Women harness inner steel

Neo Bodumela

WOMEN of all ages gathered at Herbert Hurd Primary School in Newton Park for a self-defence seminar with Port Elizabeth Krav Maga instructor Paul Vogts last weekend.

Krav Maga is a martial arts technique based on hand-to-hand combat with a focus on self-defence.

The seminar on Saturday was a three hour, thorough yet uncomplicated workshop to teach the 62 women participating the basics of self-defence, including how to get out of dangerous situations such as the threat of rape.

At the start of the seminar, Vogts stressed to the women that the first thing to do in a situation where one is being mugged, is to give in. Vogts said that only when the incident escalates is it appropriate to use self-defence methods to “neutralise” the situation.

He also assured the women that self-defence has little to do with physical strength and more about reaction.

“If you are being mugged, the first thing to do is give the person what they want. Only when they want to attack do you use methods to defend yourself,” said Vogts.

“But do not overuse the methods and go overboard because then the person can turn around and accuse you of assault. Women are built for self-defence. Their knuckles and elbows are sharper as opposed to men.

“Weight and strength do not mean much. It is how you react to the situation that counts,” he said.

The women were broken up into groups of 10, headed up by Vogts and his fellow instructors and students. Each woman had a partner to re-enact the techniques demonstrated by Vogts.

Over the three one-hour sessions women, were taught how to protect themselves and escape from situations including: being mugged, accosted with a knife, pinned against the wall and being to the floor as in an attempted rape.

ýFor further information on Krav Maga, contact Vogts on 076-216-5953 or via paul@kravcombatacademy.co.za

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