On Sunday 27th September, something magical happened: A group of 40 Black women* came together to grow in strength, confidence and power together. Our usual ASE (African Self Defence and Empowerment) workshop was offered in cooperation with the Women Boost project from Lessan, for a special boxing workshop for and by Black women*.
We were lucky enough to have two boxing trainers on the day, which meant that twice as many women* could take part. Our trainers were:
Edna Martinez – a sister who also runs a regular boxing session for black women in Berlin. She has been boxing for 6 years and has trained with two of the best boxing trainers in Cuba. As well as being a boxing trainer, Edna is a political activist. This was clear in the empowering session that she led at the beginning of the workshop. She encouraged the women to share stories, and motivated them to believe in their power! Edna woke up at 5am to travel to Hamburg for the workshop, and she even brought a case full of boxing gloves with her. This is real dedication to the cause – thank you Edna!
Sona-Maria – As a regular ASE trainer, Sona is well experienced at putting us through our paces, and on this day, she didn’t disappoint. Sona has been boxing for 4 years, and in her own words: “it has given me strength and so much more self confidence on top of all the fun I have during boxing practise.” She definitely inspired many other sisters to also fall in love with boxing during her workshop. More gruelling training sessions by Sona can be enjoyed by the whole community in the coming months.
It was heart-warming to see black women* of all ages get strong and have fun together. Walking through the space, observing the way everyone interacted with one another, and feeling the positive energy in the room, it was easy to understand what is meant by the term “safe(r) space”. Despite the unforgiving workout and heavy duty training that was meted out by Edna and Sona, there were many laughing faces to be seen. There was no need to be self-conscious or ‘perform’. We were there as sisters. The love was real!
After the workshop had ended, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. There were many offers of thanks to the organisers, although all the thanks really has to go to each of the women* who came along and took part. They created that amazing energy. It was really beautiful to see (and feel) what our presence alone can generate!
So that women* with child-care responsibilities were also able to take part in the workshop, there was on-site childcare offered by our brothers. The children also had a lot of fun with plenty of space to play. We do hope to have more brothers volunteering to help with childcare at future events for women*. Black mothers are some of the most over-worked and under-appreciated members of society. Providing practical support, and showing solidarity with their struggle, can only serve to strengthen the whole community ♥
We were very happy to be able to offer this workshop in co-operation with the “Women Boost” project from Lessan e.V. This project provides support to women*, through a team of female integration guides who speak the same languages as those who they support. You can find out more at https://lessan.eu/women-boost-lotsinnenprojekt. The buffet provided by Lessan was a highlight that was very much appreciated by all.
Letzten Sonntag fand das Selbstverteidigungs-Box-Workshop vom Projekt "Women Boost" mit Africa United Sports Club statt….Gepostet von Lessan e.V. am Dienstag, 29. September 2020
As usual, we were able to use the excellent space at Taiyo Sport Center. They also supported us by offering affordable boxing gear, so that every participant was able to have boxing gloves and handwraps at no cost to themselves. Taiyo Sport Center is one of the oldest, and one of very few black-owned, sports centres in Hamburg. Unfortunately, they have also been negatively affected by the ongoing Corona virus pandemic. Find out how you can support them, here:
The next ASE workshop will be held for the whole community (all genders Women, Men, family and children welcome) on Sunday 25th October. Registrations at Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org // Tel & WhatApp: +49 176 2146 5253