Defend Yourself: Local business offers self-defense classes designed for women

Defend Yourself: Local business offers self-defense classes designed for women
Women's self-defense class (Source: Lex Juarez)

COLUMBIA COUNTY, GA (WFXG) - It’s been one week since an Augusta Woman was attacked while running on the Augusta Canal trail, and the sheriff’s office has not named a suspect. Now, one local business owner is taking action.

Here at Seigler’s Karate Center, people learn skills they can use to protect themselves. Owner Jennifer Waters is hosting classes specifically designed for women that can teach them what to do in case of an attack. “As women, we have to be prepared at any time.”

Prepared for the worst. That’s why Katy Chafin started taking self-defense classes a year and a half ago. “They think that it’ll never happen to me, and that’s just the wrong mindset to have, because it can happen at any time.”

Just one week ago, an Augusta woman suffered an attack while running at the canal. Although she got away safely, it could have easily gone the other way.

“This is something that’s becoming more common place, and this is something we want to equip people to handle.” By offering self-defense classes, Waters is working to do just that. “We’re teaching people real, practical things they can do, the mindset they need to have so they can survive a situation, get away and live to fight another day if that were to occur.”

They teach sensitive areas you can use on an attacker, as well as fighting both standing up and on the ground.

“This was a situation where she was being grabbed and pulled, and that’s a commonplace situation, especially for women. Being grabbed either from behind, from the front, being pulled. So, learning how to get away from that grab and then counteracting to a sensitive area.”

Ladies will be learning tons of skills in these courses, but one of the main moves they’re going to be using is the palm heel strike. It’s your natural instinct when someone’s attacking you to back up like this, but what you should actually be doing is step forward, and then strike. And instead of hitting him in the shoulder, you would go more for the face or nose.

On top of learning the physical skills, Waters says mental training is just as important. “Not having to worry about making a fist and making contact. There are other things you can do as a woman that are very effective for people that are bigger than you.”

“Not only do they teach me how to defend myself, but also to be more hyper-aware of my surroundings, especially if I’m with my kids or walking back to my car from a store.” Katy Chaffin is a student at Seigler’s Karate Center. “It’s not just going to happen in a dark alley, it’s going to happen in the daylight with multiple people around. They find different ways, so you have to be prepared.”

Waters says, “You want to make sure that at all times you’re not so comfortable with where you’re at because once you start getting comfortable, you start blocking out all the things going on around you.”

A reminder that staying aware can make all the difference. If you think you might be interested in a self defense class, you can head to Siegler’s Karate Center’s website for more information on a free introductory lesson.

Just a reminder of some simple things you can do while you’re out in public:

  • Make sure you’re walking with your head up, not looking down at your phone.
  • Only put one head phone in your ear so you can hear what’s going on around you.
  • Make sure you look over your shoulder and keep an eye on your surroundings.

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