Denton man uses martial arts to stop mugging

A DENTON man, who used a Gracie Jiu Jitsu technique to prevent being mugged, is advocating the martial art for people to protect themselves.

Philip Craven, 35, entered the James Street car park in Stockport like any other work day for his job as a value and broadband adviser for Sky.

Unfortunately, the martial arts student found himself relying on those skills when he was grabbed around the throat during an attempted mugging.

Philip said: “I was getting out of my car and went around to the passenger seat to get my bag out and someone grabbed me from behind.

“I don’t know why as it was a Saturday morning around 7.30am.

“I then used the technique we learned the night before.

“I grabbed his arm and backed out from my car and stood up. He was still quite intent on trying to mug me.

“I then widened my legs and then threw him over my shoulder. I then slammed my door, locked my car and ran to work and called the police.”

Philip performed a standing rear attack defence technique, in which you use your body’s natural skeletal strength to throw an attacker over your head onto the ground.

The spur of the moment action stopped the attempted mugging, but unfortunately his attacker escaped, avoiding arrest.

Following the adrenaline high Philip experienced during the attack, he was left very shaken afterwards and took the rest of the day off work.

James Hudson, a certified instructor at Gracie Jiu Jitsu Tameside who privately trains Philip, recalled him arranging to train the rest of that day.

The 21-year-old trainer from Mossley explained, “I was very concerned to hear about the attack.

“However I was very happy to hear that he was able to use our techniques to help defend himself, because that’s what we’re here for.

“We’re very proud of him. He’s shown commendable skill within the martial art. I look forward to continuing his training in the future.”

Describing the lasting struggles he has experienced, Philip said: “It has knocked my confidence and I have had to deal with mental health issues.

“But Sky is one of the most supportive companies to work for, winning awards for this service.

“They’ve been very helpful with their mental health support from their mental health team that you can go to anytime.”

Ever since the incident Philip has been an advocate for Gracie Jiu Jitsu, recommending the club at Vale Mill, Mossley, to everyone believing everyone can benefit from learning how to defend themselves.

When asked if Phil has been a good ambassador for the martial art, James said: “Definitely. He’s shown that with perseverance in the art you truly can defend against an attacker in a street situation.

“We at Gracie Jiu Jitsu will definitely use him as an example when I teach these techniques to others in the future.”

Since the incident, James Street car park has added security cameras, although Philip refrains from using it now, preferring the secure Stockport Station car park.

• If you would like to learn more about Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and start private sessions like Philip if you are a current member please.

Visit Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Tameside’s website at or find them on Facebook GracieTameside or call them on 0161 327 0358.

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