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Women learn self-defence using their toughest weapon.

Dubai: If you're a woman and get suddenly attacked, you only need three things to save yourself: Presence of mind, four fingers and a good elbow.

Masters of martial arts demonstrated this message to more than 50 women expatriates who attended the first Women's Self-Defence Workshop at the Emirates Golf Club on Saturday. The event, organised by Show Time Events and supported by the Dubai Sports Council, showed women simple steps on how to defend themselves in case of attack.

Statistics of gender-specific street crimes are scant in the emirate. But media reports of women being molested or raped are released on an oft daily basis.

Although Dubai may be relatively safe, there's no room for complacency when it come's to personal safety, especially for women, Master John Duval, a 6th Dan Black Belt, said.

"There could be danger lurking around the corner and if you keep that in mind, you will always be ready [to defend yourself]," Duval, CEO and Chairman of Golden Eagle Martial Arts, told Gulf News after the demonstration.

Duval said many women are caught unaware when they are attacked. The most effective defence, he said, is to be psychologically prepared to take down any attacker. Surprise the attacker by knowing what to do instead of being panic-stricken. This might dissuade him from pursuing you.

"Your most powerful and strongest bone in your body is the elbow. Never punch. Punching will only break your wrist. The weakest, easily broken bone is the knee," Duval said.

"The chin needs 200 grams for a knock out [equivalent to one punch]. Your elbow delivers about 1,000 to 1,200 grams of power. So it's a certain knock out if you go directly for the chin."

Duval advised against hitting the attacker's groin as what many would think to do. Doing this will only anger the attacker and push him to run after you. But women may consider it as second option in self-defence.

Dr Michael Zhe, Chief Trainer and Security Adviser of Counter-terrorism Security China and speaker at the event, said there are techniques in martial arts that women can learn to subdue an opponent without the use of force. But these techniques need to be practised daily in order to perfect it.

British expatriate Shahneela, a housewife who attended the workshop, said although Dubai is considered relatively safe, there's no harm in equipping oneself with self-defence skills.

"Maybe now even in Dubai we need to know about how to look after ourselves. I think we have to be a little bit more aware of the whole growing population, with more bars being put up, more parties, late-nights, this is something to look into."

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Oct 26, 2014
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