View Full Version : Ninja mums urge women 'reclaim streets'

29-07-2010, 12:10

URBAN ninja mums are urging frightened women to take back the streets.

The fear factor, fuelled by reports of weekly stabbings and bashings in Melbourne, is feeding a revival of the ancient Japanese art of fighting.

And nunchukkas, sais and staffs are not always the weapon of choice.

"I am a weapon," black belt ninja Annette Christopherson declares.

At just 150cm tall, the 50-something mum is a force to be reckoned with, without all the brawn.

One Melbourne establishment, the Kevin Hawthorne Ninja School, is training mums and dads - and even kids as young as five - in the art of ninjitsu to protect themselves from street violence, bullying and home invasions.

"Sadly the world which we live in is not safe - there are gang attacks, blade attacks, attacks on the way to the train. People have the right to feel safe," Ms Christopherson said.

She said the keys to being a successful ninja were commitment, talent, balance, timing and psychology.

"Any age group can learn - sometimes it can simply be a little pinch and knowing how much skin to take," she said.

By using ninja techniques, a person could overcome just about any situation.

"If you remain calm you can assess the situation. It also prevents the foe from feeding off your fear," she said.

"You use your peripheral vision, which is where our camouflage and stealth work come in, wait it out and you can calmly take each attacker on at any situation or time."

She said it was important to keep it simple.

"You don't need to do fancy complicated moves, one step, two step, because by the time you get to step two, you're gone," she said.

But don't go to a class expecting to learn the art of invisibility - it's more about pressure points and patience for this Romsey mother.

Her daughter, Penny, is also in on the act.

The 27-year-old has a brown belt and admits her skills give her the extra confidence she needs to walk the streets.