Last Saturday, i attended a class which i’ve been wanting to take for so long.
No – not Arabic, not Fiqh, not Tajweed: Self-defense.
The class is a six-week course, called “Ninjabi”, and was arranged especially just for us Muslimahs – so we had female instructors, a closed environment, and no security cameras. Woohoo!
I wasn’t sure what to expect, because i’ve never done anything like this before. I’ve always thought it would be great to learn some kind of martial art, but a dearth of sisters-only classes, combined with my general lack of any kind of athletic ability, has always marred those aspirations. However, the ‘super-nice’ instructors (who were absolute professionals in my mind, mashallah) kindly reassured us that this was not really a martial arts class, and that we wouldn’t be doing anything too strenuous – Alhamdulillah.
The aim of the course was to teach us certain moves that would allow us to gain the upper-hand if, God-forbid, we were ever faced with a threatening situation. In every case, the first and best thing to do is run away, and find help. However, if one is cornered, then these techniques would definitely come in handy to give us that vital window of opportunity to escape harm, inshallah. It was important to realize that we were not being trained to join a new Muslimah vigilante-justice squad (but how cool would that be? Muhammad’s Angels, perhaps?); rather we just needed to learn how to defend ourselves, in order to get away safely.
We covered quite a few different techniques in the first session. We were shown some basic blocking moves, how to disable someone by hitting key areas (i’m sure you’re all thinking of one key area – but funnily enough, that wasn’t mentioned!), and also how to release oneself from various grabs and strangleholds.
It was quite amazing, really. Several moves actually require you to get closer to the attacker, which would surely be the last thing on your mind to do! The instructor mentioned that if we wish for these actions to become reflex in nature, we’d have to practise – a lot. Over 400 times to be exact. I better get started then… 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…
However, one of the best parts of the day for me, was meeting and greeting all the other Ninjabi sisters, one of whom became a ‘fast friend’, and my partner in [fighting] crime. I didn’t know her before the class, but we both had a moment of deja vu early on in the session: “Have we met before? Your face looks very familiar to me…” etc, etc. After about a minute of discussion, we found out that we lived around the corner from each-other; well, that explains it, then…
Although it is obvious that prevention is always better than cure – that is, we should try to minimise the likelihood of being attacked in the first place, by avoiding dodgy people, in dodgy areas, at dodgy times – it is definitely worth learning these kinds of techniques, just to have some peace of mind.
I definitely cannot wait for the next class. I’m really itching to try out what i’ve already learnt on a willing victim… any offers?
You’re not scared are ya?
Yeah, datz right. Y’all better step off… cos dis girlz got da moves!
(Or she will do, after 395 more attempts).