10 women's self-defence classes in Vancouver

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Would you know how to defend yourself in the event of an attack? We’ve compiled a list of places in Metro Vancouver that offer self defence classes

Hapkido Vancouver

Hapkido is a martial art that focuses solely on defending one’s self. In their women’s self defence classes, they teach methods for disabling attackers and escaping when grabbed.

Location: 703 East Hastings Street, Vancouver

K Fitness Academy

At K Fitness Academy, they say they teach philosophies of defence for various strength levels, how to use objects that you carry with you on a daily basis for defence, and how to recognize dangerous situations. Of course, they also teach defensive maneuvers.

Location: 2674 West Broadway, Vancouver

Pacific Wave Jiu-Jitsu

This course is for women who are too busy to be able to properly learn and master martial arts. In one three hour session, women will learn how to perform verbal de-escalation, six different strikes for self-defence, and how to react during an attack.

Location: 140-12811 Clarke Place, Richmond

Elements Academy of Martial Arts

At Elements Academy, instructors teach women the value of skill rather than strength to immobilize attackers. You learn by doing – simulated scenarios that include grabs, holds, and chokes from behind are part of the class. Bonus: all the instructors are female.

Location: 4465 Dunbar Street, Vancouver

Gracie Barra Vancouver

Gracie Barra specializes in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and offers comprehensive curriculum that includes simulating real attacks. Plus, they say their program will make you more confident, energetic, and focused.

Location: 2440 Main Street, Vancouver

Hit and Run Self Defence

Hit and Run offers private and semi-private classes for women, teen girls, and even co-ed classes. They teach women how to use improvised weapons, release and escape methods, and asserting your physical and verbal boundaries.

Location: Four locations in Vancouver and Richmond. Click here for more.

E.O.M.A.

This program is one for the long-haul. E.O.M.A. says short term programs are ineffective, as truly being able to defend yourself comes from years of training. Through a combination of boxing, taekwondo, and judo, women will learn how to deliver powerful strikes, improve their hand-eye coordination and discover how to survive real-world attacks.

Location: 840 West 15th Street, North Vancouver

Shaolin Kung-Fu Academy

This academy promises to offer women practical techniques to fight off danger through regular training and conditioning.

Location: #102-13463 78th Avenue, Surrey

Wenlido W.E.S.T.

Wenlido offers B.C.’s longest running not-for-profit women’s self-defence classes and is endorsed by various women’s organizations in Metro Vancouver. It first started in Toronto in the early 70s and has since spread across Canada. Classes can be arranged directly through W.E.S.T. and they will travel to any place.

Location: Contact them for more information.

Reality Martial Arts

Beyond teaching the basics of self-defence, Reality Martial Arts says you’ll develop a specific quality of movement that will discourage attackers from selecting you as their victim.

Location: 545 East Broadway, Vancouver

Editor’s note: The introduction to this article was amended to omit information about sexual assaults in Vancouver.

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Lauren Sundstrom Lauren is a Staff Writer and Projects Assistant at Vancity Buzz. She is a graduate of BCIT's Broadcast and Online Journalism program. She loves reporting on breaking news and lifestyle content. If you feel like you have a story that needs to be told, fire her a tweet.
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