Britain First has posted a series of pictures online showing a ‘security training day’ in which they learned how to fight with knives and defend themselves.
Using rulers instead of blades, they descended on Erith Leisure Centre, South East London, to hold the classes.
They learned ‘Krav Maga’ techniques – a self-defence system developed for the Israel Defense Forces.
The leisure centre where they held the ‘hate group’ was criticised for hosting them
However, they had ‘no indication of links to any political party far right or otherwise’ when the booking was made.
They described themselves as a ‘security firm’ looking to hire a function room. If they had known who they were, the council said the group would not have been allowed to hire the venue.
In their post, the group said: ‘Britain First security training day in the South East. Martial arts, Krav Maga, close protection, knife defence and much more…OCS (Onward Christian Soldiers).’
Leader Paul Golding said: ‘We’re absolutely going to do another one, we’ve got one next month as well.
‘It probably won’t be in the same place, we find it quite difficult to find venues.
‘These classes are not open to the public or all members and activists, they are specifically for our security department.
‘They are geared towards our security volunteers who protect our leaders, and teach close protection for body-guarding.
‘All the techniques are defensive in nature to protect the leaders.
‘They learnt a lot of Krav Maga techniques, such as how to throw someone off if they grab you.’
Golding and deputy Jayda Fransen have long hit headlines for their far-right wing views, and have been banned from all mosques in England and Wales.
The class was attended by around eight members of the black-shirted BFD – though to stand for ‘Britain First Defenders.’
Tracy Griffiths said: ‘Why are Erith Leisure Centre and London Borough of Bexley and Parkwood Community Leisure allowing this to take place in their facility?
‘Is it really appropriate for a “political party” – who have previously threatened a “day of reckoning against politicians and journalists,” with Paul Golding uttering the words “I can promise you, from the very depths of my being, you will all meet your miserable ends at the hands of the Britain First movement. Every last one of you.” – to be doing martial arts and knife training?’
Michelle Collett added: ‘If these people were brown with beards I’m sure you’d have had a different stance….double standards?
‘Britain First are a threat to this country and hosting their terrorist training will not do your company any favours.
‘OCS is not a security company it stands for Onward Christian Soldiers.
‘I really do think you should check exactly who is booking your venue before you take their money and put your blinkers on.’
The controversial group have long been criticised for their far-right views.
Last year, Golding stood in the London mayoral election but polled just 1.2 per cent, and was remembered for turning his back on Muslim winner Sadiq Khan when the results were announced.
In November, Fransen was convicted and fined by a court in Luton for abusing a Muslim woman and also fined for wearing a political uniform.
They were also arrested for inciting religious hatred during a rape trial in May after handing out leaflets about the trial outside court.
Bexley Council issued a statement on behalf of Parkwood Community Leisure which said: ‘On July 6, Erith Leisure Centre received a booking from a company describing itself as a security firm, to hire a function room on 8th July.
‘Representatives of this company signed the required booking form to comply with the leisure centre’s terms and conditions of hire that include an anti-racist charter. On the day of the booking, a number of people used the function room but concealed their branded tops when in view of any leisure centre staff or members of the public.
‘The Centre Management Team have since learnt that the booking was made by a group representing an extremist political party that would not have been permitted to access the site had the true nature of the group been declared.
‘Parkwood Community Leisure works to the highest standards of integrity and ethical propriety.
‘We are committed to ensuring that customers who take part in sporting activities at our leisure centres do so without fear of racial harassment or anti social behaviour. Any conflict or inconsistency with its anti-racist policy results in the withdrawal of use of our facilities.’