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Algonquin College workshop grapples self defence

What started off as silence and awkwardness, turned into a loud, friendly and enjoyable workshop.


It was 17 women who decided to attend a Self-Defence workshop at the Impact Zone on October 25.

The workshop was for women only, and included different self-defence moves and scenarios on why these moves would be useful.

“It brings awareness to safety on campus in general,” said Susan Pridmore, the events and volunteer assistant.

“It’s a glimpse at some of the basics of self-defence,” says instructor Terry Rea. Rea has 20 years of martial arts experience and runs the mixed martial arts program. Along with his assistants, Rob Iamello and Vivek Dalal, he says he taught the class to give females the experience of self-defence.

“It’s practical and be used by anybody,” he said.

Rea started the class by giving demos of the moves, having the girls practice, then, along with Iamello and Dalal, helping the girls practice the moves properly.

The first part of the workshop involved the women have a close hold of each other and repositioning their arms to gain control of whatever real-life self-defence situation they would be in, which was the entire point of the class.

The first hour of the class included chest and body pummelling and hand pushing.

After a short break, Rea taught the girls how to defend with their knees, palms and elbows. With Rea saying that these are important body parts to use.

“You’re hands aren’t meant to fight,” he says, adding that your hands can easily break when used to defend yourself.

The girls had some fun in the second half; they used kick shields to practice moves with their palms and knees.

“It was actually challenging and helpful”, said Sara Habel, a first-year graphic design student at Algonquin. “It’s fun to learn different skills on how to defend myself.”

Katia Sheldrick, a first-year pre-health sciences student agreed, “I do karate and it was cool to see a different variety on self-defence moves. It’s really important.”

Once the class was over, all the girls were talking to each other like the best of friends, compared to the silence when they all walk in together.

“The benefit of the class is seeing the confidence the females have after they leave,” says Pridmore.

Sheldrick said that she would definitely take a class like this again, with Habel agreeing, even saying “I’ll be looking into taking karate and jiu jitsu.”


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