Self-Defense Training in the Heart of Tay Ho header image

Self-Defense Training in the Heart of Tay Ho

by STAR Kickboxing and Fitness on 02/07/2020

Following the success of their community outreach project with social enterprise HopeBox and charity Blue Dragon Children's Foundation, the owners of STAR Kickboxing and Fitness are excited to offer a schedule of self-defense workshops at their centre in Xuan Dieu, Tay Ho to the general public. 

STAR's background in Self-Defense

More than just another kickboxing centre in the very saturated fitness market within Tay Ho, Hanoi; STAR is a small private training facility offering personal training mostly. However, owner and head coach, Mai Ngoc Phu brings with him a diverse and extensive background in martial arts and combat sports. He is one only a handful of trainers in the area that is actually licensed by the People’s Committee of Hanoi to operate a centre and train others in martial arts, including self-defense. Phu trained in self-defense, namely Krav Maga, during his time working for the Vietnamese government in high-level security positions. This even led him to be part of the security detail during President Obama’s famous visit to a local Bun Cha restaurant with the late Anthony Bourdain. 

Since opening STAR Kickboxing and Fitness, Phu has focused on providing quality martial arts and combat sports training in the area, as well as launching our first community outreach project with social enterprise Hopebox delivering self-defense training to survivors of gender-based violence currently enrolled in HopeBox’s work therapy program. 

In September 2020, we were really lucky to meet and hire a female self-defense specialist and coach - Trang!

Coach Trang teaches Self-Defense at STAR and supports our community projects under her affiliation with the Eskabo Daan Filipino Martial Arts School in San Francisco, USA. Trang is a highly experienced and professional coach, having taught hundreds of people over the years, following her school's official self-defense system called "Self-Defense for the People" 

​Self Defense for the People™ is a unique program for everyone who wants to learn street-smart self-defense to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their peers. We believe de-escalation and verbal self-defense are just as important as physical defense techniques. (, 2020)


Self-defense is not just about physical techniques but also a mindset

The workshop will not only focus on the technical skills but also the approach of making personal safety a way of life (without it taking over of course!) 
Unfortunately, we have heard many stories of situations that have occurred in Hanoi ranging from women being grabbed by a passing motorbike rider to full-on attacks. It is important to note that the mindset element of self-defense is not about victim-blaming, but about being able to in tune with circumstances, situations and if it is physical, keeping the mind engaged with your physical self. 

During this workshop we will cover the following topics:

  • What is self-defense?
  • Self-defense and Vietnam law
  • The five principles of self-defense
  • Practical training that will provide you with useful and realistic strategies in personal safety. 

Attendees can expect to leave the workshop feeling more confident and informed in their approach to personal safety with both new physical skills as well as a theoretical understanding of the mind-set behind self-defense. 

Phu and Trang looking forward to sharing their skills, knowledge and expertise with the community. 

Message us on our Facebook page @starkickboxingandfitness or email us at [email protected] to arrange your place in the workshop. Full details regarding dates, times and prices for July below.

Workshops are available throughout the month at various times and days. Please contact us via our website or Facebook Fanpage for details.

Workshop Price:

  • Early Bird Tickets - purchased in full at least 24 hours before the workshop - 250,000vnd
  • Pay on the day - 450,000vnd

We accept payment by cash or card in the centre, or via bank transfer (domestic accounts only). Booking terms and conditions apply. The early bird price is only guaranteed once the ticket has been paid for in full.

Included in the price of the workshop:

  • 2 hours of training with Head Coach, Phu and / or Coach Trang
  • A copy of the course workbook (available in English and Vietnamese)
  • 5% discount voucher on any personal training purchases


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