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Michelle Gallacher - first Scottish female Krav Maga Instructor

Michelle Gallacher, a charity worker from Glasgow, has become the first Scottish woman to pass a gruelling month-long self defence training course run by Israeli experts.

With an 8 hour per day exercise routine, Michelle has mastered the self defence system known as Krav Maga, practised by the FBI and Hollywood celebrities Angelina Jolie and Cameron Diaz

Now the 29-year-old, one of just a few female instructors in the UK, is launching Britain’s first female-only classes.

Michelle said: “I know a lot of women want to learn self defence but can be get put off by the idea of going to classes filled with men.

“I can understand why some women would find it a bit intimidating, but I think it’s really important women learn how to defend themselves.

“That’s why I wanted to set up the first female-only Krav Maga class in the UK.

“I want women to feel comfortable about coming to a class even if they’ve never done any kind of self defence or martial arts training before.”

The classes, which start on Thursday at LA Fitness in Argyle Street, will teach women how to strike effectively.

It will also look at defences against a range of attacks including punches, headlocks, wrist grabs, knife attacks and sexual attacks.

Michelle said: “We will be looking at everything from how to punch to how to escape if someone is coming at you with a knife.

“We will also look at how to escape if someone has grabbed your wrist to pull you somewhere and how to get an attacker off you if you end up on the ground.

“There are a lot of really simple techniques women can learn that will give them options if they are ever attacked.”

Michelle, a communications officer with Macmillan Cancer Support, took up Krav Maga 18-months ago and quickly realised it was something she really enjoyed.

She said: “I had never done any kind of martial arts or really any kind of regular exercise before taking up Krav Maga.