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Learning to Use Our Sixth Sense

9 April 2019
Phoebe H, Hope ‘19
This past weekend, Brentwood’s Grade 12 girls were offered the option of taking a self-defence course. The female houseparents got together and came to the agreement that it was in all of our best interest to be sent off into the world feeling safe and confident in ourselves. This defence class served not only to help women defend themselves in case of an attack, but it also shows how attacks are likely to happen and how to prevent them.  I came into this class expecting to learn basic moves so I’d feel safe next year on campus and all my expectations were exceeded. Our instructors, Yvette and Louise, were two incredibly kind and welcoming women who made us feel safe and eager to try new things.  They gave in-depth explanations on how to de-escalate and possibly avoid problems before they could turn into attacks. Then Yvette pulled out something that really surprised us: we were given a self-confidence task. We gave compliments to others and received them from our partner. Then we faced the mirror and repeated the compliments about ourselves, which was shockingly hard. She reminded us that we have to know that we’re worth fighting for and protecting. We worked in partners to protect ourselves from several different kinds of attack and then practised moves to subdue an attacker. We specialised on moves for much larger attackers as well, which made all of us feel more at ease, everything from attacks from the front, back, and defending yourself if someone is above you.  I couldn’t recommend this program more, especially for high school girls. I left feeling more self-assured, intelligent, and confident. The work that we got done will surely help me if I ever encounter trouble: I know that I’ll have the right mindset for it.  A big thank you to Yvette, Louise and all of the girls who came out and really gave it their all. Phoebe H, Hope ‘19

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