Women say ‘don’t mess with us’

2019-09-17 06:00
Leon Bailey hard at work showing the ladies how it is supposed to be donePHOTO: SIPHESIHLE NOTWABAZA

Leon Bailey hard at work showing the ladies how it is supposed to be donePHOTO: SIPHESIHLE NOTWABAZA

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Following the recent spate of brutal attacks on women, a local organisation has decided to partner with a karate club and present self-defence classes for women.

The classes are presented by Leon Bailey, chief instructor at Extreme Kenpo Karate Association in association with the Manenberg Youth Collective (MYC).

The self defence classes form part of Kenpo’s community initiatives where they collaborate with local organisations such as MYC. MYC consists of 20 youths who organise community activities and projects with the aim of uplifting fellow young people.

Their most recent activity was a peaceful march against the scourge of gangsterism in the community.

The Extreme Kenpo Karate Association is based in Mitchell’s Plain. They believe martial arts can be used as a tool to discipline young men and also help them regain confidence. They believe if they engage with boys at a young age, they will become well-rounded, confident men.

The self-defence classes are free of charge and presented to women from Manenberg and Gugulethu.

Classes are held every Thursday from 16:00 to 17:00.

Those who are interested are urged to make their way to Greener Pastures where the classes are taking place.

According to MYC member, Bronwyn February, three classes have already taken place and an average of ten women attended each class. While the classes are physical and aimed at teaching women basic self-defence techniques, February says they hope to also change people’s perceptions of women through the initiative.

She adds that women in the country are enduring a lot and that men have the responsibility to rethink the way they “show their masculinity.”

The sessions are open to women from the age of 14 and she urges those who are planning to attend to wear comfortable clothes and to bring their own water.

She also adds there is no administration involved and people do not need to bring any identity documents.

“All they need to bring is commitment,” she says.

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