Geelong self defence class testimonials

See what schools and corporate groups are saying about our self defence courses, available across Melbourne & Ballarat



Within our Council department we have constant political, organisational, external and personal challenges. Approaching these challenges with confidence is critical. I met Fiona through a networking group a year ago and recently asked her to come in and provide a training day to our team. I wanted to increase self-awareness and build confidence in the team members.

Fiona introduced various models to the team in the morning, each provided personal insight and reflection to everyone in the room. When we went on a break I wondered how Fiona, with everything she had presented, would approach the next part of the session. Using story-telling and pulling on personal experiences in the room she wrapped up all the information presented earlier into an incredibly meaningful conclusion. Once the session ended the entire team was quiet and we decided to end the day at that point due to the information that everyone was pondering.

After the session I checked in with the team. Everyone found meaning and value in different parts of the information, depending on what resonated with them the most. Our team members are all very different in their experience and approach, some which I thought may not be open to this development session, however, when Fiona interacted with them, she read their physical and verbal reactions with such accuracy and provided very insightful feedback, so much so, that some members of the team were speechless with her accuracy. We will be booking further sessions with Fiona to deepen the concepts she introduced.

All I can really say in the end, is, Fiona is the real deal. Everything she does comes from a place of kindness and honestly, which is very refreshing. Her development work is multi-faceted making it relevant in a personal and professional space. I have completed various different development sessions over the years and I find the difference with her content is it is forward facing, constructive and incredibly accurate, I would recommend it to anyone of any age.

Laura Potter Coordinator Strategy & Engagement Strategy & Program Delivery, City of Greater Geelong

Ok, I confess! I have a very colourful imagination and could be an Oscar contender when it comes to writing scenarios.

As a psychologist, I work with people who are both at their best and worst and can appreciate what can happen when humans make bad choices. It was this level of insight and knowledge that fuelled my fear of the dark. Yes! It’s true. I was fearful of the dark for years. Watching Freddy Kruger with no adult supervision at the age of 6 probably wasn’t helpful either.

I managed this fear of the dark and the unknown that comes with it so well. I just made sure I was never home alone in the evenings. Not that hard, when you live with a family of 8. When I made the decision to move to Turkey in 2015, on my own, of course my imagination went on over drive. I contemplated all the different ways I was going to get attacked, burgled, raped and murdered. I quickly realized that I could not afford to move overseas with this focus and mindset.

That’s where my good friend Fiona Skene came into the picture. She has over 30 years of experience as a self-defence instructor and is a 4 x Australian champion in Taekwondo. I started taking private lessons and played out all of my worst-case scenarios.

I came to understand the magnificence of God’s creation, how even the most strongest and built person has in-built physical vulnerabilities, how even the most petite person has incredible physical points of strength and how the right knowledge can mean you can disarm an opponent with one finger. The physical tools I learnt were actually a small part of my transformation. What really shifted was my psychology and mindset around safety.

The sense of security, certainty and safety I accessed in my training with Fiona was the key reason why I was able to travel and live on my own in Turkey with confidence for 18 months. My training got me out of some pretty sticky situations and quite frankly, saved my life on multiple occasions.

This information is powerful. It changes lives. That’s why I am so passionate about creating a platform for more people to access this knowledge and realize they have a choice. We can either let our fear inhibit us as we wait around hopelessly for something bad to happen or we can choose to move beyond the fear to proactively take control of our safety.

Senem Eren

The WISE Self Defence program benefitted the Year 9 students at Colac Secondary College by giving them an understanding of their civil rights and responsibilities in dangerous situations. The stories that Fiona told, while in many ways quite distressful, also provided some real life knowledge to the students.

The actual physical practices of self-defence were enlightening and the students enjoyed learning the skills.

A really strong point of all the presentations was RESPECT. Given that this is one of our school values it was wonderful to have an outsider of the school reinforcing the importance of this value.

Many students commented that they would have liked the program to be extended. A very valuable program that we would like to extend and use in the future.

Ronice Knight Year 9 Learning Community Leader, Colac Secondary College

YOU are the one that had the most impact on me that day. You helped me believe that I could make this happen. You were on my wavelength and had the vision and belief from the get go.

When others thought about it you could see the empowerment of women. I cannot express how this has kept me going during those insecure times.

You are the most inspiring woman I know and I am so grateful you have come into my life and shared this experience with me.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support and unwavering belief in me (and being there no matter what).

All my love and thanks.


Fiona, thank you for running your self defence program over the previous six weeks.

I feel strongly that it has empowered the students by giving them confidence, a range of self defence skills, and the ability to assess different situations in order to ensure their safety.

Thanks again.

Mathew Canterford Teacher, Catholic College Bendigo

I remember the first time I met you 15 years ago.

You were inspiring and strong. You redefined strength and confidence for me. Not strength to selfishly dominate and intimidation. Not confidence in superficial things like – how someone looks, what they have or the good circumstances they find themselves in at the time.

Instantly I loved you. And wanted to be like you! As a long-time victim of sexual abuse, I knew “victim” I knew “powerless” and I knew “go numb and wait for it to end”

No one knew. I barely let myself know. But just meeting you impacted my life! And I have loved every moment spent chatting with you since!

Don’t underestimate the impact you are having or the influence you have. Beauty and confidence shines out of you. I didn’t know then where that came from. But now I know it’s because you are a daughter of the greatest King who ever lived :D

Love you! Grateful to know you! Looking forward to spending time with you again soon!

Jen Parker

When I met Fiona for the first time I was beyond nervous. I depended on my mum taking me almost everywhere and I was terrified of being alone, being around strangers. I wouldn’t even consider going on public transport by myself and I had very little hope of being able to achieve my goals and dreams.

After the one on one classes I felt like I was born again. I learnt to not be so afraid of people, I’m now able to go some places by myself even on trains. I know believe in myself. Fiona has done more than inspire me, she has honestly changed my life and I cannot thank her enough.

She taught me to value myself, how to diffuse situations and how to defend myself without lethal force if I ever need to. She has given me so many tools and is constantly there for support if I ever need. I cannot express in words everything she has done for me. She is beyond amazing and is a huge role model for me, she pushed me a lot but also knew when the physical stuff was getting too much and she always makes sure you’re okay with what she’s teaching and never puts you in a situation you can’t handle.

I more than highly recommend a one on one course with Fiona, she has truly changed my life.

Nicole Scott Geelong

Fiona’s group classes are just amazing, Fiona has such a positive vibe about her and her knowledge of how you can change your life and learn to protect yourself is amazing. She teaches you ways of thinking you haven’t thought of and how to protect yourself in many situations. She teaches you how to understand and inspire others and gives you real proactive tools to change your life and to inspire others to do the same.

I have always been afraid of physical contact when practising self-defence especially since I was attacked by a trusted friend, but in the last group class we swapped our partners to someone we hadn’t worked with. In my case it was a stranger who happened to be much bigger and a male. At the start I was terrified but I trusted Fiona and she would never put me in a dangerous situation. We had to get very close and act out attacking/defending scenarios, but by the end I was no longer scared and I’m now not terrified of group martial art settings and working with strangers.

I highly recommend this class to anyone and everyone.

Nicole Geelong

I am so inspired by you personally every single day and I love your energy, I was remembering today how incredible it was to listen to you speak at the sessions. You are phenomenal and have had such a strong positive impact on my life in the last year. You are a like a guardian angel to me, thank you for loving me.


It was extremely inspiring and the students thoroughly enjoyed the class. We definitely want to book you in for our year 10 program.

Bentleigh Secondary College

Thank you Fiona for your incredible wisdom, knowledge, skill, compassion and being such an inspirational leader. Everyone loved you and the content, and I could see those who were resistant just blossoming by the end of it. This is a program that must continue.

Senem Eren Psychologist

Fiona provided self defence training at our social groups for women with disabilities and they thought she was fantastic. The teaching she provided on the psychological aspects of keeping safe, as well as the physical, was so important.

Practical, meaningful, and adapted to each woman’s very varied and individual capacities… and her style had everyone completely engaged!

Vicki Hester PROJECT WORKER, Wellbeing and Disability, Women's Health West

I have had Fiona come in and teach our year 10 students self defence for about 15 years at Damascus College. In all that time I have found her to be an exceptional teacher, story teller and instructor whose wisdom is unbelievable.

Fiona follows her philosophies in real life and has a genuine love of concern for the overall safety of people in this modern-day society. She passes on the ability to stand up for yourself and be assertive and not overpowering in confrontation for the students she teaches. A great teacher!

Wanyne Foster Damascus College Ballarat

Fiona developed a self defence program and presented it to our students in a motivating and exciting manner. Her previous experience in the self defence field and personal experience served as motivating factors to inspire my students. Her ability to build rapport with the students was exceptional.

I would not hesitate in recommending Fiona Skene as an outstanding candidate for work within any empowerment strategy program.

David Auslebrook Kardinia International College Geelong

We have had the privilege of having Fiona Skene speak into the lives of our year 10 students, and she was able to deconstruct everyday situations for the students, down to the fundamental attitudes that bring them about. She backed this up with very practical and effective instruction on how to defend yourself as a last resort.

I can highly recommend Fiona’s program to all groups of young people.

Tim Maxwell Creek Street Christian College Bendigo

What they say about WISE


"Within our Council department we have constant political, organisational, external and personal challenges. Approaching these challenges... "

– Laura Potter

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