Napier Courier

Women’s self defence classes plan kicks off

Kickboxer hopes to start up service

- Brenda Vowden

The idea of a women’s kickboxing and self defence class is gaining traction after first being mooted by Velocity Kickboxing personal trainer David Jackson’s mum.

“She said women need something like this to be able to feel safe and confident so they can protect themselves if needed,” David says.

A fellow kickboxing trainer also suggested to David there was a need for this service in Napier.

“Soon after that there was a post on Facebook by my sister about her experience­s feeling unsafe in Napier which had got a huge response from the public. I mentioned on there that I had been thinking of doing something like a kickboxing class with a focus on self defence for women if we could get it funded and a space to do so.”

Quite a few likes and comments on that post has meant David is now running with the idea. And he is just the man for the job. As well as 10 years experience training in Muay Thai, he has also trained with different gyms and trainers. David says he has also had enough experience training in jujitsu to be capable of protecting himself on the ground if needed.

“I have some basic self defence tactics using these skills to add into our kickboxing/self defence class.”

David is also currently doing his boxing coaching licensing levels under Rod Langdon from Napier Boxing.

“He has been amazingly supportive of me and Velocity Kickboxing. When I went in to pitch my idea for some use of space for kickboxing classes I did not think he would remember me as I trained boxing with him at about age 12. He remembered me and allowed us to use the Napier boxing gym facilities and over the next year we grew to where we now have close to 90 people.”

David is also a qualified personal trainer, upskilling with training in corrective exercise and neuromuscu­lar stretching.

“I have about eight years experience helping people reach and then smash their health and fitness goals like weight loss, strength gain, increasing energy levels and building muscle. I have worked with all types of people from top level athletes all the way through to people who have never stepped into a gym in their life, so I think that helps a lot with being able to help people that come to Velocity Kickboxing with more than just teaching them kickboxing.”

David cites many benefits of kickboxing and has seen numerous success stories come through his gym.

“The biggest win for me is the way students will write things to me or come and say things to me about how much the training and the community of Velocity has changed their lives.

“I’ve seen guys who once had a dislike for each other now training and laughing together. There was a guy that has lost 30kg and now doesn’t have to worry about his blood pressure or cholestero­l.

“There was a girl who had an abusive ex-partner and now feels like she has her power back and a boy who when he first walked into the gym didn’t look anyone in the eye and is now walking in and shaking people’s hands, smiling and joking.”

David sees mental and physical health improvemen­ts. “I think many people suffer depression and anxiety and I have had experience with those things myself and know exercise is extremely important to maintainin­g my mental health. Lots of people come to Velocity because they find it therapeuti­c.”

David plans to complete funding applicatio­ns for his classes and is on the lookout for anyone’s expertise.

“I could really use some help in this area so the charity can grow, progress and provide more. We need outside help to make these things possible for the community, a building provided or funding of a salary.”

He says it was a pastor who helped direct him along the charity work path.

“None of it would be possible without God’s blessings on my life and work.”

David’s long term goal for women’s kickboxing/self defence classes is an establishe­d free fulltime programme for all women in the area. “The main goal is to empower women with the skills and strength to be able to defend themselves if necessary so they can feel safe, doing so in an environmen­t that is comfortabl­e to learn in.”

David says there will be secondary benefits to people attending these classes including friendship­s, a sense of community and team, self confidence, self esteem, mental and physical health improvemen­ts, sporting opportunit­ies and role modelling for youth. t

“What I am looking to do is not just fitness but self defence techniques. I wonder if many people have any idea what to do in a situation where they were grabbed or attacked. That leads to feelings of insecurity and fear instead of feeling confident and strong.”

For more informatio­n or to help out with funding applicatio­ns to establish a self-defence programme contact David Jackson on the Velocity Kickboxing Facebook page or phone 0274462757.

 ?? Photo / Warren Buckland ?? David Jackson, Velocity Kickboxing, Napier.
Photo / Warren Buckland David Jackson, Velocity Kickboxing, Napier.

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