What do I wear ...
"I'd like to come to one of your classes, what do I need to do?"
"Okay you'll need some strong trousers, combats are good, sweatshirt or hoodie and an attittude - you okay with that?"
"But I don't normally wear trousers, combats or other and I've never worn a hoodie, the attitude, well I was hoping you'd provide a little of that."
Okay, not a verbatim exchange but the gist is there, why on earth would you change your normal style of clothing, be it ethnic, cultural or your preferred fashion statement just to learn basic self defence?
You wouldn't it's just dumb.
The purpose of self defence/self protection is to provide safety drills, techniques and strategies in areas you're most likely to need them - outside on the streets!
Outside on the streets you'll be wearing your normal clothing - won't you?
The only stipulation we make is that footwear must be flat mainly because we have martial arts matting that can be ruined by heeled footwaer.
Male only coaches ...
We get this a lot from, certain groups specifically asking for a female coach to teach a group of females. We're not going to get into the ethnicity thing or the cultural stigmas that drive these type of requests but we will make a couple of valid points.
1) Most violence against women is perpetuated by men
2) Most females offering self defence (and most males) are actually offering a watered down martial art
A male coach (in most instances, there are always exceptions) will coach you to deal with violence or threats instigated from a male perspective - he is better suited to do this (naturally) and by offering himself as a traget for your technique and strategy practise you will be able to 'hit' him harder.
Again, there are notable female exceptions, but they are rare. So in our opinion a male coach is better suited to providing female protection instruction.
Many self defence classes, courses etc are merely watered down versions of someones martial art. That's not to say that the art can't be used for self defence, it can, but it requires dedicated long term investment and practise. In addition, many martial arts coaches do not provide information regarding the legalities governing self defence and reasonable force or the biologicla effects that a confrontation can have on the bodys ability to deal with a threat or actual violence.