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Post-production   /  Rose Smith

Striking Distance

Facing What Scares you Makes You Brave.


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  • DIRECTOR Rose Smith




The Striking Distance journey started in 2015 when a group of school girls began learning martial arts, and went on to win every competition they attempted. What should have ended in 2016 became more than just a story about competing, it became a story about the transformative nature of martial arts, and how attaining black belt totally transforms the way a girl feels about herself.
In a male dominated sport, in a world that still pivots to men in all sports, these girls achieved success and did not become martial arts statistics - most girls drop out of martial arts in their teens. This group went the distance and are still training today.

Over a period of seven years, we follow these amazing young women, starting out as white belts, unsure, anxious and trying to find their place in the world. When we leave them it is as referees and coaches themselves, mentoring a new generation of young girls on the mats.
The most important lesson of all? Facing what scares you makes you brave.

Support this project

75.92% funded
  • $180,000.00

  • $136,652.34

  • 335

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





Lauren Turner $60.00
Melinda Loh $59.00
Louise Lindsay $100.00
Alista White $20.00
Chris Anastasiou $100.00
Danielle Crisafulli $30.00
Lucy Blakemore $50.00
Luci Ellis $350.00
Cynthia Meyer $270.00
Melinda Loh $300.00
Cassandra Chang $150.00
Emma Allen $300.00
Jennifer Collins $600.00
Lauren Turner $104.00
Lauren Turner $260.00
Marco Angelini $100.00
Lauren Turner $328.00
Melinda Cooke $280.00
Maya Kobayashi $260.00
Marisa Colonna $280.00
Adrian Chia $280.00
Anonymous $272.00
Anonymous $560.00
Jon Butler $500.00
Sarah Duffy $260.00
Anonymous $291.00
LIna Halim $380.00
Cassandra Chang $260.00
Charlotte Potaczek $260.00
Stephen Hanks $260.00
Oscar Yildirim $350.00
Michelle Foote $234.00
Marco Angelini $260.00
Christopher Brunner $190.00
Pui Kee Shui $190.00
Marina Butko $260.00
Anonymous $520.00
Jennifer Collins $260.00
Mandy Lam $190.00
Randy Cortez $1,140.00
Janelle Ingham $260.00
Janelle Ingham $260.00
IRINA Andrejev $260.00
Caterina Ellis $260.00
Stephanie Hukins $190.00
Fiona Liang $190.00
Joanna Wilson $260.00
Madison Lindsay $340.00
Talitha De Jager $260.00
Anonymous $510.00
Marina Butko $700.00
Marco Angelini $428.00
Fiona Liang $310.00
Kim McMahon $420.00
Valentina Aloisi $756.00
Kai Wing Ho $371.00
Azella Tanoko $288.00
Anonymous $870.00
Dani Playel $260.00
Laura Moran $260.00
Sarah Duff $203.00
Anonymous $908.00
Marlena McQuilty $300.00
Charlotte Potaczek $260.00
Andrea Harrison $95.00
April Yildirim $350.00
Adrian Quek $700.00
Daniela Kum $260.00
Anonymous $350.00
Pui Kee Shui $190.00
Anonymous $100.00
Stephen Hanks $260.00
Janelle Ingham $260.00
Cassandra Chang $260.00
Andrea Cooper $190.00
Anonymous $300.00
Jen Collins $260.00
Ian Callow $400.00
Anonymous $2,800.00
Anonymous $720.00
Joanna Wilson $260.00
Talitha De Jager $260.00
Stephanie Hukins $190.00
Louise Lindsay $260.00
Mandy Lam $722.00
Benedict Cheung $1,950.00
Michelle Hallit $722.00
Isabella Chan $1,330.00
Emma Allen $1,330.00
Chris Anastasiou $1,140.00
Andrew O'Neill $2,280.00
Jonathan Doo $1,862.00
Teressa Pitts $988.00
Anonymous $5,000.00
Michelle Hallit $820.00
Danielle Playel $30.00
Andrea Harrison $100.00
Andrea Harrison $260.00
jemma thorp $10.00
Talitha de Jager $26.00
Eliza Goslett $520.00
Anonymous $458.00
Leon Anastasiou $300.00
Stephanie Hukins $503.00
Janelle Ingham $510.00
Andrea Harrison $260.00
Karen Kennedy $260.00
Kelly Kilcup $310.00
Laura Moran $484.00
Isabella Chan $420.00
Louise Lindsay $420.00
Andi Cooper $190.00
Anonymous $310.00
Kathryn Hunyor $480.00
Angela Nikolic $26.00
Cassandra Chang $260.00
Jonathan Butler $600.00
Louise HUNT $260.00
Marlena McQuilty $130.00
Andrew O'Neill $560.00
Oscar Yildirim $350.00
Angela Nikolic $234.00
Karen Kennedy $260.00
Ian Callow $350.00
Madeleine Sproule $450.00
Ian Callow $80.00
Greg Dunn $300.00
Lina Halim $380.00
Emma Allen $700.00
Adrian McCaffrey $550.00
Anonymous $700.00
Daniela Kum $160.00
Daniela Kum $260.00
Stephen Hanks $260.00
Charlotte Potaczek $260.00
Chris Anastasiou $260.00
Talitha de Jager $260.00
Teressa Pitts $260.00
Danielle Playel $520.00
joanna wilson $260.00
Caterina Ellis $260.00
Caterina Ellis $160.00
Maryanne Lia $100.00
Beatrice Mangalindan $50.00
Teressa Pitts $100.00
Andrew O'Neill $200.00
Matthew Lee $30.00
Jonathan Doo $160.00
Madeleine Sproule $453.00
Lina Halim $133.00
Sarah Duffy $40.00
Ariel Ellis $200.00
Sharona Reddy $100.00
Paul Turner $50.00
Cassandra Loh $20.00
Carol Haining $100.00
Kerry Hoffman $50.00
Margaret Redestowicz $50.00
Elsa Whelan $20.00
Rowena Donnell $50.00
Leonie fulton $50.00
Karen Kennedy $150.00
Ruby Cheung $25.00
Cassandra Loh $20.00
Anonymous $500.00
Anonymous $15.00
Gill Ambler $20.00
Alison Khalil $100.00
Rosemary Butcher $50.00
Emma Allen $150.00
Nicole Millard $100.00
Tegan Milford $20.00
Nathan Minett $100.00
Simone Kelly $250.00
richard Collins $50.00
Andrew Leakey $200.00
Peter Gil $100.00
Raba Ensor $30.00
Adrian McCaffrey $300.00
Jessica Shears $20.00
Chris Anastasiou $300.00
Sharon Murphy $100.00
Lila Holman $50.00
Julie Stewart $60.00
Steve Woods $20.00
Holly Usher $50.00
Reshmi Noorullah $173.37
Franzesca Mimi Setyadiputra $70.00
Pat Patterson $20.00
Tony Allen $220.00
Nicholas Setyadiputra $40.00
Gaspar Rodriguez $15.00
Elisha Rose $50.00
Joanna Wilson $340.00
Cassandra Chang $380.00
Andi C(bags) $42.00
Tahnee Rumble $10.00
Jonathan Doo $84.00
Victoria Keen $50.00
Anonymous $50.00
Teressa Pitts $42.00
Loretta Carmel Bancroft $50.00
Amanda Garrett $100.00
Liam Shorte $50.00
Rachel Agatep $150.00
Julie Hemmons $100.00
Patric LEBREUX $100.00
Angela ying $15.00
Adrian McCaffrey $340.00
Lina Halim $260.00
Towfeeque Aalam $173.34
Adrian McCaffrey $70.00
Oscar Yildirim $350.00
Anonymous $200.00
Chris Anastasiou $650.00
Pui Kee Shui $260.00
Joanne Simpson $350.00
Louise HUNT $260.00
Maria Farris $340.00
Anonymous $520.00
Karen Kennedy $600.00
Anonymous $300.00
Adrian McCaffrey $450.00
Emma Allen $650.00
Andi Cooper $190.00
Caterina Ellis $260.00
Lucia Grambalova $140.00
Towfeeque Aalam Mohammed Shafeeque $173.34
Teressa pitts $470.00
Karen Kennedy $90.00
Jennifer collins $500.00
Reshmi Noorullah $173.34
Camille RAYNES-GREENOW $260.00
Leon Anastasiou $600.00
Simone Kelly $780.00
Maria Farris $300.00
Robyn Saw $2,000.00
Lina Halim $200.00
Caterina Ellis $260.00
Andrew Oneill $520.00
Christopher Brunner $541.50
Andi Cooper $260.00
Peter Simpson $350.00
Jennifer Collins $1,050.00
Anonymous $1,083.00
Kai Wing Ho $545.00
Nathan Haining $1,000.00
Karen Kennedy $520.00
Louise Hunt $600.00
Benedict Cheung $2,100.00
Adrian McCaffrey $450.00
Emma Allen $450.00
Jonathan Doo $1,083.00
Anonymous $200.00
Stephen Hanks $350.00
Anonymous $200.00
Joanne Nash Clulow $260.00
Karen Kennedy $480.00
Karen Kennedy $670.00
Christopher Brunner $330.00
Jonathan Doo $660.00
Anonymous $580.00
Benedict Cheung $80.00
Anonymous $540.00
Joanne Simpson $350.00
Fiona Liang $190.00
Amy McCaffrey $750.00
Robyn Saw $900.00
Anonymous $350.00
Louise Hunt $890.00
Andrew O'NEILL $840.00
Melinda Haining $1,000.00
Leon Anastasiou $685.00
Maria Farris $340.00
jonathan butler $500.00
Emma Allen $800.00
Caterina Ellis $260.00
Deborah Scown $80.00
Benedict Cheung $720.00
Christopher Brunner $250.00
Jennifer Collind $430.00
Jen Hoey $100.00
Jay Gosselin $260.00
Andrea Harrison $190.00
Danielle Playel $260.00
Maria Farris $100.00
Adrian Quek $600.00
Joanne Simpson $350.00
Azad Ekmekjian $490.00
Maria Farris $300.00
Mandy Lam $195.00
Adrian Hernandez $600.00
Emma Allen $450.00
Leon Anastasiou $530.00
Christopher Brunner $190.00
Deborah Scown $350.00
Anonymous $520.00
FOR MAGDALEN E Smith $20.00
Anonymous $50.00
Ruby Farquhar $100.00
Bill Mealing $20.00
Kelly O’Brien $1,532.45
Maria Farris $50.00
Debbie Swanson $50.00
Anonymous $5.00
Kelie Fisher $20.00
Gary Palmer $20.00
McHugh Family $20.00
Fiona Barlow $100.00
Melanie McHugh $50.00
Adrian Quek $600.00
Elizabeth Armstrong $50.00
Samantha Gannon $20.00
Margaret O'Brien $20.00
Louise Sullivan $100.00
Margaret O'Brien $50.00
Ben Williams $50.00
Dean Stuart $30.00
Azad Ekmekjian $550.00
Andrea Harrison $710.00
Anonymous $520.00
Anonymous $220.00
Angela Nikolic $300.00
Deborah Scown $300.00
Melinda Haining $1,500.00
Anonymous $300.00
Anonymous $520.00
Carmen Lia $320.00
Ben Chen $100.00
Anonymous $1,000.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

In Australia every week, one woman is killed at the hands of her partner or ex partner. In 2018, 79 women and 29 children were killed in domestic violence.
1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men will be sexually assaulted before the age of 18. 90% of victims under 12 know their abuser. Just under half a million Australian women reported experiencing sexual violence/ assault within the last 18 months.

Women who fight back their attacker are 86% more likely to avoid rape or sustain further injury. And yet, only 5% of women learn self defense.
Self defence teaches women the skills to develop healthy physical and emotional boundaries
Self defence also challenges the belief that women's bodies are inherently vulnerable to attack and that men's bodies are unstoppable. Learning self defence is empowering, and changes women's beliefs about what they are capable of and what they are entitled to.

As we follow these teenage girls on their martial arts journey, we see these very words come true.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

I want girls everywhere to access safe, affordable and effective self defence as part of every school's curriculum. Self defence shouldn't be the last resort after the damage has been done. Mastery over your own body gives you mastery over your own destiny, and we see it in these brave girls throughout the story of Striking Distance.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

It is our mission to get this message out to the world! We want all girls, everywhere, to be inspired to take up the challenge - to learn to defend themselves, to feel strong and powerful in their own bodies, and to be confident to say "I deserve better".
Short term ;
The amazing young women in our documentary also deserve better; equal recognition for their achievements and respect for their hard work and commitment. With your support, we can make this a reality.
Medium Term ;
Recently (April 2019) I have been contacted by UNSW to have round table discussions about getting the self defence program mapped to the NSW curriculum. Other stakeholders are the AFP and LMA (Lebanese Muslim Association) - this was off the back of seeing our sizzle reel for Striking Distance.
Long Term ;
Long term what I hope is for the documentary to be a catalyst for martial arts everywhere - to rethink how we teach & attract women and girls + and to create equal opportunities for women in martial arts


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?



How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?


Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

There are three things I want viewers to do after watching Striking Distance
1) get inspired - directly go out and do a self defence program, facilitated by being able to reach out to an affiliated dojo on our Striking Distance website
2) Get Angry - not enough is being done to protect women from domestic violence. Instead of wringing our hands, we need to get girls taking action and learning self defence. It won't stop violence against women, but it will help women and girls make better choices for themselves and have higher expectations about what they deserve and are entitled to. Getting angry about how poorly women are treated in the martial arts world will generate more discussion and more demand for things to change
3) take action - either through hosting screenings, organizing and holding self defence workshops, demanding self defence become part of the curriculum, or donating to programs who are helping raise the profile of womens martial arts.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

I will know we have achieved our vision when school principals and parents start making opportunities for girls to do self defence in schools. The other way will be when our all girls competition, the first of which was held last year, is a permanent fixture on the Australian martial arts calendar. And finally, when people take girls doing martial arts seriously.