The UAE has recently been ranked as the safest country in the world, but self defence is still a critical skill.
“Self defence is incredibly important so that people have the mental and physical tools to handle any situation,” says Keith Jordan, founder of American Defense Academy of Dubai. “It’s not just doing fancy moves. It’s about mentally preparing and training yourself to be ready.”
Jordan offers a series of theory-based and hands-on practical courses throughout Dubai.
Last month, Core 8 and Systema launched a series of self-defense classes with well-known Dubai instructor Allaoua Gaham. “It’s horrible that we have to think along these lines, but we want women to have some kind of awareness how to deal with a situation,” says Nikki Meyler, co-founder of Core 8.
“Even if it’s something they reach for in the back of their minds when the worst happens — it could save their lives,” Meyler adds.
The most common mistake to avoid:
“Women don’t trust their instincts. I’ve found around 90 percent of women I’ve spoken to about attacks have said they felt something wasn’t quite right, but they ignored it,” says Jordan.
How to recognize an attacker:
“There are certain signs, and it’s also about trusting your instincts. Around 80% of the time, attacks happen from someone the person knows. It’s not just a stranger on the street. But if it is a stranger, keep an eye on what they ask and don’t ask. If you’re at a lounge and they’re asking if you live alone, do you have a housemate, where do you live… they might be checking to see if you’re an easy target,” says Jordan.
Two key things to remember:
“You always need to remember that an attacker is worried about two things: getting caught and getting hurt. They’re looking for someone they can overpower, just not physically, but in terms of intimidation and control,” says Jordan.