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Self Defence

Self defence

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At this time of year, plenty of minds turn to exercising to tone up in time for the summer. Fitness classes can seem like a bit of a chore, so why not kill two birds with one stone and learn a practical skill, such as self-defence while you’re at it? Not only will you be getting fit, your exercise class will have a secondary purpose in teaching you how to defend yourself in the awful event of being attacked.

There are lots of different types of self-defence class out there, here’s our guide to picking the one that’s right for you.

General self-defence classes

Many gyms and councils offer general self-defence classes, many of which are aimed specifically at women. These typically teach three areas – being aware of potential dangers, stopping an attack as quickly as possible and escaping from the assailant. Remember, a good instructor will always tell participants to avoid conflict wherever possible.


Learning to box sharpens your senses and makes you more aware of your surroundings. In other words, by taking up boxing you can avoid the need for physical self-defence, by pre-empting an attack and taking evading action. The sport teaches you to react quickly and get out the way of a forthcoming punch, both of which will help if you find yourself being attacked. The stamina you gain can help you run away from danger. If you really can’t avoid confrontation, at least you’ll know how to put your weight behind a punch.


Self defenceKickboxing can teach you how to react to an attacker and fight back. With practise, the moves will become like second nature, giving your opponent little time to react. Participants say they are more physically fit since taking up kickboxing, they also note mental improvements and increased confidence. An hour-long kickboxing class can shed around 700-1000 calories, which will definitely help in your quest for fitness!

Martial arts

Martial arts are great for upping your fitness levels and involve some moves that could come in handy for self-defence. However, many of these classes tend to focus on planned, almost choreographed movements, whereas in the event of being attacked you won’t have a clue how your opponent will come at you. Improved fitness is obviously a bonus when dealing with an attacker.If self-defence is your main reason for attending, you may wish to choose something different.

Choosing a class

If it seems like there is a little too much choice out there, you might want to narrow down your options. Bear in mind, if you don’t enjoy something then you’ll be less likely to keep at it, pick something that really appeals to you. Try out a few that take your fancy and see which you enjoy most. Take into account the other people and the instructor, as well as the things you’ll learn. After all, you’ll be spending at least an hour a week with these people so it is good to feel comfortable around them.



About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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