Force Necessary – it’s not about fighting

I don’t want to scare you, but what would you do if a stranger stopped you on a dark street and asked you for the time? Is this all they want or is it the cover for another motive? If the very thought of this scene sends a chill down your spine, help is at hand. Let me tell you about Force Necessary UK…

Force Necessary is the syllabus of W Hock Hochheim, a former police officer from Texas who developed a programme of self defence training that he now teaches to police, military and private bodyguards all around the world. There are no rituals, uniform or hierarchy. The teaching is based on practically-orientated martial arts and realistic solutions to confrontations. The courses are now available in Stroud and are tailored for civilian self defence training in the UK.

Jeth Randolph has been training in martial arts for nearly 20 years and has been running Force Necessary UK in Stroud for over 3 years. The classes are held weekly at the Maypole Hall, Paganhill. We met for coffee so that I could find out more.

Jeth: The best example of good self protection training is never having to use it. We don’t believe in selling fear. We teach practical skills based on universal martial arts and practise realistic situations to prepare you for the confusion and ambiguity of violent encounters. We’ll give you a clear view of your abilities, help you to accurately assess a situation and ensure your response is measured and proportionate. We’ll teach you how make the correct decisions in a difficult situation that will keep you safe. This includes looking at the consequences and legal ramifications of your actions. Your response must always be proportional and justified.

I admit I hadn’t even considered the consequences!

Jeth: This is one of the cornerstones of our course – hence our name “Force Necessary” as in using that force which is necessary. It’s vital to understand the whole event. In a tense moment your adrenalin kicks in and you can feel confused or not in control, so we seek to empower you to face a confrontation with a clear head and take the appropriate action – which may well be to walk away. This isn’t about just teaching you to fight. It’s not war and it’s not sport. We practise realistic cases but we’re not trying to spread paranoia so we always make sure we have some good laughs in our classes too!

Are your classes aimed more at women or men?

Jeth: Both. We teach mixed classes because as we say it’s a “mixed persons, mixed weapons world”. The classes are suitable for anyone over 18, from young people heading off to university or taking time off to travel, to our oldest student who is 75!

How did you become involved with Force Necessary?

Jeth: I had already studied several martial arts and had reached black belt in a Japanese style when I first read about Hock. He’s had an amazing career: over 40 years in martial arts, a former policeman, private detective, doorman and bodyguard most notably assisting the US Secret Service with Presidents Bush Sr. and Jimmy Carter, and organizing protection for NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Now he travels the world teaching his Force Necessary courses and is a respected author. This was a training ‘epiphany’ moment for me where I realised I’d found something that answered the real life experiences I’d had that martial arts at that point for me had not addressed . So I started over from scratch and eventually after nearly 10 years achieved a black belt in Force Necessary. Now I’m proud to be teaching the syllabus in the UK and next March Hock will be visiting us here in Stroud for a special weekend event to find and develop new instructors from all over the UK and beyond. We’re hoping to make it an annual gathering here.

The classes are casual, there are no contracts but please contact us before you drop in. Bring a bottle of water and a sense of humour – you’re going to work hard but you’re also going to laugh!

If you’d like to find out more, get in touch with us via our website