A TAMWORTH Taekwondo instructor hopes to help kick domestic violence to kerb by inviting the city’s women to take up a lesson in martial arts on Friday.
David Jackson from Fit-For-It Taekwondo will open the doors to his makeshift gym in the Oxley Vale Public School hall to any women who would like to give it a go.
This Friday is White Ribbon Day, a national event aimed at empowering people to act and speak up on domestic violence in their communities.
To mark the day, Mr Jackson and his regular students will all wear white belts, regardless of their rank.
While Taekwondo has an undeniable combative element, Mr Jackson believed there were a string of benefits for students of the Korean martial art.
“There is the self-defence part, for sure, but it’s not about the woman being able to stand up and beat the crap out the man,” Mr Jackson said.
“If they can learn to control themselves in a situation, not panic, they could get themselves out of confrontation.
“It’s mainly about building up confidence for women, so they can feel like they can go about their day without having without having to worry.”
Sarah Wall is one of a handful of Mr Jackson’s adult female students.
She took it up after sitting on the sidelines watching her son’s lessons.
While it has been a challenge physically and “out of her comfort zone”, Mrs Wall said the sport had already helped her deal with high-pressure situations and made her “more comfortable” in her skin.
She was at work at the Good Guys when there was an armed hold up earlier this year.
Mrs Wall believed her Taekwondo training helped her through the ordeal.
“I was able to take charge of the situation,” Mrs Wall said.
“I was able instruct staff and customers what they needed to do without losing my top, I wasn't screaming or crying.
“I wasn’t behind the counter so I was on the phone to the police while it was in process.
“Once the doors were locked and I had checked on the customers, I got the security footage sorted by the time the police got there.”
She said a big thing she had developed through the sport since taking it up was “mental clarity”.
“We do a lot of sequences in Taekwondo,” she said.
“There’s a lot of steps and combos which helps with functional thinking.”
Mr Jackson’s free White Ribbon Day starts on 5pm on Friday at the Oxley Vale Public School hall.
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