Why the Shield-maidens have been created?
Encouraging women to take up self-defence and commit to training can be difficult. Unfortunately we have found that women take up training when something bad has happened and it is only then keeping themselves safe becomes a priority.
The Shield-maidens has been created to encourage women to walk through the door to an environment that is going to feel safe and inviting to learn the best form of self-defence –prevention.
The Shield-maidens will be more than a class. It is a team that offers a supportive environment and members will learn to motivate each other to learn and work hard. As a team, you will all grow together and see yourselves toughen up both physically and emotionally.
The instructor team
Brett Mackenzie – Chief instructor
Brett is the head instructor or Viking KAPAP. Brett holds a black belt 3rd dan in Kapap and is the highest-level instructor (level 4) of Kapap under the Avi Nardia Academy in the UK. He has built a system that takes a realistic attitude to self-defence and also “works for the smallest person in the room” and is continuously reviewing the system for it to be the most workable and adaptable students for his students.
Sue Margerison – Shield Maidens Lead instructor
Sue holds a level 1 teaching qualification in KAPAP and is the lead instructor for the shield-maidens.
Sue likes to push her boundaries and loves the discipline, confidence, sense of family and belonging that martial arts bring. Studying martial arts since she was 14 years old, Sue has grown into a confident caring person with experience in teaching both adults and children.
Ian Day – Assistant instructor
Ian began martial arts as a practitioner of Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA). e a trainer and enthusiast of Dark Age weaponry, he also has a Master’s degree in Social Work and believes that martial arts is both challenging and a positive factor in the public’s mental and emotional wellbeing.
He is the lead instructor of Viking Kapap Great Yarmouth, and also continues to study Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Filipino Martial arts and practical shooting under the GROM academy.
What to expect in Shield-maidens
The classes will aim to achieve the following goals
Practical fitness, strength and conditioning
An important part of learning how to defend yourself is being able to stay calm under the pressure and even more importantly, making sure your body stays fit and reactive to dangerous situations. If you can outlast an aggressor in your fitness levels, you increase your chances of surviving challenging situations.
Martial arts is a physical activity, this means classes will regularly include activities that are going to improve your fitness through cardio and strength based activities that you may not necessarily do in the gym. After your first few classes you may find that muscles ache that you didn’t know you had! It gets easier, and exercises that you may have found challenging at the beginning become more fun as your fitness improves through regular training.
Conditioning is also an important part of training. During training, it is important to be able to understand how to apply techniques with controlled intent. This leaves students feeling more informed about the applications of technique in the knowledge that they are not going to be injured, or injuring other students. Shortly after you have begun training, you will understand that your body is stronger than you believe and gain confidence understanding the limitations of your body through techniques.
A key element in our self-defence training is also an education in how to avoid finding yourself in dangerous positions in the first place. For example, if someone points a knife at you and you can run away, then run away! Self-defence is not always about a groin kick or eye gouging. Kapap has been developed to be the thinking person’s martial art.
Classes covers everything from what to do if you come across a firearm, to handy bits of kit that you can carry on the street with you to keep yourself safe, and all things in between.
Women specific self-defence training
The shield-maidens have been created because we recognize that women will face different threats than that of men. Statistically, sexual and physical assaults are the biggest concerns that we often hear.
Our vision in this class is to provide an environment where these subjects are taken seriously and realistically. We do not find there is a point in avoiding this subject, as we are working with people who understand the threat and are equipping themselves with the tools to prevent you from becoming a victim should the worst happen.
Self defence starts in the mind
Past the physical side of martial arts, there is also a key element in the mental attitude of self-defence. Due to physical dangers that we recognise throughout training, we are honest with ourselves that we are here to learn to defend ourselves. That means our attitude should be in training that we would do anything to survive, and this can be tough in the beginning.
Over time classes are here to give that space to learn what controlled aggression is and when to use to keep yourself safe in a dangerous situation.
A common challenge we find during training is beginners come to train and are worried that they are going to hurt their training partner. Of course there is some pain; it is unavoidable if you want to learn how to defend yourself properly. If there wasn’t, the techniques would not be likely to work when it matters.
If you train regularly with confidence, you will learn how to control the techniques you are being taught and how to think about how it will save you should you need to use it.
One goal within the Shield-maidens is to develop the confidence for women to participate in the mixed gender classes on a Tuesday or Thursday.
The reason for this is that one of the truths about self-defence is that you do not know who will ever be an aggressor or pose a threat. Therefore, being in a class with people of different strengths, height, weight and working with a variety of people’s strengths and weaknesses.
The hardest step
The hardest step to learning how to defend yourself is taking the first step through the door to training. We are a friendly club who promotes the culture of a team.
Membership is £35 a month, first class free!