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October 17, 2012

Skill to Escape Photo

PROTECTION: Aikido Wagga instructor David Bardos uses role play to teach Samantha Bailey invaluable self-defence techniques. Picture: Michael Frogley

Skills to escape

IN THE wake of the tragic death of Jill Meagher in Melbourne, Wagga women are taking a proactive approach to equipping themselves with self-defence skills that could save their life.


The horror rape and murder of the popular 29-year-old Irish woman left the nation reeling in shock, and mourning the senseless loss of life.

Her death rattled communities to their core and prompted women to consider the importance of personal safety and self-defence.

Aikido expert David Bardos is offering Wagga women an opportunity to gain the skills, knowledge and training required to give them the best possible chance of escaping the grasps of an assailant.

Bardos hosted a self-defence workshop in the Apex Park Hall on Saturday which was attended by close to 20 women of varying ages.

The self-defence course is designed to give participants strategies to deal with potential self-defence situations through a tested combination of mind and body training.

The course aims to make participants more aware of their potential strengths and give them the tools recognise, evaluate, avoid, negotiate and actively respond to circumstances that can lead to any assault.

"This course is about empowering women," Bardos said.

"It is about more than the physical application of warrior techniques such as striking and kicking.

"Women develop the confidence and skills that will help them communicate their intentions to a predator and how to escape, if confronted, without the need to attack.

"The predator will always be on guard and sometime there is no time to strike.

"One must fight fire with water."

Bardos firmly believes all women can improve their chances of surviving a nightmarish situation regardless of size, weight, build or strength.

"We can't be naive; a 6 foot 4, 100 kilogram bloke is going to be significantly more powerful than his victim," Bardos said. "We always have to assume the victim is smaller and weaker, and can not execute the same amount of strength and power as their attacker.

"That's why our courses are designed to give women leverage and techniques which do not rely on strength, speed and power.

"The self-defence moves we teach can be executed with ease, and can be performed by people of all ages, sizes and fitness levels."

Over the next 12 months, Bardos will hold four specially designed self-defence courses for women.

Courses will be held on February 16, April 27, June 22, August 24 and October 26 in the Apex Park Hall.

He is also offering work and university groups, sporting teams, social clubs or any women's group the chance to take part in a workshop.

"All they have to do is get some friends together, organise a day and I will come and hold the seminar," he said.

"There is only a small cost, I just ask for a gold coin donation per person which is donated to a local charity."

People can contact Bardos on 0421 004 691 or via aikidowaggwagga@gmail.com.