Savera UK clients have learnt vital defence skills in sessions with Krav Maga System UK. Krav Maga, instructors Adrian and Maria explain, is a self defence system which “educates everyone on technical and tactical response in any dangerous situation”.
The sessions took place over six workshops, with Savera UK clients learning how to become confident in identifying a threat and acting to protect themselves. Maria said the purpose of the sessions was “for everyone who trains to be able to walk in peace by having the knowledge of awareness.”
Support Worker Nefeli, who organised the sessions for Savera UK clients, explained confidence-building workshops are particularly important for those who have experienced trauma. She said: “As women we often deal with uncomfortable situations, whether that’s in the street or in public spaces.
“Especially for survivors of abuse, increasing their self-efficacy beliefs – that ‘can do’ attitude – is key to rebuilding their lives. Learning to be assertive through posture, body language and voice can help clients break the vicious cycle of vulnerability and victimisation and better advocate for themselves.”
Nefeli said she was keen for the clients to learn self-defence to “equip clients with tangible and transferrable skills that would empower them in their new beginning”.
Maria, of Krav Maga System UK, said rather than freezing when a physical or verbal threat arises, clients were taught “to practise and to discover what their body and voice can do.” She said all of the Savera UK clients who attended the course were able to “use their body as a tool to defend themselves, and their voice to take control of the situation and ask for help”.
Maria added: “More importantly, everyone had fun and we managed to bring a smile to everyone’s face.”
Following the workshops, one client said: “My mental and physical wellbeing improved. I now feel confident to protect myself in difficult or risky situations.”
Another client said: “I found the workshop very engaging and I liked the spirit.”
Mums also said they felt better able to look after their family in threatening situations, with one client noting: “Going forward, I feel confident that I will be able to protect myself and my children from harm.”
Other clients said they felt more confident in dealing with “scary situations”, adding the techniques they learnt were “life-saving”.
The clients also praised Maria and Adrian for their motivating techniques, describing the sessions as “helpful, educational and informative”. One client said: “I enjoyed the learning process. The instructors are supportive and motivate you, boosting the learning process.”
Nefeli said: “All attendees reported benefitting from the sessions, which were popular with our core group, but also engaged non-frequent clients due to their interesting nature. It was a pleasure to see them grow in their abilities and confidence with each session and at the same time have so much fun, laughing and enjoying the drills.”
Nefeli added: “I have personally benefitted from self-defence classes and feel more confident in my ability to de-escalate situations or protect myself or companions if necessary. Having worked with Krav Maga System UK, I trusted the facilitators to deliver sessions sensitively and appropriately to avoid triggering clients’ trauma and make them equally informative and fun.”
These self-defence sessions were kindly funded by Merseyside Sport Partnership’s and Sport England’s ‘Tackling Inequalities Fund Project’.