Self defence classes for women continue after success of first session
PUBLISHED: 13:59 20 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:59 20 September 2019
A karate coach's offer of free self defence classes was so well received by women in Ipswich that he chose to stage another month of sessions.
Hazem Attia, a sixth-degree black belt and personal trainer, had organised one free class at DW Fitness, in Ranelagh Road, in response to recent reports of an attack in the town.
Demand proved so high that a second session was opened up the following day - and Mr Attia now plans to offer his expertise free of charge for the next four weeks.
The 44-year-old former Egyptian international competitor and Fighting Fit personal trainer was encouraged to hold the classes by wife Kerry following news of an alleged rape in Christchurch Park last Sunday.
A 35-year-old man has since been arrested and released under investigation.
Mr Attia said: "We had a great turnout from the community, with some wonderful ladies turning up to learn some essential self defence tactics.
"Demand has been really high, so I have decided to run this free event for the next four weeks, with 30 spaces available per session.
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"I feel incredibly proud to be offering skills that could help someone remain calm and know they are able to protect themselves if, god forbid, they found themselves in a situation.
"I would like to thank Kerry Attia (Kiki), who came up with the idea to offer this service to the community. She came to me and asked if I would be willing to do this - to offer a little bit of security and bring the community together.
"She hoped to send the message to anyone out there wishing to cause harm, that Ipswich will come together and stand strong against these kind of attacks, and wanted to arm as many women as possible with the skills to defend themselves.
"We are now holding two classes a week, due to the overwhelming response, and are also looking to extend it to a further four weeks after this course has finished.
"I also hope, in the future, to be able to offer a service to help youngsters out there who are maybe in a vulnerable position that may end up turning to gangs and crime.
"I feel, if they had guidance and something to aim for, this may help some youngsters choose a different path."
Mr Attia, who also runs a boxercise class at Riverhills Health Club, in Bramford, and is also launching a karate academy in Ipswich.
To find out more about free self defence classes, visit Facebook and search for @fightingfit20.