Michael Jackson's former bodyguard shares best way to fight off XL Bully attack

One of Britain’s top martial arts experts has shared the best method to fighting off a dog attack – and how he would reduce the number of dangerous dogs in the UK.

Matt Fiddes, a self-defence specialist who previously worked as a bodyguard for king of pop Michael Jackson, says the XL bully is ‘not fit’ to be a family pet.

He’s speaking out amid calls for the breed to be banned in the UK, following a spate of attacks across the country.

This week the government announced it would begin proceedings to ban American XL bullys.

Matt, 44, backs the ban and has suggested another way to reduce the harm caused by dangerous dogs.

He said: ‘The American XL bully is not fit to be a family pet – they were bred to defend and attack, effectively replacing the pit bull following their ban.

‘I am calling on the government to introduce a licensing system for all dogs, classifying dogs by dangerousness.

‘The more of a danger they are to the public, the higher the fees paid.

‘I would also like to see an insurance-related law that commands all owners to have dogs insured.

‘I would make it super expensive and virtually impossible to get insurance for the XL bully or other dogs related to the breed.

‘I would also like to see a law that prevents dogs like the XL bully to be out in public without a muzzle.

‘How many more innocent victims need to die before people wake up to the reality that these dogs pose a serious risk to the public?

‘As a father-of-six, it’s extremely worrying.’

Matt, who is a black belt in taekwondo, kickboxing and kung-fu, said XL bullys are ‘impossible to fight off’, saying you’ll likely lose if you’re fighting them off with your bare hands.

He explained the best way to protect yourself during a dog attack: ‘The trouble with a breed like that is that honestly, even if you’re Bruce Lee, you’re screwed.

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

‘Your 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.

‘The best option though is to maintain self awareness.

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

‘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.’

There have been a number of high profile dog attacks in recent weeks.

A 60-year-old man has been arrested after an 11-year-old girl and two men were attacked by a dog in Birmingham last week.

A 10-year-old boy was caught on video as he was attacked by a dog outside his home, and a primary school was put on lockdown after two dogs attacked a man yards away.

The government announced on Friday it’s taken a ‘vital first step’ towards adding the XL bully to the banned list under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

Environment secretary Therese Coffey said: ‘Dog attacks are devastating for victims and their families and it is clear that more now needs to be done to stop them and protect the public.

‘That is why we are taking decisive action to ban the American XL bully.

‘This is on top of the work the government has been doing for some time with the police and local authorities to encourage responsible dog ownership and make sure the full force of the law is being applied.’

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