Female Self Defence System

The Female Self Defence System (FSDS) is designed with the express purpose of making women safer and more capable of defending themselves. It incorporates simple, realistic and effective self-defence techniques with a fitness regime which promotes strength, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness.

The system is an extrapolation of a Japanese martial art designed around self-defence, not sport. The instructors and assistants are qualified in the Japanese martial arts, but these classes are not what could be considered classical.

The group is designed to create a safe space for females to learn how to defend themselves against physical attack. It also features advice, information and expert input from external sources who present from knowledge and experience, including a police officer with 23 years of front-line service in uniform response, CID, major crime, stranger rape and murder squads.

The classes are designed to be inclusive for females of all age, race, sexual orientation, religion, creed, culture and ability.

The intention of the class is to create a mutually supportive society.

Regular classes are led by female instructors with female assistants. Male guest instructors and assistants can be invited in by the attendees of the class.

This ethos is created to make a space that is welcome for traditionally hard to reach groups as diverse as those whose religion prevents them from attending such classes with strange males through to victims of serious sexual assault and/or child abuse who would feel uncomfortable with males in the class.

This may be viewed by some as divisive, elitist, or exclusionary. It is not meant to be.


A typical class consists of:

  • A thorough and energetic warm-up lasting for 15 minutes.
  • 35 minutes of self defence technique practice starting from simple individual form working to pair form and onto realistic full-force application on strike pads etc.
  • 35 minutes of physical conditioning that switches between major muscle areas.
  • 10 minutes of deep yoga stretching, breathing and relaxation exercises.



Cost is kept to an absolute minimum. At present, the only thing attendees pay for is £30 per year for insurance purposes, with sessions running once a week for about 2 hours. This may change according to cost of venue; however the policy of minimum cost will continue for as long as possible.

Training info

At present FSDS classes are held once a week in Southampton, though they are planned to expand to Alresford, Winchester and the New Forest this year.


The Gregg Preparatory School, (originally St Winifred’s), 17-19 Winn Rd, Southampton, SO17 1EJ

Monday – 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm


For more information or for answers to any questions you may have, don’t hesitate to enquire at our FSDS Facebook group.