One tactic that all women have on their side against an attacker is surprise. The surprise that women and girls can stand up for themselves, they can be loud and assertive, and they can successfully fight back.
This is one of the key points that Wen-Do, a form of self-defence for women, teaches. Back in 1972, black-belt martial arts couple Ned and Anne Paige of Toronto established Wen-Do workshops to teach simple self-defence techniques to women and girls.
Shailagh Keaney, a Wen-Do instructor from Montreal, says the techniques can be used by any woman no matter her size, age or physical limitation. By preparing yourself with easy to learn and easy to execute mechanisms, women and girls are empowered to defend themselves, she adds.
Keaney met with nine students at The Tower, a social space and storefront for events at the corner of Cannon and Victoria streets. During the two-hour class, Keaney taught the women defence moves and retold stories of success that had been shared with her through the Wen-Do organization.
“I hope that none of the women and girls who attend my workshops and classes, ever have to use this information,” Keaney said. “It’s kind of like first aid, it’s better to be prepared than not and I’m all about packing women and girls’ tool box so that they may feel prepared if they ever find themselves in a dangerous situation.”