'Black-belt Marnie' – our self defence instructor – spent most of the first session telling us that we needed to make the decision to fight back or not. When I signed up I thought I’d just learn a few moves that might come in handy one day. It had never occurred to me before that I needed to first decide if I was going to use the moves or not.
I brought along my university-aged goddaughter with me to the next 5 classes. We all practiced the same moves over and over – face-palming, kicking and knee-sweeping. With both humour and serious intent, Marnie would first demonstrate on her 13 year-old daughter. We’d then practice on each other. Her aim was to get us all to know how to get out of a hold and then run. 'Run!' she would yell if anyone just stood around after breaking free of a hold.
I didn’t see it coming when Marnie grabbed me from behind on our last day, her arms tight across my shoulders and chest. Yes – I froze. But just a second or two later what she taught us kicked in – I punched backwards, leant forward and out of the hold and then mock face-palmed her.
The self defence gang stopped to clap – a great bunch of people to spend a Saturday afternoon with!'
'I have found that the self defence course at Coburg Leisure Cente has made me realise the need to be aware of my surroundings at all times and how to carry myself with confidence. It has given me a sense of empowerment to feel secure that, if I was in any physical danger, I am much more likely to be able to defend myself enough to escape from a predator unharmed.
The instructor Marnie is clear and goes through each move thoroughly and had an assistant with her at every lesson to demonstrate the various moves.
Every week she revisited each move we had learned from previous weeks, then she would show us additional self defence strategies.
Her teaching methods ensured that each possible scenario was firmly imprinted in our minds. She gave me the confidence to choose to fight in a compromising situation rather than be overcome with fright.
I would highly recommend any woman of any age to do this course. Rest assured, the skills learned will leave you feeling safe in the fact that you know how to handle threatening and intimidating behaviour with a level of confidence that can only be gained from the knowledge learned from this course.'