Don't jog at the same time each day - it can help potential attackers spot a pattern.

That's one piece of advice from a Wanganui self-defence instructor after the deadly attack on Auckland woman Blessie Gotingco last week.

Calls for women to learn self-defence skills are reverberating in the wake of Mrs Gotingco's abduction and murder.

But head instructor at Zen Do Kai Wanganui Jeremy Leathem, said it was difficult to get local women on the courses.


The murder of 56-year-old Mrs Gotingco has shocked her North Shore community. Responding to the crime, Mile High Karate North Shore has invited women and their daughters to a free personal safety course to learn techniques to defend themselves.

Owner Paul Bryant said the school was taking a stand to help women not become victims.

Attacks on women were terrifying and potentially life-changing, he said. But with the right knowledge and basic skills, women could escape and help others.

"Given the proper personal safety and self-defence training, a woman can break through her 'initial shock', utilise her adrenal rush and the skills she had learned to improve her odds of escape."

In Wanganui, Mr Leathem has taken a break from running self-defence courses for women because of a lack of interest.

Learning self-defence techniques was important in keeping yourself safe, he said. "You're learning how to get out of a hold, how to throw a punch, how to hit someone with an elbow."

Women also learned how to deal with knife attacks, and "what not to do".

"Going for a jog at night time, wearing earphones - you've got no idea what's going on around you."

Mr Leathem hoped to get the $30 four-week courses running again soon.

While devices like pepper spray and tasers are outlawed in New Zealand for personal use, some self-defence instructors encourage women to use perfumes and aerosols - which can have a similarly painful effect - in their place.

Coalition for the Safety of Women and Children spokeswoman Leonie Morris said self-defence classes were just one tool in the fight against violence towards women. The biggest problem was a culture which perpetuated sexist and outdated ideas about women.

She said more Government support for programmes to educate Kiwis about misogynistic attitudes was needed.