People are drawn to learning self-defence for a variety of reasons, but the outcomes of acquiring those skills are often the same.
Increased confidence, fitness, co-ordination and a better understanding of one's own mental and physical capabilities are all benefits cited by those who have applied themselves to some form of martial arts.
They're certainly some of the benefits Col Osborn has enjoyed in the 38 years he's been boxing, kick-boxing and training in mixed martial arts.
With close to 100 fights in various disciplines under his belt and eight years' experience as a trainer, the Forster MMA owner likens self-defence skills to insurance.
"You hope to hell you never have to use them, but if you do they're there," he said.
With close to 200 people per week visiting his gym, it's a view shared by more than a few.
His students cover a broad demographic, with kids, men and women of all ages attending his classes.
"Kids get a lot of confidence out of it," he said.
"They're less likely to be manipulated by their peers."
Kids and teens make up the majority of Mr Osborn's students, with around 30 of them showing up after school on any given day.
And while the threat of bullying remains a key motivation for parents to enrol their children in martial arts classes, they have other reasons as well.
For Tuncurry's Katie Hamer, who enrolled her six-year-old son Jim at the end of 2018, it was as much about teaching him respect for others as it was about anything else.
"I like that there are rules - it teaches them boundaries," she said, adding that the classes had brought him fitness and friendship as well.
Kristi Zarate enrolled her 11-year-old son Oliver five years ago because of his gentle nature, believing it would be good for him to be able to defend himself.
She said while the training had succeeded in giving him the confidence and skills to be able to do that if necessary, it'd also made him feel a part of a community, with his eight-year-old sister Grace joining two years ago as well.
With the increase in awareness around violence against women, the number of females taking up martial arts continues to grow.
Mr Osborn said he had women come to his classes for a variety of reasons and the experience inevitably gave them a great sense of empowerment.
"Once they realise what they can do their eyes just light up," he said.
30-year-old mother of two Giselle Samios began attending classes four months ago and hasn't looked back since.
Originally joining as a way to regain fitness and confidence after having children, she admitted the experience had been somewhat transformative.
"I wish I did it earlier - it would've changed who I am," she said.
"I feel stronger and fitter. It's given me a lot more confidence."
The skills she's picked up have made her feel more assured as a mother as well.
"I have children and I don't want to get into a situation where I can't protect them," she said.
She urged any other mothers out there considering learning self-defence to go for it.
I can't wait to get my own children into it.Giselle Samios
Mr Osborn admitted males also came to his classes in response to the threat of violence, particularly when alcohol was involved.
"Men realise it's pretty hard to go out and not find a fight sooner or later," he said.
But while the skills his students learn can inflict serious injury, one of the first things they're taught when they walk through the door is that abusing those skills won't be tolerated.
"We're not teaching them to be bullies,' he said.
"It's about self-preservation."
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