Happy International Women’s Day!
This year’s campaign theme is #balanceforbetter:
“A balanced world is a better world. How can you help forge a more gender-balanced world? Celebrate Women’s Achievement. Raise Awareness against bias. Take action for equality”
At Rencounter we are passionate about teaching women! Training in self-defence has benefits way beyond learning the physical skills to defend ourselves: learning Krav Maga is empowering and builds confidence! As a system, krav is designed to work for everyone, from a position of disadvantage, making it ideally suited for women, who are much more likely to face an attacker that is bigger and stronger than them.
Our goal is to get more women learning self-defence, ideally in mixed classes, as this better replicates reality. If you look at our class photos you will notice that we have a good balance of men and women in our classes—this is not true for every Krav Maga club. Like many martial arts, krav still tends to be more male-dominated.
So what makes us different? One factor is that our head instructor is a woman. Linn is currently KMG UK’s only woman graded at Expert (black belt) Level. Seeing highly experienced female practitioners gives other women something to aspire to, as well as knowing that the instructor understands the issues women may face.
Another factor that should not be overlooked is that the men in our classes create an environment that is friendly and welcoming for women to train in. We cannot create a safe, mixed training atmosphere without decent, respectful men who genuinely want the women to succeed and do well.
Women don’t need to learn different skills and techniques than men in Krav Maga. What must be acknowledged, however, is that the social applications of these techniques can differ greatly to men. The situations where women generally experience violence are different, and so are the tactics used to avoid violence. It is a sobering fact that the place women are most likely to be killed is in their own home. (source: UN Office on Drugs & Crime)
We recognise that some women may feel uncomfortable training with men. To make sure this is not a barrier to training we have a women’s class, and provide women’s only courses and workshops. We want the skills we teach to be accessible to anyone who may need them.
It is tremendously satisfying to help women (and men!) realise how strong they are and see that they already have the ability to defend themselves. We build on that strength, and fine tune their skills.
Most of all we want to instill the concept that you are worth defending.
Thank you to our awesome women members (and instructor, Linn) and to the men who support our training!
—The Rencounter Team