The Fighter

Nikki Bradley

The Fighter: The art of self defence with Rilion Gracie Ireland

Coach Brian 'Barney Coyle with Elizabeth Crealey and Nikki.

Coach Brian ‘Barney Coyle with Elizabeth Crealey and Nikki.

THIS week my friend Liz and I visited the Rilion Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy in Letterkenny. Owner Brian ‘Barney’ Coyle, a second degree brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and black belt in Traditional Jiu Jitsu, gave us a lesson in self defence.

As a crutch user I would sometimes wonder what would happen if I ever found myself in a dangerous situation. I do not have the option of running away so I would have to stand up for myself. Martial Arts teach people these skills.


We were taught a number of moves including the wrist grab defence, the front choke defence with your back to the wall, head lock escapes from a standing position and the full mount escape.

Brian demonstrated how to defend yourself against an attack that could start in a standing position but end on the floor.

By using the correct technique Brian believes that a smaller, weaker person can still successfully defend themselves against a bigger, stronger assailant.
Both Liz and myself were shocked at how simple some of the moves were. For example, if the attacker uses his hand in a choking hold, by pushing hard against his wrist or bending the thumb you can easily remove yourself from that situation.

Nikki takes good control of Coach Brian 'Barney' Coyle.

Nikki takes good control of Coach Brian ‘Barney’ Coyle.

It is difficult to describe the class in writing as there are a lot of elements that need to be seen in person so I would encourage you all, especially women, to speak to Brian about lessons. In one hour I learned how to defend myself, imagine what you could learn in a few classes.

Brian mentioned that he is considering a women’s only jiu jitsu class as he believes it is vitally important that everyone should be able to defend themselves.
I would agree wholeheartedly.

If you would like more information on self defence you can contact Brian via email, or by Mobile (085) 8269259. 

Coach Brian 'Barney' Coyle shows Nikki how she can defend herself when backed up against a wall.

Coach Brian ‘Barney’ Coyle shows Nikki how she can defend herself when backed up against a wall.

I woke up last Thursday feeling quite excited! I was travelling to Donegal Town to collect my gym clothing from my sponsor All Sports and the anticipation was killing me!

The owner of All Sports, Gareth Britton has supplied a selection of branded training clothes for me to wear and I could not be happier with how they turned out.

As you can see from the photo they look great and I genuinely love them. The campaign logo looks very effective against the pink and black and the runners are amazing.

Heavy footwear hurts my hip but thankfully I no longer have to worry about that issue as my new trainers are as light as a feather. 

Gareth has been my campaign sponsor for the past five months and he has been a great support. I feel proud to wear my new clothes and feel excited to train each morning knowing I will be in the gym looking dapper.

Gareth uses equipment in store to brand clothing for numerous sports clubs and organisations including Optimal Fitness.

His usual method is embroidery but as that was not suitable for my logo he used a different approach. All Sports also sponsor local boxer Jason Quigley who recently won his first professional fight. Well done Jason! 

Nikki's new training gear sponsored by All Sports.

Nikki’s new training gear sponsored by All Sports.

Nikki Bradley is the founder of Fighting Fit For Ewing’s, a campaign to promote awareness of Ewing’s Sarcoma. Nikki is sponsored by All Sports in Donegal Town. Support her campaign by giving ‘Fighting Fit For Ewing’s’ a LIKE on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @nikkibradley59

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