Women’s Self Defense Courses

Class style

This practical, empowering and engaging self-defence course for women breaks down the fundamental aspects of self-defence, from the physical to internal psychology and societal influences.

Sessions are split evenly between discussion and physical application.  Sessions are held in a safe space. 

Discussions are broad and you are encouraged to participate and contribute your thoughts in a safe and accepting environment. 

You will also have the opportunity to test yourself physically with our padded male ‘attackers’ who provide feedback to help you apply what you learn.

Participants report feeling confident, empowered and self-aware with a sustained knowledge of self-defence.

Sessions runs for approx. 90 minutes (45 minutes for mental skills and 45 minutes for physical skills).

Cost is $50 for the full course.

Due to COVID19, we are currently unable to run the course. If you are interested and would like to be kept informed, please email us on uqkungfuclub@gmail.com.

Fundamentals Course (Semester 1)
When: TBA
Location: TBA

As well as the physical skills listed below, the Fundamentals Course allows the participants to understand the social dynamics of self-defense that extend beyond the immediate physical self-defense situation. Including but not limited to social interactions, relationships and workplace harassment.

This course will help you answer the question “Where does self-defense actually begin?”. Which will allow you to determine the most appropriate strategy in managing your personal safety, before it becomes a physical encounter.

    Mental Skills Physical Skills
Week 1Introduction
Performance Profile
Basic striking
Primary Targets
Getting to safety Awareness
Week 2 Controllables & Uncontrollables
Body Language
‘Absorbing’ an Attack  
Week 3 Verbal Self Defense
Man Diagram (targets)
Secondary Targets w/ scenarios  
Week 4Boundaries Assertiveness   1-on-1 scenarios w/Padded Men
Week 5 Performance Profile & Goals
Discussions / Questions
Course Feedback
More 1-on-1 scenarios with Padded Men Instigating
Wrap up  

Advanced Course (Semester 2):
Times TBD

The Advanced Course provides the participants with a deeper and broader understanding of the psychology of self-defense and broadens the physical understandings, by learning to deal with more difficult scenarios, including multiple attackers.

    Mental Skills Physical Skills
Week 1 Re-Introduction
Performance Profile & Goals Recap Fundamentals Course  
Recap Fundamentals Course Introduction to group Encounters
Week 2 Domestic Violence, Relationships and Respect   Against 2-4 attackers (padded facilitators)  
Week 3 Body Language
Sexual Harassment
Weapons Defense  
Week 4 Sexual Assault   Lying down strategies (w/padded facilitators)
Week 5   Performance
Profile & Goals
Discussion / Questions
Evaluation of Course
Scenarios / roleplay Wrap up

This course was developed in conjunction with female psychologists and UQ psychology. Its purpose is to give a big picture approach towards self defense – self-defense involves more than just physical safety and begins well before the physical encounter.

Physical self-defense strategies are non-prescriptive, and the strategies taught provide the participants with knowledge and skills that can be adapted to almost any situation and will be retained by the participant long after they have completed the course.


Ivan has trained & instructed Kung Fu at the University of Queensland for over 20 years and was the first person in 25 years to attain the level of Red Belt (Master Level). The UQ Kung Fu Club focuses on the survival aspect of self-defense, with a particular focus on group attacks.


On the self-awareness exercises in the Mental Skills component…… “Very useful – forced us to analyse where our strengths lie which is necessary for handling ourselves confidently.”

“Encourages you to think about the strengths you have and can use.”

“It’s really great…made me think and reflect on myself. I learnt most about myself through this course and some insight into the attackers.”

“It’s a great component! The physical component works better as a result.”

On the physical exercises and against padded, male facilitators……
“All the physical exercises allow you to get a feel for the sensation of violent physical contact, how the other person reacts, and what you can do about it.”

“Well done! Great to practise on real people. Also good to get feedback from the guys after the activities.”

On the Team……
“You all rock!! Very professional, friendly, helpful. Great work!”

On Ivan…
“Good instruction and I liked the humour, it made things less daunting. Also, thanks for the constructive encouragement/ideas and alternative ways to do things. It was really good to work with a ‘nice guy’. Thanks for the good feedback.”

What difference have you noticed in yourself?
“I feel much more empowered and I now believe in myself and my abilities to get myself out of a difficult/dangerous situation. Also, I feel more empowered and able to defend myself, as I have defined my boundaries and am willing to defend them.”

“Thanks … for the class last night, I left feeling really empowered and confident in myself as a person and my abilities. That confidence carried over to a meeting this morning where I was able to believe in my own technical knowledge when questioning the contractor on their … decisions in front of much more senior peers in my industry.”