Australia's battle against alcohol-fueled violence is getting some help from an Israeli self-defense method: Krav maga, a program developed for the Israeli army, has grown increasingly popular Down Under, according to ABC News.
Krav maga ("contact combat" in Hebrew) was unheard of in Australia in recent years, the report said, but schools for it are now opening around the country.
Proponents of the self-defense method say it is ideal for dealing with "drunken thugs" because women can use it as well to overpower assailants who might be bigger and stronger than them.
Kevin Marshall, a former army commando who runs a krav maga program in Australia, teaches the technique, which combines a variety of self-defense techniques and martial arts, to women.
"We had young mums, people who didn't feel comfortable, people who had been attacked in the past, also members of the lesbian, gay and transgender community who didn't feel comfortable training - and I saw that they needed this program," Marshall told ABC News.
"We've had people come in very, very quiet and very meek and mild and turn into lionesses after the program," he was quoted as saying. "It's great to see."
But not everyone is thrilled about the growing use of the method, which teaches students to target the body's vulnerable areas, including the eyes, neck, face, groin and ribs, among other parts.
Defense lawyers told the Australian paper that those who use it could end up in jail.
"I think people should be very careful if they plan on defending themselves aggressively that they do only what is reasonable to defend themselves from the fear they perceive," Andrew Tiedt, a criminal attorney, told ABC.
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