Women’s Self Defence Training BRISBANE

AGKK’s Women’s Self Defence training, courses, and programs will intensify your instincts by being aware of, and acting on, hunches and insights that you would normally ignore. As with all Self Defence lessons, programs, courses, there is no single, absolute answer to every situation however the training will assist you with being able to possibly prevent an assault or an attack and defend yourself.

The Self Defence training and information provided is designed to decrease your odds of an encounter and increase your chances of survival.
I congratulate you on your decision to learn how to better protect yourself with Self Defence lessons, programs and training and encourage more women to do so.

Your life is your most valuable possession. You not only owe it to yourself, but to the loved ones who care about your safety. Well done in being proactive with the Self Defence training.

You are welcome to inquire about lessons by either contacting: Bernie Shihan on 0409 474 494 or using the booking form.

Brisbane Womens Self Defence Training

Increasing awareness, forward planning and Self Defence training may avoid risky situations.

Bernie Haughey is the Founder and Chief Instructor for AGKK Self Defence Brisbane and Australian Goju Kai Karate in Australia. He has taught Self Defence classes specially designed for women for many years. Among his work, he has conducted seminars for nurses and doctors at Brisbane Hospitals and various other companies, campuses, groups and organisations.

Bernie Haughey has training experience in Martial Arts for over 40 years and has attained a senior black belt Shihan rank and Master Renshi licence.

He has training in Kobudo (Japanese weapons). He has represented his state, and Australia in National and International tournaments.

He is a member of All Japan Karate-do Federation Goju Kai and Australian Karate Federation. As a qualified Secondary Teacher, attaining a Bachelor of Education, he has spent many years in education – teaching and coaching, both in N.S.W. and Queensland.

Bernie Shihan - Dedicated-teacher womens self defence


Are you aware:

Power Self Defence


Mental Toughness is the Key to Survival.
It is the product of spiritual strength. Some methods of cultivating spiritual strength are through the practices of Self Defence and Martial Arts training, meditation and exercise.

Self-Reliance is the Key to Survival.
“I can do it.” The more self-reliant you are, the less you fall victim to the mercy of others.

Mental Calmness is the Key to Survival.
Meditation is a way to calm your inner self. In desperate times your mind must remain calm.

Building strength and Exercise Tolerance is the Key to Survival
For your training to be complete, you will need to be able to deal with both mental and physical pain. A good way to do this is to exercise. Exercise not only increases your level of fitness and flexibility it will also elevate your mental awareness and condition you to overcome discomfort. By sticking to a program, e.g. Self Defence karate, you will ultimately increase your mental toughness and discipline. As you see and feel the results, your self-esteem and confidence will improve.

Instinct is the Key to Survival
Through self-defence and karate training, you will intensify your instincts by being aware of, and acting on, hunches and insights that you would normally ignore.


AGKK - Womens Self Defence Training Brisbane

Personal Protection through Self Defence training and Martial Arts

The term Self Defence implies that it is a reactionary response to aggressive action.
Defence – (wait). Protect – (Prevent)

The word “Protect” implies more of a PROACTIVE ACTION instead of a REACTIVE OR RESPONSIVE ACTION. This is why I prefer to use the term “Personal Protection” when describing specific techniques against an attacker instead of self-defence which reflects more of an overall “Preventive Attitude”. For example, a motorcycle rider “protects” the head from injury–it does not “defend” the head in the event of a fall.

Act on your “gut feeling.” Confront your suspicions immediately. Do not wait for things to improve or rely on someone else’s help. Take charge of yourself if you suspect a situation is developing. Do not concern yourself with seeming impolite or becoming embarrassed. Better that than remaining quiet in a bad predicament.



THINK things through. Plan ahead. Even Mother Teresa only had only 24 hours in a day. We make time for things that are important. Set priorities. You are more prone to misfortune such as sickness, accident, etc. when you are in a hurry or are feeling rushed. Develop the habit of making a backup plan. Should the need arise, you will be prepared. Clearly define your problems and a set method of solving them. Make it a way of life to do all things the most efficient, economical way. This saves time and aggravation both yours and someone else’s.

LEARN about yourself. Know what you will and will not do. Have an idea what your body can and cannot do. Make rules and stick to them. Challenge yourself to learn and to do new things. By learning more about how the world works, you lesson the need to be dependent on others for their help. You become a more competent, and complete person. However, at certain times you will need to learn from others.

DO your best at all times. It matters. It is another means of developing self-discipline. Your best technique is the one that you practice the most. Practice DOES NOT make perfect. Only PERFECT PRACTICE makes perfect. Don’t expect perfection but always strive for improvement. The idea is to go through life DOING not undoing and redoing. You want to ACT not merely react. All things being equal, if you and I have the same speed, and I move first, you will not be able to catch me, due to you reaction time. Unless you take a shortcut! In the Martial Arts as it is with self-defence the plan is to take that shortcut and prepare your body to perform faster than your opponent will think!

Very few of us can say that we nor our friends, relatives, or acquaintances have been free of violent crime. In fact recent surveys clearly show that crime is a major concern to most of us.
Fortunately, most of us can learn ways of avoiding attacks which will significantly reduce our chances of being violently confronted. Strategies which keep us out of the way of attacks will be discussed. I will be describing Self Defence moves which can be used to maximise our chances of survival once we are under attack.

ACT in response according to the action taken. Overreacting is a waste of strength and energy. Act with conviction. You must have 100% belief in your attacker’s destruction. Avoidance is an art. Make it harder for trouble to find you. The best defence is not to be there in the first place.

Concentration cultivates focus. Focus is essential for the centred transmission of inherent power, both mental and physical. It is the unifying force between mind and body. The more disciplined the mind, the more responsive the body.

Learn to develop a SAFETY CONSCIOUS ATTITUDE. This is a state of mind in which you believe that you can prevent accidents by putting into ACTION the rules you know. Taking risks relates directly to your attitude about safety. Your emotional state effects the risks that you take. The possibility of suffering harm or loss involving uncertain danger is an element of risk. The greater the probability of hazard, the greater the risk. There is no need to take unnecessary risks. Get the facts, know the risk, play the odds.


Empowerment everyday - Womens' self defence Brisbane AGKK


You will be better able to cope with stress if you:-

  1. Eat a balanced diet
  2. Get plenty of sleep
  3. Exercise regularly – a martial arts schedule is great for this.

Take time to make these doctrines a part of your lifestyle for coping with stress and maintaining your health.

  1. Planning (time scheduling)
  2. Thinking ahead
  3. Laughing
  4. Refocusing your energy
  5. Learning to relax
  6. Calling on your friends, join our Karate club.

Womens' self defence Brisbane - AGKK


It has virtually become common knowledge that regular exercise – especially sustained activity which places an optimum load on your pulmonary/cardiovascular system – promotes health and , according to recent research, greater longevity. There are various exercises which are found to be good for your health including the curriculum at Australian Goju Kai Karate and AGKK Brisbane Self Defence.

Australian Goju Kai Karate and AGKK Brisbane Self Defence, is not only healthy from an exercise standpoint but, in my opinion, is the optimum, effective Self Defence for the average person at just about any age level.


  • Learn the art of being assertive with the Self Defence training.
  • Practice voice command and eye contact when stating your views.
  • Use body language.
  • Personal Space


The good news is that not everyone gets assaulted. But that leaves several questions. For example, how does an assailant choose who to pursue, pick on or physically attack? Another, even more, important question is: how can you avoid being chosen? Unfortunately, there is no safety pill or perfect system for self-protection. But research shows that your body signals and the psychology behind them are a strong deterrent to attackers. One of the best ways to resist being selected as a victim is to “project and un-victim-like, confident and vigilant demeanor. Physical appearance or assertive body language may help exclude a woman from potential attack.

Criminals themselves tell us they look for people who are looking down. If a person acts distracted, with behaviour such as brooding, staring at the sidewalk, searching through a purse or a bag, or reading a map, research found what assailants seem to notice is head and eye movement. People with exaggerated or furtive eye movements or sweeping side-to-side head movements which may imply fear, preoccupation, or being off guard, are more likely to be assaulted.

Some, children are taught to sit and stand up straight because that is correct and appropriate behaviour. Slouching or slumping are habits associated with lower status or position in life. Indeed, we call someone a “slouch” when we want to imply that they are awkward, lazy or inept. Likewise, a slumping posture is associated with low energy, poor body coordination, and low self-esteem

Although you cannot increase your height, standing with a straight posture can give you a taller appearance which may deter an attacker.
In addition to an upright posture, you may want to practice projecting power in order to control a potentially threatening situation. Police Officers, for example, are trained to exude an image of power and authority in order to control criminals.

The authority stance is a useful stance – the shoulders squared, the head erect, the jaw muscles tight, the mouth closed and unsmiling, feet planted firmly on the floor and eyes steady.

It is important not to lose your power image when you open your mouth. In general the lower the pitch of your voice, the more power and authority your voice conveys. This is particularly important in Self Defence. A fast, high-pitched voice makes you sound fearful, helpless. Using a firm, deep-sounding voice on the other hand, brings you into control.

Strong Self Defence


Your attacker reads your body language long before you begin your defence. Typically in your defence training, we focus on specific fighting skills. Body usage, or how you hold and maneuver your body, contributes to your ability to perform a specific skill such as a kick, block, joint lock, etc., but often we forget how fundamental our body usage is to the effectiveness of the technique.

The fundamental aspects of self-defence such as standing position (natural stance), moving position (the transition between stances), and orientation to others that body usage is most important.

From a psychological point of view, the natural or steady stance is an opportunity to practice projecting power or authority in order to control a potentially threatening situation. Project a victim like, confident and vigilant demeanour, in order to discourage attackers from selecting you.
Authority is as much non-verbal as verbal.

Reports confirm that a potential attacker will often “test” you through eye contact. If you show submissiveness by looking down or to the side, you may find yourself mugged. Keep your eyes forward is a sign of attention and intent.
Lower abdomen slightly flexed.
Legs straight without being locked at the knees.
Keeping your hands free and in front of your body conveys readiness on your part because it is clear that you can use your arms and hands to block or strike if necessary.

You should keep your hands and arms close to your body because large gestures can be misinterpreted as insults. Likewise, avoid crossing your arms or shoving your hands into your pockets as these may be considered threatening behaviour. One should stand calmly, ready to react to any circumstance.


  1. Make rules and stick to them.
  2. Never, especially under threat of death allow yourself to be taken from crime scene A to crime scene B.
  3. Do not allow yourself to be separated from a group.
  4. Do not try to reason with your attacker.
  5. Do not base his set of values on your own.
  6. Do not believe anything he says.
  7. Do not beg or plead with a rapist.
  8. Do not act passive or submissive.
  9. Ask him what he wants.
  10. Always follow your instincts.
  11. Decide when, where and how you will fight.
  12. Decide when, where and how and for what reason you will survive.


Self Defence Training


This is only a snap shot of what we do with the Self Defence training
There is much more we can cover in the Self Defence training.

We should have no intention of harming other people, but we must try to keep out of harm’s way. To protect oneself, one must find a method that will give the weak the power to defend themselves against stronger opponents. In short, among the advantages of Goju Ryu Karate these are a means of Self Defence: no weapons are necessary; the old or the sick, men, women and children, are able to apply it; and one can protect themselves effectively even with little natural strength. These points combine to make Goju Kai Karate a form of Self Defence without equal.

These essential key survival techniques and other important developmental areas can be extended, revised and improved upon by participating in private and or group lessons. Courses are available for yourself, family and friends.

If you are not intending to do a course, I hope that I have helped you in some way.

One of the best compliments I can receive is that I have helped you. Feel free to tell your family and friends of the important work that we are doing here at the AGKK Self Defence Brisbane and Australian Goju Kai Karate. I intend to keep helping people in the local area and in Brisbane for many years to come.

Yours Sincerely

Bernie Haughey Shihan
Founder and Chief Instructor

Advanced Bookings Recommended
You are welcome to inquire about lessons either by contacting:
Bernie Sensei on 0409 474 494 or by filling out the booking form