Manhattan training center empowers women through self-defense clinic

Local News

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) — Some women in Manhattan walked away with some important skills Saturday that could potentially save their lives in the event of an attack.

While the situations may be just practice, the types of situations they simulate are very real.

“What we want you to do is be aware of your surroundings, know what’s going on and if you have to act, act,” said self-defense instructor Robert Sanchez.

Evolution Training Center in Manhattan put on a free self-defense clinic for women Saturday night.

Reagan Whitworth convinced her roommates to attend the class. They’re all students at K-State. They said while they feel safe on campus, they want to be prepared in the event of an attack.

“We’re pretty small humans so, the chance of someone seeing us as a vulnerable target is pretty great,” said Whitworth.

According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), female college students ages 18 to 24 are three times more likely to be assaulted compared to other women. Women who don’t attend college, but are in that same age range, are four times more likely to be assaulted.

During the lesson, instructors taught the class the fundamentals of an Israeli self-defense and fighting system called Krav Maga.

“The beautiful thing is it uses those motor skills that you already have naturally, that you instinctively perform,” said Sanchez. “Then, we give you a little technique and open up all the aggression.”

Instructors showed the class different strikes and techniques to help get them out of choke holds from behind, which they say is a common attack method.

“When they actually know how to defend themselves, they know how to strike with their hands, kick, you know, biting,” said Sanchez. “The idea is that you’re defending yourself against the threat and getting out of there.”

Whitworth’s roommate Lindsay Amick said knowing some of these techniques makes her feel more confident that she’ll be able to defend herself.

“It’s like the muscle memory of once you do it, you can kind of do it more often and use it in a pinch situation,” said Amick.

For women Whitworth and Amick’s age, the threat of being attacked can also present itself off campus. Back in October of 2018, their house was broken into.

“He came through the back lot, so it’s like where we park our cars is where he was essentially, so definitely that fear is always there,” said Whitworth.

With these new skills, also comes confidence.

“There is so much benefit in being able to defend yourself and not being afraid of what skills you have,” said Whitworth.

“It also doesn’t take the joy away from what you’re doing because you’re not always worried,” added Akim. “You’re just confidently aware.”

Regardless of age, gender or environment, these skills can help save lives.

For more information on upcoming self-defense classes put on by Evolution Training Center, click HERE.

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