Those are the words of Tocumwal Martial Arts Club owner and head trainer Steven Tomlinson, as the club gets ready to start again on Wednesday, February 8.

Located at the Lions Care Centre on Adams St, the Tocumwal Martial Arts Club is part of the wider Bob Jones Martial Arts group and is the perfect venue to learn how to kick and punch in a safe and friendly environment.

The club teaches mainly Muay Thai and Eskrima, and classes are open to both children and adults.

It is a family-run and family-focused affair, with children and adults able to take part and learn together.

Mr Tomlinson is an accomplished self-defence practitioner, holding a third degree black belt in Muay Thai and a black belt in Eskrima.

He believes self-defence is more than the stereotypical imagery seen in pop culture.

“It’s not about learning to fight or to punch someone but more to teach people about themselves and their capabilities,” he said.

According to Mr Tomlinson, participants gain greater self-confidence and self-esteem, and their fitness improves.

“A little a bit of knowledge (of self-defence) can empower you and give you confidence should you find yourself in a tight situation,” he said.

Though it is not mandatory, the club does help cater for those wishing to enter competitions.

“We can train you for competitions … (Also) you don’t have to get in the ring, but if an individual person wants to get into the ring and test themselves we will give you the training,” Mr Tomlinson said.

Classes in Tocumwal run on Wednesday evenings, with kids’ classes (five to 14 years old) going from 6pm to 7pm and adult classes (14+) starting at 7pm and finishing at 8pm.

Classes are run by Mr Tomlinson or one of his children, who are all highly qualified martial arts experts.

Kids’ classes are $10 per session and adults’ are $15.

There is also a yearly registration fee.

Mr Tomlinson and his family also hold classes in Nathalia on Monday evenings.

For more information ring Kaylee Tomlinson on 0447 142 420 or Steven Tomlinson 0497 711 532.