LEARNING self defence is not only a good way for women to protect themselves - it's also a good way to keep fit.
Rotorua's David Dumolo, who is the chief self defence instructor of the Indomitable Mind Body Combat Academy, said self defence was important for women of all ages to help them feel and keep safe.
He is especially concerned about domestic violence against women.
"Domestic violence affects women in all of New Zealand," he said.
Even if you get a restraining order against someone, you can't rely on a piece of paper to save your life.
According to the Ministry of Justice 2006 New Zealand Crime and Safety Survey, 75 per cent of offences occurred in private places and women were five times more likely than men to say they felt very unsafe walking alone in the dark.
"I want to work with the community to make them feel safe," Mr Dumolo said.
He teaches Krav Maga, an Israeli self defence technique invented about the time of World War II. Krav Maga means contact combat in Hebrew.
Mr Dumolo said the technique is "simple, direct and it works".
It teaches wrist-grabbing, punching, kicking, chokes, hooks, defence against weapons, firearms and violent threats and how to use improvised weapons.
In his classes, he goes through the techniques in stages and helps the students practise each. Mr Dumolo also does drills where students have to react to an attack from any direction.
"It becomes conditioned, based on natural instinct," he said. "It sounds scary, but I wouldn't throw anyone in the deep end."
Mr Dumolo said Krav Maga was for everyone, male and female, of all ages and taught people how to survive in violent situations. His best tip for keeping safe was prevention. "Avoid situations on your own ... park your car in a well lit place."
Mr Dumolo is holding a special two-hour Women's Self Defence Clinic on Sunday, December 12 to teach basic techniques and raise money for breast cancer research.
- Krav Maga self defence classes are held Thursdays from 6pm to 7pm at Sepaki Thai Boxing in the alley between Hinemoa St (Behind Robert Harris Coffee) and Eruera St (Behind Capers) and costs $15. The special women's class is at the same place on Sunday December 12 and costs $15. For more information, contact David on 022 0307028 or visit www.imbcacademy.co.nz
- For help with domestic violence contact:Shine 0508 744 633; Are You Ok Information Line 0800 456 450; Women's Refuge 0800 REFUGE