Women’s self-defence classes coming to Fort Frances

By Allan Bradbury
Staff Writer

The Borderland Judo Club is looking to bring women’s self-defence classes to the Fort Frances area.

Local Judo Senseis Randy Ball and Gordon Witherspoon have been running the Borderland Judo Club for a while now, and thanks to a new Judo Canada program, they will be adding to their offerings in the near future.

Over the last little while, Judo Canada has been developing a women’s self-defence course for a number of years and recently began encouraging senior black belts and instructors to take a course enabling them to teach it.

“Judo Canada is encouraging all of their black belts to get certified as much as they can and start offering it as a course,” Ball said. “It was a bit of a challenge, because we had to do the online portion and then we had to go do the rest of it in person, we ended up going to Montreal for five days.”

According to Ball, Judo Canada says: “We’ve developed the most efficient program available for women’s self-defence, including physical, mental, technical, and tactical preparation for dealing with conflicts.”

Ball says this means they have taken a lot of the minor aspects out of traditional Judo training that would take years to learn and master.

“I can take someone in my regular Judo class and teach them to defend themselves, but it takes years,” says Ball.

The new program takes natural reaction into account and takes natural reaction up a level, refining it into a better self-defence technique. It’s designed to be learned over the course of 10 lessons.

The program has been developed by Daniela Krukower, a former world champion Judoka from Argentina. Krukower a coach with Judo Canada as well as a Krav Maga instructor.

Krav Maga is a specialized martial art designed by Israeli special forces.

“She’s borrowed from [Krav Maga,] Jiu-jitsu, and Judo as well as natural reaction,” says Ball.

Ball said in the training, there were many high level martial artists with a lot of questions. He says Krukower answered all of them.

“We went to this course and … she’s in this room surrounded by black belts in Judo, and most of us have a second martial art,” Ball said. “We all argued, she must have been frustrated. But she was good, she listened to all of it and everything we said. Then she said, ‘well that’s how you’d do it with 10 years of training or even two or three years, but in 10 classes you’re not going to teach them that.’”

Ball says the program doesn’t even teach punching, since without proper technique, a poorly-made fist can break someone’s hand.

While Jiu-Jitsu and Judo both incorporate a lot of gripping and grappling, Krav Maga is a military martial art designed to maim or kill.

“Combining the two into something that’s not going to kill someone but hopefully buys you two or three seconds,” Ball said. “That’s all you’re looking for to get out of a circumstance.”

The course also teaches situational awareness, common items to use as weapons, and mental preparation to be able to deal with violent conflicts.

They also teach how to escape from vulnerable positions.

Ball says parents of Borderland Judo students have already shown there should be lots of interest in the program. While they’re not sure exactly when it will start up, they’re hoping to launch soon. The program will be open to women from teenagers up.

Ball is especially interested in making sure teenagers go through the program.

“All my buddies’ daughters are going off to college, I want to start running them through the course before they leave.”

Registration for the program will launch soon. For further information, you can check out the Borderland Judo Club Facebook page or email Randy Ball at ranman9@hotmail.com.