While Brianna Bird and Chantelle Gray are young and innocent-looking, they’re certainly not weak.
The Hills International College students have spent the last 20 weeks taking part in the AP8 Fierce Females Women's Self Defense Course, titled Find Your Fierce, at school – designed to empower and educate woman on staying safe at home and on the streets.
Brianna said she was eager to give the course a go, as she was wanting to build her confidence.
“We’ve been learning how to protect ourselves and the steps which lead to violence,” she said.
“We now know why it is so important to stand tall and proud, and to not let your guard down if you’re feeling a little funny on the inside.
“We’ve had guests come in to help walk us through, and teach us how to get out of, sticky situations – like being grabbed, pinned down or even chocked.”
Brianna and Chantelle, as well as year 12 student Rachael Flanagan, will be the school’s first three students to graduate from the course next week.
“Since I am quite small, I have always seen myself as vulnerable and that’s why I wanted to learn how to protect myself,” Chantelle said.
“And, the course has definitely helped with that.
“I now have the confidence and knowledge on how to get out of tough situations, if they ever were to happen, and potentially prevent it from happening.”
Coach Amanda Giblin, who also founded AP8 Fierce Females, said she was impressed by the development and commitment of the girls.
She hoped to reach out and teach many more students, and ultimately see her course offered in all Queensland schools.
“When we first started, they became quite emotional when we were practicing a few scenarios involving light tapping around the face and grabbing,” she said.
“Now, they walk with confidence and know the basics on how to keep safe.
“It’s important for young women to know how to defend themselves and it takes quite a lot of courage to stand up for yourself.”
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.