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An empowering self-defence class for women.

As women, we are raised with the conception that danger lurks around every corner. 
We are raised to live in fear. 
We are raised to believe that we are fragile. 
We are raised with a little less cheer.
We are raised to be on the lookout, 
and when danger confronts us, to flee.
We are not always taught to fight back. 
We are not taught how to be free.
Dear woman, you must realise, 
that now is the time to equalise. 
Now is the time to reach within. 
Your warrior spirit is ready to win. 

In today’s world, personal safety is a top priority, especially for women who often face unique challenges. Statistics show that in the first three months of 2023, there were over 17,500 violent crimes against women in South Africa. This includes 1,485 attempted murders, 969 murders, and over 15,000 assaults.

With this very fact in mind, a group of inspiring local women recently equipped themselves with crucial self-defence techniques through an exciting and empowering class called Escrima, led by Master Job Magagula, from Radiant Taekwondo Academy

Escrima is a weapon-based martial art that focuses on the use of sticks, knives, and other bladed weapons. This means that you can learn how to use everyday household objects like wooden spoons and steak knives as weapons, or even turn your own body into a weapon.

The self-defence class was held in the Lowveld Botanical Gardens, a local favourite for its tranquil beauty. The women gathered in the shade of towering trees, and after taking some time to appreciate their surroundings, they easily found themselves focused and ready for the task at hand.

Master Job, a 5th degree Taekwondo blackbelt champion, explained that learning self-defence can help women feel more confident and in control of their own safety. This can be especially important for women who live in areas with high crime rates or who travel frequently. These techniques give women the tools they need to defend themselves if they are attacked. Even if a woman is not able to completely prevent an attack, learning self-defence can give her the skills she needs to fight back and protect herself. It means knowing how to escape from a dangerous situation, how to use weapons effectively, or how to disable an attacker.

The women were taught the principles of Escrima with step-by-step clarity. Master Job demonstrated the techniques with grace and precision, leaving the women eager to try the techniques out for themselves. After some drills to get a feel for the skill, the women paired up to practice these techniques on each other. They used real props like sticks and knives, which added an extra layer of excitement to the training. Master Job is a patient and dedicated teacher, and he encouraged the women to practice regularly and to push themselves to improve. The women found immense enjoyment in their playful combat, which also allowed them bond and connect with each other.

By actively participating in a traditionally male-dominated combat sport, these determined women shattered preconceptions and proved that self-defence knows no boundaries. They fostered growth and confidence in themselves and in one another, transcending differences and forging lasting bonds.

To the women of the Lowveld, may you never find your rights withheld. May you always find your power, and never have to cower. May you live long, happy, and free. May you become everything you’ve ever wanted to be. We love the women of the Lowveld ♥

Ps: For more information on Radiant Taekwondo Academy, visit their Facebook page HERE.