Women learn self-defence to remain safe in relationships
FREEDOM can be found in the fighting cage of the Grow Strong MMA gym, where Warwick women will learn practical self-defence from industry professionals.
For more than four years, gym owner Ben Pepper has heard stories of women struggling to survive domestic violence situations.
"We have had a lot of women coming in who have been experiencing real, physical violence, whether it is at home or on the streets," Pepper said.
"They're looking for some safety and we want to give them that opportunity."
Despite the clear need for a self-defence class in Warwick, Pepper knew he wasn't the one to teach it.
"I'll be the first to admit I don't know the inner workings of a female brain," he said.
"But I do know that there are insecurities women have that go along with such a physical sport as Jiu Jitsu.
"It's much easier for first-time fighters to train with similar people that are going through the same thing, rather than get hands-on with men weighing in over 100kg."
That's where Sherri Pratt comes in.
The long-term member of the Grow Strong club has won gold competing at previous mixed martial arts fight-nights and has a background in personal training.
"She knows what she's talking about and she has a great passion behind her," Pepper said.
"She's keen as a bean to offer training in a less intense environment."
Pratt's classes will focus on distance control, teaching common sense practises that could truly help in a crisis.
"There won't be any chi-magic or pressure point stuff," Pepper said.
"It's all about using the strong parts of your body against the weak parts of theirs, and with the ladies its about making space rather than engaging.
"The whole idea is to build up confidence: Bullies don't pick on confident people, they pick on weaker, shy and insecure people.
"We want to help build their confidence to where they have the skills where they don't have to worry about an altercation."
Grow Strong's first women-only Brazillian Jiu Jitsu and self defence class will begin on January 7, with weekly memberships starting at just $12.
For more information or to book a spot please contact Ben Pepper on 0479 131 464 or message Grow Strong MMA on Facebook.
If you, or someone you know, requires assistance phone DVAC on 4642 1354 (counselling during business hours) or for 24 hour support phone Womensline on 1800 811 811 or Mensline on 1800 600 636.