Self Defence for Women

Monday 7-7.45 pm at Marino Community Hall

In 1969, I was fortunate to start training in Aikido with Hanifa Leoni MacFarlane in Melbourne. Leoni, who is now the head of Unity Aikido in Tasmania, commenced a program of womens’ self defence workshops with a series of techniques against various attacks which had been designed by Tomiki Kenji sensei, the founder of the Aikido which used to bear his name. I was lucky enough to be invited along as the uke to many of these sessions as I was considered to be a “gentle giant”. Consequently, I learnt the set of 14 attacks and counters compiled and disseminated by these two outstanding teachers.

The basis was sound and now, with Leoni’s permission, I have added some attacks and modified some of the responses to reflect, not only the Aikido techniques, which were originally taught but also several simple, effective techniques derived from over 40 years of Chinese boxing experience.

The attacks are generally based on the presumption that a male attacker will grab a woman as opposed to kicking and punching but, either way, from the outset you must study the basic concept of all the combative arts which cater for people of smaller stature - the first rule is avoid the attack if possible. From there we use techniques to unbalance which require minimal strength or attack easily accessible vital points. Every woman has the right to feel safe and confident, regardless of physical abilities - why not you?