KOTA BARU - Move aside, Jean-Claude Van Damme! A new breed of women here, most of whom are tudung-clad, are out to prove that they can match the kick-boxing chops of male exponents blow for blow.
Sixteen of them, including doctors, nurses, businesswomen and housewives, have signed up for a kick-boxing class offered by a local fitness centre.
Their instructor, Tuan Zainun Tuan Mat, who has 10 years' experience in kick-boxing, said the objective of her class was to provide women with self-defence skills.
"Kick-boxing skills come in handy when women need to defend themselves," she said at the centre in Jalan Sultan Yahya Petra.
Opened early last month, the class is the first and only kick-boxing centre tailored for women in the state.
The project was part of a business expansion by gynaecologist and health spa owner Dr Lily Fariza Karim, who also manages a women-only gymnasium and fitness centre that offers aerobic and various forms of dances.
Tuan Zainun, 46, said not only would her trainees develop self-defence skills, but they could also raise their level of fitness.
"Kick-boxing also acts as anti-aging exercise as it can help the women maintain good physical appearance to make them look attractive," she said.
In general, she said, kick-boxing and other form of exercises would promote healthy lifestyle for all age groups.
She said such exercise could enhance stamina so the trainees became more energetic, especially women who had given birth.
"They will be able to avoid possible illnesses such as strokes, high blood pressure and heart disease by having a routine exercise programme. So far, my trainees are able to survive the rigours of my training methods as kick-boxing is a very enjoyable exercise."
Tuan Zainun said kick-boxing practice used up more energy than that of other exercise programmes.