Self-Defence for Women

Updated: Apr 25, 2019

The Straits Times reported more people in Singapore have fallen prey to molesters, especially on public transport and at public entertainment nightspots in the first half of 2018. The report, quoting the Singapore Police Force, said molestation cases at nightclubs rose by 37 per cent over the same time period in 2017, while such cases on public transport increased by 43.8 per cent.

Although a lot is being done to ensure the safety of the public and women in general, it is also equally important for us to equip ourselves with the right skill set to be safe in any situation. With that in mind, FaMA - Fitness and Martial Arts recently organised a women’s self-defence seminar to help women of all ages learn how to protect themselves if the need arises.

Headed by mixed martial artist and professional boxer Kirstie Gannaway, the seminar focused on educating women on identifying danger, thinking quickly, and if the need arises, protect themselves using martial arts techniques.

“Women are often assumed to be vulnerable and this makes them a target. In general, women are smaller in physical size and have less strength compared to men. This is one of the reasons why they are targeted,” said Kirstie.

“I believe it is important for anyone to learn to defend themselves whether woman or man, but in this case we wanted a more intimate setting for women only and to create an atmosphere where women of any size, strength or background would feel comfortable in.”

FaMA decided to have a women’s only self-defence seminar because there is a tendency for some women to feel intimidated training/learning with men when it comes to martial arts. A women’s only self-defence seminar would create a more comfortable environment for them.

“During the seminar, we constantly reinforce some points such as knowing how to disengage and evade the attacker, staying calm under duress and learning how to deescalate a situation. We also stressed on the importance of drilling self-defence moves and repetition. Only with continuous training, one can increase their confidence and reaction time (mentally and physically),” said Kirstie.

Kirstie and a few of our FaMA instructors taught these ladies a series of wrist grip escapes and how to get away when the assailant has both hands on their shoulders, cornering them against a wall. Lastly, they played out a scenario where the victim ended on the ground - incorporating a break fall, some basic hip control/escaping concepts and technical stand up to get up safely and evade.

These self-defence techniques were derived from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and Muay Thai, both taught everyday at FaMA.

“It was great to see so many women come together - regardless of age and nationality - to support each other and learn how to defend themselves,” Kirstie added.

FaMA - Fitness and Martial Arts Established in 2016, FaMA is a world-class martial arts training facility located in the heart of the Central Business District in Singapore. Walking distance from the Clarke Quay MRT station, FaMA’s main goal is to help people improve their lives through martial arts regardless of age or athletic capability. Each program is led by experts in their respective fields. Whether it is weight loss, a fun workout, camaraderie, competition training, or just to break a sweat, FaMA has something for everyone.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or BJJ as it is commonly known around the world, is a self-defence martial art that enables a smaller, weaker person to protect themselves against a much larger attacker using leverage and pressure. Formed from Kodokan Judo in Japan, Jiu Jitsu found its way to Brazil in the 1910s through Mitsuyo Maeda, a Japanese judoka and no-holds-barred prize fighter. During his time in Brazil, Maeda accepted a young Carlos Gracie as his student. Carlos would later pass on his knowledge to his brothers, most notably Helio Gracie - the father of modern Brazilian Jiujitsu. The Gracie family would go on to spread BJJ through The Gracie Challenge and eventually the creation of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Today, BJJ has grown to be more than just an effective unarmed fighting system. It helps young children deal with bullies and adults live a healthy lifestyle. BJJ classes are offered daily at FaMA under the tutelage of Black Belts Zoro Moreira, Robyn Goudy and Thiago Gaspary.

Muay Thai

Muay Thai, or The Art of Eight Limbs, is a martial art developed in Thailand thousands of years ago to help the Kingdom protect itself against invaders. Using the human body as a weapon, Muay Thai practitioners are well-versed in punching, elbowing, kicking, kneeing, and clinching with their opponents. What was once only used for self-defence and protection of the Kingdom, Muay Thai has grown to become one of the most popular sports not only in Thailand but in the world. Muay Thai is known to provide a complete total-body workout that will help build lean muscle, core strength, and help with weight loss. At FaMA, Muay Thai classes are taught daily by Tanaphong Khunhankaew, or better known as Kru Ping, and Kru Jerel Louie.


3A River Valley Road,

#02-03, Clarke Quay


(entrance on level 1)

(Open on Google Maps)

 Closest MRT

Clarke Quay (NE Line)

Fort Canning (DT Line)


Clarke Quay​


Monday to Friday

06:30 - 22:00


Saturday and Sunday

9:00 - 17:00


+65 6352 0992


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