While KL is relatively safe for women, it’s still a bustling city where crime does occur. Unfortunately women need to adhere to the same safety rules wherever they are, and it doesn’t hurt to sign up for self defence classes to learn how to defend yourself should the need ever arise.
And, it’s also about female empowerment in the long run, so we can feel more confident and prepared to deal with uncomfortable, risky or unsafe situations.
Most self-defence programmes are based on a form of martial arts from Krav Maga and Brazilian Jujitsu to Muay Thai and Karate. Martial arts were developed as a form of both attack and self-defence, and have now become competitive sports and are very effective for getting fit and losing weight. Contrary to popular belief, martial arts teaches you patience and how to avoid finding yourself in a bad situation and becoming aggressive. It also trains your mind to react in a calmer manner, hones your reflexes and gives a different perspective in dangerous circumstances.
Photo: Monarchy MMA
This gym has two convenient locations—Bangsar and the city centre. This is a proper martial arts gym offering boxing, MMA, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai classes for beginners up to competitive fighting. Any self-defence class should be practical enough to be used in real-life situations, and at Monarchy, the focus is on realistic, simple techniques so you can protect yourself without having to learn overly complicated steps. The self-defence classes revolve around Kempo Karate, which is known for being a martial art that covers offensive and defensive actions—targeting vital points, striking, defending against grabs, chokes and holds.
Photo: TNT Kickboxing
Known for its kickboxing classes, TNT has two locations at Desa Sri Hartamas (main branch) and Equine Park. 70% of the students here are female proving that martial arts are no longer male-dominated sports. TNT focuses on kickboxing, and classes in Krav Maga and MMA. Specialised ladies self-defence classes are also available, but must be booked in advance. Get a few friends together and sign up – well worth the investment of time and money.
Photo: Crazy Monkey Defense
This is a martial arts centre that takes self-defence seriously. The flagship programme here originated in South Africa and teaches not only how to physically defend yourself, but more importantly how to have a positive mental outlook and to be able apply what you learn in real-life situations. You’ll be taught how to box and kickbox integrating kicking, grabs, striking and defensive moves. What’s interesting about this programme is that it also teaches you to be positive and how to manage stress so not only do you learn how to defend yourself, but also to actually be calm and efficient.
Photo: Jeet Academy KL
Calling itself a ‘Self Defence Institute’, one of JEET Academy KL’s main objectives is to prepare people and train them to be more efficient should they get attacked or find themselves in a dangerous situation. The self-defence sessions are based on Krav Maga with various other forms of martial arts including Kali (Filipino martial art based on the use of weapons), Pencak Silat, grappling (close fighting technique), Jeet Kune Do and the Mastro Defence System. Instructors also focus on de-escalation and counter aggression techniques. Another option is Jeet Kune Do, a martial art created by Bruce Lee, which is more focused on efficient striking techniques without complex manouveurs involving grappling or defending against weapons.
Photo: Leverage BJJ
The BJJ stands for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a martial art characterised by throws, grappling, locks and chokes. It’s a highly competitive sport that is the base of self-defence classes at this gym. The advantage of BJJ is that you with the proper technique, you can defend yourself against someone bigger and stronger, which is usually the case for women. Self-defence workshops are held regularly at Leverage and focus on avoiding conflict, and how to deal with real situations using the basics of BJJ.
Header image credit: Jeet Academy KL