That’s why it was free and [had] an open door policy.” Afriforum organised Fortis Pro Active Defence Solutions to present the self-defence classes. Riaan Coetzee, one of the trainers, said, “We strive to make it as informative as possible … [and] it’s supposed to be uplifting.” The classes focused on teaching women to be aware of their surroundings, as well as how to throw a few kicks and punches. Clarice du Plessis, a fourth-year BEd student who attended the classes, explained that they were taught “to be aware of [their] surroundings and how to react when put in a dangerous situation”. Another student who attended, Carmen Nel, a second year BVSc student, said that she learnt a lot and that she “would definitely attend any other follow up self-defence classes, as it also gives you a lot more confidence knowing that you are able to defend yourself”. Coetzee explained that the most important skills for self-defence are to first adopt a proactive mind set.

Secondly, do not behave and think like a potential victim. The third skill is to increase your awareness, and lastly, to increase your fighting skills. Coetzee said that it is best to avoid a fight, but if faced with a situation where it is necessary then women need to know how to fight. “By actively increasing your levels of awareness, you are starting to juggle the odds in your favour. You are decreasing your odds of becoming a victim, and increasing your odds of survival. The best fight is the one you managed not to have,” said Coetzee.


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