Last week I attended a free class on self-defence for women. It was organised by Juan Against Bullying PH as a public service to combat bullying and disseminate knowledge. It was held at The Fight Factory in Karport88 BGC. When we were younger, my parents signed me and my two siblings up for martial arts and it quickly became a part of our daily lives. My sister is a double blackbelt (Aikido and Taekwondo), and together with my brother and I, we took KungFu and Aikido classes twice a week after school. When I got older, I got into boxing and enjoyed it immensely. I realised I was more of a boxing fan than I was a yoga fan (no disrespect or shade to yogis everywhere! I wish I had the flexibility and zen for yoga!). Maybe it’s all the pent up feelings growing up that make it such an exhilarating thing for me to throw hooks and hard punches into a bag or towards someone else (preferably my trainer hahah). Two weeks before finding out I was 19 weeks pregnant, I was training Muay Thai and shortly had to take it easy as per doctor’s advice.
Self defence is something I don’t take lightly and neither should anyone. Apart from martial arts being a constructive outlet for us as young kids, my parents thought it was smart for us to learn how to defend ourselves physically while also learning discipline and self control. It got me excited hearing about JABPH’s free seminar on women’s self defence because it gave me a break from my usual cardio and lifting routine at the gym.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, in the US, a woman is assaulted or beaten every 9 seconds. On average, nearly 20 people every minute are physically abused by an intimate partner (this comes out to about 10 million men and women in a year). In the UK, nearly half of all women have been physically attacked or sexually assaulted. It’s staggering how much physical abuse takes place in different parts of the world, and even more mind-blowing is how many of those go unreported.
In the class, we were taught what to do in case someone grabs us from behind, tries to pull us in dangerously close while in a club, or if we were grabbed by our hair. However, these moves only work for you if you practice it so frequently that it becomes second nature. In an attack, you barely have a second to think. You have to think fast and move even quicker. Our instructors for the day were Fitz and Sherwin who were very patient and accommodating when it came to the questions and concerns that the ladies in the class threw their way after the session.
I felt a little nostalgic for my martial arts days of yore and it made me want to go back to boxing. Maybe I will one day soon. Apart from learning how to protect yourself, it’s also a great workout. You learn to be flexible, you can improve your strength, and learn how to get your body in tune with your mind.
If you’re interested, you can sign up on their website to get more information on seminars and classes.