The best self-defence classes for women

Where to learn how to defend yourself
By Time Out KL editors |

It's always best to know what to do in unwanted physical confrontations. At these self-defence classes, you'll be shown methods to avoid aggression, improve your reflexes and how to escape without injury.

RECOMMENDED: Female-friendly gyms in KL

Monarchy MMA
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
Sport and fitness, Gyms and fitness centres

Monarchy MMA

icon-location-pin KL City Centre

Offering everything from Muay Thai to CrossFit, this mixed martial arts gym (which counts MMA fighter Peter Davis in its list of instructors) is noted for its comprehensive self-defence programme that’s developed from Krav Maga techniques. Beginners are welcome for a free trial class or two before subscribing to a membership, but what we like most about Monarchy is the fact that one gets to join multiple group classes for one price. There's also another outlet in Bangsar.

Mon-Fri, 7am-9.30pm; Sat, 10am-2pm

Crazy Monkey Defense
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
Sport and fitness, Martial arts

Crazy Monkey Defence (CMD)

icon-location-pin Bangsar

Sign up for boxing, Brazilian jiujitsu or personal safety classes at this boutique gym in Bangsar. CMD focuses on empowering women through martial arts training, with an emphasis on personal safety rather than competition (think core fitness, gait and mental awareness). CMD also offers free classes every week (all you need to do is either bring another female friend or make a donation to a charity of their choice).

Mon-Thu, 6-10pm; Sat, 10am-12noon. Free trial classes for FizFit workout, kettlebell training for mixed level classes and boxing trial class on Monday, 8pm and Jiu Jitsu on Tuesday, 8pm. 

Sport and fitness, Gyms and fitness centres

Pandora Defense

icon-location-pin Hartamas

Pandora Defense combines the techniques of Krav Maga, jiu-jitsu, and interestingly, silat to design a realistic self-defence method against urban threats. The classes at Pandora (where all are welcome, especially kids) include prevention of risks, methods to avoid aggression, development of reflexes, as well as methods of physical confrontations that allow one to escape without being injured. Classes are conducted in French and English. Self-defence classes are taught every Monday evening, with silat classes on Thursday evenings at the International French School of Kuala Lumpur

Group classes, Mon-Thu, 7.30pm-8.30pm; Thu, 7pm-9pm.

Dojo Seiken

Helmed by Chief Instructor Azlimmi Himzal (who holds black belts in Shotokan and Shorin-Ryu Seibukan karate), Dojo Seiken offers karate and shinkendo classes for beginners as well as self-defence workshops for all ages. The dojo focuses on the martial aspect of karate, in which students are taught to use it as a backbone to master self-defensive moves for possible hostile situations. They also organise weekly women-only self-defence workshops at Y Centre KL, so check their Facebook for updates.

Bangsar Sports Complex, Sun 2pm-4pm; Cova Square Kota Damansara, Sun 5.30pm-7pm; My Little Home, Mon 1.30pm-2.30pm; Y Centre KL, Sun 9am-11am. 

What to do if you're choked


As taught by self-defence instructor Ben Abbes Jihad of Monarchy MMAChin down
Force your chin down to loosen your assailant’s grip on your throat.

The Archer
Use your left hand to grab and tug at the hand around your throat (for more oxygen), and stretch your right hand outwards to push his face away. Aim for the eyes!

The Low Blow
After he is temporarily blinded, use your right hand to grab his shoulder and knee his groin as hard as possible. Now run.