WUFT News

Free self defense classes for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

By on April 5th, 2013

In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Gainesville residents can take free Aikido self-defense classes.

A form of martial arts, Aikido teaches non-violent self-defense techniques. Classes, held in the Unified Training Center with Aikido of Gainesville, are on Thursday nights from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.. Sensei Tom Huffman teaches the classes with assistance from Keith McInnis.

“In Aikido, we choose to design techniques and to train them in ourselves and to teach them to people so that you don’t have to hurt somebody,” McInnis said. ”We’re not interested in punching anybody’s lights out, we’re not interested in pinning somebody or holding them for the police.”

Huffman said Aikido has two different styles, iwama and nishio. He said iwama style is the foundation of Aikido that teaches very solid techniques and very strong attacks. Nishio is more flowing, but he said the styles are similar because both twist the attacker.

“And that twist just busts up all of their balance. And so I incorporate that into a lot of what I’m doing and I’m taking them down with a twist,” Huffman said. “And its not the fancy high falls and flying throws that you see in the other styles of Aikido, but its very effective.”

McInnis said students leave the class with a heightened sense of awareness and safety.

“They learn right away that to have a good composure and confidence and be aware of the environment is the best way to prevent being a victim of a violent crime,” he said.

During classes, students will learn the initial reaction to being attacked.

“The body is going to respond, the mind is going to respond, and they’re going to have an initial shock. That’s OK, that’s normal,” McInnis said.

Aikido student Rossana Passaniti, who attended the class Thursday, said she felt like they could help in real-life situations.

“The moves that they showed us were things that were grips and holds and being able to get out of something very quickly,” she said.

Passaniti said students were also taught to be aware of their surroundings and get their head away from cell phones to pay attention.

“So you can be more aware of you surroundings, be more confident and be less likely to be looked at as a simple prey,” Passaniti said.

Sarah Brand wrote this story online.


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

One-Stop Shelter Aims To Be Sole Provider For The Homeless

A new Gainesville homeless shelter is requesting other local services to stop catering to the homeless in the downtown area.


Donnie Craine

UF Diving Coach Dies In Boating Accident

Donnie Craine died in a boating accident today near Sanibel Island.


Clay Hill Elementary is a part of the district-wide initiative to engage students with technology. Photo courtesy of jacksonville.com.

Clay County Improves Attendance, Discipline with Classroom Technology

Clay County School District recently implemented iPad technology into its curriculum as part of a district-wide initiative to improve attendance and behavior.


Apr. 23, 2014: Afternoon News In 90

A video roundup of local, state and national stories for readers in North Central Florida.


Hoax 911 Call Causes Lockdown at Columbia High School

A lockdown at Columbia High School occurred after a hoax 911 call was received stating another student brought a weapon to the school.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments