Fighting spirit earns assault victim a lesson with Dolph Lundgren

Dolph Lungren gives some self-defense tips to Clare Verrell. Picture: Julie Kiriacoudis

Fighting spirit earns assault victim a lesson with Dolph Lundgren

Fighting spirit earns assault victim a lesson with Dolph Lundgren

From the Herald Sun

The Melbourne woman who fought off a street thug, then bravely appeared bruised and battered in an online video just hours later, has earned a one-on-one with a Hollywood heavyweight.

Property management consultant Clare Verrall enjoyed a few fighting tips from Expendables actor Dolph Lundgren after more than one million people around the world watched her plea for women to take self-defence lessons.

Ms Verrall had been walking her dog in Windsor when she was targeted in a random attack, but kicked the assailant in the groin and left him sprawled on the footpath.

”I was walking with my headphones in and I knew that I shouldn’t be doing that,” Ms Verrall said.

”But it annoys me that I can’t do that. I should be able to walk my dog and listen to music.’’

She said the attack happened fast, but that she was able to use a self-defence move that she had already learned.

”I knew what I was aiming for,” she said. “I kicked him twice and broke my toe.’’

Ms Verrall was among scores of eager martial arts enthusiasts who joined Lundgren at Hammer’s Gym in Nunawading for lessons.

The movie star who took on Rocky in the famous film franchise said everybody should learn the basics.

“It’s important because it makes you feel better about yourself,” he said. “You feel confident so if something should happen you are not going to freeze up.”

Lundgren said it was particularly good for women to empower themselves and know they could fight back.

”It’s too late to think about it when it happens so if you know even a little bit, three or four or five moves — it’s something, it can be the difference.’’

Hammer’s Gym owner Mark Castagnini said self-defence courses were in demand.

”It’s not about fighting,” Mr Castagnini said. ”It’s about having a well-rounded healthy lifestyle and skills that hopefully you will never have to employ.’’

He said learning more about situational awareness was a big part of helping participants keep themselves out of trouble.

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