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Self defence big hit with girls

PUBLISHED: 11:46 12 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:00 03 July 2010

Cliff Park High School's self-defence students with Paul Clumbers and Holly Acamon.

Cliff Park High School's self-defence students with Paul Clumbers and Holly Acamon.

GIRL power is being put into practice with self-defence training for female pupils at a Gorleston School.

The classes are part of a range of physical activities designed to encourage teenage girls to get fit and active at Cliff Park High.

GIRL power is being put into practice with self-defence training for female pupils at a Gorleston School.

The classes are part of a range of physical activities designed to encourage teenage girls to get fit and active at Cliff Park High.

Sessions run by martial arts instructor Paul Cumbers have quickly become popular with girls at the school.

Participants are taught to defend themselves using basic restraint techniques, kicks and throws.

Paul said: “It is difficult to get some girls to do physical activity - this gets them away from the computer and doing something active. It makes the girls realize they have a lot of strength and power, anything that helps to increase their confidence has got to be good.”

A former supermarket manager, Paul, 50, took early retirement last year to concentrate on teaching martial art Kuk Sool Won.

Paul has been practising the art, which originates in Korea, for 20 years and has reached assistant master level. He is helped by former actress Holly Acamon in running the self-defence course at Cliff Park, which started last month.

Holly fought off a man who tried to assault her on Great Yarmouth seafront last year using the techniques taught by Paul.

“At the time I had only been to a couple of classes but gave up because I lacked confidence. After I was attacked it made me realise what more I could achieve so I started having lessons again,” said Holly.

“I was bullied at school and wish I had the chance to learn this when I was there, then people would have thought twice about picking on me.

“The girls don't have to worry about impressing guys at the class and come back week after week.

“Learning martial arts made me 100 per cent more confident especially going out at night and helped me lose a couple of stone.”

Now working towards her yellow belt, Holly, 23, gave up full-time acting after suffering an illness and has been attending martial arts classes for the last eight months.

During her screen career she appeared in a film called Irina P with Marianne Faithfull and the National Geographic Channel TV series Seconds From Disaster.

The Great Yarmouth Kuk Sool Won School holds classes at Top Bodies Gym in Gorleston on Mondays and Fridays and Cliff Park High on Tuesdays.

For more information call Paul Cumbers on 01493 377003/07780 941089 or visit www.kuksoolwongreatyarmouth.com

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