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Bash Back: a queer self-defence Q & A

Self-defence instructor Marcus Torgerson was kind enough to participate in a Q and A with Blitz & Shitz about his Bash Back seminars, to broaden the understanding of self-defence and clear up misconceptions. 

Blitz & ShitzWhat is Bash Back?

Marcus Torgerson: This seminar is an introduction to basic self-defence. I have designed it by incorporating the many martial arts, kick-boxing and Krav Maga techniques I have learned over the years. There are no fancy moves here! We will cover some effective responses to the most common attacks or physical altercations. We recreate realistic scenarios and learn to use fear and adrenaline to your own advantage. All fitness levels are welcome. No prior knowledge is necessary. This is a great introductory seminar, and for those with some experience, I guarantee they will learn something new.

B&S: Why is self-defence important?

MT: I have done a lot of self-defence seminars for women as they are a highly targeted group when it comes to physical attacks and assault. I see a similar need in the LGBT community. I believe that there has been a lot of progress in the acceptance of LGBT members in our community, but we still have a long way to go. Until that day comes, we should all continue raising awareness and make sure to be prepared. It’s as much about response as it is about prevention. I am here to provide individuals with the knowledge they need to protect themselves.

B&S: How can people apply what they learn in your workshop to their everyday lives?

MT: The goal is for the students to leave with a better sense of their surroundings, an awareness that can make bad situations avoidable. Body language and eye contact can communicate a sense of control to a potential offender and deter them immediately. Attackers can often pick out a vulnerable person from the pack. In this seminar, students will not only learn physical techniques, but will come away with much, much more!

B&S: There’s a conception, perhaps because of the name Bash Back, that your workshop is pro-violence. True or false?

MT: False. My intention is not to teach people to fight violence with violence. My goal is to teach some basic self-defence techniques to help people get out of a violent situation as quickly as possible. The Bash Back seminars were created to empower people. Participants are not encouraged to engage in violence. The focus is always on avoiding or escaping an attack.

B&S: How can people learn more?

MT: For information about individual training sessions and upcoming group seminars, visit You can also contact me at

PS: Look at how cute Marcus is. I think I’ll register just so he can bash into me..Wink  

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