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HomeLifestyleKidsWinning without fighting, whilst avoiding coward punches

Winning without fighting, whilst avoiding coward punches

Patrick Moore hosts boxing training for juniors and teenagers at the Northern Beaches Police Citizens Youth Club in Dee Why (DYPCYC). However, as well as running Monday and Wednesday afternoon classes combining self-defence and fitness, Patrick is hosting specialist workshops on the first two Sundays in December (3rd and 10th) called Winning Without Fighting.

Aimed at 11-14 year old boys, the workshops teach them how to face down intimidation whilst avoiding violence, through self-confidence, diplomacy and deterrence.

Patrick explained, “In a nutshell, my promise to parents is that I will show their school-age sons how to avoid a coward punch and confidently handle street aggression without anyone getting hurt. It’s as important as learning to swim.”

Coward punches can kill

A coward punch – known in the USA as a ‘sucker punch’, in Britain as a ‘cheap shot’, and in Scotland and New Zealand as a ‘Judas’ – is defined as a punch made without warning, or while the recipient is distracted, allowing no time for preparation or defence by the recipient.

They are typically delivered from behind to the back of the head, or to the belly while the victim is unprepared. In professional boxing they are banned.

Coward punches used to be known as ‘king hits’, but a campaign to rename them in Australia took place after two high profile deaths between 2012-14, when it was revealed 91 people had died between 2000-14 from severe brain trauma as a result of being hit in the head.

In January 2014 NSW introduced new legislation to increase penalties against those convicted of ‘coward punch’ assaults, including a minimum eight-year gaol sentence (maximum 25 years) for fatal one-punch assaults influenced by drugs or alcohol.

Shortly afterwards, Victoria and Queensland tightened their legislation and Australia amended the national Crimes Act 1900 to introduce a new offence: Assault Causing Death.

The first person convicted under the new Law, in December 2017, was sentenced to 10 years prison.

Patrick Moore, youth boxing coach, hosts Winning Without Fighting non-violence training. Photo: Alec Smart

Patrick continued, “My method is Holistic Self Defence which goes beyond stranger danger, karate kicks and the like, and draws upon their natural gifts, like intuition, voice power (‘tongue fu’), body language and being fighting fit. In short, to become a peaceful warrior.

“It also encourages respect for women and girls, and not just being able to say ‘No’ confidently, but to accept it when others say ‘No’ to them. I’ve travelled across the world over the last decade, spreading the message: ‘You’re Stronger Than You Think!’”


Manly Observer attended the preliminary demonstration of Patrick’s techniques at DYPCYC, which he describes as “Respect & Resilience”, and heard testimonies from youths who had evaded bullying using assertive but non-violent behaviour.

Tom, a schoolboy from the Northern Beaches, is a regular attendee of Patrick’s boxing classes and he brought around a dozen friends to the preliminary Winning Without Fighting workshop.

“I joined the [boxing] class to get fitter and to learn how to avoid getting punched in the head,” Tom told the audience. “I’ve really started enjoying it and I’ve got a few friends who now do it with me.”

Tom’s mother Della added, “Tom started more for fitness, but my husband suggested it would help his self-confidence… It’s good he has something to focus on and he’s really enjoying it.”

“Tom is open about his confidence issues,” Patrick affirmed, “as he’s not the biggest boy. So, it’s really helped him to be a peaceful warrior. I believe boys need to know and develop these qualities and skills before they reach an age when they start to go out with mates, drinking etc.

“Tom really drives the group. He’s a leader and an athlete in the making.”

Boys sparring with their mums at DY PCYC during a Winning Without Fighting workshop. Photo: Alec Smart

Another participant was young William, who came with his mother, both of whom joined the pre-workshop boxing warm-up along with a row of mums and dads sparring with their kids.

“I’m coming here to improve my self-confidence,” William told Manly Observer. “I’ve learned how to stay out of fights, and strategies to stop fights from happening and how to split them up,” he revealed. “It’s massively improved my fitness too,” he added. William also trains with Patrick’s boxing classes, which involve circuits, push-ups and ‘pad-work’ (alternating with a partner to punch gloves fitted with soft insulation pads).

“What I love about it is the little life lessons that Pat drops into the classes as they’re going along,” his mum Kelly said. “It’s not forced; as they’re going along, kids bring up their experiences and Pat is able to give them a little advice. He has his ‘dad jokes’ that have them laughing, but he also encourages a bit of competition. Just keeping it light and friendly, while they get a sweat up with the exercise.”

PCYC Northern Beaches: https://www.pcycnsw.org.au/northern-beaches

Patrick Moore, Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@patrickwilliammoore

Text Patrick for information and booking: 0451 533266

Patrick Moore with a young trainee during a Winning Without Fighting workshop. Photo: Alec Smart