Anti-terror and hostage workshop – seriously?

Yes, this was the reaction from people whom we told that we were going to the ‘Anti-terror and Hostage Workshop’ on one January Sunday. Understandably, it seemed really random as a conversation starter to most people and it was most likely to be a conversation stopper with a state of confusion on their faces until you explain to people what it really was.

It was a Krav Maga self-defence workshop where instructors taught self-defence technique using terror attack and hostage taking simulation.

For those who don’t know, Krav Maga is a self-defence / fighting technique developed for the Israeli Defense Force. The fighting technique were essentially developed based on various Asian martial arts, boxing, wrestling and common street fighting.


How did we get into the workshop?

Well, essentially it was this advert that kept popping on my facebook. It went viral on the social media in Hong Kong just after Chinese secret agents kidnapped a British national in Hong Kong as well as a Swedish national from Thailand for selling books that speak out against their autocratic regime as well as exposing high level corruption in China.

On a more personal note, Hayley and I often travel to some random places in the world. So knowing some basic self-defence is of course useful, not to mention learning how to stay clam and think clearly in an emergency situation is always good too.

This ad just looked so tempting…


What was the workshop like?

It was very popular and the gym was mega-packed with people wanting to attend the workshop. The workshop started off with a general introduction followed by warm up exercise and learning basic escape and dodging techniques for when one is held captive or when a bomb is about to go off.

It looked crazy, but this is just the warm up. Escaping from a chaotic situation safely was something that was taught in the workshop. I suppose this was a good simulation. [Photo from IKMF Hong Kong facebook page]
Staying low, cover all your body cavities and hope you survive the blast… To make it more realistic, the instructors played sound tracks of rapid gunshots and multiple bomb blasts while we were practicing. [Photo from IKMF Hong Kong facebook page]
The lead instructors, who travelled all the way from Israel, proceeded in teaching us more advance techniques such as defeating attackers who were shooting indiscriminately at people using basic self-defence techniques. Also, critical skills to seize control of various types of weapons that the attackers use and ways to ‘neutralise’ the attacker.

Instructor demonstrated how to stay clam if you are held at gun point, and how the hostage overcome the attacker by taking over his weapon and strike hard at critical weak points. [Photo from IKMF Hong Kong facebook page]
As a practical workshop, people got to pair up and practiced these skills together. We were given replica pistols, AK-47 assault rifles and MP5 sub-machine guns to practice with. Although they were fakes, they were made of hard rubber to simulate the weight of the actual weapon, so getting hit by one of these could be painful!  Each of us took turn to role play as an attacker and a hostage. My partner was of course Hayley and we took turn to beat each other up.  (Did this constitute as domestic abuse or was that part of a normal marriage?!)

Instructor showed how a hostage can seize control of a hand grenade – i.e. a tennis ball in this case – then neutralise the attacker and escape unscathed. [Photo from IKMF Hong Kong facebook page]


The workshop was super intense and was definitely action packed. By no means we are now experts, but it was good that people attended the workshop gained some awareness on how to deal with situations like these considering the global challenges that we all have to living with.

Many of the techniques that the instructors demonstrate could make a difference at life-and-death situations even though they sounded horrible. Of course I hope that none of the people in the workshop had to use it for real, but you never know given what had happened in recently in Istanbul and Jakarta.

Finally, I would like to offer my prayer who have been affected in Istanbul, Jakarta and other similar incidents in the past.

Have you attended any self-defense  training like this one? What did you think about it?  Or will you attend one in the near-future? 



4 Comments Add yours

  1. Jocelyn - Speaking of China says:

    What a fascinating workshop — sounds quite useful for the two of you. I have never attended any self-defense workshops myself, but I would like to sometime. It does boost your confidence to know you have the skills to deal with a sudden attack.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yhpchung says:

      To be honest with you, I’m not 100% confident to try this out for real, unless it reaches the point of no return. Also, with so much new skills that were taught in the workshop, I’m not sure how much actually stayed in my brain.


  2. I’ve experienced so many earthquakes in Japan, one was even 7.5, that I decided to do an earthquake training. It is offered for free at the main police station in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, and it definitely helped me. Of course, as you said, I am far from being an expert, but I at least I have little knowlegde about what to do now, and won’t just panic.


    1. yhpchung says:

      Wow, an earthquake of that magnitude! I wouldn’t know what to do except hiding underneath a table! It’s cool that the police offers free lessons, but I wouldn’t stand a chance to understand anything given my very limited ability in Japanese.

      Liked by 1 person

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