A Southport martial arts centre has announced a self-protection course for women in the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard.
The six-week course, which will begin in May when restrictions ease, will aim to provide women with confidence and awareness should they find themselves in a violent situation.
Garry Phillips, the Director of Coaching at Shogun World, has felt the need for ladies’ self-protection for many years.
Mr Phillips said: “In years gone by, I’ve advertised for ladies’ self-defence courses.
“It’s nothing new, not to me anyway.”
However, following Sarah Everard’s murder he has seen large numbers of women interested in his course as incidents of violence in Merseyside have increased during lockdown.
“I’ve run self-defence courses for many visually impaired, deaf, non-speakers and disabled people, but recently because of this great upset, it breaks my heart what’s going on,” he said.
“I’ve got five daughters and you hear what has happened to Sarah recently and the conversations, especially in our house, it’s all around.”
The women’s self-defence course will also vary greatly from other martial art forms.
Mr Phillips said: “I assume most of the women that will come along, they’re not coming along to become fit.
“I’m not going to teach them judo or jujitsu where they’ll be involved with throwing.”
The course will teach women how to keep an attacker at bay before escaping to seek help.
“You can’t cover every aspect in four to six weeks but the aim is to give women a basic understanding of what to do if they’re grabbed from the front or the back or if they’re pushed to the ground.”
“It’s about using their hands, feet, elbows to keep someone off them whilst they can fight for their life and scream for help,” he added.
Beginning from May 18, the course will be split into two age categories.
A junior course for nine to 14-year-olds and a senior course for ages 15 and over.
“Older ladies and older men sometimes fear coming in, but there’s nothing to be afraid of.
“We’re very friendly, we make everyone feel welcome,” Mr Phillips said.
Shogun World are also keen to make sure their facility is Covid secure, by taking the temperatures of any entrants and sanitising any equipment which is used.
People will also train with the same partner each week to help stop the spread of infection.
To book your place on the course, you can email [email protected]
Featured image by: Pixabay License; https://pixabay.com/photos/violence-against-women-domestic-4209778/