Robbers who targeted a convenience store were in for a surprise when they discovered the retailer they targeted was a martial arts expert.

“Two men came into the shop and one came round the back of the counter,” Rod Harwood, 60, owner of Redvale News in Bury, Manchester, told Retail Express. “I saw that he had a hammer and although it sounds ridiculous, I was relieved because it wasn’t a knife.”

Harwood was willing to meet their demands for cash out of the till, but when they demanded the cash machine he sprang into action, using his 23 years of martial arts experience against them, and they fled empty-handed.

Although Harwood kept his attackers at bay, he wouldn’t recommend doing the same to other retailers.

“I would have kept quiet if they’d had knives,” he said. “If that had been the case, I could’ve been in trouble.”

Fortunately for Harwood, he said the men didn’t appear to be experienced robbers, behaving “like they’d read a bad book on how to rob a shop”.