The youth team took a break from their normal training session on Friday and instead visited Dave Cartawick at Unit1 Fitness & Martial Arts in Chesterfield for an introduction to self-defence skills.
Academy coach Neil Cluxton said: "I've worked with Dave a long time and I know what he can do and what qualities he can develop with our youth-team lads.
"We would like to link up with the community as much as possible and Dave has very kindly volunteered his services through Unit1 for a monthly session as he is a big Chesterfield fan and wants to see an improvement in young people.
"We had a self-esteem, self-defence and self-awareness session and we are looking to develop those qualities throughout the season. We want to make our lads more confident and competitive in games this season."
Dave demonstrated various techniques relating to awareness of dangers and how to deal with them if they do occur and he was very impressed with what the youngsters brought to the session. He said: "You don't know what to expect as they are young lads, but the professionalism and willingness to learn they demonstrated, together with their work-rate, was phenomenal.
"We are trying to instil a self-belief into the individuals to be able to make the team stronger throughout the season, looking at it from a different angle in terms of what martial arts can add to their footballing skills.
"I was really, really impressed with their standards. I really enjoyed working with the lads and look forward to our future sessions."
Academy director Steve Coe said: “We are always keen to explore different approaches to the development of youngsters and working with Unit1 over the course of the season will be invaluable. I’d like to thank Dave and his colleagues at Unit 1 for helping the academy in this way."
Unit1 is Chesterfield’s leading fitness and martial arts facility, providing a wide range of classes that include karate, kickboxing and fitness classes such as Boxercise and STRONG by Zumba. They offer classes for women only, children and families, welcoming beginners and experienced martial artists alike.