saving choices.  For these difficult students it is the highlight of the week and the content of the sessions form the basis of discussions for  days afterwards.

It is not just a matter of instructing the boys in self defence, but more a course in valuable life choice decisions. Already, these students are calmer and less prone to outbursts of temper. Their relationships with themselves, peers and their teachers have improved dramatically and all wanted the course to continue. They have clear goals and are beginning to develop the ability to work efficiently in a group, taking account of the needs of others.

For the schools looking to develop SEAL, this is an ideal forum to address self awareness, motivation, managing feelings, empathy and social skills. All five key areas of SEAL are covered in immensely enjoyable sessions.

My two children have also attended Activ8 Self Defence classes, one of which is due to take his black belt and the other who has gained confidence and immense enjoyment through assisting the younger children on the mat as a junior helper. We have the utmost respect and admiration for the instructor. Both children thoroughly enjoy the sessions and benefit greatly from the stimulating guidance offered. They have developed their physical skills and have made vast improvement in self confidence. The discipline required has aided their learning and extended their capacity to concentrate. The instructors are doing an outstanding job with these children.

 On top of this they are learning valuable lessons about how to deal with challenging life situations. After only one year we felt confident that they would be able to contend with difficult circumstances that would offer a threat to their safety. This is a particularly relevant point as both children are now at secondary school. As teachers, my wife and I fully appreciate the teaching skills displayed by the staff and are constantly impressed by their ability to stimulate and motivate. Discipline is maintained and fostered in a caring and friendly atmosphere. Relationships with the group are strong and learning occurs rapidly. The pace of the sessions is appropriate and learning activities differentiated to facilitate maximum progress from the group as a whole.