WATCH: What happened when we sent our reporters to a self-defence class

Members who attended the self defense class, Choi Kwang Do at The Phoenix Centre in Norwich. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Members who attended the self-defense class, Choi Kwang Do at The Phoenix Centre in Norwich. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

It's not often that two work colleagues meet in the dojo instead of by the water cooler.

But that is exactly what happened when the Evening News' Francis Redwood and Ella Wilkinson squared up to test a popular self-defence class for themselves.

Here, Francis talks us through top tips from the martial arts experts and why the class is so essential.

I've watched countless martial arts films but I never thought I'd be the bad guy being the one on the receiving end of various punches and kicks.

But that's exactly what happened on Wednesday night when Ella and I went to try our hand at Choi Kwang Do.

The practice is located at The Phoenix Centre, in Mile Cross Road, and run by the mother/son combo of Rebecca Green and Michael Lovett.

Rebecca, Mike, Nathan and Caroline, Instructors at self defense class, Choi Kwang Do at The Phoenix Centre in Norwich.

Rebecca, Michael, Nathan and Caroline, Instructors at self-defense class, Choi Kwang Do at The Phoenix Centre in Norwich. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

Rebecca, 45, who lives in Gypsy Lane, said: "Everyone should have the opportunity to learn how to look after themselves.

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"In this day and age if you can give people a little bit of knowledge on how to defend themselves and stop them getting really hurt I think that's great.

Self defense class, Choi Kwang Do. Phonenix Centre in Norwich. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Self-defense class, Choi Kwang Do. Phonenix Centre in Norwich. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

"While we teach the traditional martial arts we also incorporate how to protect yourself against bat and knife attacks - something that is unfortunately getting more common.

"The first thing we teach everyone when doing this is that if you can run, you run - you don't ever get into a fight unnecessarily.

Kristopher and Nathan at the Choi Kwang Do self defense class, located at The Phoenix Centre, in Norwich.

Kristopher and Nathan at the Choi Kwang Do self-defense class, located at The Phoenix Centre, in Norwich. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

"But if someone finds themselves in such a situation where running isn't possible, we're hoping what we teach will give someone that knowledge in order to be able to get away."

My colleague Ella - who seemed to be having far too much fun taking me down - said: "I often feel vulnerable when I'm alone in the city - especially at night.

"So it's a relief that I have learned these techniques on how to defend myself if something does happen.

"It's also a good way to blow off some steam and have some fun."

Michael Lovett, an instructor at Choi Kwang Do, self defense class. At The Phoenix Centre in Norwich.

Michael Lovett, an instructor at Choi Kwang Do, self-defense class. At The Phoenix Centre in Norwich. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

Michael Lovett, 27, added: "We've always taught how to defend against knife crime.

"These techniques are now more important than ever and we hope our classes will give people a better chance to defend themselves."

Self defense class, Choi Kwang Do. Phonenix Centre in Norwich. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Self-defense class, Choi Kwang Do. Phonenix Centre in Norwich. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

Where do martial arts originate from?

There are roughly 170 different martial arts - stemming from a number of disciplines - originating from corners across the world.

Choi Kwang Do, which is taught by Rebecca and Michael, is a variation on taekwondo which originated from South Korea.

Jiu jitsu first originated in Japan around the 17th century and later spawned a number of arts like Brazilian jiu jitsu and Judo.

Chloe, Kristopher, Caroline, Rebecca and Mike who are part of the Choi Kwang Do self defense class.

Chloe, Kristopher, Caroline, Rebecca and Mike who are part of the Choi Kwang Do self-defense class at The Phoenix Centre in Norwich. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

A more common martial art nowadays is Karate which evolved in East Asia over centuries and has four main types: Shotokan, Kyokushin, Goju-Ryu and Wado-Ryu.

Another discipline is the Chinese art of Wing Chun - which famous martial artist and actor Bruce Lee started learned when he 13 years old.

This however was also adapted by Bruce Lee himself - later developing his own art of Jeet Kune Do made famous in his films.