ABOUT DEFENCE4WOMEN

Female-led courses in real-life self-defence for women and girls across the Midlands

shutterstock_1189624402_lores.jpg

DESIGNED FOR WOMEN

The real-life, pressure-tested techniques are designed to work for women, given the difference in size and strength between them and men, and the likely types of attack we might face.

 

When faced with danger, our cognitive functions slow down and we are forced to rely upon our gross motor skills, so the practical techniques taught are simple to learn and easy to recall.

 

The courses also take into consideration the common 'freeze' response experienced by many victims of sexual assault and teaches methods to help overcome this.

Our aim is to equip women with a new confidence as well as practical defence skills that can be adapted to a wide variety of situations.

 

WIDE-RANGING APPROACH

Self-defence is not just about learning physical techniques to ward off an attacker; much of it comes from being aware of the environment, understanding how to de-escalate the situation and learning to read other people.

In addition - particularly with sexual assault - the victim often responds by freezing. Dissociation is a natural response of the brain to protect itself when feeling trapped: separating our minds from what is happening physically is also the reason why traumatic memories are so fragmented.

To help with triggering our fight-or-flight response over the freeze reaction, we examine different breathing techniques that help ground ourselves and think more clearly about a situation as it occurs, allowing us to respond in a more proactive way.

We also place a lot of emphasis on pad work – learning different strikes and practicing them safely against a hand-held strike pad with partners. Sometimes the biggest obstacle preventing us from fighting back is the assumption that we are not strong enough to fight back. Pad work allows us to practice and develop techniques for effective striking so that they become instinctive when under threat.

shutterstock_1688849122_lo-res.jpg
 
shutterstock_1897819594_lo-res.jpg

TRAUMA-INFORMED TEACHING

Some women choose to learn self-defence after experiencing a traumatic attack themselves. This could be a recent incident or abuse that happened many years ago, but the body has a way of holding onto trauma by responding to certain stimuli like noises, a touch, or smell, as if the attack were happening all over again.

However, we now understand that the neural systems in our brains are plastic, and we can, with care, re-structure those pathways to aid trauma recovery. In learning self-defence, we can replace traumatic memories of defeat with new memories of successful outcomes, gradually building back confidence.

Extra care is taken in delivering the teaching, taking into account how a student is responding and adapting the work as needed. We incorporate techniques for anxiety reduction that can be implemented if a student feels panicked, and we spend time building up to the techniques that involve contact so students become comfortable working with each other in a safe environment.

Each student is different and the aim is to respect their trauma-based needs whilst empowering them with new skills to defend themselves.

 

MEETING YOUR INDIVUAL NEEDS

We have worked with a wide range of clients, from local businesses such as the NHS to a Muslim women’s group, from women's charities to victims of childhood abuse, from one-2-ones with school-age girls to university courses for student groups.

Whilst the foundations of self-defence are the same, every trainee is different and requires a different approach. We specialise in designing courses that meet the specific needs of each group or individual.

 

So whether you are looking for a 1hr introductory session or want to qualify for a BTEC Level 2 in self defence - or anything in between - do get in touch and have a chat about your personal requirements.

shutterstock_1915460572_lo-res.jpg
 
shutterstock_2109130742_lo-res.jpg

PREVIOUS CLIENTS

Group courses provided for clients include:

- NHS Blood Donor Service

- Muslim women's home education group

- Nottingham Trent University

- Quetzel women's charity

- Gartree High School

- Leicester City Football Club "In the Community"

- Taekwondo4All martial arts club

One-2-one sessions provided for clients include:

- Survivors of childhood abuse

- Victims of school bullying

- School-leavers preparing for university

- Sexual assault victims