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DTES Community Classes
At Eastside Boxing Club, we offer a variety of free classes for the residents of the Downtown Eastside Community. These classes are funded by our community partners and generous donors, and often have free childminding and food.
All women, female-identified, and all members of LGBTTQQ2S. Eastside provides free self-defence classes bi-weekly to women, female-identified and all members of LGBTTQQ2S living in or around East Vancouver.
What: The focus of the class is to teach the participants how to effectively protect themselves from an attacker by teaching them how to utilize their attacker’s force and weight against them as a form of self-defence. The techniques that are primarily taught originate from Judo. Judo literally stands for “gentle way”. It translates to this as judo does not require sheer strength or power to execute its technique. Instead, judo teaches people how to use their mind and body to counteract the force and weight of their opponent, which is exactly what we teach the self-defence class. This skill is especially important, as an attacker will almost always be heavier than their victim. Judo also teaches participants how to properly use their leverage points to protect themselves from being taken down, and how to effectively take down their attacker. Instructors include Eastside Rollers Jiu Jitsu coach, Meego Yassin and Judo instructor Abdul Fádel.
Where: Eastside Boxing Club at 238 Keefer Street, Vancouver
When: 7:45pm on Thursdays (bi-weekly, beginning March 25th)
Why/Partner: Because of recent violent attacks against women in our community in 2015, 2016 and 2017 Eastside Boxing Club has partnered with Black Lab Vancouver to provide self-defense classes to self-identified women and all members of LGBTTQQ2S in and around East Vancouver.
Mom & Tot’s Boxing Program:
Who: The target population of the program is women and in particular mothers that live in the DTES neighbourhood. To remove barriers to regular physical activity for mothers in the neighbourhood, child care and nutritious snacks will be provided for all that require it.
- 75% identify as Aboriginal
- All of the women were pregnant and/or parenting (within 5 years)
- Over 76% report experiencing discrimination in past 3 months
- Existing programs were not meeting the needs of women (want childcare, judgement free spaces, free programming, bus tickets, snacks/coffee/water before or after)
What: Free non-contact box-fit class in a judgement free space. Childminding for babies and toddlers, food and beverages will all be provided.
Where: Eastside Boxing Club, 238 Keefer Street, Vancouver
When: Every Thursday from 10am -11:30am.
Why: In a recent, successful collaboration, with UBC and Crabtree Corner, we ran a weekly boxing/strength and conditioning/self-defense course for women that were taking part in trauma and violence informed physical activity programming. Along with researchers, community partners, and most importantly the women that accessed the program, we identified the need to offer ongoing programming to support women experiencing marginalization in the DTES. Through this research, it was identified that women wanted to be physically active but they identified a lack of spaces that met their needs. The women discussed the tremendous benefits to participating in physical activity, especially boxing. Boxing helped to facilitate a sense of empowerment and community for the participating women and provided them with a safe space to work out together.
The goal of this program is to be a barrier free, structured, regularly scheduled non-contact box-fit class for those who would normally not be able to afford such a class. By providing this class we hope to create long-term changes in physical, mental and emotional well-being. Studies have long stated the importance of physical activity in maintaining a healthy life-style, however for many, being physically active is a luxury that is not afforded to many in our community. The negative impacts of this is cyclical, if women/mothers are not given the opportunity to be physically active and learn about healthy eating and exercise habits, these behaviours do not get passed on to their children.
Organizations: This program has been created in partnership with Eastside Boxing Club, Good Food For All, Crabtree, and participating organization: Sheway and Vancouver Women’s Health Collective