Learning the art of self-defence

Izah Azahari

Martial arts has existed for centuries. With different countries having their own martial arts, they are often seen as a type of activity that can bring positive benefits especially in terms of health and discipline. Martial arts are also useful when it comes to defending oneself while facing an unwanted situation.

According to founder of The Panther’s Guild Nor Syariena @ Nor Diyanah binti Abd Rahman, it is time for women and children to understand the importance of personal safety by learning martial arts.

“While it is not a guarantee that we will survive the threat of danger, at least we have the basic skills to defend ourselves,” said Nor Syariena.

Conducted since last year, the martial arts service began when Nor Syariena participated in the incubation programme under Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) for the third year studies’ Discovery Year.

She said it inspired her to explore martial arts, especially seeing an increase in challenging situations within the society, particularly for women and children.

A martial arts class in progress. PHOTO: MUIZ MATDANI

“In order to create mutual comfort in learning martial arts classes, I only focus on the service for women and children,” Nor Syariena said.

Having skills in the martial arts field of taekwondo, which garnered many proud achievements, Nor Syariena said that the art of self-defence, in general, is not to become strong, but to save the practising individual when faced with any unwanted situation.

Among the basic techniques she teaches are Striking, Kick, Knife-Hand Strike, Elbow Strike and Back-Fist Strike.

“The most efficient strike is at a person’s chest using a five-handed book grip, while in terms of kicking, you should lift your knee and kick as though you are pointing towards

the abdomen. “Strikes and kicks should be done with the right techniques. Every blow or kick needs to be precise on specific limbs such as head, neck, eyes, nose, chin and chest as well as shoulders.

All this is important to achieve an efficient and effective action when defending oneself,” she said.

At the age of 24, Nor Syariena is grateful to have taught 20 students, adding that the art of self-defence such as this is beautiful once you immerse yourself in it.

As every movement has its own meaning, it can help an individual become disciplined and confident in their daily lives.

The Panther’s Guild is currently home-based and has five female coaches from various martial arts backgrounds under it including herself.

Currently, Nor Syariena is planning on conducting online classes for her students. She said that if they aren’t doing home-based teaching, they’re offering outdoor programmes such as the Santai Hike as a stress-relief activity for their members or non-members as well as Fitness Combat Drills held at the beaches.