Learning The Art Of Self-Defense

By Mary Leach
Wicked Local Northwest, Concord, Mass.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) At a two-hour class on basic self-defense about a dozen women learned how to strike — with hands, feet, elbows, and knees. They also learned about the parts of an attacker’s body to aim for. 

Wicked Local Northwest, Concord, Mass.

At a few inches over six feet, Al Chin looked a bit imposing as he stood on the mat at Alan Kessler’s Karate Center before a group of women on a sunny Saturday afternoon. The Billerica resident had one goal: Teach the group of women how to save themselves if attacked.

“This is a basic class to give you some ideas. You’re not going to learn everything, but if you pick up one thing that might save you, that’s all I care about,” Chin said.

About a dozen women gathered on June 22 for a two-hour class on basic self defense class designed for women. As part of the instruction, each woman would practice the techniques they learned and lose their fear of striking another person.

“We train not to fight, we train to end a fight and get away safely,” said Robbie Margossian who assisted Chin in the instruction.

Chin taught the women how to strike — with hands, feet, elbows and knees — and showed them the parts of the attacker’s body to aim for. He also demonstrated how to manipulate the body in ways it is not designed to move to get away. He described how jabbing or, hitting the soft parts, such as eyes, or pulling on ears to tear them off can work to disarm an attacker long enough to escape.

As he described different techniques, he invited participants up to demonstrate and feel what it was like to strike a person, either hands or feet. Padding allowed him to escape injury. Then he had the women form pairs and practice getting out of different holds.

Chin stressed three things:
* Be aware of your surrounding and don’t doubt your instincts. “If you feel like a situation is dangerous, listen to your instinct,” he said.

* If you can get away from a situation before it becomes threatening, leave.

* If you have to engage, do whatever it takes to get away. “And once you get away, go far away,” Chin said.

The reaction from women in the class was positive.

“I was amazed with how helpless I initially felt trying to break away from the first hold on me, but I felt more empowered the second round with a better grasp tools of self-defense under my belt,” said participant Denise Davis who brought her sister and several friends to the training. “Everyone loved the class and felt it was so helpful and informative. It motivated them to focus on being more alert in their environment, how to dress smart and how to successfully use their bodies and minds to protect themselves. Al Chin and Robbie Margossian gave us the proper tools and mindset to fight for ourselves in the event of a harmful attack.”

For information about future classes, visit
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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