Free women’s self defence classes in Islington and Hackney from expert who was attacked as a teen

Some of Sev's students learn how to fight back against attackers on the floor, photo credit: Sev Nec

Some of Sev's students learn how to fight back against attackers on the floor, photo credit: Sev Necati - Credit: Archant

A self-defence expert is giving free tuition to women in Islington and Hackney to protect them against violence on the streets and at home.

Sev Necati at one of her sessions, Photo credit: Sev Necati

Sev Necati at one of her sessions, Photo credit: Sev Necati - Credit: Archant

Sev Necati, who grew up near London Fields and has lived in Hackney all her life, began learning self defence after she was brutally attacked by two men in a shop in Dalston.

An expert in combat who has trained with special forces in America as well as gaining a degree in counselling, Ms Necati now helps women who may have been subjected to physical and emotional violence to protect and stand up for themselves.

Her training included how to fight of rapists, knife attacks and those who attack you from behind, but the most important aspect is avoiding conflict.

“I was a victim of violence myself when I was a teenager,” she said.

Sev Necati, Photo credit: Sev Necati

Sev Necati, Photo credit: Sev Necati - Credit: Archant

“I was listening to some music because I was buying a CD and I didn’t realise a queue had formed behind me.

“The guy behind me tapped me on the shoulder and told me to hurry up.

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“I went back to the music and he punched me and I fell on the floor.

“He and the person he was with then started kicking me while I was down.

“I was deflated by the whole experience, it was in broad daylight and there were lots of people around but nobody helped me.

“Being born and bred in Hackney and having lived here all my life I’d seen myself as being street aware but nothing had mentally prepared me for that.”

Following the attack Ms Necati carried a knife for a year before she decided to learn to defend herself, going to several martial arts clubs before finding the Self Protection Association – where she was able to train with men much bigger than her and improve her confidence.

She has now been training for more than 10 years and wants to pass on her skills and help empower women.

“The bruises and scars heal but it’s the other stuff that takes a lot longer to get over,” she said.

“The key is being aware of your surroundings and switched on to your environment – assessing situations and averting danger.

“As a last resort if you can’t get away and you’re in a life threatening situation then they have a few tactical techniques that they can use to attack and get away.

“You can’t rely on anyone else protecting you because people can get scared and panic.

“It’s all about empowering individuals so they know what to do in life threatening situations.”

Ms Necati has five courses starting this month at the Edge Centre in Manor House, Hungerford Children’s Centre in Holloway, Hoxton Hall, Millfields Community School in Clapton and Morningside Estate Community Centre in Hackney.

The courses are free with a £5 deposit but places are limited.

Go to, email or call 07050 614 116 to find out more and sign up.