Becky fights her way back from the depths
Becky Richardson is a glowing example that dedication and determination really can bring its rewards.
Becky, born and bought up in Godshill, openly admits that she has been through a few dark spells in her life. But initially her love of music, and then being introduced to a form of self defence known as Commando Krav Maga, helped turn her life around. Now she is not only head of sound with STOMP, the theatrical event that unites dance, comedy and music, she is also one of the highest qualified Commando Krav Maga (CKM) Smart Safe instructors in the world.
Although she moved off the Island at 18 to study music at University, and later became a highly accomplished sound engineer, she said: “My life took a downturn when I was in an abusive relationship. I was drinking a lot, smoking and taking drugs to try to drag myself away from my lifestyle at home. Touring was my escape, but while I was away on tour I was mugged in the South of France.
“I retreated far inside myself, but I was helped by people around me, who said I needed confidence and to learn self defence. But for them I might not be here now. One friend introduced me to her Krav Maga instructor, and I started training. It was hard but I stuck with it.
“Eventually I went to Rome and contacted Vincenzo D’Agostino, who is now a close friend, and he got me started in Commando Krav Maga, which is an evolved system from traditional Krav Maga. Three months later I was in Madrid and got mugged again. This time there was a different outcome — the guy who mugged me was in the gutter, and I was fine. It worked for me so I did more training with Vincenzo, who suggested I tried for my instructor’s certificate, and it has moved on from there.”
So what is Commando Krav Maga? Becky said: “Israeli Moni Aizik introduced CKM into the mainstream public in the 1980s. it is purely a reality-based form of self defence. There are no competitions, and no rules or regulations. It is never going to be a Olympic sport, but it does work in the real world. We give warnings, then, depending on the situation we give a light response or a very heavy response. Maximum damage; minimum time; surprise attacks. That is the only way to act if some big guy is attacking you with a knife. If your life is in danger, you need to do anything to preserve it. It is all about having the confidence to do it.”
She added: “There is now the Smart Safe programme for women aged from 12 upwards, and Super Kid for youngsters aged from four to 12, which concentrates on bullying. But they are school-friendly techniques, with no retaliation or violence. Then there are techniques to combat kidnapping and abductions, which are a bit more aggressive. I’ve taken Super Kid into a few Island schools, and the kids love it.”
Becky is currently the highest level CKM Instructor in the UK; the only Smart Safe Instructor in UK, and the only Super Kid instructor in Europe. She is also only one of eight Elite Team members for Smart Safe in the world. She said: “Smart Safe for women is similar to CKM, but the techniques are built around attacks that women face everyday. It’s all about simple moves for close contact; it does allow a small woman to throw off a very big guy in under five seconds.”
Becky is teaching CKM, Smart Safe and Super Kid at various venues across the Island, with courses for all ages and levels of fitness. She offers free seminars, and can be contacted on email: [email protected] or on facebook.com/ckmuk2016 and ckmsmartsafe.co.uk.
By Peter White