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

George Young, former owner of Mom's Kitchen, a local soul-food restaurant and gathering place, talks about the memories of the cultural landmark following its demolition.

Residents Collect Memories of Mom’s Kitchen

  Gainesville is saying goodbye to a neighborhood treasure following the demolition of the historic restaurant that served as a soul food and entertainment center for decades. Mom’s Kitchen, which was owned and operated by George Young and his family [...]


Claudia Aguilar, the mother of slain University of Florida student Christian Aguilar, cries with family in the family's private room at the Alachua County Criminal Justice Center following the guilty verdict of Pedro Bravo Friday, August 15, 2014.  Bravo was found guilty of first degree murder. (Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun/Pool)

Pictures: Pedro Bravo Guilty Verdict


Pedro Bravo stands while the jury exits the courtroom  during a break from closing statements by Assistant State Attorney Bill Ezzell during Bravo's murder trial at the Alachua County Criminal Justice Center Friday, August 15, 2014.  Bravo is accused of killing University of Florida student Christian Aguilar.  (Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun/Pool)

Pedro Bravo Found Guilty On All Seven Charges

After several hours of deliberation following a two-week trial, the jury has found Pedro Bravo guilty in the first-degree murder of his former high school friend and University of Florida student Christian Aguilar. Bravo, 20, was found guilty of first degree murder, [...]


Pedro Bravo is fingerprinted after being sentence to life in prison for the murder of Christian Aguilar in courtroom 1B of the Alachua County Criminal Justice Center Friday, August 15, 2014.   (Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun/Pool)

Pictures: Day Ten Of Pedro Bravo Trial


Pedro Bravo prepares to take the stand and testify during Bravo's murder trial in courtroom 1B of the Alachua County Criminal Justice Center Thursday, August 14, 2014.  Bravo is accused of killing University of Florida student Christian Aguilar.  (Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun/Pool)

Jury Will Hear Closing Arguments Today In Bravo Trial

Day 10 of the Pedro Bravo trial will begin at 8:30 am today. Bravo took the stand yesterday, despite his counsel’s multiple statements that he would not testify in his own defense. Throughout the day he spent hours on the [...]


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
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments