In the wake of the Reclaim These Streets movement two personal trainers have launched a new self-defence class in Edinburgh.
Push PT founders, Scott Anderson and Laura Ruthnum, hope to help women feel more confident when out and about.
They want to reduce the constant need for looking over the shoulder, ‘text me when you get home’ messages and keys between fingers.
Scott told STV News: “With the recent happenings in London and even in Cramond, women aren’t feeling at ease.
“With less people on the streets due to lockdown, it can be even more daunting to venture out alone.
“We believe that in this day and age, all women should be able to defend themselves, if ever the time called for it as unfortunately, it’s not simply enough to wish some men to do better.”
Scott and Laura have personally invested in specialists from Rencounter Krav Maga to coach the sessions.
“Krav Maga is a self-defence system based on instinctive reactions and natural movements.
“The focus is on how to get yourself out of a dangerous situation in the most efficient and safest way possible.”
The sessions are suitable for everyone, regardless of background, age, gender, and level of fitness.
With Covid-19 restrictions in Scotland, Push PT are only able to hold in-person training for up to 15 individuals at this stage, however within 24 hours of advertising the class, they had over 100 enquiries.
“We have initially organised two sessions on Saturday April 3, which reached maximum capacity within minutes.
“We have since added a virtual version of the class on Saturday April 10, which we hope will reach further afield as it is unaffected from Covid.”
Sophie Barlow, 26, has decided to sign up to the self-defence classes.
Sophie often runs alone before or after work and she said: “I don’t want to stop running at these times because I am scared of what others might do, so it would be amazing to be able to equip myself with skills that would help me protect myself if I needed to.”
Ailie Sproule, 33, runner and dog-walker said: “I was followed as a child and I think that experience, even now, is always in the back of my mind.
“I think getting some self defence training, will give me confidence, the knowledge and courage to deal with any potential situations should they arise, allowing me to continue my running and walking without fear.
“I think it will definitely boost my confidence, and in light of the terrible news regarding Sarah Everard in England, and multiple reports of attacks here in Scotland, it feels like the right time to finally step up and do it.
“I cannot thank Push PT enough for arranging such a great event and raising awareness around women’s safety.”