Hard Target Self Defence

The home of real-world self-defence.

Learn how to protect yourself and get home safe with Hard Target Self-Defence lessons. Train for real world situations in a safe enjoyable environment.

Gift Vouchers

Give that someone special the “Gift of Safety”.

Gift Vouchers to suit ever pocket starting from €10 – simply choose your amount, download and print off or email your voucher!

We donate €1 to charity from every voucher sold.

Passionate About Self Defence

“Aidan Carroll is one of the best martial artists to graduate from my Master Class Instructors Course. He is a powerful instructor and a very charismatic man. I am proud to have him representing my system in beautiful Ireland.”  GEOFF THOMPSON – MARTIAL ARTIST & BAFTA AWARD WINNER

Ireland’s longest established Reality Based Self Defence School.

Self-Defence Classes

General Self Defence Lessons

General Self Defence

Beginners and newcomers are always welcome. This class is open to everyone, all ages and levels.

Box-IT Fitness Training

Box-IT Fitness

Box- IT is a unique form of fitness training designed to work every major muscle in the body.

Women's Self Defence Classes

Women's Self Defence

Get fit and have fun while learning to defend yourself. This is a “WOMEN’S ONLY” self defence class.

Kidz Kombat Self Defence Class

Kidz Kombat

These popular self defence classes are conducted in a safe and fun environment, suitable to children.

Teen Self Defence Training

Teen Self Defence

Teen Self-Defence training is a unique self-defence program designed with today’s teenagers in mind.


Private Self-Defence Lessons

Private Lessons

Private lessons are a great way to get one-to-one specialised Self-Defence  and fitness training.

Give that special someone

the “Gift of Safety”.

Self-Defence Gift Vouchers


Gift Vouchers to suit ever pocket starting from €10 – simply choose your amount, download and print off or email your voucher!


Speciality Courses

January 2018 Self Defence Weekend Seminar

January 2018 - Masterclass in Self Protection & Self Defence (Weekend Seminar)

Our next weekend seminar is Saturday and Sunday, January 27th & 28th, 2018, 10am to 3pm.

The Hard Target System brings together many different systems, such as Krav Maga, Kick boxing, Real Combat, grappling and ground-fighting- but our primary objective is to teach REAL self defence.

We don’t train for sport or competition, what we teach are simple techniques that have been completely pressure tested to work for everyone in today’s world.


Understanding body language before conflict


Protecting your personal space


Pre-emptive strikes


Release from chokes & strangles


The Fence (protecting your personal space)


Defence against knife hold ups


Knowing when and how to strike


Self Defence and the Law in Ireland

Wheelchair Self-Defence - Date: TBC

This weekend self-defence course has been specially designed in conjunction with wheelchair users to meet their specific defence requirements. Date: To be confirmed.

Close Protection Bodyguard Training

Fully accredited Close Protection Operations (Bodyguard) Training course. Essential to work within Ireland, Europe or England.

Corporate & Employee Self Defence

We specialise in offering safety training workshops to businesses and employees in all sectors including finance, customer care and emergency services.

Call us touch today on (01) 807 5037

or request a free call-back.

Our Latest News, Articles and Tips

Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of FEAR

Making a big life or business change is scary. But do you know whats even scarier?  Regrets! The film ‘The Moneypit’ comes to mind when I think about what’s been happening here at the academy! How long will it take to complete? “two weeks”. A month later,  how long more? “two weeks”!!!! But we’re almost there! Our new training area, changing rooms, shower and locker facilities are certainly within sight now!

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What does your Body Language say about you?!

How relevant is body language in preventing being selected as a victim for attack?

The Hard Target Self Defence Academy has trained and interviewed hundreds of people over the years. As part of our research we have also interviewed dozens of active and (so called) retired criminals to find out why they chose their victims.

read more

The Weather Man, By Aidan Carroll

I never knew his name. It seemed strange considering we met every day for over ten years. I did try to interact more, but whenever I did, his body language would alter and he would hasten his pace. He would stare at the sand like a chastised child, veer to his right, always his right and give me a seriatim of seasonal unpleasantness.

read more

What People Say about Hard Target SD

My 3 sons have been doing Kidz Kombat since last year and they love it. They have not just learned how to defend themselves but have gained valuable life skills and confidence and everyday street smarts in a safe and warm environment.The teachers at hard target are trained to the highest standard and brilliant with the children and parents and are very welcoming and approachable. I would strongly recommend the Kidz Kombat to anyone and enjoy knowing my sons are learning to be safe while having fun.

Laura Mahon

HT Student

The course was extremely well organised and implemented. It was far and beyond my expectations. The course teaches the students what not to do and how to avoid hostile situations. This course is a must for anyone who has ever felt nervous while socialising in Dublin today.

Shane Teskey

HT Student

The course has helped me immensely with some fears I have and although I hope I will never have to use any of the self-defence tactics, I have gained much confidence knowing that I can now defend myself better should a situation present itself. The advice on pre-empting an attack was invaluable and this is something that I know I will use in everyday life. From the first evening of the course I already felt more confident and some of the simplest tips have taught me to ensure safe surroundings while at home or out on the street.

Amy Rose McGovern

HT Student

I was introduced to Aidan after a discussion I had about nightlife in Dublin and how it’s impossible not to worry about my sons who are 17 and 20. Aidan encouraged me to take the training sessions with my sons which I did, even though at 52 I felt too old. Being able to train with my sons and learn together has been a fantastic experience. The training itself is not about fancy moves or complicated regimes, it’s practical and real. I highly recommend this course to anyone looking to educate themselves or their family about how to avoid and if necessary deal with physical threats or confrontation.

Pat Whelan

HT Student