Popular NSW North Coast pub the Plantation Hotel is backing a local initiative to use trained fighters to raise awareness of the dangers of ‘coward’ punches.
Martial arts instructor Michael Landas approached Plantation Hotel general manager Daniel Knox, who was eager to lend support for the anti-violence program.
The ‘Don’t Be A Dog’ campaign is strategically designed to get in front of the mindset of potential future offenders, hopefully getting them to think about the actions before they take place.
Within a week of launch in January, nearly 70 families associated with martial arts of many denominations had signed up in support. Organisers report some families have had direct experience with the stress of dealing with the aftermath of senseless violence.
“It affects everybody, not just a single person – it affects the families, the children and the community in a ripple effect,” Landas told the Coffs Harbour Advocate.
The initiative stems from a spate of violent incidents in the region, and is based upon the principle that martial arts devotes learn more than combat and self-defence – they also study the discipline of respect for oneself and for others.
“We sat down and discussed different approaches and looked at the mentality of the would-be attacker,” explained Landas. “We can’t prevent the ones that have happened, but it’s really about raising awareness of offending behaviour.
The Plantation Hotel reports to PubTIC that Stage 2 has begun, with posters featuring anti-violence catchphrases now appearing in the Hotel, surrounding venues and around town. The Liquor Accord will further help the promotion of the initiative, hopefully beyond the region.