Self-defence course for pub and hospitality staff


Hospitality staff are particularly at risk of violence and a self-defence course is one of the best investment. 

Studies on the topic, over the past thirty years, have all highlighted the prevalence of violence and harassment that hospitality workers are exposed to, namely at the hands of members of the public (see our post: Workplace violence in the hospitality industry for an overview with references).


"Training in the prevention and management of violence / aggression can provide employees with appropriate skills to reduce or diffuse potential incidents. It should be available to all staff." - Workplace violence


So the question is: How prepared are you and your organization to respond to harassment events or an act of workplace violence that could lead to death or injury?

Duty of Care

Violence in pubs and clubs is an ever present risk particularly when large amounts of alcohol are consumed. While the duty of care in relation to staff is clearly established, some points such as the safety of staff after work or the duty of care owed to customers has long been unclear but things are changing.

"The key for responsible businesses will therefore be to ensure that they take sufficient steps to safeguard not only their staff, but also their customers."
Nick Lees, Dispute Resolution


Failure to consider the risks and act accordingly may mean that in future, organisations may be held liable for the acts of violence of customers on their premises. 


Active security measures

An act of violence is a difficult event to manage which is why it’s imperative that companies have a plan to deal with violence that includes prevention and response. 


"Training sessions designed to prevent and/or mitigate workplace violence incidents, including hands-on practice, are highly recommended for any business."

Christian Waeldner, Crisis management


Operators should thus ensure that they:

  • Carry out a regular risk assessment covering the risk of violence to customers and staff
  • Implement appropriate measures to minimise the risks identified
  • Train staff in policies adopted and insure that they are aware of security measures and procedures to be followed in the event of any incident
  • Train staff to react appropriately should violence occur
  • Ensure that all staff are aware of and use, a reporting system for incidences of violence or related matters
  • Review and monitor assessments and policies regularly

Being able to manage such situations while staying safe and keeping people around safe too is key. The good news is that it is not complicated and can be developed with a bit of training.


With our 8-week course you will learn:

  • Legal Parameters: understand the criteria and boundaries of legal behaviour.
  • Situational awareness: learn to understand your environment and anticipate problems. Managers and staff should understand the warning signals that indicate an impending act of violence.
  • De-escalation strategies: learn to diffuse a situation in a safe way while mitigating the risk for you and the other customers.
  • Conflict Resolution: learn to work toward a solution.
  • Setting up simple safety protocols: easy procedures and efficient communication between members of staff greatly reduce risks.
  • Self-defence techniques: specifically tailored; our programme addresses the most common acts of violence in hospitality venues.
+ review and debrief of real situations
+ live scenarios


Get in touch



"I cannot recommend the Self Defence for Hospitality staff course enough, our staff learnt so much from it. Not only how to defend themselves within and outside the workplace but also potential threat, situational awareness, defence against attack from weapons and more. What was really impressive is how Patrice and Rick showed how to deal with scenarios that happened in the environment. For example, how to deal with ‘over friendly customers’, a situation which happened to one of our staff. The ‘Attack Protocol’ was very interesting, and it dealt with something which we had never thought of, but could have potentially saved lives in the London Bridge Terror Attack if staff had been trained in it. The course was run in an extremely professional manner, with humour and good banter to make it fun to attend. Our staff really enjoyed it. I strongly recommend the course for any late night venue staff."
Janet Gomes, Human Resources Manager, Antic London


The system 

Most self-defence techniques we teach come from the Urban Krav Maga system and have been tested in real-life situations. They've been designed and refined with the direct input from people who had first-hand experience (namely security professionals, law enforcement and military personals), and with the lessons gathered from extensive study of CCTV recordings.

Our Team

Patrice Bonnafoux was first introduced to Krav Maga in 2001 while in the army. He graduated as an instructor in 2012 and has been teaching in South London London ever since. Prior to that he played semi-pro baseball in the France for 15 years. Patrice hold a Ph.D. in anthropology from University Paris 1 Sorbonne.

Ricki Sage is the founder of Peak Fitness Personal Training and Fifty Plus Fitness. He has been in the fitness industry for over 40 years (and has witnessed the waxing and waning of more diet and training fads you can imagine). Ricki has managed two successful gyms (including his own for more than 21 years) and has extensive experience as a personal trainer and nutrition adviser. He has been training Self-defence since 2017 and qualified as an instructor in 2021.