Every week for 45 minutes, one of our Lux Everyday boardrooms transform from a business meeting place to a rowdy training ground. Led by our very own self-defence guru, Chief Security Officer (CSO) of affiliate business Luxury Escapes; Rhys MacFarlane.
After noticing the engagement and enthusiasm in which staff were interacting with the other programs available – like massage therapy and yoga classes, Rhys saw an opportunity to contribute a skill he is passionate about. Here, we chat to Rhys on his journey to get here, and what he hopes to touch the Lux Everyday staff during these sessions…
What’s your background? How did you get into this line of work?
I guess I have a strange path from being a self-defence instructor to a CSO, but stay with me on this one!
When I was younger I was a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter, and self-defence instructor. After that, I decided to join the military as it was something I had always wanted to do. That job was excellent… right up to when I injured my leg parachuting with the army. While recovering I studied a degree in Security and Counterterrorism, and took up a position in the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as an Operational Security Advisor. After several years there I left the public service and started working as a freelance International Security Advisor working with journalists, large corporations and Australian government agencies. All of these positions and the experience I gained in them has led me to my current position as the CSO for Luxury Escapes.
What is the main thing you’re hoping to teach the staff here?
Well that’s a great question. I’ll keep it focused on the self-defence classes otherwise there will be a long and possibly boring discussion about using best security practices while on the company network…
The main point I want to get across is that any individual, no matter how big and regardless of strength, is able to protect themselves if they want to. If they spend a little time learning and practicing the best and most efficient techniques to use then they can feel confident in the knowledge they are ready to take care of themselves and others if it is ever required.
Where did the idea for self-defence classes come from?
After starting at Lux, I noticed just how many fun programs the company offered to their staff – like the yoga classes and the on-staff massage therapists for example. I was also struck by how engaged the staff were as a result of these programs. I’ve always been very passionate about getting people to learn how to defend themselves, so I thought this seemed like the perfect place to spread that message to a bunch of fun and engaged people
Any other thoughts you’d like to add?
I’d like to add that learning how to defend yourself should not be viewed as either masculine or feminine. It’s something that every person should consider getting into. It’s a great skill to have, even though it’s one that I hope you will never have to use in real life. But more than that, it’s great exercise and the gyms or dojos usually have a great social environment too. So I would encourage everyone to get out there and give it a try!