People often associate self-defence classes with blocking and hitting and defending. But, not so with night classes in self-defence in The Donahies Community School, Dublin 13; Hartstown/Huntstown Community School, Dublin 15; and Old Bawn Community School, Tallaght, Dublin 24.
These three schools are offering a night class called ‘Self-Defence for All – Without Getting Hurt!’ The courses are open to all fitness levels, males and females of all ages from age 16 upwards. The aim is for students to learn accuracy and timing as opposed to relying on speed and strength.
The classes are delivered by tutors from Conscious Martial Arts, whose tagline is ‘Martial Arts without the muscle’.
We caught up with Karl, the administrator of Conscious Martial Arts, who explained that they believe that people stop going to martial arts and self-defence classes because they don’t want to get hit and hurt. “Our training has nothing to do with sparring,” he said. “We have broken down each of the moves so that people learn through gentle movements. This gets people to physically relax; the more relaxed you get, the better you get.
“Our training is based on correct body alignment and movement as opposed to reliance on muscle strength. It is based on accurate timing as opposed to reliance on speed. We also teach our students to be aware of and use space and distance.”
Action from self-defence courses delivered by tutors from Conscious Martial Arts. Courses are available this Autumn Term at The Donahies Community School, Hartstown/Huntstown Community School and Old Bawn Community School.
Best of all, says Karl, is that people don’t have to be big guys or super-fit to learn this method of self-defence. “In one of our night classes, we have guys from their mid-20s to their mid-60s, all in the same class, learning the same moves, and mixing together. They love it!”
The physical relaxation is also beneficial mentally, grounding learners as they go through the moves. “Benefits include improved posture, breathing, walking, carrying – you become more efficient in how you move and that helps to reduce strains and backache.” Ultimately, the training develops fitness, body awareness, personal development as well as confidence.