Street Fighting man.

A few weeks ago I met some lovely people in a Galway hotel. We spent two days together and how we bonded!

I think the high point of the week end was-on the Sunday morning-one of my new friends was fairly close to rendering me unconscious as he squeezed my trachea back into my spine.

Struggle as I did he held the chokehold fast. There was no getting out, as he was much stronger than I.

Then, just when it seemed hopeless and the room was starting to get fuzzy, I made enough wriggle room for my head to turn just slightly.

I sank my teeth into his arm like-like I really meant it.

My new friend-Eoin-screamed in agony.  He relaxed his grip just enough-it was all I needed.  I spun around and attacked his eyes, ears and throat.

I must have looked like something from a wildlife film

Game over.

Patrick Cumiskey, a trained psychotherapist, was standing a few feet away smiling serenely like a Tibetan monk.

His face beamed approval.

After all I had done exactly as Patrick had asked.

“Nice shred Phil.” He opined.

Over those two days an entirely new lexicon of gutter fighting was introduced to me.

“The shredder” “Crazy Monkey” are two of the terms that now mean something to me and, more importantly, to my reflexes.

Patrick Cumiskey is on of the few qualified Krav Maga instructors in Ireland.



Krav Maga has a tough history.

It was invented by Imi Lichtenfeld in the 1930s. Lichtenfeld was a young Jewish street fighter who realsied that  the streets of his native Bratislava were going to become increasingly deadly for Jews.

When Imi Lichtenfeld moved to British controlled Palestine he became involved in the insurgency that would eject the British from the Holy Land.

Krav Maga is  taught to everyone in the Israeli Defence forces and,increasinhgly, to military establishments across the world.

Patrick himself has taught these no nonsense techniques to our own Army Ranger Wing as well as the US Navy SEALs and Delta Force.

Over those two days, Patrick was also able to commuciate the essential ethos of Krav Maga.

Basically don’t be a victim, if you doubt yourself in a fight then you’re outrnumbered.

Krav Maga uses the  human body’s natural weapons and natural reflexes under pressure.

The basics can ,lieterally, be learned in a couple of days and, crucially, remembered.

If,at any time the specifics of a move were forgotten the Krava Maga is:


The animalistic way I had dealt with Eoin my helpful mugger is just what Patrick  wants to see emereging from his students.

Patrick  wasn’t short of illuminating anecdotes to flag up  either the effiucay of Krav Maga techniques or the essential thinking behind the system.

He told us of a friend who was a prominet boxer (I wont name him).

Patrick had remarked to him that:

“I’ll tell you one thing   mate   I would like to meet you in the ring!”

To which the reply was:

“Patrick I wouldn’t like to meet you in the gutter!”

My fellow eye gougers were a very mixed bunch. There was a lady from Brazil and her biker boyfriend.  There were some young men with an interest in martial arts.  Most of those participating, however, were middle-aged professional like myself. There were also two police officers taking the course in their own time.

The fact that 25 people were sweating in this conference room in a warm weekend in Galway perhaps says a lot about the nature of Irish society.

The streets of Irish cities are no longer safe in a way they were, say, twenty years ago.

Gangs of feral boys roam our inner city areas and the chance of being afflicted by some closing time madness seems to become greater with every passing weekend.

If you’re reading this and you live in Ireland I would suggest that you consider looking at the following dates and contacting Patrick Cumiskey.

It could actually save your life.

Here are the next available dates for our training course




Cork           2 Day Course               April 25/26


Dublin        12 Week Course           April 20           Just 5 Places left


Dublin         2 Day Course                May 16/17      7 Places left