Monday, 3 March 2014

Unique Practitioners Part III: Kevin Murphy

Kevin Murphy started Krav Maga with KMM in January 2014. Similar to Russell Brotherston's interview he illustrates the lack of attention to self defence in public facing workplaces.

So. Who are you?

My name’s Kevin Murphy, I’m 50 years old and I’m the landlord of Murphy’s bar in Leamington Spa. I grew up in Whitnash. Been in Leamington all my life. Run the bar for 22 years, it was Baker’s Wine Bar before that, before then briefly Rick’s bar and before that the Regent Wine Bar. The first wine bar in Leamington. Took me 3 or 4 years to drag it down market.

What attracted you to Krav Maga?

Keep fit and keep my body supple and to hone my reflexes so that when I work on the door of a weekend if someone comes to attack me I can defend myself probably a little bit quicker because I’ll be used to the contact and also the adrenalin wouldn’t kick in so much so you wouldn’t get so upset or nervous if something did happen.

I spoke to a pub bouncer last week who said he’s not allowed to punch but only to restrain. Do you think that Krav Maga is a better option for those who want to look after themselves in Security or Doormen etc?

Bouncers are allowed to use reasonable force, but there’s always that question as to what is reasonable force. If you’ve got a chap swinging punches at all and sundry and the only way to quiet him down is to lamp him one yourself then you should be allowed to do that. It all depends on what you compare things to. When I did my SIA course I wasn’t taught ANY restraint techniques at all.


What they teach now in SIA, if you went now, there is a half day on restraint techniques but as I’ve got the old one I’ve never had to do it. I can understand where Russell is coming from because with mental health patients they don’t know sometimes that they are being violent. You should be able to defend yourself or restrain them, the system has gone too far stupid the other way. My ex wife works in a hospital where there’s a person who suffered a stroke. He left the ward and the people in the hospital couldn’t grab him by the arm and take him back to the hospital. They had to phone the police up and 4 police officers had to turn up and take him back to the hospital. A massive waste of resources when one person could have quite easily gone up to him, taken his arm and said “Come back with me”.

What did the SIA course you did actually involve?

The course I did covered the law on underage drinking; Licensing law; calming down techniques with palms up and open. They all had names. They taught you how to be not submissive but not aggressive. How to stand to be non threatening so you don’t inflame the situation. Which is all well and good but if someone is determined they want to punch your lights out you need to be better. Either restrain them or you need to defend yourself and disable them very quickly depending on the threat.

So with the SIA you did there was a lack of physical training?

Yes, when I did it but I know since then they’ve changed it to include restraint techniques.

I understand you do charity work. Can you tell us about that?

I cycled around Vietnam. 500km in about 6 days. It was very, very hilly. That was Cystic Fibrosis. Done a bit for Help For Heroes. Doing a Bingo night for the military ward of Queen Elizabeth hospital. I’ve sponsored a school in Ghana, sent them a couple of thousand pounds. Done quite a bit for Myton Hospice over the years. Done a bit for Save the Children and the Red Cross.

Where else have you done?

Cycled around Paris for The Big Issue and I’ve done Lands End to John O’Groats for the ex wife’s hospital and Myton Hospice.

On a Friday, when you get trouble,  when you get a confrontational situation do you get people throwing punches?

Not normally no because of the style of pub I’ve got. Mainly regulars and people who come in who aren’t are sons or daughters of one of my older regulars. So 9 times out of 10 if not 98 times out of a hundred, if there is any tension or arguments we can sort it out with a firm word before pushing and shoving starts and certainly before punches are thrown.

In this country even the police are taught to go for “verbal” persuasion. The best way to end something is without violence. In this country we only seem to have that side of things. Do you think like in America we should have that but be trained and have the ability to use the physical side.

Yes. It’s always best to have the knowledge and not need it than need the knowledge and not have it.

Finally what would your motto for life be?

Be nice and be happy.

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