Gavin Clare-Campbell (parent)

Being all of 5ft and some small change myself and having been the proverbial “target” in secondary school I was determined that my children would have the knowledge and confidence to defend themselves if the need ever arose. I was adamant that my kids wouldn’t end up in the stereotypical after hours nightclub CCTV footage taking a merciless beating off some thug.

Krav Maga has always fascinated me. No disrespect but forget the convoluted Olympic point scoring techniques that are associated with other disciplines. I just wanted my kids exposed to real life street type situations that would allow them to develop their self-confidence and be able to respond to all manner of attack.

Carpe Diem advocates doing everything to prevent escalation to violence and to focus on escape / raising the alarm where possible but equally equips the student with the armoury, poise and mentality to end a volatile situation quickly.

Prior to joining up with Carpe Diem my kids were the conventional, shy, conservative and reserved duo that would be easily intimidated or overwhelmed by aggressive situations and large groups of people.


“Sleep soundly at night as a parent knowing that your child has the awareness, confidence and capability to keep themselves safe.”


Over 2 years into our journey and they now literally bound into training, ready to mix it with the bigger kids!
This newfound confidence is not reserved to just Krav but serves to support them at school and in everyday life. Importantly their situational awareness radar is ever ready and they have real confidence in their ability.
Recently en-route into training and without warning Haitham grabbed my son in a bear hug and asked him what could he do to escape. Instinctively he twisted Haitham’s fingers back whilst simultaneously simulating the intent to bite! A proud dad, if a little worried that my son had damaged poor Haitham.

Haitham and his team are truly adept at covering the Krav Maga syllabus by relying on intelligent subliminal delivery. More importantly the kids have fun whilst absorbing techniques that will ultimately, in time become the norm. I marvel from the side-lines as the instructors cleverly develop the session ensuring that they always culminate in a particular technique being mastered by the close of the lesson.

I am a true convert of Carpe Diem. Testament to this sees me willing to clock up over 3000 miles a year and 3 and a half hours a week, religiously making the arduous trip to Fleet in prime time traffic. I have literally followed Haitham et al all over the South-East from Aldershot to Feltham and Feltham to Fleet and would happily drive to Watford if needs be.

Krav Maga has become part of family life and I am now fully immersed in the training myself. To this end and whilst a long-standing injury courtesy of an RTA currently prevents me from actively training, you will find me most Thursday evenings watching from the side-lines, totally engrossed in the adult class.

I love the fact that as siblings my kids can actually spend time together, learning, sparring and encouraging each other. They are then able to take this outside the forum of training and practice together in their own time. I guess the proof in the pudding was when 3 months into the training I spied out the lounge window to see the 2 kids messing about on the trampoline, my daughter on her back with my son deliberately attempting to kick out at her. Again intuitively she went into fighting stance, shielding her head and pivoting around to prevent any impact. Another Kodak moment!