Wen-Do is a self-defence technique taught for women by women at the Fort Garry Women’s Resource Centre.
The centre is hosting its last classes of the season June 15-16.
"It really is designed for any women of any age and any physical level," said Jennifer Thorsteinsson, an instructor at Wen-Do Winnipeg and one of the instructors at the FGWRC classes.
"Things that make us different from other martial arts is that we aren’t strictly a martial art. We are self-defense."
Wen-Do was developed after the 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese in New York City. The case was famous for the lack of action bystanders took during the assault.
Wen-Do classes with Thorsteinsson at the FGWRC are split between theory and practical so women can understand why attacks happen.
"It’s impossible to avoid situations or get out of situations if you don’t know what they are or why they are occurring," Thorsteinsson said. "So that awareness is huge."
The practical side of Wen-Do involves four elements, the first of which is surprise.
"We have surprise on our side because often just doing something, anything, is enough to make something stop," Thorsteinsson said. "Doing something outside of what your attacker is expecting you to do gives you back some control in that situation."
The other elements include using circular motions to get out of grips, self-trust, and self-worth.
"Self-worth — it’s how you feel about yourself and knowing that you’re worth it," Thorsteinsson said. "Knowing that you’re a valuable person and knowing that no one has the right to take that away from you."
FGWRC has been offering the Wen-Do classes monthly for the past five years.
Colleen Stratman, public education co-ordinator of the centre said the classes for women and girls are always popular.
"We believe it’s for the extra feeling of safety and for comfort," Stratman said.
The June 15-16 workshops at the U of W’s Duckworth Centre, 400 Spence St., will be the last one before summer, Stratman said. Pre-registration is required; call the FGWRC at 204-477-1123.
More information on Thorsteinsseon’s classes can be found at www.wen-dowinnipeg.org