Women Empowerment

Abby Fisler, Staff Writer

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Ever worried about your safety? Not prepared to defend yourself? Well, Gracie Gym in Torrance offers a unique program offered every Tuesday at 7:30 pm and Saturday at 11:30 am and no experience is necessary. This program is called Women Empowerment, it is a comprehensive self defense program for women against sexual assault. It trains  in verbal, physical, and psychological defense strategies proven to work.
The creator of this program, Rorion Gracie, believes that “self defense begins long before the fight gets physical” and the first and most important point of self defense is a heightened awareness.
Women Empowered also teaches girls and women to be able to defend against a larger and stronger opponent. The program teaches basic strategies used by strangers or even someone you know, which unfortunately does happen. A key part of defending yourself is preventing an attack  before it happens, but also knowing what to do if the situation progresses into a physical fight.
According to the program, there are four main phases of the assault, in the assailant’s mind. 1) Identify an unsuspecting target, 2) Subdue the target, 3) Exhaust the target, 4) Execute the assault. In phase one  it is important to stay alert and if possible stop the attack by not appearing vulnerable or an “easy target.” If you happen to be alone and cannot stop the attack one  moves into phase two. To successfully get out of phase two, the program teaches the “base position,” which is helpful in any situation. If sitting down one can get up in base and prevent the attacker from forcing the person to the ground. If walking, one can maintain the base so the predator cannot push or pull the victim in the direction he wants the person to go. The base position is performed by standing up straight with one’s back leg straight and the front one bent in order to maintain the most stability.
Another basic strategy one learns is how to escape the predator’s grasp, whether it be a one-handed or a two-handed grip. If phase two progresses and none of the tactics or strategies have been successful, one moves into phase three. The predator will try to emotionally and physically exhaust you so it is important not to struggle because this will drain energy faster. Instead one must let the aggressor believe that the victim will do what he wants and then make an escape while he is caught off-guard, thus preventing phase four.
As one progresses through this program, one will learn maneuvers and strategies increasing in complexity and effectiveness. Once you have completed the fifteen lesson program twice one is deemed to have the skills for life and will always be prepared.

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