In 2017, Singapore was ranked the world’s safest city in the Global Smart City Performance Index. The index factors in responses of citizens to general safety as well as the incidences of crime including theft and assault.

However, Singaporeans are familiar with the tagline: “Low crime doesn’t mean no crime”. Essentially, no matter how safe Singapore is crime is still present. Sexual assaults and theft still occur which goes to show safety is not be taken for granted.

Image Credit: Giphy

What’s so special about self-defence classes?

Anyone can be a victim of crime and it’s best to know how to react and protect yourself in such a situation. Self-defence classes teach practical skills in the event of a physical threat which might seem out of your control. Such an example would be an attacker who might be armed and may be physically bigger in size.

The best part is that anyone of any fitness level, age or gender can learn these skills to protect themselves. Even if you’re a self-declared potato, you can learn and apply these skills to defend yourself and get a good workout while you’re at it.


1. Krav Maga Global Singapore

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Image Credit: Krav Maga Global Singapore Facebook

This martial art which originated from the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) is a rather modern fighting style unlike taekwondo or karate. Krav Maga is a self-defense close contact fighting system which focuses on dealing with violent confrontations while unarmed. You get to learn how to protect yourself from an attacker who may be wielding a knife.

Classes here emphasise simulations of threatening circumstances which will teach students to develop skills to react quickly when they are threatened. At the same time, students will improve their fitness and agility.

Krav Maga Global (KMG) has certified instructors who are comfortable teaching students of all ages and fitness levels.

  • Location: Upper Serangoon Shopping Centre, 756 Upper Serangoon Road
, S534626
  • Price: Varies (Depends on age group and level of difficulty)
  • Website

2. Kali Majapahit

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Image Credit: Kali Majapahit – Southeast Asian Martial Arts Facebook

Learn the style of Kali Majapahit which is a unique Southeast Asian martial art built on a Filipino foundation. This fighting style borrows moves and patterns from Muay Thai, Jeet Kune Do and Silat.

The Kali Majapahit community is headquartered in Singapore but is also practised by many others in Europe and Asia as well.

For adult students, you can opt for the martial arts course which would include self-defence both unarmed and with weapons. However, there is also another personal safety course titled R.E.D. which stands for Recognize & Escape Danger.

R.E.D. is a course which prepares students for crises like terror attacks, bombings and unexpected dangers. Self-defence is a staple in this course but other skills like situational awareness, behaviour analysis and mental resilience will be taught.

  • Location: 43 Carpenter Street, S059922
  • Price: Varies
  • Website

3. Kapap Academy

Image Credit: Kapap Academy

Kapap is argued to be the original form of Krav Maga and encompasses the whole military training practised by the IDF. It includes defensive tactics on top of hand to hand combat.

Master Teo Yew Chye, the head of Kapap Academy Singapore, blended a few fighting styles to reinvigorate the self-defence aspect of martial arts in Singapore. This led to the formation of Modern Street Combatives, a self-defence style which combines the behavioural and physical aspect of personal protection.

If you’re interested in other fight styles, there are also courses here that teach catch wrestling and muay thai.

  • Location: Robinson Square, 144 Robinson Road, S068908; Lorong 82, 23 Geylang Road, S388409
  • Price: Varies (Depending on age group and level of difficulty)
  • Website

4. Cadre Academy

Image Credit: Cadre Academy

The self-defence system taught at Cadre Academy is based on the S.P.E.A.R system. This system teaches its students to identify violent encounters and how to defend against them.

At Cadre Academy, learn how to link your senses, mentality and physicality together during threatening situations. On top of learning how to physically defend yourself, the S.P.E.A.R system equips you with skills to strengthen your mental and psychological resolve as well.

If you’re looking to arm yourself with more advanced martial arts, Cadre offers other programs like Kapap, Taekwondo and Kummooyeh for all ages and genders.

  • Location: 226 Upper Thomson Road, S574358
  • Price: Varies (Depending on the type of course)
  • Website

5. U-Elite Martial Fitness

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Image Credit: U-Elite Martial Fitness Facebook

The only objective of self-defence is deterring any threat and also keeping harm to yourself to a minimum. U-Elite goes straight to this point and does not spend too much time on other aspects of martial arts.

Students will learn to sharpen their reflexes and also identify weakness points of an attacker. Everyday items that you carry on yourself such as keys will be utilised and studied as weapons you could use to protect yourself.

U-Elite makes sure you deter an assailant and buy some time for yourself to get to safety. The instructors here believe prolonging confrontation with an armed attacker will only work to your disadvantage.

If you don’t care much for other principles of martial arts and only want to learn sufficient self-defence, U-Elite is a right fit.

  • Location: 38 Jalan Pemimpin
, S577178
  • Price: Varies (Depending on age group and level of difficulty)
  • Website

6. Singapore Ninjutsu

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Image Credit: Singapore Ninjutsu Facebook

Ninjutsu not only includes the Japanese martial art used by ninjas but also the warfare tactics and espionage methods used by them. However, the warfare tactics and espionage methods may not be so applicable in this day and age.

However, students can still learn fighting styles used by samurais and ninjas. With ninjutsu, you’ll be able to learn how to dispatch an attacker swiftly (just like a ninja) even if they are armed.

I wouldn’t want to mess with someone who has learned the way of the ninja.

  • Location: 370 Telok Blangah Rd, S098835
  • Price: $57 (4-week introductory course for June 2019 special price)
  • Website

7. Protect Singapore

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Image Credit: Protect-Singapore Facebook

Keen to learn Krav Maga from experts who actually trained our personnel in the Singapore Armed Forces and Singapore Police Force? Protect-SG, the branch of Protect-Israel which is an organisation set up by Israeli security experts, offers Krav Maga, tailored to your occupation or preference.

Protect-SG prides itself on teaching Krav Maga which is accessible no matter your background. It aims to be flexible and easy to digest for everyone.

Master Instructor G.L, the head of Protect-SG, is also well versed in many martial arts and was once in the security industry in Singapore.

  • Location: 11D Hong Kong Street
, S059654
  • Price: $150 (5 sessions), $280 (10 sessions)
  • Website

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