Self-defense class to teach women to fight back

Four women are killed every day by an abusive partner. One in four women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime. A woman is raped every 46 seconds.

These statistics from a Women’s Self-Defense Association study is just one reason Julie Ramsey, a certified self-defense instructor, is offering a six-week women’s basic self-defense class to help women learn to defend themselves in dangerous situations.

Ramsey has a third degree black belt in Taekwondo and 19 years of Taekwondo and self-defense experience.

“I started the class because I felt it was important for women to learn self-defense and just kind of become more aware of their surroundings,” Ramsey said.

She became interested in Taekwondo after watching her two sons take classes in it when they were children, she said.

“I think women sometimes just think that everything is going to be OK and nothing bad is going to happen,” she said. “But many times bad things do happen and so I wanted to prepare women in different situations to be able to be more aware of their surroundings (and teach them) different ways that they can defend themselves.”

Ramsey thinks it is important to always pay attention by looking around and being aware of surroundings at all times.

“One of the first things that I talk about in my class is (limit) cell phone (use) because you get so involved in your cell phone conversation that you become unaware of your surroundings and what is going on around you,” she said.

Each class focuses on three to five new scenarios such as: if someone grabs from behind, if someone grabs the hand of the person they are attacking and how to get out of a front choke.

“I give different kicking techniques, I give different hand techniques, I go over areas of your attacker that are vulnerable for an attack so (women) become more aware of the different areas of your attacker to go for,” she said.

When taking the six-week class, Ramsey takes notice of the changes and improvements in the women who are in her class.

“I see such a difference in a woman’s confidence from the first class to class four, five and six, where they are becoming more confident,” she said. “They feel stronger; they realize that they had been so unaware of their surroundings where they are becoming more focused on that. I think that makes a big difference.”

Amber Meadows, nonstudent from Murray, has taken one of Ramsey’s self-defense classes during last year’s sessions.

“I loved it,” Meadows said. “We acted out several scenarios that could happen to women and to anybody really.”

Meadows suggested high school and college girls take the class before leaving home or town.

“I felt much safer knowing how to defend myself in any kind of situation that she presented to us and we reviewed all the time,” she said. “She reviewed it every week, she asked us questions, asked if we had any questions, anything that we wanted to act out or review she was willing to do that so I think that it would benefit anyone to take the class.”

The class meets once a week for 45 to 60 minutes per class at Balance Yoga. It costs $30 for the entire six-week class.

Balance Yoga is located on 200 N. 4th St. on the corner of Walnut and 4th streets. The next class will start Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 5:15 p.m.

Story by Dominique Duarte, Contributing writer.