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13th Sep 2023

Martial arts expert shares ‘best option’ to take in an XL bully attack

Steve Hopkins

‘Even if you’re Bruce Lee, you’re screwed’

One of Britain’s top martial arts experts says it is ”impossible” to fight off an American Bully XL dog – and calls for a ban on them.

Matt Fiddes urges anyone who is confronted by one of the animals to run. Matt, former bodyguard to pop star Michael Jackson, founded the largest martial arts school in the UK.

The 44-year-old has a black belt in taekwondo, kickboxing and kung-fu – but says the breed are “like tigers” and impossible to fight off.

Matt says ”even if you’re Bruce Lee, you’re screwed” trying to fight the dogs. He has joined calls for a ban on the American Bully XL dogs.

The comments come after an attack on an 11-year-old girl in Birmingham over the weekend that led to Home Secretary Suella Braverman calling from them to be added to the banned breeds list.

Matt, from Swindon, Wiltshire, says that people’s best option is to “stay away” from the animal.

He said: “The trouble with a breed like that is that honestly, even if you’re Bruce Lee, you’re screwed.

”If you’re fighting them with your bare hands, you lose.

“They’re so tenacious, they’ll fight you like a tiger.”

Matt says the only option is to “run or to call for help”.

”It’s not worth the risk going anywhere near them. If you ever are confronted by one of them and you cannot escape, you can try and fight the animal with items in your surroundings.

“Sometimes even larger animals like this get scared off if you actually fight back.

”You can use objects like a table to block it, or a chair, or even a handbag.”

Matt said people under attack from the dog needed to “maintain self awareness.”

”You’ve got to be aware of your surroundings, recognise a danger well in advance and avoid it,” he advised.

“That is always the best option for other threats, whether it’s a gun, a knife or just someone acting strangely on a train – you should just avoid the situation.

“The kids we teach at my martial arts school are taught to be aware of their surroundings.

”If you see these animals, or someone suspicious, you should get out of their way.”

Matt said the “real danger” with the breed was that “little kids just don’t understand this.”

”They see a dog and want to pet it – but this breed can go from fine, to attacking you in seconds,” he explained.

“My four year old wants to stroke everything – but it takes just one second for the animal to switch and tear your arms off.”

Matt says that the breed and other dangerous dogs should be treated like wild animals under law.

He says that owning the dogs seem to be a “status symbol” for young men with “ego trips”.

Matt added: “Since the lockdown it just seems like the latest status symbol.

”Men want to own these dangerous dogs, the latest bulldog, as an ego trip.

“When I was younger it was all about Pitbull’s, this is just the latest in a long line of dangerous breeds that we should ban.

“Owners have responsibility to make sure these animals do not attack people. ”The Government desperately needs to change the rules to protect people from these breeds.”

Related links:

Girl, 11, attacked by XL bully in Birmingham says the dog should be put down and its owner jailed

Government calls for American XL bullys to be banned after girl, 11, mauled on street during rampage

Family attacked by crazed dog ‘battered it to death with hammer to save their lives’

Woman in her 70s dead after dog attack in West Midlands

Fifteen dogs seized and woman arrested after fatal dog attack in Leigh

Man dies after attack by ‘dangerously out of control’ dog in Leigh

Dog owner who lost arm after American Bulldog mauled her is suing RSPCA for £200,000

Mum decides to keep dog after it mauled three-year-old daughter’s face

Man charged after grandmother with dementia mauled to death in her garden by two bulldogs