Self-defence classes for women

Self defence for women, especially Krav Maga, is a valuable and well proven tool to increase women's safety and prevent sexual assaults.

Obviously, knowing how to protect yourself is a major skill. It's like car insurance, you don't want to use it but it's good to have it. Just in case.

And it makes a difference.

"women who took a ten-week (30hrs) self-defence training were significantly less likely to experience unwanted sexual contact than those who didn't."

Unfortunately, too many women have been taught to believe that they “can’t” defend themselves, or that “fighting back doesn’t do any good” against an attack.

This is not true. Studies show that forceful resistance is the best strategy to thwart sexual assaults. And it's time to transform mentalities.

We believe that women don't need men to protect them; Women need to be empowered.

"I've tried a few classes relating to defence and martial arts, but this is the first time I've come across something good...I felt very comfortable as a beginner in the class, and came away feeling like I had learnt something, which is rare from a first session!" Kelly - London SE4 (read full review)

When & Where

Our London classes take place in two different venues:
  • Wednesday 7:30-9:00 pm | The Scout Hut, 212 Bellenden Road, Peckham, SE15 4BY
  • Thursday 7:30-9:00 pm | Venue 28, 28 Beckenham Road, Beckenham, BR3 4LS

There is free parking at both venues, off-street in Peckham, dedicated parking space in Beckenham (free from 7:30pm). Our focus on inclusivity means that our classes are mixed gender but typically 50% female.

Why is Urban Fit & Fearless the best self-defence programme for women?

Teaching one of the world top self-defence systems (Urban Krav Maga), certainly is a major factor. The system emphasises functionality, simplicity and leverage rather than strength. It's based on quick reactions and swift movements. That makes it particularly adapted against bigger and stronger opponents.

"Very friendly and welcoming set-up, great teaching, an hour and a half of sustained activity that leaves you feeling on top of the world!" Cat - London SE22 (read full review)

What makes our programme so successful, though, is the understanding that women deserve better than sissified versions of men’s training, and more choice than the regular male-oriented classes.

Typically, female self-defence courses come in two flavours:
  • A soupped-down version that removes so much of the physicality of an aggression that the system ends up being ineffective in real-life situations.
  • The usual testosterone-oozing male version that, while more realistic, favours brute force and doesn’t take into account the female perspective.

In the 21st century we ought to do better than this traditional blue-or-pink gendered division. The model is antiquated, outdated and, to be honest, a bit toxic.

"...I also really appreciated how friendly and considerate Patrice was, providing full joining instructions, taking a genuine interest in feedback and recommending instructors closer to where I live." Rebecca - London (read full review)

We wanted a modern and inclusive programme that would be female-friendly while retaining the qualities and effectiveness of reality-based self-defence.

The trick was to keep the intensity but to train it in a way that would be deemed safe and acceptable (thanks to all women who gave us constructive feedback!).

Done the right way, it is possible to safely recreate the effects of adrenaline on the body, retain the intensity, chaos and speed of real situations without having to resort to undue physical violence.

But you have to be smart and leverage knowledge from biology, psychology, cognitive science and sports education.

"...Our instructor is completely professional, very engaging and mindful of how participants experience the trainings, sensitive to you personally yet encouraging based on your level, capabilities and age.” Zavira - London

Creating a friendly, nurturing and supportive environment certainly helped. Being mindful of everybody’s unique experience and circumstances is key.

Our programme is flexible enough to accommodate everybody regardless of fitness level, capabilities and age.

And we must be doing something right because half of our students are women.

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What have you got to lose?

Book your free Krav Maga Class

Would that work against a guy?

This is a very common question.

Yes, it would. The system was designed to work against bigger opponents.

Mixed gender classes allow women who want to train with men and see for themselves if the physical techniques work against guys. And if you don’t feel like working out with a man, it’s fine too. You will still see other women in the class flooring bigger lads.

It is easy to assume women need to learn a different set of techniques but the reality is that there shouldn't be much difference between self-defence for women and for men.

"'s surprisingly satisfying to see how much leverage you can (literally) have over a big guy if you make the right move at the right time" Suzanne - London SE22 (read full review)

Although, the aggressor’s intentions vary, the physical violence, however, follows the same patterns. Whether you're a guy or a gal, it always starts with a right punch to the left side of the face and you always end up having to fight off a bigger, stronger person.

Consequently, our programme emphasises simplicity, quick reactions, swift movements and leverage rather than pure strength.

Krav Maga for women

As far as self-defence systems go, Krav Maga was a good starting point because it was designed to address the realities of stressful and violent situations. However, it lacks a good ground game and essential grappling components.

Most fights naturally end up on the ground and, in the case of sexual assaults, that's where the aggressor wants to go, so it's critical to have a good knowledge of grappling. So we turned to a refined and more modern version of the style: Urban Krav Maga (UKM).

Urban Krav Maga was founded with the objective to improve upon classic Krav Maga and to be the most practical and leveraged reality based self-defence style available. Its phenomenal ground-fighting component helped make it one of the world top self-defence systems.

What is covered in the course?

Self-protection is also about prevention, learning how to set and enforce boundaries, assert yourself and safely de-escalate situations.

In 90-min sessions we cover the most common situations.
  • Situational awareness
  • Fighting stances
  • Blocks
  • Strikes (hands, elbows, knees and kicks)
  • Grips, locks and strangle releases
  • Wrist and arm locks
  • Using bodyweight and leverage to your advantage
  • Groundwork
  • Wallwork

We use realistic scenarios to contextualise and illustrate the use physical techniques. It makes it easier to learn and things make more sense.

Techniques are built upon the body's natural instincts and are easy to assimilate and apply regardless of age, gender, athletic attributes or body type.

"...the way the class is designed allows people of all fitness (and coordination skills) levels to progress quite fast in techniques ..." Judith - London (read full review)

Anyone can learn Krav Maga techniques, anyone can apply those techniques and although size does matter, I show how techniques can negate the size of an aggressor and equalize a situation.

The system is practical and functional.

Empowering women through self-defence training

Increased self-confidence and resilience are two of the many benefits of self-defence training for women.

In a friendly and supportive environment:
  • We'll encourage you to step out of your comfort zone
  • We'll teach you to assert and stand up for yourself
  • We'll equip you with the skills to defend yourself and to deal with aggressive behaviour
  • You'll learn to channel adrenaline and operate under stress
  • You'll develop fighting spirit and resilience
  • You'll improve your physical condition with full body workouts

"I turned up at Patrice's class a bit of a wreck. I was in the horrible situation of having been attacked on the street 3 times having picked myself up a stalker with mental health issues. I left the first class feeling a little better, by the third class I was back to my old self and was quietly confident that if I was attacked again I had moves that would ensure I wasn't hurt at all or at least not badly. [...] thanks to Patrice and his teaching I have never been more capable of defending myself. If you are thinking about trying it out my advice is do it. You won't regret it!" Alice - London (read full review)

Women's self-defence workshops in London

Although mixed group classes are great, it is also important to recognise that women face specific threats and for this reason we run seminars that address these particular situations.

We also understand that many women can feel intimidated by mixed classes, so starting with a women-only workshop can help.

Seminars can take places in a variety of contexts:

“...A fantastic introduction to self defense, comprehensive teaching and great fun… even if it does leave every muscle in your body aching for a couple of days afterwards.” Freya - London WC2 (read full review)

During the women’s self-defence seminars, we explore various scenarios around the kind of attacks that female are most likely to face, for example:
  • Held down onto the ground
  • Pinned against a wall
  • Strangled
  • Attacked from behind

The students learn to identify the specific threat and quickly respond with the appropriate techniques in order to escape the assault which can take different forms depending on the aggressor’s size, how the action unfolds, how fast the victim reacts, etc.

#selfdefence #kravmaga #women #AMoveForThat