Women travellers learn the moves

8 Jan 2009 by intern22

You’re a female corporate on a business trip and somehow, you find yourself confronted by thugs looking to cause trouble and even bodily harm, what do you do?

Conflict Solutions Asia (CSA) is a Singapore-based company, offering interactive modules on security training and self-defense courses to help better equip people, especially women, with basic skills to handle danger.

“So many women are unaware of what to do in a rape situation or when assaulted by an attacker. With knowledge of simple physics and basic skills, you can keep safe without knowing fancy martial art moves. Everyone should learn it,” said Aaron Le Boutillier, managing director of CSA.

Le Boutillier, himself, is backed by years of experience as a police officer in the UK and a law enforcement instructor in Thailand, providing security for many prominent figures in Asia-Pacific.

Last year, CSA conducted two-hour courses, which taught women how to improve their confidence, made them aware of the human body’s various responses to stress and imparted a range of easy-to-learn defense skills. “It’s important to note that the emphasis is also on having fun. There’s no testosterone, no shouting, no violence, just learning through experience in a fun way,” explained Le Boutillier.

Due to the financial crunch, CSA has adjusted their rates to help companies continue educating their employees about safety and security on the road.  

Rates now start from S$1000 (US$678) from the original S$1,500 (US$1,019), and CSA also donates S$200 (US$136) of that to non-profit organisations focused on women such as the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) and the Women’s Initiative for Ageing Successfully (WINGS). Le Boutillier also conducts free workshops for these groups.

Courses for men differ from those targeting women, said Le Boutillier who explained that men “get assaulted just as much or even more than women” and man-on-man combat are executed differently from man-on-woman combat.

One of CSA’s more popular courses is its Travel Security for Executives programme where business travellers are counseled on how to fend off attackers when taking flights, arriving or departing in foreign destinations and moving from hotels to meetings.   

So what are Le Boutillier’s top five tips when thrust in an unfavorable situation, no matter what gender?

1. Avoid the problem in the first place

2. Trust no one.

3. When anticipating a problem, run in the opposite direction

4. If that doesn’t work, thumb the attacker in the eyeballs

5. Still doesn’t work, thumb the attacker in the eyeballs again

For more information on CSA log on to

Peter Rajendran

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