Wits martial arts are offering free self-defense classes for the community.

The Wits martial arts clubs have joined forces with the SRC and Gender Equity Office (GEO) to offer free self-defense classes to the Wits community. The group held their first class at Hall 29 on Friday, September 27.

The clubs including Wits Tang Soo Do, Karate and Kobujutsu are offering the classes in an effort against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) on campus.

“So we have reached out to the Wits community, the girls and boys on campus so that they can avoid hopefully, a situation where they might get mugged or attacked, or become a victim of violence,” Wits Tang Soo Do coach, Master Gregory Hart told Wits Vuvuzela.

According to Hart, the self-defense classes prepare individuals for any violent attacks by providing them with techniques they can use to escape and survive situations are harmful to their well-being.

Makgabo Mahopo, Wits Tang Soo Do incoming chairperson, said the classes are meant to shed light on the misconceptions people have on defending themselves and they are significant “because they can make a difference in responding to different situations”.

“A lot of people are afraid to find out about self-defense in as much as they are important and only if they could learn, their chances of making it out of dangerous situations will be better,” Mahopo told Wits Vuvuzela.

Hart added “the simplest technique women can use to defend themselves is to have an attitude that says they are not a victim, so they must take charge of themselves and their position and they must assert themselves”.

Participants Sebasa Ramahlare and Ria Nkgadima told Wits Vuvuzela they came so they could learn, not only about self-defense but how attackers operate in order to be better prepared.

“It is just to know how to respond when an attacker comes your way and self-knowledge and being aware of our surroundings at all times,” Nkgadima said.

The next class is scheduled to take place on the Wits University library lawns on Friday, October 5.

FEATURED IMAGE: Wits Sports martial arts and Wits University community members get ready to practice at the self-defense class. Photo: Masechaba Kganyapa.