A LOCAL kung fu teacher is running women's only self defence classes, to help empower women and help them to feel safer.

Martial arts instructor Leon Lord will be running the classes from the Glow, unit 15 of the St Michael's Trading Estate, Bridport, to help to give women the tools they need to be able to defend themselves if they are attacked.

With the recent cases of attacks on women throughout the country, Mr Lord decided to offer these classes exclusively to women after reflecting on how unsafe many women feel when alone. It is hoped that through the teaching of these techniques he will be able to give women who attend a new sense of confidence knowing that they would be able to defend themselves if attacked.

Mr Lord said: "I've always felt that self defence is a life skill. It's important that people feel physically capable of defending themselves, it doesn't mean their intention is to go out and have a fight.

"Unfortunately violence does exist, we shouldn't deny it.

"I don't want women to feel like victims. With all the stuff highlighted in the news recently, being able to look after yourself is important because it changes your perception of how you see yourself and makes you more confident.

"If I can empower anyone male or female to have confidence in themselves and less fear, then I've done my job."

The techniques taught will be based on the style of kung fu which Mr Lord specialises in, wing chun, with several elements from other martial arts mixed in. He also says that it will be as much about training mindset and awareness as it will be about physical skills.

The five-week course will train women in the same skills Mr Lord has taught to his daughter from a young age.

He added: "The most important thing is to teach women the ability to see situations coming and be able to handle it.

"My daughter has learnt alongside me her whole life and its left her in good stead.

"I'm not giving anyone a superpower or turning them into a warrior, I just want to teach people an important life skill."

The classes will be taking place every Saturday from November 6 to December 2 from 2pm until 3.30pm. Each class will cost £12 on the door or a five-week course can be booked for £50.

To book, visit www.wingchun.com