Women strike back

With women’s safety being a major conversation topic across the globe, Shield Krav Maga in Perth is one of many businesses offering self-defence classes to train women how to prevent a potentially violent situation.

Operating since November 2019, Shield Krav Maga offers 1.5 hour classes at Murdoch University’s sports centre to teach people of all ages how to defend themselves against physical attacks with their bodies.

Students learn a variety of techniques to block and break free from an attacker, whether they are in a confined space or a deadly weapon is involved.

Shield Krav Maga owner and instructor Nuno Pires demonstrates with assistant instructor Karen Watkin the self-defence skills they teach. Video: Jenny Schon.

As the Federal Parliament responds to several women coming forward with sexual assault allegations against current ministers and coalition staffers, women’s safety in the workplace has become a national discussion. Photo: Jenny Schon.

Shield Krav Maga assistant instructor Karen Watkin says more women are joining classes as they are realising they need to learn skills to protect themselves.

“Krav Maga is not about fighting. It’s about preventing violence and learning how to protect yourself in a potentially threatening situation,” she says.

“By learning these skills, women feel empowered, educated and confident to know they can just walk away and not engage.”

Martial Arts Industry Association president Walt Missingham says over the past decade, more women are interested every year in learning martial arts.

However, he says he doesn’t think the recent controversy over sexual misconduct in Federal Parliament has caused a spike in interest.

Ms Watkin says women in their classes are taught how to defend themselves in common scenarios.

“If they get trapped in a lift or when walking to their cars, we focus on how they can protect themselves against a choke hold, someone on top of them on the floor, and against weapons,” she says.

You can find out more about Shield Krav Maga’s classes here.