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'Real Ninja' Muslim women use martial arts self defence in fight against hate crime

  • Self-defence workshop Real Ninjas for Muslim women now running in Manchester
  • Taught by martial arts expert, classes aim to teach women how to defend themselves against attack

A new self-defence class called Real Ninjas aimed at Muslim women to protect them against attacks has come to Manchester.

The classes are organised by Asiya Wavda, founder of Muslimah Dreams, and Aamir Rafi who has been practicing martial arts for more than 20 years and runs the Manchester Tai Chi school.

Asiya and Aamir

We believe that in today’s world, it is important for all women to learn self defence, Muslim or not. With hate crime and islamophobia on the rise, Muslim women are more vulnerable to attack

Asiya said: “Having studied martial arts with Aamir for the past  three-and-a-half years and noticing the benefits in my own life, we decided to put our heads together and developed a comprehensive programme for Muslim women covering many different aspects of self defence.”

The workshop covers striking techniques (punches, kicks, elbows and knees using pad work), ground work, defences against arm pulls and drags, hair and hijab grabs, and much more including situational awareness and de-escalating techniques.

defender pushes attacker away and escapes

She added: “We believe that in today’s world it is important for all women to learn self defence, Muslim or not. With hate crime and islamophobia on the rise, Muslim women are more vulnerable to attacks we hope that by attending the workshops they will gain confidence and necessary skills required to defend themselves. Or at least escape a dangerous situation, and at times all that is needed is being able to recognize a threat and to respond appropriately.”

The last workshop was in December in Ardwick and was met by a very positive response, people left the workshop giving it glowing reviews on the Facebook page.

 

“We run regular workshops in Manchester and the rest of the UK, and have just returned from Johannesburg, South Africa where we taught two successful workshops in the local Muslim communities,” said Asiya.

The workshops aim to empower Muslim women and make them more confident, and learn to protect themselves while also having fun.

The next workshop will be held on 11 February in Ardwick. Tickets are available here 

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