Have you ever seen Love Actually?

It is a classic British Romance film which features one incredible scene, people greeting their loved ones at an Airport.

It is true, if you ever go to an airport arrivals lounge you will see people hugging relatives they have missed. Friends, business associates, neighbours and family are happy to see each other.

It is rare to see this ‘connection’ between people outside of a family unit, but one place where I have witnessed such devotion to others is in Martial Arts classes.

It seems odd that a place where violence is studied can equally be a place where humans connect at a deep level.

In this article, I will be looking at why Defence Lab unites people, no matter their Race, Religion or background.


Iron Sharpens Iron

There is a Proverb that goes like this “Just as iron sharpens iron; a person sharpens the character of his friend.”

I never heard this phrase until one day I was at a Martial Arts seminar and the instructor said that in Martial Arts students ‘sharpen each other’ and he used that proverb.

In Defence Lab and other martial arts, this saying is true. We can only fulfil our martial arts potential if we have others to train with.

So, when we see our friends arrive at training, we are happy because these people are here for the benefit of themselves and the group.

They help you to improve, and you need them as much as they need you. It is a team bond that brings people together even through an activity that many consider violent.


The Collateral Beauty of Defence Lab

The first time I trained with Andy Norman and Defence Lab I was hooked, not by the techniques (as good as they were) but by the friendship.

I felt ‘looked after’ and I felt safe.

Anyone that has been part of DL knows that you are welcomed like an old friend of the family. It is warmth that spreads like wildfire and enriches your DNA.

Having trained in the martial arts my entire life I can tell you that this feeling is not felt in every school, art or class.

In DL it is part of the core, and it makes sense when you meet Andy Norman himself.

Andy, a man who has worked on Hollywood films, is friends with stars like Liam Neeson will greet you as if you are a member of his family.

In a world where people can be so nasty to each other, this is rare, and it is what makes Andy stand out. I have seen a room full of people wait in line just for a photo with him.

Andy Norman makes people feel special, and I am happy to say this is how DL instructors make their students feel.

The beauty of friendship cannot be underestimated; I have many friends in DL that I do not see from one week to the next but when we do meet it is as if we saw each other yesterday.

It is this feeling of comradery that unites those who train with Defence Lab.


A Tribe Like No Other

From the rings you can wear to the tags and the clothing. Defence Lab is a tribe.

Defence Lab is a connection with others, one that goes far deeper and is rarely seen in any martial art.

As a global organisation,  you can train DL in most parts of the world. From Thailand to Great Britain, we have Labs everywhere.

So, is the welcome at another lab any different? Not at all.

Many of our Lab instructors will travel overseas just to train and socialise with their counterparts. This is what makes Defence Lab a family where we connect with our peers at a deeper level.

So what fuels this deeper level?


Defence Lab Is About Loving Life

If you subscribe to the DL Facebook or YouTube channels, you will have seen our Summer Camps.

These events are where DL gets together to have fun.

You see in DL it is not about training for any sake, it is about training to protect the life of yourself and your loved ones. Our system has a deep connection with life.

You might have seen a meme or a hashtag such as #DLLIFE which is all about the celebration of the Defence Lab lifestyle.

Defence Lab is about self-defence, but this is not the ‘dark ages’ everyone wants to kill you type of training.

Defence Lab is the ‘this is your life and fight when you have no choice’ type of training.

There is a huge difference, and it is this subtle shift in attitude creates a fun and friendly environment that is not all ‘doom and gloom’.


Defence Lab Shatters The Boundaries Of Society

Gender, race, pay, sexuality, nationality and any other boundary that society has created are shattered inside the walls of the Lab.

It is within these ‘mini communities’ that friendships are forged.

The common cause that is ‘to train to protect that which we love’ binds us together and creates bonds that last a lifetime.

A vast amount of people that train in DL have connected through the common goal of self-protection. The goal of stopping others from causing us harm.

Life extension and survival is among the most powerful of human desires and within DL with providing a place to train that is safe and friendly.

Everyone who trains DL is DL.



This article is designed for one purpose, to show how DL brings people together.

Other martial arts can do the same, some but not all achieve this.

DL is about protection of and enjoyment of life.  So if you are with us it is great to have you in the DL family, but if you are yet to join us, drop us a line, and we can send you to your nearest Lab.

Be part of DL.

Thanks for reading










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