Self-defence for women

Training in action
Training in action

Story: Lisa Harrison

"I’ve been here since the classes started. Kickboxing is an excellent way to keep fit.”

Sarah, one of the attendees at Al-Nisa, hesitated, then continued,

“Cheryl’s a very good teacher. She is very precise,making sure that we can execute each move properly, which is great for grading. If I got attacked now, I’d be able to defend myself straight away.”

Al-Nisa Sport and Leisure is a Social Enterprise Community Initiative, with funding from UnLtd and BNDfC. It runs classes in combat arts and has a female teacher, Cheryl Mahmoud. The founding principles of this organisation are to provide fitness, self-defense and confidence in a women-only environment. No boys over the age of 8 are allowed to attend.

An environment that can guarantee modesty is crucial to Al-Nisa’s majority Muslim students. Aisha was keen to emphasise how unique this is:

“I’ve been coming here for a few months. There’s nothing else catering for Asian women within the community. I bring my children here too.”

Kids can join too!
Kids can join too!

All women are invited to attend, regardless of background or belief. Everyone is treated the same way, which enables full integration. Naomi, a non- Muslim member of the class, said,

“I’ve been coming here for just four weeks, but I’ve found it a very welcoming environment. It’s great for cultural relations. I initially came because it’s near to where I live and I was curious.”

The premises which Al-Nisa is currently using are less than ideal, as they share a facility with an Islamic school. Due to vast demand and expansion, a dedicated building is now needed. This would enable the students to store equipment in the building, rather than moving it all in and out for each class, and would allow more sessions to take place since demand is so high.

Cheryl Mahmoud, who teaches the classes, said,

“Since our classes are only for women and young children, it is a unique and secure environment. These classes aren’t just for Muslims though – we’d encourage any women from any background to attend. There are lots of people out there who want to try a sport in a female-only environment. The demand is huge in this area and I want to get others involved, but we’d need a new building to use which can guarantee a secure environment.”

If anyone can help with finding a building or would like to sponsor Al-Nisa, please contact Ahmed on 07752 094 070.

AL-NISA Sport and Leisure

“A new concept in combat sport and defence”

  • Full contact thai/kick boxing

  • Self defence courses

  • Boxercise – non contact exercise

  • Fully qualified, insured and CRB clear FEMALE instructor

  • Adult classes – strictly women only

  • Children’s classes – mixed boys & girls (no boys over 8 yrs)

NEW beginners classes starting after Ramadan.

Also NEW over 50`s gentle exercise sessions.

To register for any of the above please call 07752 094 070

Or E-mail:

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The content on this page was added to the website by Derrick Okrah on 2007-09-28 22:46:52.
The content of the page was last modified by Jamie Marriott on 2007-10-01 14:29:01.

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