New women-only self-defence and boxercise classes are running in Woolwich. SARAH TROTTER is taught how to kick ass like a pro.
"You can’t physically fight a man, but you can hit them where it hurts or in the eyes and then run."
This sage advice comes from a female boxing star who at four ft 11ins is walking proof that size and sex are no obstacles to packing a good punch.
During a one-to-one Self Defence and Boxercise session for women with ABA Boxing Chamion Tania Viller, I learnt a few tricks to feel safer on the streets.
The Tae Kwondo International Gold Medallist launched the classes at Pyramid Martial Arts, in Harrington Way, earlier this year to empower women as well as helping them keep fit and have fun.
It is the scenario every woman fears, but if - God forbid - you are attacked, the personal trainer stresses you act calm and innocent to start with - before unleashing a killer move.
The 27-year-old said: "The first thing you say is ‘I don’t want any trouble’ and put your hands out.
"If someone is being aggressive towards you, act as innocent as possible because they will think, ‘oh, love, I only want your money’ and calm down, and they also won’t expect anything.
"The first move is the important one.
"If you try something and it doesn’t work, you move on to another one."
We did some warm-ups, then threw a few jabs, crosses and hooks with the boxing gloves on, followed by defence moves in response to a string of different attacks.
Ms Viller said: "We focus on the most likely attacks that really do happen.
"We do an element of boxing, for fitness, stress relief, but it is mainly about letting women feel confident, protected and safer. We have a laugh as well.
"It isn’t about fighting, it is about feeling confident and able to defend yourself."
The class was fun, challenging and acts as a bond for women, as well as men and women – with many of the ladies practicing at home with their partners.
I walked away feeling empowered and energised, as well as a sense of urgency to encourage all women to arm themselves with a few self-defence moves.
To find out more visit pyramidmartialarts.co.uk
Some defence moves:
If hair is grabbed from the top of your head, push down hard on the hand, then pull off your head and twist their wrist back.
If a pony tail is grabbed from behind, spin round towards them and push hard on their hips, driving them backwards preferably into a car or wall.
If their arms are straight, squat down suddenly away from them and windmill your arm away
If a double-handed grab with their arms locked, slap them hard around the ears, then run. If still in their grip, knee them in the groin, then run. If this does not work, put your thumbs into their eye sockets and push so head rocks back, then run.
On the floor
Twist your hips to one side, then use the leg nearest the floor to drive into their hip while the other leg kicks them in the face until you can shuffle backwards and get on your feet to run away. Do not turn your back on them until can run away.
If this is unwanted attention in a club and your arms are free, shimmy down and then yank their foot through your legs so they fall over. If on the street, elbow them in the face first on either side, before yanking foot.
Tania’s Top Tips:
- Wear trainers to and from work instead of high heels so you not such a target and try to give off a confident attitude.
- Attack using the heel of your hand instead of a punch as it is the strongest part and you could break fingers if your punch misses and hits a wall.
- Scream ‘fire’ instead of ‘help’ as people are more likely to assist.